Ultimate Distraction Time: Wash yo hands with melt-and-pour soap!

I asked, you answered: this week’s blog post will be the ULTIMATE DISTRACTION! CATS AND CRAFTS COMBINED!

My foster cat is good at sleeping.

Full disclosure: I didn’t think of this post idea until after I was done crafting, so my photos are not perfectly curated and beautiful. I was playing around with my leftover melt and pour soap without a particular project in mind, so I made some more ~unusual~ looking soaps

Also, sometimes you can’t be bothered to wash soap off your soapy dishes to make more soap because it’s just soap anyway and you’re in quarantine and you’re over it. So be warned, the following photos may contain soap residue.

Without further ado, here are the remnants of my melt and pour soap craft!!

experimental!

I started making soap because I was fascinated by the beautiful bars I would see at craft fairs and in fancy boutiques. I too wanted to be fancy, so I taught myself how to make soap with a simple melt and pour kit from Amazon.

All the hassle of real soap making is taken out with melt and pour soap. There are no hazardous chemicals such as lye, which is used when making soap from scratch. Melt and pour soap has already been through the lye process and is just plain old ready-to-use soap.

You can get all the ingredients online. I use a combination of Amazon, CandleScience, and Bramble Berry to get all my supplies.

This is what you need:

  1. A soap mold (around $10 on Amason)
  2. A dough cutter or knife (around $7 on Amazon)
  3. A cutting board you don’t really care about (free or thrifted)
  4. A glass bowl/measuring cup (ideally thrifted)
  5. Melt and pour soap
  6. Optional: fragrance oil, colorants such as micas
Tools of the trade!

I have a larger soap mold (the purple one) for making large batches, but I started with the pink mold just to make a few bars at a time. I use the brown mold make pretty jewel soaps which I either keep as is or use to decorate other soaps.

I put fragrance oil and colorants as optional because when you’re starting out, it’s a little tricky. Since it’s touching your skin and gets close to your eyes, I’m a little more cautious about the products I use in my soap. I only use the fragrance oils specifically made for soap from CandleScience or Bramble Berry.

More experimental soap

Now that you have everything you need, let’s make soap!

First, take our your soap base and place it on your crafting cutting board. (You could probably use your normal cutting board, but I’m a bit of a hypochondriac so I like to keep things separate).

I use around 3-5 ounces of soap at a time, around 1/4 of a block.

Using your dough cutter or knife, chop it up into itty bitty pieces, a little smaller than an inch. This makes them melt and easier, which also means you don’t burn your soap. Believe me, the smell of burnt soap is nasty. You don’t want to burn your soap. So chop chop!

I highly recommend the dough cutter. It makes cutting the soap so much easier, just like slicing through butter! I had used a knife for a while but it makes cutting soap a monumental effort, and wasn’t particularly fun.

All chopped and ready for melting!

Now put the chopped bits in a glass measuring cup or bowl. The glass measuring cup works really well since it has the pouring spout. Again, I like to keep my crafting and cooking separate, so I have a specific measuring cup designated for only crafts.

The pink bits are from soap I already made. I chopped them up to use as decoration for this soap!

For about 5 ounces of soap, I microwave it for 30 seconds to start. Then I stir it, and if it needs more microwaving I’ll pop it in for another 20 seconds. I don’t do increments of more than 30 seconds, lest I burn my soap. Small increments and stirring is key! Repeat as necessary, but seriously, try not to burn your soap.

Once melted, you can stir in the fun stuff! I used Blood Orange fragrance oil, my favorite scent from CandleScience. It tells you on the bottle what % is safe to use in your soap, in this case the fragrance should make up about 3-6% of the soap. If you get really into soap making, it might be a good idea to get a small scale so you can weigh this precisely.

For this batch, I didn’t use any colorants because I’m using the pink embeds to jazz it up. If you’re just starting out and don’t want to shell out a ton of money for fragrance oils and colorants, you can use things such as turmeric, tea, or honey.

I put my pink ’embeds’ into the mold before pouring the soap over it.
Wow, look at my pretty soap embedded within even more soap!
Ta da!

It might not look that beautiful LOL but in quarantine anything goes. I made do with what I had just so I could show you the process 😉

Take care, and I hope you enjoy your new quarantine hobby!! 🙂