Friday, November 23, 2007

Melt and Pour Soap.

These extra days with dad at home means more time for being at home with family, playing games, running in the snow, baking, and doing fun craft projects. Today we made our first batch of melt and pour soap for gifts. It turned out great.

We started with a good quality olive oil glycerin soap base, good quality essential oil, soap molds, a large glass measuring cup, olive oil, and a wooden stir stick.

First, the boys took a dab of olive oil and rubbed the molds carefully, coating the entire surface so that it won't stick.

We then chopped the melt and pour base into smaller chunks (mom helps) and put the chunks into the measuring cup. The blocks were heated in the microwave for 45 seconds to start (stir), and then at 15 second intervals (stir) until full melted.

Gently stir in essential oils -- we used 1-2 drops per ounce of base. Today it was peppermint. Let it sit for a minute -- get your molds ready.

Carefully pour the base into the molds. My boys did help pour, but I held onto the pouring hand the whole time to be sure we didn't spill or splatter. Let sit for at least an hour to harden. Gently press the backside of the molds to pop out the soap.

This was our first batch so we did not use any color or texture additions. The clear olive oil base with the fresh minty smell is wonderful and they will look perfect packaged in a beautiful red organza bag (working on sewing those!), tied with a white ribbon (a la candy cane).

This ended up being a great project for the boys...they did help (although much was closely working with a grown up hand), they liked watching and participating in the process, and they LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing the result. And of course we have even more beautiful handmade gifts to give for the holidays. For our next batch, I think we may try some other fragrances, natural colorings, and maybe even some dried herbs!

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