adventure in soap making

This year Mike and I decid­ed to make some soap as Christ­mas presents. We’ve nev­er made soap before but I did a quick search on the web and it seemed quite sim­ple. I par­tic­u­lar­ly liked this tuto­r­i­al of snow globe soap, and we thought instead of Christ­masy fig­urines, dinosaurs and farm ani­mals would make pret­ty awe­some snow globe soaps :D

We bought some glyc­erin from Michaels with a 50% off coupon, because I did­n’t real­ly know where else one could buy soap blocks…

The glyc­erin looks real­ly cool when it’s cubed…

Here are the farm ani­mals we bought from the dol­lar store. The dinosaurs must have been cam­era shy and hid­ing, but we had them too.

Mike grat­ed some Ivory soap for snow. Here’s a goose hang­ing out in the snow.

After reheat­ing many, many, many times, all the soap cubes final­ly melt­ed. So excit­ed! XD

 Then, exact­ly an hour lat­er, my spir­it was crushed! It did­n’t work! Because we used up all the clear soaps and they turned out ridicu­lous, the ani­mals were frozen in soap side­ways or pok­ing their noses out on the side. In des­per­a­tion I tried to melt the Ivory soap and it was dis­as­trous!  Ivory soap isn’t for melt­ing, kids.

Any­way, what hap­pened was, the tuto­r­i­al I was try­ing to fol­low sug­gests insert­ing the ani­mals upside down into the soap after the soap has set a bit, and then fin­ish­ing it off with a sprin­kle of “snow” (grat­ed white soap) and a bit of melt­ed soap on top. But after a few tri­als and errors, set­ting and re-melt­ing, we final­ly fig­ured that said method did­n’t work for larg­er ani­mals (the tuto­r­i­al makes small soap bars with tiny toys and ice cube tray as mold) because the ani­mals kept sink­ing to the bot­tom. It also did­n’t work if we want­ed to make sev­er­al bars alto­geth­er in a block and then cut it after it’s set (because we did­n’t have enough indi­vid­ual molds).

So final­ly, we melt­ed every­thing down again. This time we laid the snow at the bot­tom, poured a thin lay­er of clear soap on top, wait­ed for it to set a bit (and it does­n’t take long), then pressed the ani­mals’ feet into the snowy soap, then poured more clear soap on top until all the ani­mals are cov­ered.

And it worked! :D Well, for the most part…

The stegosaurus was prob­a­bly the best “dinosaur in the snow” soap we made :D

The tricer­atops was pret­ty nice too.

But poor bron­tosaurus and tyran­nosaurus rex, there was­n’t enough soap to go around >_< but that’s okay, they can be like Nessie, lurk­ing under the water…

We used some yogurt con­tain­ers as molds, like push pops :D

Here’s hadrosaur in a yogurt con­tain­er-mold­ed soap. 

The goose we saw hang­ing out on the snow before.

Chick­en soap for the soul! XD

Anoth­er poul­try, frozen in soap.

(We thought it would look like ani­mals stand­ing in the snow, but they end­ed up look­ing more like frozen ani­mals, espe­cial­ly the poul­try. And only the chick­ens and goose would fit in the yogurt con­tain­ers. We ran out of soap at the point so we could­n’t use the pig, cow and horse as planned.)

Oh well. It was fun. Now that we got the hang of it I hope to try again next year, with an under­wa­ter theme, incor­po­rat­ing a grainy, exfo­li­at­ing bot­tom lay­er, a bit of blue colour­ing to the clear soap and plas­tic sea crea­tures :D

And I’ll need to find anoth­er place to buy blocks of soap! A 2 lb. block does­n’t go very far and it’s rather expen­sive at Michaels.

This con­cludes the series of Christ­mas present posts — next week, new crafts! :D


Have a won­der­ful week, friends!



5 thoughts on “adventure in soap making

  1. Look around on-line for “melt and pour” soap. I’ve been mak­ing soap for years and have found 2 good sup­pli­ers close to me here in the US. You can fre­quent­ly get 20+ lb. blocks that way. :)

  2. Wow! These came out cool! I like how the dinosaurs look like they’re pok­ing their heads out of the water — er, ice. I remem­ber see­ing once (maybe here?) blue soap with a plas­tic beta fish in it, and the per­son put the soap in plas­tic bags to hard­en. Fish in bags!

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