Don't worry, you're not actually making the soap from scratch, but by adding food color and scents (called additives in the world of handcrafting) the process still allows for creativity and hands-on fun. Experiment with herbs and scents from your own home. Adding sugar or salt will create a natural exfoliant. Cinnamon gives your soap a holiday smell. Honey is a great relaxant. Here's a creative tip from the pros: Pack an exfoliant, such as oatmeal, onto the mold before you pour the soap and you'll get a unique look.
What You Do:
- Use a food processor or cheese grater to finely shred unscented and uncolored bar(s) of soap for the “base.”
- Put about half of the shredded soap in a pot, using a double boiler works best.
- Add just enough water or milk to cover the soap. Milk burns easier, but if you do it right it will make a smoother soap.
- Put the pot on low heat and as the soap melts add more of the shredded base soap. Stir well, soap can easily begin to burn.
- As the water or milk evaporates, add a little more to the pot.
- When the soap is melted, add any scents or additives.
- Pour the soap into molds. They don't need to be fancy molds, even cupcake tins work fine. Bang it down to get rid of any air pockets.
- Cover the mold with a towel overnight.
- Put the mold in the freezer for a few hours the next day, then remove the soap from the mold and enjoy.
By combining scents and trying different colors you'll not only create a perfect gift for any friend, you'll also show your middle schooler how with some hard work and imagination you can create or improve upon anything you want!