I am so excited to share part 2 of the Easy & Beautiful Homemade Gift series in this blog post. For those who may have missed it, part 1 featured the steps for making and gifting a Holiday Masala Chai Kit. Part 3, a homemade shea cocoa body butter gift, is also up on the blog today. Be sure to check out all 3 homemade gifting giving ideas and subscribe to the blog more more homemaking inspiration and ideas.
This soap recipe uses a shea melt and pour soap base. I chose shea to compliment the body butter I will be gifting along with the soap. But there are a few different soap base varieties available including goat’s milk and aloe vera to name a few.
Likewise, I chose orange soap fragrance and oil because I like the way citrus smells and I thought that orange zest would be a complimentary color. There are multiple oils and fragrances to choose from and many different ways to add color to your soap should you choose to add additional ingredients to your soap. For example, dried lavender can be added to soap to give it color and texture. And lavender oils and fragrances are common ingredients. The great thing about making soap is that you can choose a soap base, fragrance, oil, and/ or dried flower or zest that suits your tastes and adjust the recipe to meet your needs.
When it came time to decorate my soap to give as a gift, I chose to use fresh greenery from my yard. I enjoy using fresh flowers and greenery to decorate items. I think it’s an environmentally friendly and affordable way to add a beautiful and fresh touch to a gift, though ribbon is also a favorite decoration of mine too.
- 1 lb melt & pour soap base (I used this one, which came with two pounds of soap base.) Helpful Tip: 1 pound of melt and pour soap base makes about 4-5 soap bars.
- Soap mold (can be found at your local craft or hobby supply store)
- Zest from one orange
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tsp orange essential oil
- 1-2 tsp orange soap fragrance (can also be found at your local craft or hobby supply store)
- A double boiler. Don’t have one? A good substitute is a large pot and large heat safe bowl.
Instructions for Soap Making
1.Remove soap base from packaging by pulling plastic away from the edges of the soap base. Then turn package over and gentle push the sides of the packaging until the soap base falls out.
2. Cut the soap base into cubes. This makes melting the soap base easier. The smaller the cube, the faster the soap base will melt. Place your cubes in the heat safe bowl.
3. Fill your double boiler with the appropriate amount of water. If you’re using a large pot (like I did) fill the pot until it’s about 1/4 full. Bring the water to a gentle boil, then place your heat safe bowl (with the soap cubes inside of it) into the pot. The bowl should be big enough to support itself in the pot and sit right above the water.
4. With the water boiling gently underneath the bowl, let the cubes melt completely into a liquid. Check to see if cubes are completely melted by stirring with a spoon.
5. Once the cubes have completely melted, remove the pot from the heat, and use an oven glove to carefully remove the bowl from the pot. Then pour the soap base liquid into a batter bowl. This will making pouring the soap base liquid into the soap molds easier.
6. Working quickly, add the orange zest, orange oil, orange fragrance, and vanilla extract into the soap liquid. Stir with a metal spoon. Adjust fragrance to suit your needs.
7. Pour soap mixture into soap mold.
Let soap sit in mold for 45 minutes to an hour or more. The longer the soap sits the easier it will be to remove it from the mold.
Use twine and fresh greenery to decorate the soap and give it a festive look.
Watch the Entire Soap Making Process Here
Part 1 & 3 Holiday Homemade Gifts
Click to read Homemade Holiday Gift Part 1: Masala Chai Kit
Click to read Homemade Holiday Gift Part 3: Shea Cocoa Body Butter