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Talk to me about melt-and-pour soap

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
I've been inspired by the "Christmas crafts" thread--I'm attempting to make melt-and-pour soap.

So, what are your favorite links? Do you have any good recipes? What do you use for natural colorant? Best tips for getting soap out of the mold?

Talk to me! Thanks.
post #2 of 40
I have tried many different melt and pour bases.
Here are my reviews:

Michaels: Don't like it in comparison to the others...has an odor that takes a lot of oils to cover

wholesalesoapsupplies (not sure about the link...do a search in google)
Wonderful Base for the BEST price online!!! Great find!

Probably my favorite base, but too much money so I don't buy it anymore

www.lavenderlane.com didn't like their melt and pour...stinky

www.cedarvale.net didn't like their melt and pour very much

This is a really lovely site! I havne't tried their m&p but I would feel confident in saying it would be high quality, as everything I've tried from them is!

So, have fun with that for starters

We'll talk coloring, scenting, and shaping later...
I'm actually teaching a class on that next week. I could send you my handout via email if you'd like?
post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
I would love a handout, thank you!
post #4 of 40
I would love a handout, too! I am so craft-challenged it's not even funny, but this sounds fun and doable.....even for me!

post #5 of 40
Thread Starter 
Yes, you can do it, since I can!

I know the basics:
You melt the glycerin in a double boiler, then remove from heat and add what you want to (essential oils, etc. -- I am going to try adding some goat's milk), then pour into a mold and let harden.

But I would love some "secrets" from the experts!

I was kind of disappointed that rose petals turn brown and lavender buds turn green when mixed in glycerin. I was hoping from some natural red/purple colors that way.
post #6 of 40
Please can you send me your handout as well!! I made some heart shaped soaps once and would like to add essential oils this time. I have some very good high quality oils ( I'm a massage therapist) but am unsure how much to use!?
post #7 of 40
I want the handout too!

Someday I want to make soaps for christmas gifts. I too, am craft challenged.
post #8 of 40
Thread Starter 
Why not join us and do it this year??! That's actually the Christmas gift I'm planning for friends/family this year. (So I have to practice more between now and then!)

LaLa, is there anyway you could post your handout on this thread, since so many people want it? Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!

I've discovered that this hobby might get expensive, though--there are lots of molds I want to try, and essential oils!

I just bought a mold that says "Joy" from www.brambleberry.com
So, that's the mold I'm going to use to make my soaps look "Christmasy."

I'm wondering what will be the reaction, though--for anyone reading this who has given out soaps as gifts, do you generally get a good reaction?

And Luke's mom, what essential oils do you like?

I just ordered a "pine" essential oil that I'd like to use for my Christmas soaps.

I ordered some green "pigment" for the soaps, too--is pigment more natural than coloring?
post #9 of 40
OK, I should scope out these molds. I think I'll have to stick to my budget for sure. Hey, do you gals buy the glycerin and have it shipped to you? Or do you buy it locally? Is it expensive to ship it?
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
2 lbs. of glycerin plus 2 bottles of essential oil cost me $7.21 JUST in shipping. So, yeah, that adds to the cost. If I bought more at one time, the price for shipping per pound would probably go down.

But..it will be a fun and practical hobby for me. (And goodness knows dh has spent enough money on his hobbies, so he can't complain!)

I'm glad this method exists. The "cold process" method is too complicated for me!

I've read that Sandalwood e.o. is an aphrodisiac for men....so, even though it's expensive, I'm going to buy a little and make dh a bar of soap!
post #11 of 40
I LOVE LOVE LOVE the smell of sandalwood.
post #12 of 40
This stuff is so much fun to play with! One of my favorite things to do is arrange chunks of leftover soap in a mold and pour soap over it - it ends up really cool looking. I tend to prefer 'rougher' looking soap (as opposed to perfect bars), so I usually use a bread pan and then slice bars off. I'm going to try a quart size milk carton next, to make nice square bars.

I have bought some essential oils and soap base from creationherbal.com. Their prices are really good and I like the soap. It comes in a humongous block instead of a neat little block, but who cares? I also just bought some from soapcrafters, but it hasn't arrived yet. I find it cheaper to get online, even with shipping - the only places I've found to buy soap locally are Michaels and JoAnn Crafts, and it's much more expensive and I don't like it as much...

I'm going to make soap for Christmas again this year because last year's was a hit!
post #13 of 40
It is difficult for me to tell you exact amounts of oils to use because I do it by scent, but if you tell me how much soap you are using in ounces or pounds and what oils, I can help

Here is my class handout:

Scent, color, and shape soap using: pure essential oils, herbs, and spices.
1.Melt your MP soap base in a double boiler or in a microwave.
2.Mix small amount of coloring agent with small amount of melted soap and/or small amount of hot water. Mix well then add to the rest of the soap. Add more if needed.
a.Natural coloring agents for soap
i.Spices and herbal powders including: Cinnamon, Clove, Tumeric, Red Henna, Beet Powder, Powdered Basil and Parsley etc. Experiment with different herbs, spices, and amounts. They must be ground finely in order to blend well.
b.Add scent
i.This varies in amount quite drastically depending on the pure essential oils you use. Some oils, such as Rose, are very strong. I would start with a few drops, mix well, and smell it. Go by your own preference, you can always add more! Other oils, such as Sweet Orange, are very subtle and you can easily add quite a bit before reaching a desired concentration. This is where blended scents come in very useful. If you are new to essential oils, I recommend buying the Aura Cacia pre-blended scents to get started. If you are already familiar with oils, some nice blends are:
1.Lavender Clary Blend-Relaxing: 3 parts Lavender to 1 part Clary Sage
2.Romantic Blend: 1 part Rose to 1 part Sandalwood
3.Fresh Citrus Blend: 2 parts Orange to 1 part Lemon to 1 part Tangerine
Some oils can be harsh on the skin if used in too high of a concentration, so please read the warning indications and test a small sample of your product before using or giving as gifts. Be especially aware using oils if you are pregnant, suffer health problems, have allergies, or if you are using oils such as Peppermint or Eucalyptus (both of which are very strong and should be used in small concentrations)
Once your soap is stirred well, and meets the scent strength you desire (assuming it is still melted at this point, if not, re-apply just enough heat to re-melt) Then it is time to shape the soap with molds.
c.Shape soap:
i.Soap molds can be purchased from local craft stores, or found within your home!
ii.Use what you have! Old Tupperware containers work well if they are shallow enough to break the soap out with a little bend. You can use long containers and cut the soap once it is hardened , or individual containers as well. Use your imagination!
iii.Decorative hand soaps for single use: Try dipping a silk flower petal or leaf into some clear Melt and Pour soap base. Let it dry, and layer several of these on a plate to display next to your sink. Your guest will love the individual soaps (they are intended for one use in the shower) or as decoration.
iv.Let the soap harden most of the way, then hand pack it into circles. This creates a very homemade look, but your timing must be just right to mold it without creating a mess. ļ
d.Wrapping soaps: These melt and pour soaps should be wrapped/packaged to prevent the glycerin moisture from escaping.
i.To give the soap as a gift, try wrapping it in clear wrap first, then sticking a homemade label onto the wrap. Hand made or computer printed, it will be charming!
ii.A piece of fabric over the plastic wrap is another lovely touch to decorate a soap. Tie it with a ribbon or raffia, and you have a rustic looking homemade gift.
iii.Get creative! Look for ways to give your soap as a fun gift! Give soap in soap dishes, in wooden crates, in re-usable containers etc.
post #14 of 40
I got some glycerin from mail order a few years ago. The company was something like snow babies . I coat my mold with whatever oil I have around (grapeseed or wheatgerm) and I like to use " popsicle" molds. I have these that are about 4inx2in and they each have a little fruit imprinted in them. Cherries, pineapple, grapes and orange. I like to open a packet of celestial seasonings herbal tea and sprinkle in when the soap is poured. They have beautiful colors and are perfectly crushed up already (and blend really well). I also like to add crushed oatmeal to some bars, and pretty herbs from bulk at the health food store. They don't always mix real well, but they sure are purdy!!!

My mom gave me some jello jiggler molds with christmas designs. I don't eat jello, so I use those for soap molds too. They look real good with the celestial seasonings teas. I think it is the blackberry tea that has red in it. And chamomole tea is good with a light essential oil. And peppermint tea with peppermint oil, etc.

The popsicle mold is the perfect size for toddler hands. I got the mold in my grocery store. They were just hanging in an aisel. Kinda like the crazy straws and junk toys.

Metal measuring cups make good molds. Then you can hav lots of sizes. Like a little "family" of soaps.
Does anyones soaps get "salty" if they aren't used for a while?
post #15 of 40
yippee, i just placed an order for some soap base and some cool molds! had to restrain myself....the point is to make inexpensive presents!

thanks for all the great ideas, ladies! when the order gets here, i'm off to channel martha.....
post #16 of 40
I just wanted to add calendula flowers do not discolor in mp soap. They look really neat but make sure you stir them in good as they like to float to the top..heh..
post #17 of 40
I have some melt and pour soap base that I will probably never use. it is from wholesale soap supplies. Soap making was a quick phase! If anyone wants it pm me.
post #18 of 40
Thread Starter 
Yea, Jane! Let me know how it goes for you. I'm thinking of trying cranberry soap with cranberry seeds.
post #19 of 40
While I have never tried cranberry seeds I did get some rasberry seeds and they are kind of big and scratch..owowowow I think the cranberry seeds are a little smaller though.

I got some soap with strawberry seeds in it and it was wonderful!!
post #20 of 40
This sounds so fun I can't wait to try it. I know they will make great birthday gifts! Good info also. Thanks
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