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How to Make Homemade Soap

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by Lynn Bradshaw (subscribe)
An English and IT teacher, and would-be writer, living in north London. I like to spend my free time travelling, visiting new places, taking photographs and cooking.
Published October 26th 2012
Make your own soap in 10 minutes
This is a great little gift idea, which is perfect for birthday and Christmas presents. You can make the soap bars in any shape, colour or fragrance you like. To make them pretty wrap nicely and include a gift tag. I made these last year for the first time, and got some really good comments about them.

It is possible to make your own individual soap in under 10 minutes. All you need is: clear soap base (glycerine) which you can buy either in blocks from Hobbycraft or liquid form which you can get online; fragrance such as tea tree oil or vanilla, which you can get from a store or online; colouring if you want to produce coloured soaps food colouring is fine for this or you can buy bath product colours from Hobbycraft or online, dried flowers, herbs or seeds to add a little texture.

This is the soap base I use. It is available from Hobbycraft.

The other equipment you need is a jug for melting the soap, an old pan if you use the stove top method, a spoon or similar for mixing and a mould. You can make your soap into any shape you want so a small cake or ice cube mould would do the trick.

Be creative here.

How to go about it?

First, assemble all your materials.

Second, if using block clear soap base you need one square, which is around 250 grams. Chop up the square into cubes so it melts quicker.

Third, fill a small pan with a little water and bring up to boiling, put the cubes of soap base into the jug and stand the jug in the water. Keep heating till soap base is melted. This takes a couple of minutes. In the microwave, put the cubes in to a plastic jug and cook on full power for 15 seconds. Check. Repeat until melted.

Fourth, let it cool a couple of seconds and then add a couple of drops of fragrance, if using it,

Fifth, add a drop of colouring or a pinch of dried herbs and mix thoroughly.

Sixth, pour into mould and stir to release any air bubbles. Tapping the base on a worktop also helps release air bubbles.
Leave to cool. When cool put in freezer for a few minutes to harden up. Take out of mould. If you need more soap then melt some more soap base.

Wrap in cling film to keep fresh and then wrap as presents or use for yourself.

I have made three bars of clear soap with tea tree oil fragrance and some dried flowers using a cake pan. They look fab.

And you can use the moulds, colourings and fragrances for you own candles!

For some fresh ideas try this website.
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Why? The Ultimate Gift - Homemade Soap
When: Anytime
Where: At home
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