So You Want to Make Some Soap?

bars of soap
Monica Rodriguez / Getty Images

I’m not sure what is aligning in the universe of late…but this past week, 4 different people have come up to me and said, “I want to learn to make soap – what do I need to get started?”

The lucky news is, it’s really very easy to get started making soap – you probably have most of the equipment you need in your kitchen – and can get the rest at your local thrift or discount store.

Now just because it’s easy to get started, doesn’t mean that there aren’t some important things you need to know. So be sure you know the Top Things You Need to Know to Get Started Making Soap.

So You Want to Make Some Soap? originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Monday, April 28th, 2014 at 16:00:00.

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From the Groves to Your Candles and Soaps – Orange Essential Oil

Picking Oranges
Maria Teijeiro / Getty Images

Several folks have written saying how much they love the Orange Creamsicle soap recipe I posted earlier this week. It’s the first time I’ve used orange essential oil in a while, and I’m glad I did. I used to use it a lot…but have gotten out of the habit. It’s uplifting, versatile, affordable and delightful – and really marvelous in practically any blend for soaps and candles. It also has many other household uses.

Orange Essential Oil in Soap Making and Candle Making

From the Groves to Your Candles and Soaps – Orange Essential Oil originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Thursday, April 24th, 2014 at 13:40:38.

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Orange Creamsicle-Inspired Soap – Please Don’t Eat it!

I remember the sweet, tangy and creamy mix of orange and vanilla Popsicles when I was a kid. As I was thinking about summertime soap projects, I imagined a melt and pour soap inspired by those treats. It has a white “ice cream” core – surrounded by a sweet orange layer that I created an essential oil blend of orange, benzoin and litsea for. It smells just like a creamsicle…and makes me smile every morning in the shower!

Orange Creamsicle Melt and Pour Soap Project

Orange Creamsicle-Inspired Soap – Please Don’t Eat it! originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Monday, April 21st, 2014 at 19:42:40.

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The most expensive properties in 11 special edition Monopoly games

The board spaces on the original Monopoly game were based on locations in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Through the game, the hoity-toitiest spots for property development in there, Boardwalk and Park Place, came to symbolize the uppermost reaches of real estate value. Since Parker Brothers (and later, Hasbro) began licensing the game for alternate versions, there have been hundreds of Monopoly …
homemade soap – Yahoo News Search Results

Oatmeal & Goat’s Milk Soap Recipe

oatmeal and goat's milk soap So in a “what’s in my shower this week” report – I got out one of the last remaining bars of this batch of oatmeal/goat’s milk soap. After unmolding, it continued to turn an even deeper brown due to the vanilla-containing fragrance oil. The oatmeal gives a wonderful light scrub. Much gentler than other natural exfoliants. This week, I’m getting back into the soap kitchen with two “food-inspired” batches – one cold process and the other melt and pour. Stay tuned!

Oatmeal & Goat’s Milk Soap Recipe

Oatmeal & Goat’s Milk Soap Recipe originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Friday, April 18th, 2014 at 10:00:45.

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A Day of Soy Candle Making

There are so many different waxes to choose from -  paraffinsoy wax, gel wax. I go through phases where I use one or the other.

I had some soy wax leftover from a big project – four different wax blends – one is a basic traditional soy container wax, one a pillar/votive blend, and two new “modified” waxes that have been “molecularly blueprinted” to reduce polymorphism. (They both contract a bit when they cool, so they are awesome for clear glass container candles.)

Here are photos, tips and instructions from my day of soy candle making!

A Day of Soy Candle Making originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Sunday, April 13th, 2014 at 18:50:47.

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Soap, Dignity & Faith – an Update from Haiti

Hopefully you remember the story of the Lovin Soap Project which has been traveling to Haiti to teach women in tent villages how to make soap – and through it, transform their lives. Amanda Gail and Benjamin Aaron are back in Haiti today, working with the women of the OFEDA tent camp. Talk of body care products was weighed down with heavy news that the women are going to be evicted from the land the camp is on. So not only are they losing their homes, but the community they have built.

There are still glimmers of hope, however strained it may be. As Benjamin wrote to me today, “Soapmaking and bodycare production are the vehicle in which positive and fruitful change will come to pass. Under the circumstances of today’s events, which aren’t anything we can really grasp, they showed up. The women we teach have complete faith in the process, in themselves and us. They know they will be successful.”

Take a minute to read the whole story at the Lovin Soap Project website. You can learn more about the project and how to lend your support.

Soap, Dignity & Faith – an Update from Haiti originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Thursday, April 10th, 2014 at 18:56:52.

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Great Soap and Candle Gatherings All Over!

May and June are great months for soap and candle conferences!

In addition to the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild’s conference, the Tennessee Soap and Candle gathering is also in May. It’s an annual gathering of soapmakers and candlemakers from Tennessee and the Southeast region, and this year’s lineup features some of the best and brightest teachers and soap/candle making personalities in the country including Amanda Griffin, Benjamin Aaron, Kayla Fioravanti, Donna Maria Coles Johnson, Marla Bosworth and more.

June 13-14 is the Lone Star Soap & Toiletries Seminar,  deep in the heart of Texas and will feature the wonderful Elin Criswell, ​Stacy Durham, Theresa Mendez, Pat Potter, and Kathy White. Also in June is the Alabama Soap & Candle Association’s gathering featuring Lela Barker, Kenna Cote, and several other great speakers. I’ve been to both the Texas and Alabama gatherings and they are truly wonderful!

A “gathering” is a truly marvelous place to share ideas, share tips, visit vendors and see in-person demonstrations. If you have not been to one you are really missing out! If there’s not one in your area…create one. It just takes a few (two or more?) soap makers in a kitchen or recreation center to make a gathering. It just take a gathering to make a basket full of great soap and candle making memories!

Photo: Trinette Reed / Getty Images

Great Soap and Candle Gatherings All Over! originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at 22:05:11.

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Where Do Essential Oils Come From?

distillation of essential oils
Original Artist: Stradamus – Hulton Archive / Getty Images

I’m doing some cleaning and organizing in my essential oil closet. I find myself sniffing every bottle and just reveling in how lucious all of these scents are! I’ve stated many times how much awe and appreciation I have for essential oils. They are amazing and powerful natural elements! We may know that they come directly from the plant’s “essence” – but how do they get extracted from the leaves, flowers, stems, roots or other parts of the plants? Here’s more information about water and steam distillation of essential oils.

“When we peel an orange, walk through a rose garden, or rub a sprig of lavender between our fingers…what exactly is it that we can smell? Generally speaking, it is essential oils that give spices and herbs their specific scent and flavour, flowers and fruit their perfume.” – Julia Lawless inThe Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils

Where Do Essential Oils Come From? originally appeared on About.com Candle & Soap Making on Sunday, April 6th, 2014 at 14:40:07.

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