How to Make Soap for the Holidays: From our December Subscription Box shipped by Grow and Make
(these instruction are for our December Subscription, so keep in mind that we provided everything required in the instructions in our subscription kit.)
HELPFUL TIPS BEFORE GETTING STARTED
Welcome to melt and pour soap making! Create soaps in a variety of scents, colors, and shapes, using all natural ingredients and hypoallergenic soap bases. Making soap with the melt and pour method is simple and fun, and you won’t have to handle dangerous, toxic chemicals with this process. Be sure to always use proper precautions when working around hot materials and burners. Adult supervision is advised. We have included fragrance oils to scent your soaps. To get a true sense of the fragrances included, create some blotters. These are what perfumers use to design scents. Cut thin strips of paper, dip each strip about 1/4 inch into the fragrance oil, and wave them under your nose. This way you will get a sense of the top, middle, and base notes of the each fragrance and how they smell together. If you want to create a blend, wave the strips of the desired smells together, and take note of which ones you want to use so you will be ready when your soap is ready for the oils to be mixed in. We recommend adding 1/4 teaspoon per soap block base for a medium scent. You can always add more for a stronger smell!
INCLUDED IN THIS KIT
• Soap Base Blocks
• Holiday Soap Mold
• Colorants (red, blue, yellow)
• Cosmetic Fragrance Oils
• Peppermint Extract
MELTING & POURING
MELTING THE SOAP BASE:
Cut the soap block into approximately 1 inch cubes using a sharp knife. Heat
gently on medium to low heat in a pot or double boiler. Stir only occasionally, as over stirring will create bubbles in your soap (unless you are going for this look!). Stop heating once soap base has melted completely. Be careful not to boil, this will put bubbles in your soap! If it starts smoking, remove immediately. Be aware that the base will re-solidify within a few minutes after it is removed from heat so plan ahead and be ready to pour. At any time during the process, you can always re-melt your soap if it begins to
harden and pour it again.
ADDING FRAGRANCE, COLORS & FLOWERS:
If adding fragrance, mix in the desired scent once the soap is melted. We suggest adding about one teaspoon of fragrance oil per soap block. You can slowly add more fragrance to suit your preference, keep in mind the soap will smell stronger while it is warm. Depending on how many colors you want to make, and how brightly colored you want your soaps to be, the amount of colorant will vary. However a good place to start is 1-3 drops of colorant per block of soap base. Do not exceed 1 drop of colorant per tablespoon or you will run the risk of the colorant bleeding. Stir thoroughly as the color melts into the soap. See the next page for some tips on different designs you can create by adding dried flowers or pouring colors at different times. However, to make a straight forward colored block of soap, proceed to the next step.
POURING THE SOAP & REMOVING FROM THE MOLD
Ensure your soap molds are clean and dry before using. Pour your melted soap slowly into the molds, leaving about 1/8 inch of space at the top. You can collect any spills with a spatula or spoon once they harden, and re-melt the chunks later. This also goes for the soap that can build up on the sides of your pan after you have poured your soap. Using your spoon, scrape up the residue and melt into your next soap bar. As soon as your soaps have hardened slightly, you can move the molds to the freezer to speed up the process of cooling. This is also the easiest way to get the soaps to release from the mold. Leave in freezer for approximately 20-30 minutes. Avoid over freezing, which can cause condensation on the soap. The soap bars should now be easy to remove and can be used right away!
Dried Flower & Found Object Soap
Dried flowers, herbs, and flower petals can be a beautiful addition added to transparent glycerin soap. Prepare the items you want to put in your soap before you start melting the soap base. Sprinkle the items directly into the soap mold, and keep a tooth pick handy to arrange the dried flowers once the soap has been poured.
Melt your soap base and pour into the mold. Quickly arrange the dried herbs before the soap base cools.
Optional: While your soap is still completely liquid, insert a tied loop of twine, knot side down, into “the top” of your soap to create a hanging soap. Make sure the twine is at least 1/2 inch into the soap, and submerged at least a few millimeters so it holds.
Candy Cane Soap
Cut approximately enough melt & pour soap base to pour one ornament soap. Add 1-2 drops of the desired color. Do not add too much or the color will bleed later when you are using the soap. If adding fragrance, be sure to mix it in the base before you pour. Pour the soap and let cool until firm. You can speed up the process by putting the tray in the freezer.
Once it is firm, cut into a star pattern as pictured below. Scratch up the edges where the
new soap will be adhering to ensure they stay attached. Then turn over every other piece of “the pie,” and place each piece in the same order back into the same mold. Prepare some melted white soap base and pour into the empty spaces. Place it into the freezer to cool.
Take your soap out of the mold. If you can’t see your pretty design, you may need to trim a
small layer from your soap bar using a sharp knife to reveal the pattern. Shave small slices off until you reveal the star pattern. You can rub a clean dish cloth over the soap bar to smooth and polish out any carving marks if desired.
If you have some scrap soap shavings, you can melt these down into another bar, or chop your shavings into little pieces and then pour a different color over them like the star pictured below. Once cooled, make a thin slice off the back to even out the texture.
How to Make Striped Soap
Making striped soap is easy to do, and has a delightful look. It is also a great way to use up your scraps! All you need to do is pour a thin layer of melted soap into the mold, and let it cool enough that it has hardened to the touch. Using a fork or the tip of a knife, scratch the surface to create a texture that the next layer can easily bond with. Then pour the next color. Repeat until the soap mold is full. The layered soap pictured below was made with a different colored soap layer each time. However, to create a more evenly striped look, you can measure out each layer before you melt it, and using two pans, one for each color, carefully pour each layer the same depth. When finished, you can trim the bottom and sides of your soap bar to accentuate the stripes.
Evergreen Tree Soap
MELTING THE SOAP BASE:
Melt just enough soap base to fill the tree portion of the mold. Color the soap base with a small amount of yellow and blue to create green. You may want to use tooth picks to pick up just a small amount of colorant (instead of using the pipette), since it only takes a very small amount of dye to color it, and you may need to add a tad more yellow or blue to get the hue you want.
Once it cools to the touch, scratch the back of it slightly so that the second pour has s good surface to bond too. Melt the background soap base and add color or fragrance. We used the clearer glycerin soap base as the background in this bar, but you can use any base or color that you like. Pour the melted soap base into the mold and let cool! Trim the edges with a sharp knife if needed.
Pro Tip: Not happy with how your bar of soap turned out? You can always melt it down and try again. Is the color not what you expected? You can put two bars together and melt it into one to make a new shade. Or, try shaving some flakes of one soap bar into a soap mold before you pour, for a marbled, flecked look.
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