Monday, November 10, 2008

We're Invited to a Party!

My blogger friend, Chris, over at Just A Girl, is hosting an early holiday party. With today's economy, maybe you're thinking about scaling back your Christmas gifts a bit this year. What better way to do that than to make gifts for friends, relatives, teachers, etc.? The point of Chris' party, is for participants to come up with ideas of things everyone can make.

I'm bringing homemade soap to the party. I've made variations of it before to give to my kids' teachers, as well as to friends (mine and theirs). Not only is the soap neat, but you can get creative with the wrapping, which makes the gift that much more special. Homemade soaps also make great party favors.

Lavender Beeswax Soap
4 ounces (114 grams) glycerin soap base (available in craft stores, organic foods stores and some pharmacies)
10 drops lavender essential oil
1 drop violet coloring
1 teaspoon beeswax

Melt glycerin over low heat in a double boiler or microwave. Add beeswax and remove from heat. Stir until wax is melted. Add essential oil and color. Stir and pour into mold.

The trick to great glycerin, melt and pour soaps is to keep the heat as low as possible. Too much heat will cause a mushy or beaded appearance after a very short storage time. Keep glycerin soaps sealed in plastic to keep the glycerin from attracting moisture from the air.

Lavender and Rosemary Soap
3 cups glycerin soap base
1/4 cup infusion of lavender flowers and rosemary leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons of lavender oil
1 1/2 teaspoons of rosemary oil
1 teaspoon pulverized dried rosemary
Soap mold (available at any craft store)

Melt soap base and add other ingredients. Stir until blended, then pour into molds. Infusion basically means to make tea. Pour hot water over fresh or dried plant parts. Three tablespoons of herb per cup of water for ten minutes should do fine. Use distilled water, if possible. Pour into mold and let set.

Toy Glycerin Soap

Things You’ll Need:
Soap Coloring
Soap Fragrance
Soap Molds
Glycerin Soaps
Double Boilers Or Saucepan
Ice Cube Trays Or Molds
Oven Mitts
Oven Mitts
Heavy-duty Plastic Bags
Utility Knives
Oven mitts
small, plastic toys

1) Arrange toys in ice cube trays or other molds.
2) Slice the soap into small pieces.
3) Put soap pieces into a heavy-duty plastic bag and seal it.
4) Boil water in a saucepan.
5) Put the plastic bag into the boiling water until the soap melts.
6) Pour the melted soap over the toys in the molds.
7) Allow the soap to cool and harden before removing it from the molds.

Now, skedaddle on over to Chris' to see who else is at the party and get some fine gift ideas.


Valarie said...

That soap with the dinosaur is to cute!

Chris said...

These are SOOOO cool! I can think of 10 kids who would DIE for that dinosaur soap! These are great stocking stuffers, too! You're a genius. Plain and simple! Thanks for joining the party!

Erin said...

I am so excited about this! This is something I can definately do! I am going to save this recipe and make some for my friends for Christmas! THanks

Mommy of M's said...

What a cute idea!! This will make a great stocking stuffer!!

Astrid said...

Cool! I've never messed with m&p soaps before - I've only done cold process soaps. Would you say that m&p is easier?

sandra/tx said...

Astrid, I've never made anything other than the melt and pour soups, and if I can do it, anyone can. These are very, very easy.

I forgot to mention in my post, you can get neat, handmade papers that make great wrapping for the herbal soaps. Tie up with a purple raffia ribbon, and the presentation is really sweet and natural.

megan said...

The soap idea is great! I will have to try that for my niece.

To answer your question about he home...the story was published in the November issue Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles magazine. I included the link at the bottom (AH&L). Thanks for visiting!

Meaghan said...

First: LOVE THIS POST!! Im so gonna try to make some soap this week.

Second: Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your post made me feel so much better and I can't tell you how much I appreciate both your comments today.

Im running out but ill be back soon and will write more.

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Homemade soap is so lovely and fragrant. I've never thought of putting small objects inside of soap; that would sure get the kids to use it!

Tamara Jansen said...

what super gift ideas :) Very cute.....I could put junior's car keys in a bar of soap so he can't be driving till the soap bar is done!

Saucy said...

Your soap is artistic and gorgeous, I'd be hesitant to use it! I'd put it on a fancy dish at just admire it.

Lorie said...

I love the toy car in the soap! Thanks for sharing!

Melissa Wertz said...

That looks so good! I love it! And it will make such wonderful gifts.

Greta said...

Love the soap molds. Those things are quite pricey at the stores.
Thanks for visiting my blog!

Lavender Chick said...

Beautiful soap! Of course, I love my lavender, but I have to say that the soaps with the little toys are simply precious.

You're causing me to have to have a girlfriends weekend to make soap!

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

What a beautiful, original gift! Thanks for sharing. And thanks for stopping by my blog.


FrenchGardenHouse said...

How fun is that! Love those, I might try them, it looks like I could do that. :)
xo Lidy

becca watson said...

I've never thought of making my own soap, that looks like fun! I'll have to gice it a try!

mary said...

How fun! I definitely see some soap making in the Strickland's future. :0)

Karyn said...

Have read many how to make soap articles, but your creative ideas make my what to try.
Great job!