I'm becoming an avid soaper. I do CP which is cold process soap made with sodium hydroxide (lye) and oils. I've made about 12 batches so far but i'm up to 8 lb batches now. I give it all away but am now beiing eencouraged to sell it and a few businesses have expressed interest in carrying my soap so it's something I'm considering.
My advice would be to get yourself a tried a true simple recipe such as that abimommy gave above and take th plunge!
Accurate measuring is important as mamajulie says and you should be aware of the caustic nature of lye and have a healthy respect for it as you should all chemicals. I wouldn't make soap with little children around so it's something I do at night after mine have gone to bed or when they are out or napping. Other than that as long as you are careful lye is your saponifying friend.
You will need a decent scale but other than that and the lye you probably have everything you need right in your house or can pick it up at nearby supermarket.
*Keep a bottle of vinegar nearby so if you do get a splash of lye water on you the vinegar can be quickly poured on to neutralize it. Like Kathy Miller I never wear gloves so sometimes I can feel a little sting on my hand or arm when I'm stirring the lye into the water. I usually just wash with water and it does the trick. But anything more than that might nee the vinegar so keep it handy.
*Always pour the lye into the water NOT the water into the lye.
*If you are planning on using a stick blender I would advise you to alternate between it and stirring by hand until you learn to recognize the signs of approaching trace, light trace, and full trace. Soap made with a stick blender traces much more quickly than that stirred by hand.
*Have your mold ready and lined.
*If you're going to add fragrance or other additives have them measured out and ready before you start adding the lye water to the oils. You'll be adding them at trace so they need to be ready and waiting.
Can't think of anything else really important. Insulating the soap for the first 12-24 hours is important too so have your mold cover and blankets ready to wrap it up and keep it warn after pouring.
Let us know how it turns out.
Good luck and happy soaping!