At our Herb Society Meeting on Thursday, the speaker, Janice Neighbor, mentioned soap making. She recommended glycerin based soaps for a quick and easy children's activity. Knowing the weekend was supposed to be cold, I picked up a soap making kit from Hobby Lobby. It came with one fragrance, a couple of molds and color.
Not knowing what the fragrance would be, I grabbed some peppermint essential oil. Peppermint always needs to be harvested around here, and it is one of our favorite scents.
Our favorite 5 year old was excited to make soap. He was awake at 5:45 am, asking if we could begin! We had never done that before and I thought it might make a nice gift for his kindergarten teacher. I think teachers deserve a lot of gifts!
For the first batch, we kept things simple and just followed the directions on the box. Basically, place the glycerin soap in a microwaveable dish. Microwave for one minute, then stir. Microwave in increments of 10 seconds until the soap is melted. While I was melting the soap, Mr. Big Stuff was rubbing olive oil on the molds and dishes we planned to use. It only took a very small amount of olive oil.
While Mr. Big Stuff stirred the melted soap, I added the fragrance and the color. We happened to get lilac fragrance in our kit which was OK, but awfully sweet smelling. He was happy with the scent after about 9 drops of fragrance. I added red and blue coloring, one drop at a time until he was happy with the soft lavender color. Next I poured the soap into a couple of small dishes and into the plain mold.
For the second batch, I harvested some peppermint from the green house. After rinsing, we plucked the leaves from the stems and put them in our food chopper. Mine is from Pampered Chef.
This is a great way to let children help with chopping, but keep their sweet little fingers safe. Mr. Big Stuff did the peppermint chopping while I melted the soap.
He also placed one whole peppermint leaf in each of the molds. Our kit came with a mold of frogs and turtles which was a big hit with our favorite 5 year old.
Once the soap was melted, the chopped peppermint leaves and the peppermint essential oil was added while Mr. Big Stuff did the stirring. He wanted his frogs and turtles to be green, so I added blue and yellow coloring one drop at a time until he liked the color. The soap was then poured into the molds and allowed to cool.
It didn't take much time at all to set. By the time we had finished breakfast, the soap was cool and popped right out of the plastic molds that came with our kit. Mr. Big Stuff grabbed a frog soap he had made and went to the bath tub without arguing. Hmmm... without arguing!
Interestingly, the lilac soap in the dishes stuck to the bowls. All I did was zap them in the microwave, add some more color and then pour them into the plastic molds.
That worked great since I had not completely filled the molds. I also liked the two tone effect.
This was a fun, easy project. We will definitely be doing more!
Nothing says "joy" like some peppermint scented turtle soap!