Monday, October 19, 2009

How to make your own Soap- DIY

Welcome! I'm linked up over A Soft Place to Land DIY Day! Go check out her blog and link up your DIY project!

This past weekend I went to visit my Mom because its our annual time to make Christmas soaps! They're not actually Christmas soaps in anyway, not shaped like christmas trees or anything, although that would be cute! We just make them before Christmas to give them out as gifts. Soaps are so much fun to make, the bonding time is a bonus! I wanted to share with you how to make soaps in case you are looking for something fun to do and inexpensive to give as gifts. I found out how to make soap from Cold Process Soapmaking.

First - Safety! Its so important (we made this mistake the first time we made them and my mom got alittle sick, but no permanent damage don't worry! shes okay! :)) to use safety goggles, safety masks, and rubber gloves. All of these can be purchased at Home Depot and together costs about 15 dollars, but the good thing is you will only need to buy these ONCE! As long as you wash the gloves off, and store everything in bags, a box or containers, they should be good to use every year.

Here is what we look like after getting all safetyed up:) (we look alittle scary actually, but I promise we are just making soap here!! and...yes that is a Christmas tree in the background, my mom insists that she can decorate for Christmas the second fall hits, and since there's no one there to stop her except her puppy, well she does what she wants)

Next, you will need the following - plastic throwaway tablecloth (for when things get messy!), Large foil pan, Hand mixer, 2 measuring cups that measure ounces, a large stainless steel pot, another regular sized pot, essential oils that you would like in your soap (or anything else you'd like to put in, we used pumpkin and cinnamon for one of our batches), 48 ounces of olive oil per batch (we had two gallons and made three batches so we had alot left over), and 6.8 oz lye per batch. Lye is pretty inexpensive for how long it lasts you. I bought 10 gallons, (I didn't realize how much we'd need per batch and each batch only calls for 6.8 oz of lye, so we have lye for about 10 more years!) I bought the lye at Snow Drift Farm. VERY IMPORTANT - Lye can be dangerous, its important to use all the safety equipment as listed above and to make the soap in a well ventilated area where there are windows you can open!!!

Now we get to the actual soapmaking!!

First, put all safety equipment on. Next take out pot. Measure 16 ounces of cool water and pour into pot. Leave that measuring cup aside, that will be for your water and oil. Next measure 6.8 oz of lye with 2nd measuring cup. Slowly, slowly pour lye into pot while other hand (or other person) mixes lye with water with a silver spoon. Put top of pot back on pot, let sit for 45 minutes or until the mixture cools to 100 degrees (the bottom of the pan will be hot. MAKE SURE TO HAVE WINDOWS OPEN WHERE YOU ARE DOING THIS!

While, lye and water mixture is cooling, begin to mix your oils in the other pot. Mix 48 ounces of olive oil (or whatever oil you'd like to use) with lavendar oil or whatever other flavorings you like. (we used pumpkin, cinnamon and clove here) Mix with spoon (not same spoon you used to mix lye with) and let sit. When lye mixture ready, slowly pour lye mixture into oils while mixing together. Take hand mixer, and begin mixing. The mixture will begin to thicken, this is good. Continue mixing until all mixed together, using the hand mixing tool you are nearing trace closer than mixing with just a spoon. After mixing for about 5 minutes, the mixture will begin to get very thick. Take the pot and pour into a large foil pan or soap molds that you are using. Place a towel over top of the mixture and let sit for 24 hours. The soap must be in a warm place to go through the next process called saponification, where it hardens. Don't touch during this 24 hours. After that, you can cut the soap into molds using a knife or cookie cutter. After your molds are made, let the soap cure for 30 days to make sure saponification process of complete and soaps are safe for use!

Congratulations you've made soap!! :) Here is what they look like completed.

We'll be making soaps again in March/April just to make them for fun, and possibly to sell maybe on etsy, I don't know yet, have any flavor ideas??

Also Thank you so much Kys for my Lovely Blog Award!! That was so sweet of you and I appreciate it so much!!


  1. cool! i've never seen soap being made nor have i ever met anyone that has made it. it looks fun!!

  2. Very cool. I didn't think you had to get all hazmat to make soap though. I'm kinda scared to try. LOL

  3. That is really cool.
    I've never seen soap been made.

  4. Neat Nicci bicci! Did you put pumpkin oil in it, or actual pumpkin? In one pic it looked like scoops of pumpkin in the bowl!!!

    -hmmn, ya know what would smell nice? Vanilla, maple maybe? Or how about lavender patchouli? :)

  5. I have always wanted to try soap making. I have only done the melt and pour kind.

  6. thanks for your comments guys! Its really not as hard or scary as it sounds, but I tend to underplay things, so I wanted to, in case you were going to make it from this recipe, just make sure I put in all the safety stuff!

    Shan that is a great idea! vanilla maple sounds awesome, and I bet we could just use vanilla oil with real maple syrup! The pumpkin was actual pumpkin, not pumpkin oil:) it turns out, its good for your skin! I guess you'll find out when you get your Christmas gift this year!!!:)

  7. Awesome! Real pumpkin sounds great! Oh- you may want to skip putting real maple syrup in vanilla maple, and just use maple scented oil. Real maple syrup has a lot of sugar in it- so it would make you sticky not clean:)

  8. Wow, that looks great! I don't know why (probably the black and yellow) but your mum made me think of Batman in that outfit... ;O)

  9. So fun!! I would love for you to come share this great gift idea at a blog party I am having called the 12 Weeks of Christmas. This week is abotu Homemade gifts and there is a beautiful giveaway!

    Visiting from Kimba's...

  10. I'm a soapmaker too. Such a great hobby! I sell locally mostly, but it's so addicting I tend to have waaay too much soap hanging around. Here's my website if you're interested in peeking:
    peace to you...

  11. Funny! I was going to do a post on making cold process soap soon! I've been making soap for about 10+ years. It's lots of fun! (I don't sell...I give it away as gifts)

  12. Great tutorial. I've always wanted to give this a go. Your post gives me a bit more courage to try it. Thank you.

  13. I am amazed at this process! We've never attempted soap making. You all are really industrious! It looks awesome! Keep up the good work!
    Jayne at mysongwithin

  14. This is awesome!!!! I NEED to give this a whirl.

    Come see me sometime.

  15. i love making my own soap :D

    cool combos are: cocoa/orange (with a bit of rind zest in the soap), vanilla/cocoa (with actual vanilla bean in it)

    i found that the longer you left out in the air to harden, the longer the soap actually lasts later :D

  16. Oooh, looks fun and scary at the same time! Pumpkin cinnamon soap - now I would like to try that!


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