When I began making soaps I had no idea how easy they would be, and now it is one of my favorite small gifts because they are so rare and personal – and really, really easy. One day I will make real from-scratch soap. This is the shortcut method, using purchased soap base and yellow coloring. Making soap from scratch is difficult and time consuming – I’m not saying this is a reason to avoid it, but it is my reason for doing it another day. In the meantime, you can make some pretty little handmade soaps with very little effort for your favors and small gifts, and earn appreciation from your recipients.
You Will Need:
• Soap base (from a crafts shop or online from lorannoils.com)
• Soap coloring (from crafts shop or lorannoils.com)
• Molds (individual silicone molds, or a baking pan that has been lined on all sides with plastic wrap)
• Optional: cookie cutters to cut out shapes
• A double boiler (a large pan with a couple inches of water in it, and another pan that will fit inside it, its base just above the top of the water), or a microwaveable bowl.
• Rubber spatula, potholder, and sponge for cleaning.
• Containers (organza bags or small pieces of cloth to wrap the soap in)
• Small gift tags. I suggest using our scallop shape 23 or diamond shape 10
The first step is to cut up the soap base into small pieces and place them into the top pot of the double broiler. With the stove on low, heat the soap base, stirring occasionally, until melted. This will take just a few minutes. When the soap base is almost melted and free of lumps, stir gently while adding drops of the soap coloring. Continue adding and stirring until the desired color is achieved.
When the soap base is thoroughly melted and there are no more lumps, remove the pan from heat and immediately pour the melted soap into molds. It will begin to harden almost immediately. Allow it to firm up, then remove from the molds. If you have made a large pan of soap and want to cut it down to smaller sizes, now is the time. Use a sharp knife or cookie cutters to cut into shapes. Save and re-melt the little scraps for more soap bars. You can rub the cut edges of the soaps to smooth. Then let set overnoght to cure enough for packaging.