Friday, January 04, 2008


There were many projects we made over the holidays that I didn't post too much info about, because I didn't want to spoil any surprises. We experimented with different things--soap, candles, paper crafts, wood crafts - and soap came out as a kids favorite. Our first few batches we kept it simple. Base + essential oil. After reading a few books and perusing melt and pour soap sites, we expanded to add-ins such as bee pollen, honey, coffee, spices, oats, and oil combinations.

We will definitely continue to experiment and make more soap. It is a fun project for the kids and the possibilities are finding the perfect combo for winter dry skin and allergies, gardeners soap, kitchen soap, hair soap & shaving soap (and planning what I could do with dried herbs from our garden next summer). Of course I would love to do some cold process -- but with little ones the melt and pour is a great family project!


Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Wow! The soap cakes look great and it sounds like smell good as well. I am looking forward to the results of your experiments to find out which work best for dry, winter-damaged skin, too. And you know, it's a great homeschool science question.

Jodi Anderson said...

How cool!

Humble said...

Oh yum! You didn't find it was too hot/too dangerous/you had to do everything? Have you tried dipping beeswax candles? I have a Waldorf book full of classroom activities, and there's a lovely 'melting wax in a tin can and dipping tapers' thingie I'd love to try, but I keep having visions of hot wax raining from the skies etc.

denise said...

Ahhh yes, we tried the dipping beeswax candle thing and it was not good for the ages/energy levels yet. The soap worked better for us...

There were some things the kids couldn't do alone How we did it:

-boys could oil molds (olive oil with cloth)

-boys took my chopped up solid base and counted/added it to the big glass measuring cup

-boys helped measure out add-ins (not oils) like cinnamon, bee pollen, oatmeal, coffee, honey, etc. They measured with teaspoons into little bowls.

-boys helped me count as I added drops of essential oils. 10 of this, 14 of that, etc.

-I nuked the soap base and stirred until melted. I let it sit a short time to cool before we poured in the add-ins. I held the wax in the glass still and then stirred while they dumped the stuff in. I poured the soap into molds (or if I was holding cup with them hand over hand, we did it together).

-boys helped test to see if it was ready after 30-45 min

-boys helped pop it out of molds (I would loosen, they would then turn over and push)

There are enough steps that they did a lot of the process and felt like THEY made the soap, so it was nice yet it was done safely.

And of course they went over the recipes with me, deciding which properties were desired...moisturizing, exfoliating, antibacterial, etc. and what scents would match...energetic, relaxing, soothing, etc. Fun! :)

Aimee said...

Way to go! I am so impressed! They are beautiful soaps and I am sure your recipients loved them. Your header looks great too.

Lizz said...

We too are soap makers.

I like the last picture, those molds are perfect!

Tara said...

This looks something Owen might enjoy. I love your combinations..
Cinnamon is one of my favorite scents, and good ole Dr. Bronner soap doesn't come in cinnamon!

tiff said...

oh the soap gift is so nice...i love the homemade rectangle brown is pretty!

And the way you package your soaps is so loverly!

a project on our next year homemade holidays!

Humble said...

oh thanks for the extra-thorough answer! We shall give it a whirl! (The soap, not yet le wax)