Soapmaking – Not as Hard as It Sounds
|September 8, 2017||Filled under Crafting and DIY||
I like to try new things. Nothing too crazy, but I like learning how to do stuff. Soapmaking has intrigued me for a good while. It looked so beautiful, but also complicated. I mean, I don’t want to mess around with lye and do chemistry and buy a bunch of equipment. I thought I’d have to leave the cool soapy gig to the brave women.
Then I thought, wait a minute. I’m a brave woman. Why am I scared of soap? I know how to be safe. If it doesn’t work, then I make adjustments and try again. OK. I can do this.
I started watching YouTube videos and I joined a soapmaking group on Facebook to pick up tips, recipes and encouragement. It was at this point I read about Bramble Berry and all the awesome kits and supplies I could get in one place. (Just an FYI – I have no affiliation with Bramble Berry and received no compensation from them. I purchased everything myself and have no obligation to them.)
I decided to start on something easy, so I opted to go the “melt and pour” route as opposed to a cold process soap. I’m not quite ready for lye and all that. I selected four different kits from Bramble Berry to test the soapmaking waters, jumped in my boat and went to Soaptown!
Kit #1 – Bees Soap Kit
These kits come with all you need. Soap base, fragrance, soap mold, everything.
First I cut up the base into small chunks.
Then melted it in the microwave in 30 second bursts. This amount of soap base took a total of one minute, though I think I could have stopped around 50 seconds and had enough heat to finish melting the soap.
Then I added the fragrance. This one combined Oat Milk and Honey with a nice Vanilla. The whole room smelled to good!
I poured the mixture into the mold and spritzed each one with alcohol to remove the tiny bubbles.
After cooling for 3-4 hours, the result was so awesome that I didn’t get a decent picture. They’re shown in the center of picture at the top, with all the soaps in the basket. Sorry folks. The interesting thing about this soap is that it continued to darken over the next couple of days. I read that the vanillin in the vanilla fragrance oil has a tendency to discolor some soaps. In this case, it turned into a pretty honey caramel color and was perfect for this this application.
Kit #2 – Gardener Soap
I’m excited about this one. It has THREE different soaps, THREE different fragrance oils, color, and mix-ins to exfoliate. Nice.
As I cut up the soap base again, I felt like I should be in a “Breaking Bad” episode!
This layer gets a bit of color!
The first pour, which ends up being the top of the bar, has crushed walnut shells and is scented with zucchini flowers. Light and fresh.
After adding a middle layer that included Grass Stain fragrance oil, I prepared the top layer with clear base, more green color, Sweet Grass fragrance oil and some ground loofah.
After cooling about 4 hours, the soap popped right out of the mold and was very simple to cut into bars. Look how beautiful they are!
Kit #3 – Shaving Soap
This fabulous kit helped me make a wonderfully rich shaving soap in just a couple of steps. I started with a foaming bath butter and added chamomile, bentonite clay, olive oil, and a great fragrance oil called Tobacco and Bay Leaf. I swear it smelled like my dad was shaving in my kitchen.
All of this got whipped in my mixer.
The kit came with these fabulous jars.
So I filled them up – 4 ounces, I think.
Then I cut apart the labels that came with the kit. Yes, sometimes you get labels, too!
Check out how professional (and adorable) these turned out. Love. Both my husband and my daughter tested this one right away and gave it a big thumbs up.
Kit #4 – Mermaid Soap
OK, I’ll admit that this one was so fun to make that I completely forgot to take pictures. Blogger fail.
However, this pretty, glittery soap gets its ombre effect from about 8-10 layers of increasingly darker tinted soap.
I began with white and an amazing Yuzu fragrance oil (think sweet lemon and tangerine) and added just a little color at a time. When the soap hardened, I unmolded it and cut it into bars.
Can you believe how this looks?
This kit also came with labels that wrapped around the soap.
I love these so much!
My tester bar.
So, I think I’m sold on soapmaking. It was easy to follow the directions and these kits certainly helped. The end product is very impressive in a sort of “I can’t believe I actually made that” kind of way. I’m taking these to the office next week to find some testers.
I’ve ordered some more supplies to branch out on my own a bit. Lots of new fragrance oils coming and also the stuff to make bath bombs! I’ve purchased everything from these three sites so far. If there’s another site that you like, please share in the comments. Otherwise, I can strongly recommend these: