I always think that soap making will be complicated even though I’ve done it before, but it’s actually so easy as this month’s Makerly box has proved to me once again! The kit was to make mini soaps and sugar scrubs flavoured with lavender and Chai tea.
Included in the kit was:
Melt and pour soap base
Lavender essential oil
I made the soap first, melting it in the microwave in short bursts until it was completely runny. I actually had to reheat it because I had trouble taking the lid off the essential oil and it started to congeal! The instructions did say to work fast and I should have prepped everything in advance, but it did take me by surprise just how quickly it started to set. I used the lavender oil and flowers for the first batch of soap and the Chai tea for the second batch. I was expecting it to fill all the moulds as shown in the picture, but mine mixture didn’t quite stretch that far.
Conversely there was so much sugar scrub mixture that I had to set it in several batches! I made up the mixture whilst the soap was setting in the fridge, which only took about 15 minutes. I melted the coconut oil in the microwave and mixed it with both sugars along with the lavender for the first batch and the tea for the second batch. This took me longer than I expected. There was so much of each mixture that in total I filled, set, and emptied the moulds three times!
The soap base and coconut oil came in tins which could then be repurposed as gift boxes for the bath time treats, using the gift tags and string to label them. The sugar scrubs definitely need to be stored in a cool place as the coconut oil does have a tendency to melt if it gets too warm. I left some of them in front of a window whilst I was waiting for the others to set and the sun coming through caused them to start to losing their shape and disintegrate a bit, so take care with your sugar scrub storage!
Although I am more drawn towards textile and embroidery based crafts it is always fun to do something a little different for a change. One thing I’ve found about the Makerly craft subscription is that the projects nearly always push me to try something new that is out of my crafting comfort zone, so whilst producing soap and sugar scrubs may not become something I will make a regular habit of I enjoyed my morning dabbling in toiletries!
I celebrated Galentine’s Day last week with my bestie Madeleine at the Galentine’s party hosted by Tea and Crafting (https://www.teaandcrafting.co.uk/). It took place in their Covent Garden Studio which was suitably decorated with plenty of hearts. There were sixteen attendees all there to celebrate their best girls.
We did two activities over the course of the evening; soap making and biscuit decorating. It was quite a lot to get through in only a couple of hours but everyone chipped in with the tidying up between each activity and we managed to get both done! We started off with the soap making. We used a ‘melt and pour’ soap base which we melted using either a microwave or in a water bath. Jane (the owner of T&C and the tutor for the evening) had a table top hob set up with two pans of water for us to use. The microwave was a lot quicker at melting it but that meant there was a long queue for it all the time, so I mainly used the water bath, which took longer but probably only as long as waiting in the queue!
Once the soap was melted we then added colours and essentials oils and poured it into the moulds. I made a rectangular one, a heart and three honeycomb ones. My favourite colour is orange so that was the main colour I used along with the orange essential oil which smelled so amazing I just wanted to eat it! I did make a pink one with small hearts in though as we were there to spread the love!
We then set the moulds aside to set before taking them home. After clearing up we then moved on to decorating biscuits. We used digestives, but this would be a great technique to use on homemade biscuits too. The technique we learnt was marbling. Using two different coloured fondant icings we rolled them together to create a marbled effect. Once we were happy with the level of marbling we then rolled the icing flat and used cutters to cut out circles of the correct size and stuck them onto the biscuits using a little water. When marbling it’s important not to take it too far otherwise the colours just end up merging together. The best effects comes from using white and another colour. I went with black and white and Madeleine went for pink and white.
Jane also had some letter stamps so we could stamp a little message into the icing and some edible gold paint to give the biscuits that special little touch. When we were finished they looked good enough to eat!
The last thing we did was remove the soaps from their moulds. It was so fun seeing everyone’s designs and the awesome effects they had achieved mixing colours together and layering them up. Mine were quite plain compared to some of the others, but I was really happy with them because they smell so good!
Madeleine and I had such a great time spending the evening crafting together. And the best bit of all was the glass of Prosecco! So all that’s left to say is Happy Galentine’s to all you amazing women out there!