Yesterday I made soap with my mother, both my grandmothers and my aunt. We went to Nana’s house, and she had all the ingredients ready for us. We used a melt and pour soap base, and had a variety of colours, fragrances and moulds.
The first soap I made was a rose-scented soap. I used a white soap base and added a little red colouring to make it pink. Then I added rose petals to the base of the mould before I added the soap. The rose petals immediately floated to the top of the soap, so there hadn’t been much point carefully placing them at the bottom of the mould. Then the colours leached out of the petals and into the soap. It looked like mouldy cheese on the top, so gross. Most of the bar was pale pink, but the top was disgusting. Nana said she liked it, so I gave that one to her, and made another one.
I wanted to make a soap for my friend’s birthday, and her favourite colour is yellow. The closest colour we had was gold, so I used a white base and added the gold colouring. I used a citron and mandarin scent, as I thought that would go with the colour. The gold colour mixed through the soap base, turning it a pale coffee colour. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t quite what I was after. It did end up having a beautiful shimmery gold layer on the top.
I wanted to make another gold soap for my friend, since the first one had turned out coffee coloured, so I tried again with a clear soap base instead of a white one. Perfect! She’s going to love it, I think.
Nana wanted to make some small shapes and suspend them in clear soap, so we tried that. I used a red glitter colour in a clear soap base, and made small hearts using a heart-shaped mould. After the hearts were set, I made some more clear soap and added the hearts. The hearts melted and I ended up with a red glittery bar of soap. I like it though. Mum made two using a blood orange-scent. She used the plastic from chocolate orange segments to make segments with orange colouring in a white soap base, and suspended them in clear soap. They look really cool.
Mum wanted to try and make a layered soap, so I did one with her. I made a purple layer using purple and white colouring in a clear soap base, then an opalescent layer using white colouring in a clear soap base, then a gold layer, using gold colouring in a clear soap base. It’s blood orange-scented, and it looks amazing. Mum said it was one of her favourites of the day. I helped her make another one that was similar but had three different shades of purple layered to make an ombre effect.
Grandma made soaps in some moulds that were originally meant to be used to make Chinese moon cakes. Nana smeared a little gold on the top of the pattern when it was set, and it looks good.
Aunty Andrea made two where she just kind of dumped the colour in once the clear soap base was in the mould, rather than mixing the colour right through. It turned out that the colour pretty much blended right through the base anyway, although she did have a few spots that were clear.
Nana made a huge soap using a loaf tin, and made it with a purple ombre effect. It looked pretty cool. She carved it up and used it for a few different things.
She tried to carve it into crystal shapes so it looked like amethyst crystals. I liked the look, but it needed something more. She put them into a white base, following a guide she found online, but it looked stupid. She also tried carving curls off it and suspending them in clear soap base. The first lot, the clear soap base was too hot and melted the curls, turning the clear soap base a pretty purple colour. The second one worked though. And she also used a cookie cutter to cut pretty purple hearts out, to suspend in clear soap base.
I liked the idea of doing the curls, so I took the coffee coloured soap I’d made and carved that up into curls. Mum helped me suspend them in clear soap base. We had the same problem as Nana, with the first one melting and going an even paler coffee colour. The second one, we waited a little too long, and the clear soap base was setting when we tried to pour it over the curls. It kinda worked, but the clear soap is cloudy with bubbles, and it doesn’t have smooth edges like it would if it had been poured into the mould as a liquid.
I kept some shavings, some of the hearts I’d made, some of the orange segments Mum had made, and some of the purple hearts Nana had made. I want to use them to decorate a gift basket to give my friend when I give her the gold soap I made.
One of the great things about the day is that it was so easy to clean up. Any spilled soap just washed away, and all the equipment was super easy to clean because it was just soap.
It was great fun, and I enjoyed it. i have three soaps to use for myself, and one to give to my friend.
Next month we’re going to make chocolates for Easter. Yum!