This past summer in art camp we tried something totally different and new: soap making! I researched heavily, relying on the trial and error of other bloggers. I loved the goat milk soaps made by the kids at Purple Twig – especially with their use of flowers and herbs – but ultimately I decided to try some clear glycerine soap instead. It was actually pretty easy! And the colors turned out really well. We had a few hiccups, which I will share with you. But overall, it was so successful that I’m going to make them with my own kids this holiday season and give them out as teacher gifts! We’re pretty excited.
Read on for the supply list and tutorial…
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~ Small bowls and dull knives
~ Silver bowl for melting over stove // or plastic tupperware for melting in microwave
~ Loaf pan
(First I read this tutorial from Confessions of a Homeschooler. She used a microwave, so I had to improvise a bit since I don’t own a microwave!)
1. Cut glycerine into little bits. The kids loved this part. How often does one get to handle a knife in art class? Don’t worry, they were very dull. But they did the job nicely!
2. Melt glycerine. I used a double-boiler technique.
3. Pour melted soap into a bowl and let the kids add a few drops of color and a few drops of fragrance. Go heavier on the fragrance than you think! Stir quickly, the soap starts to solidify right away.
(Each color “batch” was 1/4 of the soap base. So basically, each stripe was about 250 grams. For each stripe we put in 5 drops of essential oil, but in hindsight we could have doubled that.)
4. Pour the color into the pan that is lined with wax paper.
5. Wait patiently for the layer to harden. Then pour the next layer, and the next layer, until you have about 8-10 layers.
6. I let the soap harden overnight just because I wanted to cut it when the kids came back the next day. But you can cut it before that, like an hour later or something. I used a butcher knife to cut the slices.
7. Voila! So cool, right? I intend to wrap each bar in wax paper and tie with a little bit of yarn and maybe even a small pom-pom. I think the teachers will really love these.
Oh, and just an FYI. Don’t put any of the bowls or knives that you used into the dishwasher without rinsing off all the soap residue. Imagine this soup puddle above times 50, and oozing out of the sink. It covered my whole floor! It was funny, not funny.
Let me know if you go for it!