How to make soap
There are two ways that you can make soap. You can do it the old-fashioned way with lye and curing and waiting and waiting. Or you can go the melt-and-pour route–buy a soap base, melt it, mix things in, and pour it into molds. This is a melt-and-pour soap tutorial without lye because I really don’t trust myself with lye. And since these soaps were a last-minute handmade Christmas gift, I didn’t have time to wait for soap to cure.
I made two different kinds of soap at home: Lemon Verbena and Grapefruit Lily. I used a honey soap base for the Grapefruit Lily soap and an olive oil base for the Lemon Verbena soap, with a little bit of strawberry seeds added in for exfoliation. And to make the soaps look all fancy-pants (they are gifts, after all!), I wrapped them in handmade papers and made vellum labels for each bar. Obviously, if you’re just making the soap for yourself to use, you can skip this step. What is also fun is making soap with kids! Because there is no lye, with supervision, this is a great tutorial for children to get involved in homemade fun.
You will need:
- A soap base. You can find this at Michael’s or Amazon
- Fragrance Oil or Essential Oil. For every pound of soap base, use 7 grams of fragrance oil or 5 grams of essential oil.
- A double-boiler to melt the soap in.
- Soap molds. Be creative! Even something like a muffin tin could be used as a mold (although you should probably grease it a little first).
- Seeds or other exfoliating additives (optional)
- A spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
- Pretty papers and labels for wrapping your soaps (also optional)
Instructions for making soap without lye
Chop the soap into small chunks. Place pieces in double boiler and heat until melted, stirring constantly.
Once soap is completely melted, remove from heat and continue to stir until it thickens slightly. Add fragrance or essential oils at this point and stir until combined. If you’re using seeds or other botanicals, add them now.
Working quickly, fill each soap mold with the liquid soap mixture. Once molds are filled, lightly spray with rubbing alcohol to eliminate bubbles.
Now it’s time to wait. I let my soap sit in the molds for about 6 hours, but it all depends on the size of the bars you’re making
Yay, the soap is done! Now wash your hands with it.
You made that!
You made soap!
Oh, so you’re not making the soap for yourself? Well, you might want to wrap it then. There’s no real secret to this–I just wrapped them like I wrap gifts and rather than using tape, I sealed the whole thing with a big vellum label.
Love this craft? Try making Peppermint Slime!