Homemade Gift Idea – Melt and Pour Soapmaking

Making homemade soap as gifts can be pretty easy and a lot of fun. Homemade soap bars are great gift ideas because you can also whip up pretty large and attractive batches of them in a day or two and satisfy your entire holiday gift list. I made these as gifts for the holidays a few years back and some of the recipients were sincerely unsure whether these were purchased at a boutique or if I had actually made them.

The process to making these gifts is quite simple. Simply melt the soap base for a few minutes in the microwave, add the natural scents and exfoliants, pour them into molds and let them cool. That’s it! Creating unique names and gift labels can add to the creativity and presentation of these gift to make them even more memorable. Soapmaking purists might use a more difficult process that requires the use of lye and therefore there is a safety issue, but I found that the melt and pour soap variety as gifts can be just as elegant, much easier and safer, and creativity can be involved in every step of the process.

Soap Base…

Brambleberry.com can be your one-stop shop for all the supplies. I have had a lot of success, and have been very happy with their site and products. They specialize in everything that is soapmaking, from soap base and molds, to exfoliant and essential oil ingredients, to even boxes and labels. You can get an olive oil soap base (as well as some of the other ingredients) at Michael’s, or other craft store if you can’t wait for the shipping, but brambleberry.com has so many interesting and quality choices of soap bases that it would be a shame not to use them. I have used their aloe vera base, their creamy and dreamy goats milk base, shea butter, organic clear, a honey base and they even have shaving base, that would make a homemade gift idea that is more accessible for guys.

Ingredients…

As soon as your base is melted, you can add your ingredients. Now there are far too many options to mention here but I will mention a few. As far has scents, Brambleberry carries an enormous variety of essential oils and other types of scents. Again, you can get a few of these at Michael’s, or better yet your local health food store, Whole Foods or grocery co-op. They tend to be a bit pricey depending on the scent, that is why Brambleberry carries cheaper options like extracts and fragrance oils. Essential oils, though expensive, have a stronger, purer scent than any of the other types of scents, so if you are making large batches I would recommend getting a few of the basics. The ones I’d recommend as essential oils are a nice soothing lavender, a citrus oil like bergamot which is a great uplifting, “wake-up” scent, and maybe a rosemary, eucalyptus, or peppermint. You can get a essential oil sampler kit from Brambleberry. They also carry a wide variety of exfoliants. My personal favorites are their shredded loofah and pumice. You can also be creative and use oatmeal, (which a lot of people combine with honey) a light exfoliant like bamboo extract, and walnut seeds, or even cornstarch. You can also look in your kitchen for ingredients like cinnamon and coffee grounds. You can find soap recipes to start out with at teachsoap.com. They also have a detailed tutorial on melt and pour soap making. You can use dyes and colorants, but I have found that once you add the other ingredients, the bars take on an already attractive, and natural looking character.

A few tips on scenting…

The scents listed here are pretty universally enjoyed by men and women alike. I would keep the scents on the subtle side, and stay away from the overly floral scents unless of course you know that the person receiving the gift will enjoy it. When experimenting with scent combinations your smelling sense will often soon become overloaded, making it difficult to sample each smell. A tip that a local soapmaker once told me is to keep coffee grounds nearby, and smell them to sort of cleanse your olfactory palate between batches. Coffee grounds, by the way, are a great ingredient to include in a kitchen soap as it tends to remove or at least disguise strong smells. This is great for when you have chopped a lot of onions for instance.

Molds…

Brambleberry carries carries a wide variety of soap molds. You might also find molds at your local craft store or Michael’s. I personally use just a standard rectangular soap mold I got from Michael’s. Again, I think that the soap ingredients make the bars attractive enough, and have found that unusual shapes might just make them look chaotic and busy.

Here is a video tutorial on the complete melt and pour soapmaking process.

Presentation…

Yes, brambleberry.com also carries gift boxes for homemade soap. If you use these sliding gift boxes, make sure your soap molds are rectangular and small enough to fit. They also carry natural-looking gift bags for homemade soap. These gift boxes are excellent for applying your own personalized gift labels that you can make from Avery’s full sheet labels that you can get from any office supply store. It was fun for me to come up with an overall design and unique names like “lavender dreamtime” or “sunny citrus”.If that is too much work for you, wrap them in some raffia ribbon from your local craft shop, and tie a little gift label to it.

Counting down 100 homemade gift ideas at http://100homemadegiftideas.com

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Home-made Soap Recipes and Formulas for Handcrafting Your Own Soap

The great thing about purely natural soaps is that they can be made by anyone. It will not take an alchemist to make with a great quality pure soap. All you simply need are homemade soap recipes as tools for making soaps of varying kinds.

Homemade soap recipes usually contain a comprehensive list of soap making ingredients, a materials and tools list and a step by step procedure for soap making. The ingredient list is also comprehensive, since it lists down the exact amounts and proportions of each component.

If you have tried looking, you will see how there are an overwhelming pool of soap making recipes to choose from. You can get them from your local soap craft store. Soap recipes are also searched abundantly online. You can choose from among them depending on the availability of ingredients and materials you have.

Furthermore, handmade soap recipes vary greatly as well. They vary in terms of the the method of soap making used, and the components and additional ingredients added. The additives can in turn vary depending on the specific final purpose the product will serve. Most homemade soaps are formulated with natural moisture-retention and nourishing properties, added with specific nutrients, enzymes and other enriching ingredients.

Homemade soap formulations may range from anti-bacterial formulations for skin conditions such as acne or eczema to soap aromatherapy-centered recipes with essential oils. There are also certain recipes for making gentle and mild baby soap, complete body wash, and liquid type soaps. Of course, there are just as many recipes for detergents and laundry soaps.

If you are a beginner, it will be most convenient to buy a pre-made soap making kit. These kits contain all the components you need, along with a soap recipe for making the soap set. The kits also vary as widely as soap recipes.

Homemade, organic soaps give your skin the luxury of being at its best and healthiest state. Soap recipes are relatively straightforward to follow. With time and practice, you can work around with these available soap making recipes so you can produce your very own recipe, which now depends on your needs and preferences.

Browse through our recipes and see soap making in a different kind of light. soap making recipes

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