Melt and pour soap is crazy easy. The soap base and fragrances are available at any major craft store and you can also use stuff you probably have already in your kitchen to mix in as well. You can make one bar at a time or a large batch like I did. Mixed soaps can be poured into individual molds or in my case, a large rectangle and then cut into bars with a knife.
Honey Almond Chamomile Goat's Milk Soap
3 lbs goat's milk soap base
2 tbsp ground up oatmeal
2 tbsp honey
3 chamomile tea bags
1 tsp honey almond fragrance
For my mold I used a 9 oz cereal box lined with wax paper. I've had some questions about the cereal box. I used a box instead of something like a cake pan because it has 90 degree angles on sides and corners. I tipped it sideways and cut off one big side then taped the end back together. Prepare mold and set aside. I wanted to add a little oatmeal just because it's so good for skin. Grind oatmeal in a food processor, measure amount you need and place in small bowl. Cut open tea bags and pour out tea leaves into the bowl.
Cut soap base into small pieces and place in a large microwave safe dish. Since this is a large batch, you can microwave for 1 minute, stir and repeat a couple times. When you see that it's getting more melted reduce microwave time to 30 second intervals, stirring in between until soap is completely melted.
Add oatmeal, tea and honey to melted soap base and gently mix. Add fragrance and mix. Now pour into mold. If you don't want any bubbles on top you can lightly spray alcohol across top.
When soap is cooled, you can cut into bars. With my size mold I got 12 bars for each 3 lb soap batch.
To fancy these up for wedding favors, I cut scrapbook paper into 2x9 inch strips(a paper trimmer will get this done quickly and accurately!) then trimmed the edges with fancy scissors. I wrapped bars in plastic wrap then secured the paper strips around with tape. To make the personalized labels, I used PicMonkey to create the image I liked and then imported the image into a word document. After you figure out the size you'll need, just copy the image to fill up the page and print on card stock. Now cut out labels and attach with glue stick.
Learn from my mistakes:
I had never done this before and here are some things I messed up so you don't have to.
- The soap base comes already scored into easy to cut cubes. In the first batch, I left soap in the large cubes and it took a long time to melt and it ended up not heating evenly since I was working with such a large batch. Cutting the soap into smaller slices as shown in the picture above allowed it to melt more evenly and faster.
- Fragrance directions said 5 drops per 1 oz soap. I didn't feel like counting out 240 drops so I looked all over the internet for a tsp measurement. The info I got wasn't accurate and I ended up using 2 times the fragrance I needed in my first batch! I had to melt it back down and add more unscented soap to fix it. I did end up counting out the 240 drops and it came out to about 1 tsp.
- I read that you should wait till the soap is getting cooled down and thick before adding fragrance so the heat doesn't evaporate it. I waited too long and when I went to pour the melted soap into the mold it actually started to harden mid pour! This resulted in very lumpy soap. I think just adding the fragrance after you add the first ingredients will allow it to cool enough so that there won't be evaporation problems.
- You shouldn't use bowls, utensils, etc that you intend to use for food again. You can always pick up some supplies from the thrift store for this purpose. After my over fragrance fiasco, I had to use my favorite metal bowl to make a double boiler since I didn't think I should use the microwave to melt the overly perfumed soap. I rinsed and washed out the bowl and later my husband decided to eat salad out of it...not good! This is also why I used a large piece of cardboard to cut on instead of my cutting boards.
Crochet River Rocks
Yes these are crocheted rocks. Why would anyone waste time crocheting rocks? Ummm, because it looks cool! I saw these on Pinterest and thought they were so pretty and would go great with the theme of the wedding. You can pretty much use any small crochet doily pattern and just work it until it's the size you need for the rock. A few of the sites I found with patterns for rocks are The Purl B and Number One Churchill's Green. Don't forget to check Ravelry for doily patterns as well. After you've done a few you'll be able to make up your own patterns as you go.
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