One of the projects from my Thirty Before 30 list.
30. Give soap making a try.
My mom and I tackled this project at the end of July. It was fun and easy! We did the soap casting method, which is basically melting a base and putting whatever essential oils you want inside.
First step, chop up the base and put into a double boiler.
Melt the base down, add in your essential oils and any additions, like lavender buds and lemon zest in this case. Stir everything around and pour into your mold. Jimmy made some wooden loaf-type molds for me, with instructions from The Everything Soapmaking Book. We let those sit for 24 hours and then pulled the soap loaves out. The molds were lined in parchment paper to help unstick the soap and I ran a hard plastic spatula along the edges to help loosen it.
I also used the spatula to scrape the remaining soap up (that ran under the parchment paper). I'm saving the remainders for...I don't know what. Maybe I can melt them down into a tiny soap. It just seemed like such a waste to throw them away.
These are the two types of soap we made. The one on the left I called "South of France," which is Lavender Bulgarian and organic lemon essential oils with lavender flowers and lemon zest in a olive oil base. The right one is called "Autumn Harvest" and is blood orange essential oil with orange zest and grated cinnamon stick in a goat milk base. Is it dorky that I named them? I was keeping track of what went into each one so that I could recreate it if I wanted to and the names seemed better than "Batch #1." I've only tried the Autumn Harvest so far but it is awesome. It smells heavenly and is really creamy, but the cinnamon bits are exfoliating too.
Supplies needed for soap casting: some type of soap mold, a soap base, essential oils, spray bottle full of alcohol (for dissolving any bubbles once you pour the soap), a double boiler (not pictured), and a hard plastic spatula.
After you have the basics, the sky's the limit. There are all sorts of additives, from color to glitter to small plastic toys! I'm kind of granola, so mine will mostly be very natural with additions like herbs, spices, and citrus rinds. My mom recently ordered some colors, so we'll be experimenting with those with our next batch. I predict we'll be gifting lots of soap this Christmas!