Confetti Soap

 

 

 

Confetti soap and wash towel

 

I recently taught a soap making class. It was so much fun! A group of local home school Mom’s and a few of their kids got together for a time of fellowship and learning.

I am not really sure who learned more, me or them. That’s the funny thing about being a speaker, you go in expecting to teach, but come out having been a student.

Even if it’s something you have been doing for years, like making your own soap.

I would do it again in a heart beat.

We spent the entire night discussing soap bases, herbs and essential oils. We debated about different chemicals in the bases, what’s good, what’s not. We even googled a few technical terms for clarification.

It was a blast.

We experimented with new molds, tested new soap bases, mixed beautiful new colors and tried out new experimental techniques.

The results were beautiful.

They smelled even better than they looked.

Confetti soap and wash towel

My favorite soap of the night was this Confetti Soap.

It’s not at all complicated.

The basic soap has a combination of 3 Butters, Mango, Shea and Cocoa butter. It’s the first time I have used this product, and I love the way it moisturizes my dry winter skin.

The beautiful color comes from adding chopped up bits of Glycerin Soap that I made previously.

We simply chopped the soaps into little pieces and added them to the white liquid soap base when it was poured into the mold.

How easy is that?

I had been working on this little Confetti Wash Towel as well, here’s the DIY Knitted Dish Towel Pattern. I thought it would be fun to use the two Confetti items together.

Homemade is beautiful, don’t you think?

Pink Wash Towel

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I have been knitting for weeks. It’s part of my winter routine, each night I spend an hour or two working on projects. You would be amazed at how much you can produce in such a small amount of time.

I made a number of small gifts for the holidays. My favorite gift combination was hand knit wash towels and home made soap. If you would like to make your own soap, check out my tutorial here.

Now it’s time to get back to my own knitting projects, I have been dying to make a couple of Wash Towels for myself.

 I love their soft cotton texture, it feels like a gentle exfoliant on the skin. They look as luxurious and beautiful as they feel.

The towels hold up amazingly well with regular use. They do stretch a bit as they are wet, but put them in the laundry and they shrink back to their original state in the dryer.

Who knew yarn was so resiliant?

in progress

The biggest plus of this project is it’s compact size, it’s easy to stick the needles and all in your purse and take them on the road with you.

This is Peaches and Cream 100% cotton yarn in Rose Stripes. I love how the variegated yarn makes stripes appear as you knit. It’s like the yarn has a story to tell you that is revealed as you work.

Who doesn’t love a good story?

For this project, you will need 1 skein Peaches and Cream yarn and a pair of size 8 knitting needles (I love the Susan Bates needles).

Here’s the pattern:

Cast on 44 stitches

*Knit 4 stitches, Purl 4* Repeat until end of row.

Repeat all rows the same until work measures 10″. Cast off, cut yarn leaving a small tail. Weave in ends.

How to Make Glycerin Soap

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I came to the realization today that I am in a time warp. Truly. I have absolutely no concept of time since the beginning of 2015.

I have issues sleeping at night and don’t wake up until mid morning.

It throws off my entire existence.

I could swear that I just made my last batch of Candy Cane Soap, and I never got to try any of it before we gave it all away for gifts.

I got into the shower today only discover there was no soap.

Time to make a new batch!

This time I made Glycerin Soap. It’s all new to me as I have not used glycerin before.

Our 14 year old son had an excellent question: “What exactly is glycerin made from?”

I had to look it up, I had no idea.

Glycerin is made from animal and vegetable fats. It is edible and is commonly found in drugs and foods as a filler and thickening agent. You can make glycerin soap completely from scratch with sodium salts of fatty acids, and glycerin.

Frankly, I really don’t know why anyone would do that. It sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

There are lots of affordable soap bases on the market that already have these ingredients. They are easy to use and very cost effective.

Leave the chemistry up to the chemists.

heart soap-11

For this batch, I used a 5 lb. block of clear glycerin that I purchased from a local craft store for 40% off with the weekly coupon.

I figure it costs me less than a .70 cents per bar to make, and we will have soap for months.

all glycerin

I love the beautiful colors in this batch. I spent a few dollars on some soap dye rather than using my usual food coloring. I can honestly say it was worth every penny, and I won’t be using food coloring again. I also read that the food coloring fades easily.

I hope this batch will keep us in soap for a while, so I am glad I used the real dye instead.

equipment2

Here’s how it works:

I cut this 5 lb. block into chunks with a sharp knife, then melted it over medium heat on the stove. You can also use a microwave if you prefer. I made two colored batches and left one that was clear without any coloring.

equipment3-3 equipment-6

When the soap was completely liquid, I removed it from the heat and added the color. I used 6-8 drops of blue for the left batch, and the same amount of the red dye for the batch on the right.

As the glycerin cools quickly, I added the essential oils while it was still warm, then immediately poured it into the molds. I also added the essential oils at this time. I used Wintergreen oil for the blue batch, with rosemary, basil and cypress for the red bars.

They smell wonderfully like toothpaste and licorice.

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Once in the molds, I put it outside into the cold air until solid. It took about 10 minutes with our zero degree temperatures we are having. You can also put it in your refrigerator freezer.

Molds come in all different shapes and sizes. I have been collecting them for some time, and I have recently discovered the benefits of using silicone. They are so much easier to work with! I used some silicone ice cube trays to make the small fish and heart shaped soaps, you can find similar ones at the Dollar Store.

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I felt compelled to try to add some lavender buds to one of the wintergreen batches. I will say I don’t really like how that batch turned out. The glycerin seems to be more dense than other soap bases and the flowers didn’t blend into the soap, but floated to the top and didn’t stick to the surface as well as I would have liked. I don’t think I would use them with the glycerin again.

fish and hearts-13

Once I had the little hearts and fishes made, I melted the last bit of soap base for the two toned soaps.

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I used an old bread pan for this large soap “loaf”. Tip: don’t forget to oil the pan! I forgot to rub the inside with olive oil before I started and it was a bit more difficult to remove than it should have been.

Pour the warm liquid into the pan and let it sit in a cold area for at least 5 minutes to partially set.

equipment-7

Meanwhile, spray the little soaps with a bit of rubbing alcohol and let them dry. The alcohol allows two soaps to adhere together.

equipment3-9

Push the little soaps down into the clear liquid with a toothpick or wooden skewer. You may have to do this more than once as the glycerin cools and hardens.

When completely solid ( I waited 30 minutes), invert the loaf and cut into bars with a sharp knife.

heart soap-11

My boys grabbed a bar and headed for the shower the minute they got home.

I must be doing something right, how many teenage boys actually like to shower?

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DIY Candy Cane Soap

Candy cane soap lead

 

We have been hard at work on making Christmas gifts. One of the joys of homeschooling for us over the years has been to learn basic homemaking skills, along with a few skills that are just fun projects.

Making soap is just plain fun. It’s an easy project for younger children, and the next thing you know they are 16 years old and begging to help you make soap for gifts.

We love Candy Canes at our house and decided to combine the two for our very own DIY Candy Cane Soap.

Candy cane close up

If you didn’t know, sugar has long been known to be an excellent ingredient for smoothing and exfoliating the skin. You can buy sugar scrubs, make your own, or have one professionally done at your local spa.

Since we had a bundle of candy canes around the house, they became our inspiration for this holiday soap.

We made a couple of different batches, experimenting as we went. I had a bunch of left over glycerin bars from another project, I think it was a 1 lb. bag that we melted on the stove top in an old pan.

The first batch was poured into small bars (you can buy molds at the craft store) where we added crushed candy canes to the melted glycerin (center bars). The bars hardened quickly and looked so pretty with the crushed candy in them.

So far, so good.

Then, we got braver and made a bigger batch, using crushed candy canes in the bottom of a large bread pan, then adding the melted glycerin (white) for the bottom layer.

After we allowed it to harden, a another layer of glycerin tinted with red food coloring was poured on top.

The soap was left to harden, inverted on a tray and cut into slices.

I resurrected an old cookie tin to wrap the soap in for giving.

Magical!

Candy cane trees

The Candy Cane Soap was born! We also added some extra peppermint essential oil to the melted glycerin.

Our kitchen still smells minty.

It smells good enough to EAT.

By the way, the soap rather looks like peppermint bark doesn’t it?

If I could figure out how to add a layer of chocolate to it, I would.

Candy cane bee soap

The last batch we made was with the crushed candy canes melted into the glycerin to get this lovely pink color. The bee design is my blog logo and I love using it for special gifts.

The only mistake we made was in cleaning up after we were finished.

I had this great idea of saving myself some time and putting all the dishes that I used to make the soap in the dish washer.

This was not wise.

We had a mountain of minty, soapy bubbles all over the kitchen floor.

Ooops! Who knew soap would be so, SOAPY?

Candy cane display

I had fun putting together this little display in our bathroom. The pink soaps called for some pretty glass jars, striped ribbons and my Mason Jar Snow Globes.

Candy cane bath cabinet

This is the only spot in the bath where I can decorate. It has a little holiday feel now and that makes me happy!

Guess what else made me happy this week? I was one of the bloggers featured in the Huffington Post article on gifts you can make.

Read all about it here.

The wall cabinet was another project, but we will talk about that on a different day!