Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Make Your Own Handmade Soaps Tutorial

There's something special about decorative soaps.  They look lovely, they seem fancy.  They make a great gift (everyone uses soap, right?).  My mom & grandma would always save any they got because they were "too pretty to use".  But why hide them on a shelf to get dusty?  I want mine to get noticed and used, so I make my own and never run out.  I actually make all our household bar soap too - it's been over 10 years since I bought any! Wouldn't you like to tell people you can make soaps like these:

You totally can.  It's easy.  Come on - I'll show you how.

You'll Need: 
- Melt & pour clear glycerin soap base*
- Cosmetic Grade Fragrance Oil*
- Cosmetic Grade Color Gel*
- Silicone molds & resin soap stamps
- Large Pyrex measuring pitcher
- Heat resistant spoon
- Hot pads
- Spray bottle of alcohol
- Waxed or freezer paper

*You can get basic soap making supplies at craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michaels, but online places like and Wholesale Supplies Plus offer a lot more fragrance & color choices and their prices per pound for the bases are better.  I buy a single 24lb block which is enough for a year's worth of soap for my family of 5 (and costs about a third of the same amount of basic store bought soap).

First, cut desired amount of soap base and place into Pyrex container.  Cutting it up into chunks makes it melt a bit faster.  

Melt slowly in microwave (1 min intervals until melted) or in double boiler, stirring occasionally, until liquified.  You do not want it to get boiling hot, just smooth and pourable.

Add a few drops of cosmetic grade fragrance oil & stir with slotted spoon to mix thoroughly (a little goes a long way and it's easy to add a few more drops, but use less than ½ oz unless making several pounds at once).

Special Note – be sure that all fragrance oil & color gels used are labeled cosmetic grade. There are a lot of other types out there and while it's tempting to use them, they are not made to be safe for skin! 

Add soap gel coloring a drop at a time & mix until color desired is achieved.

I used a pearlized pink gel.  Just a few drops gave this vibrant color:

Carefully pour hot soap into silicone molds.  I prefer silicone molds over plastic because they can achieve a lot more details and sculpted 3D shapes.  They also don't require greasing and hold up a lot better over time.  I got mine from Wholeport - they've got a huge selection of silicone soap molds and the designs are really gorgeous.

Spray surface of soap with alcohol to remove any air bubbles.  This gives the backs a nice, smooth finish.  Let soap sit for a couple of hours to harden and then flip upside done and push soap out of molds.

The soap just pops right out.  What could be easier or more lovely-looking? This was the result from the Peace Dove Medallion mold:

But my favorite is the rose bouquets.  I used a 3D Rose Flower Trio mold and love the delicate details.  So intricate, but also goof-proof!

And I also tried something new to me: soap stamps.  It's a hard resin stamp you simply place over a flat bar of soap and gently hammer in.

The effect looks so fabulous and it is beyond easy to do.  I picked out this little love bird stamp since Valentine's Day is coming up:

It takes just a few minutes too, so this is an ideal project.  Almost as easy as the DIY lip balm I shared recently.  It feels great to stock up the bathroom with products you've made yourself.  Now there's nothing stopping you from making your own beautiful soaps any time you want!

I'm also sharing this with my FAVE LINK PARTIES.
Click HERE to check them out!


  1. I want to try this! I follow you via GFC. I host a weekly party that starts at 6:00pm every Tuesday called Fluster’s Creative Muster Party. I would love for you to stop by and share your talent and creativity.

    Hugs and Smiles,

    Robin @ Fluster Buster
    Follow My Blog with GFC

  2. I have always wanted to try to make soap, but never have. These turned out so pretty. Visiting from

    1. It's so worth trying Theresa. It was my very first foray into crafting and it's almost impossible to mess up! Just added you to my Pinterest follows:)

  3. Ho appena scoperto il tuo interessantissimo blog, tanti complimenti, tornerò presto a trovarti

  4. I love the stamp! What a fun and different way to decorate a bar of soap. :-)

  5. Cheryl, so loving these soaps. I have been wanting to make soap for a while. Once past Valentine's I'm going for it. Thanks for the complete tutorial. Really well done. Linda

  6. Oh this is marvelous! Those are gorgeous soaps..and now I want to make some. I used to make some years ago with my kids and I know that SOMEWHERE I have those old moulds. I hope I get a chance to try this with some new ones!! LOVE LOVE LOVE those roses! Oh me oh I want to try this!!!! Thanks so much for joining me again this week for Pearls and Lace Thursday!!

    1. Thanks so much Doni and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who's gaga for the roses. They are so gorgeous in person (even better than the pics) - totally worth getting. Can't wait to use them again!

  7. I love making soap. It's been years since I've done it though, because we never used it and I hate having stuff sitting around that we don't use. But they did make lovely gifts :)

  8. sweet. I make soap too!!!! Thank you for sharing at the hop xo

  9. These are fabulous!!! Thank you so much for sharing the ideas as well as your beautiful photos.

  10. I have always wanted to make soaps. These are so cute! And will make wonderful handmade gifts. Thanks for linking up at Friday Fun Party.

  11. This is an amazing project! I love the 3D Rose Flower Trio - beautiful! Great job Cheryl!

    1. Thanks Becky. That's my favorite too - I just love to stare at them. LOL.


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