Another great gift for family and friends that you can make yourself at home is soap! This is both an impressive and unique present and is exciting to make because of such a professional looking end product. It’s also simple enough to be done by children of all ages and is not too expensive. The popularity of quality and unique soaps and bath products is a phenomenon that can be seen from the success of high street stores like Lush and The Body Shop. Making soap, surprisingly, is not so hard though and is particularly useful for a craft product.
To start, you are going to need:
Some form of plastic mold (if you don’t have any, plastic cups work as a cheap alternative)
Cooking Spray or Petroleum Jelly – such as Vaseline
Pure Glycerin Soap (can be found at craft shops)
Soap Dyes (can also be found at craft shops),
Now follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Take your plastic molds and spray some of your cooking spray around the insides of each one. You can alternatively use the petroleum jelly at this point and spread it around the insides of the molds. There should be just enough to cover the edges of the soap very lightly.
Step 2: Take your Glycerin Soap and put it in a microwave-safe measuring jug. Then melt it in the microwave by putting it on the high power setting for 30 seconds. Then, if it’s not entirely melted, put it on for 10 seconds more at a time until it is. Be careful when removing the soap from the microwave since it will be hot and you don’t want to burn yourself. This is a job that you may want someone a little older to help you with. If there is not enough soap once it is melted to fill your mold then you can melt some more. It is much better to have too little at this stage than to have more than you need since at least you won’t have to get rid of any and waste it.
Step 4: Add the dyes that you want to the soap. You will not need much as the dyes are quite strong so just a couple of drops should be enough. You can also mix dyes if you want to make a unique colour. Now take a lollipop stick or something similar that isn’t valuable and stir in the dye so that it is spread evenly throughout the soap.
Step 5: Now it is time to fill your molds. Just pour the melted soap into the mold and leave to cool down and harden for roughly two hours. After this time, you can turn your mold upside down and squeeze it to release your soap. One great thing about this craft is that, since it is soap we’re dealing with, it is not at all hard to clean off the molds again at the end.
One idea for advancing on this technique is to put a trinket inside, like a small plastic toy. To do this you must fill the mold half way before leaving to partially dry. Then place the trinket in the mold and fill up the rest of it with soap. To do a rainbow effect do a similar thing, leaving each layer to dry before adding the next. Further techniques include using glitter and adding scents in the form of oils.
There are loads of ways that you can make this craft your own and the beauty of this craft is in its practicality. Making soaps is also a great way of taking a traditional gift and making it a lot more personal.
Image from: http://www.realhandmadesoap.com/Mem%20Photos/thepurplesagenew.JPG