There are a few things a person needs in order to get started making your own soap. This first is a soap base. Which one you pick is a matter of personal preference, depending on what color you want your soap to be, if it needs to be hypoallergenic, and what additives if any you plan to use. Be sure to try and purchase a base that advertises “low sweat”, which means little water condenses on it. Condensing water on the soap can ruin the shape and color, as well as destroy any packaging. Soap bases are usually sold by the pound at hobby shops or online, and there are varying types ranging from glycerin bases to goats milk. The easiest type of base to work with is a melt-and-pour base. Soap bases range around $4-$8 per pound.
In addition to a soap base, you will want to invest in a soap mold. These are available in many shapes and sizes, and its fun to try different molds for different occasions. Be sure to get a plastic mold that bends easily to allow the soap, when it hardens, an easy release.
Also, you may want to invest in various coloring agents and essential oils. These are also available in a hobby shop or online, and can be mixed and matched and experimented with in order to make a custom soap of your own design. If you choose to purchase essential oils to add scent to your soap, purchase an eye-dropper as well, because a little essential oil goes a long way.
HOW TO DO IT
The first step is to decide what type of soap you want to make and lay out the maternials on a table or the counter, so everything is ready. When you are working with a melt and pour base, time is of the essence, because when it hardens, you have to warm it up again in order to work with it.
Cut the soap base into chunks and add to a microwave proof bowl. Heat for a minute, and stir. If the soap base is not smooth, heat another thirty seconds until the base becomes a liquid. Stir so there are no chunks, and when the soap base is fully heated and smooth, add a few drops of color or scent as you wish. Start small- essential oils are powerful and often only three or four drops is sufficient for a single bar of soap. Once the base has reached the desired color and aroma, simply pour into your soap molds and let sit for thirty minutes to one hour. Once the bars are fully cooled, pop them out of the mold and you have your decorative soap, ready for use or wrap.
To wrap, tissue paper is a good idea, unless you want to purchase small boxes at the hobby store. Tissue paper, however, absorbs any moisture that the soap comes into contact with and so its a good idea even if using a box to line it with tissue paper.
Use your imagination for some lovely soaps. For the holidays, a pine or bayberry scent and a green hue makes perfect gifts for the season. Wrap in tissue paper and tie a small pine-cone onto the bar to add to the festive spirit. Summer is special with a lemon or fruity scent, along with a pink or lavender hue. You can even add small rose petals or chunks of lemon rind to make your soap fancier. Herbal soaps are wonderful and easy. Add a few drops of white thyme essential oil and a hand full of rosemary to your soap base for a natural clean. Be creative and mix and match colors and scents until you find a few of your own favorites.
Easy and affordable, soap-making uses your creative flair to create and add style to you washroom and make wonderful gifts for friends and family alike. The possibilities are endless for this hobby, which takes only a little time but reaps a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction.