Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Formulating Soap Recipes

The sensitivity of ones skin is a problem that many of us have to deal with on a daily basis. Finding the right cleansers and lotions that do not irritate the skin can be an exhaustive challenge. For some it means years of costly trial and error when purchasing new types of soaps for the effort to look for the right one that doesn’t cause an allergic break-out or rash. Another novel approach that many people are attempting is to make their own soap. There are numerous homemade soap recipes online and they are easy to follow, it ends up being a great idea.

Most of the ingredients are likely items you already have stored in your pantry. Lye is the one common ingredient in all homemade soap recipes. You can typically find lye with all the regular soaps at your local drug, department or grocery store shelves. A word of caution is to be careful not to let children near the lye. Although it’s certainly safe within the soap, you don’t want a youngster putting it into their mouths or getting it in their eyes.

Oils are also part of the finished product. Coconut and olive oils both are used many times in recipes to make soap. If you have a preference for the oil used, then only follow homemade soap recipes that use it, it’s up to you. It’s wise to keep an open mind though, and try a few different combinations so you can find the one best suited for your skin type.

Even folks without skin problems at all like to delve into the world of soap making. Women love the idea of creating or formulating their own unique homemade bars of soap. The most important main ingredient for most of them are the fragrances that can be added. If a person is not prone to sensitive skin, then many of the popular scented soaps are sufficient for them to use. That’s why making your own soap and giving it as a gift is such a thoughtful and trendy idea.

Soap making is such a great, fun hobby that will also save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the long run. Soap making can be a fun hobby given you’re provided with a recipe that works. For a complete guide to a homemade soap recipe that is proven to forming solid bars of your favorite soap [

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Opal'z Zoap (Palo Alto, CA)

I saw a blurb in the September 19, 2007 issue of the Palo Alto Daily New about a new store front opening in Midtown Palo Alto. And I want to tell you about it!

It is called Opal'z Zoap, Scentz and Mineralz. It is a really fun place. They offer classes in mineral make-up, cold process soap making, soap crafting, sugar scrubs, facial scrubs, lotions and more. This facilities has space upstairs for soap birthday parties for all ages. Even if you are looking for something different for a bridal shower or baby shower this would be a place to have it. Downstairs consists of make-up, bath and body products you can purchase. And what is really fun is their soap bar where you can drop in and make your own glycerin soap. To make your own soap at the soap bar is reasonable. To make one bar of soap is $7.50 plus tax or if you want to make more it is $8.00 set up charge and $1 an ounce (up to 1 pound which would come to $16.00) which is great way to make some unique gifts.

I would highly recommend you come by and check the place out. And here is where you would find Opal'z:

719 Colorado Avenue
Palo Alto, Ca
(650) 322-6500
Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.

For more information check out the store's website at or contact Annie at

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Labeling Melt & Pour Soaps

There many questions about labeling soap especially melt and pour soap. In this article, Labeling Melt & Pour Soaps by Debbie May of Wholesale Supplies Plus states:

"Melt and Pour Soap (MP Soap) is a commercially produced compound formulated for the purpose of cleansing the body. Natural vegetable oils are saponified and used as a base for the MP Soap. Additives are commonly added to the base to improve clarity, lather and craftability.

The Food and Drug Association (FDA) states that if a product is predominately comprised of fatty acids and alkalis for the purpose of cleansing the body, it does not meet the requirement of a cosmetic and does not need to be labeled as a cosmetic.

This means that instead of the FDA soap falls under the watch of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. They require the following on the label:

Identifying statement indicating the word "Soap"
Net Weight of Product
Name and Place of Business

If you make the claim that your MP Soap has special moisturizing properties or has specific benefits such as exfoliating, then it does fall in the FDA definition of a cosmetic and must be labeled as a cosmetic. In this case they require the following on the label:

Identifying statement indicating the word "Soap"
Net Weight of Product
Name and Place of Business
Directions for Safe Use
Warning and Caution Statements

The FDA Cosmetic Website has additional information for your reference."

Another great reference would be Marie Gale's book about labeling.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Body Lotion Parfait Recipe (Raspberry Lemonade)

Raspberry Lemonade Body Lotion Parfait

16 ounces Luxury Hand and Body Cream
16 ounces Thickened Aloe Vera Gel
5 ml Raspberry Lemonade Fragrance Oil
3 drops Crafter's Choice Strawberry Red Liquid Clear

(2) 16 oz Pyrex cups
(4) 8 oz Basic Jars
(8) 70/400 Straigh White Lids
Plastic Disposible Spoons

In the first Pyrex cup and using a spoon mix Thickened Aloe Vera Gel with 3 drops of Crafter's Choice™ Clear Strawberry Red Liquid Color. Set mixture aside. In the second Pyrex cup and using a spoon mix lotion base and fragrance oil. Spoon bases into jar (alternating) to achieve parfait effect as in picture.

Note: The colors and fragrance in the recipe are as desired. You can choose any fruit fragrance and color of choice. Most body cream bases with work with this recipe. To achieve color effect in picture, only Crafter’s Choice™ Clear Color Concentrates should be used.

Warning: This recipe is not edible.

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.


Friday, October 26, 2007

What is Titanium Dioxide?

If you have ever been in the soap making aisle at Michaels Arts and Crafts Store and you saw the two pound block of clear glycerin soap next to a opaque version and wondering what made the soap white? Well, the ingredient is Titanium Dioxide. Now, you are wondering what the heck is Titanuium Dioxide? According to All About Titanium(

"Titanium dioxide was discovered already in the beginning of the 19th century; however it was released to wider use only as late as in the 20th century.

Titanium dioxide or titanium is the most widely used white pigment in the world. It cannot be found in nature as pure titanium dioxide but can be found with metals such as iron and also in white beach sand.

This white pigment is used in the form of odourless powder and provides whiteness to such products as paints, plastic, paper, enamel, porcelain and also to food and cosmetics like sun block, facial creams, toothpaste and colorants. It can be used both as a white pigment and as a thickener. This is not an exhausted list of products in which titanium dioxide is used today, however listing them here would take up too much of space.

One of the best features titanium dioxide has is the ability to clean and disinfect itself when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Because of this factor it has a wide variety of uses especially in the area of medicine or air conditioning etc.

Titanium alloys are very string, durable and resistant to high temperatures and corrosion – it has even been claimed to be as durable as steel only up to 50 per cent lighter."

There are plenty more articles about Titanium Dioxide on the internet. The most common article I found was the follwowing link:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

PRESTO POT W/SPIGOT for Melting Soap

Earlier this month, I told you about a soap melting pot from Presto Pot with spigot that is an alternative for your melt and pour soapmaking projects. I finally got to try one of these products.

What is great about this item is that it melts up to 6-7 pounds of soap so if you are making alot of bars at one time. It melts the soap alot faster than a crock pot would but you do have to be careful that you do not have the temp to high or the soap will boil over. I was told the best tempature to melt your glycerin soap is 200 degrees. Once melted the soap easy comes out of the spigot, but fair warning if you allow the remaining soap to harden you will have to get something to clear the spigot's passage way in order for melted soap to flow out. Another minor thing is that after awhile clear glycerin soap may turn a light brown if you keep reheating it.

The person who allowed me try to her Presto Pot did not wash hers out after each use. So, I cannot report on how this product cleans up. But overall, I would purchase this item over "Life of the Party's" Soap Kettle. If you are interested in this piece of equipment to melt your glcyerin soap, check out Ebay and search for Presto Pot w/Spigot or Melting Soap Pot.

So, if you creating melt and pour soap at home to sell on Etsy or someother online selling venue than this is the perfect piece of equipment for you!

Peppermint Patty Soap (Cold Process)

This is one of my favorite soaps, and a popular one. It looks like a brownie, and smells like a peppermint patty. I hope you enjoy it! You can also leave out the peppermint oil to make plain cocoa soap, or add Orange Essential Oil to make chocolate/orange, coconut fragrance for chocolate/coco soap.


10 ounces Palm Oil
4 ounces Coconut Oil
2 ounces Olive Oil (Hold back one ounce olive oil to mix with the cocoa powder)
2 ounces lye
1 cup distilled water
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 ounce peppermint essential oil


1. Pour lye into the water (never pour water into lye) - Set aside to cool
2. Melt oils together -set aside to cool
3. When oils are approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit and lye water is approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit, gently pour lye into oils (never pour oils into lye)
4. Mix until soap traces
5. Add cocoa mixture and essential oil
6. Pour into prepared molds and cover with plastic wrap
7. Allow to stand covered and out of drafts for 48 hours
8. Remove from molds and cut as desired9. Allow to age in open air for 2-3 weeks before using

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lip Balm Class at the Nova Studio

On October 13th, I finally go to take the lip balm, bath melts (aka Tub Truffles or bath candy), solid scrubs at The Nova Studio. I was really looking forward to taking this class since it was cancelled back in June (2007).

If you are wondering bath melts are they are solid oil product at room temperature but slowly melts in the tub softening the water and releasing a fragrant scent. It was great to learn which oils and butters you can use , what other fun ingredients can be added to make fizzy bath melts, how to scent them using pure essential oils, and several ideas for how to creatively mold and package your melts for gift giving. When finished they actually looked like pieces of candy found in a fancy box.

Solid scrubs have all the exfoliating benefits of a regular salt scrub without the mess - and less packaging too! After taking this class, I know how to make three different versions of scrubs. I think I may like this one the best because it is less messy.

In this primarily demo style class, we learned how to make and package each item. What was really great is that the process is simple. You basically have to measure your ingredients out on a scale, melt the appropriate ingredients and add any colorings, fragrances once everything is melted. What I like about these recipes is that you do not have the melted ingredients at a particular temp before pouring like you do for lotions or creams.

Since we made two of each, I gave a friend one of the bath melts and solid scrubs. I could not decide which lip balm flavor to give her so I kept both. But since the process is so simple, I plan to make my own to send to her.

I would highly recommend this class to everyone! So check out Lori's website at to see when the next time this class is offerred.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Aromatherapy Basics: the uses of 20 essential oils

Aromatherapy is simply the use of essential oils. Look here to find out about recipes and benefits of essential oils.

Aromatherapy is simply using essential oils. Essential oils are found in the minute droplets of various plants. The oils are highly concentrated extracts which contain the properties that are found in the essential oils such as vitamins and antiseptics. Essential oils are often called the being, the core, or the absolute soul of a plant. These oils are often used in cosmetics and perfume. Many naturalists use the essential oils in homeopathic medicines as a natural healer. One reason for this is because antiseptic property is found universally in essential oils. Massage therapists incorporate essential oils into their practice and are able to enhance their client’s experiences during an aromatherapy massage. The world of aromatherapy combines art and science in a unique way and is able to provide your spirit and soul with invisible ecstasy.

To get you started in the world of aromatherapy, here’s a list of uses for 20 different essential oils and a few recipes to try out!

Essential Oils

Number One:
Rose (Rose centifolia, R. damascene, Rosaceae) – Rose is one of the most expensive essential oils according to many aromatherapy experts. Because of this, this oil is often adulterated. This particular oil is very difficult to fine in a pure form. Rose oil has various medicinal properties including being an astringent, a tonic, and an antidepressant. In energy healing rose oil is used when working with the heart chakra.

Number Two:
Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) – Lavender is a favorite aromatic of many people. It is also known to be one of the most precious of all the essential oils. The best variety of this particular essential oil is known as lavender fine. The medicinal claims of this essential oil include, being good for the nervous system, the respiratory system and even the ability to be utilized as an insect repellant. Migraines, depression, and insomnia are just three reasons you might want to include the use of lavender essential oil. It is also often used as an antiseptic for burns and wounds.

Number Three:
Rosemary (Rosamarinus officinalis) – Rosemary essential oil has an invigorating fragrance. Medicinal claims of this oil include stimulating the adrenocortical glands and the ability to act as a diuretic. Other indications for this essential oil include items such as mental fatigue, memory loss, rheumatism, and gouty arthritis.

Number Four:
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) – The essential oil of eucalyptus is known to be a produced in such areas as Australia and Portugal. In fact, the Aborigines considered this oil to be a general cure-all. Eucalyptus oil is used for various respiratory diseases such as asthma, sinusitis, and even the flu. This oil has a medicinal smelling fragrance which is camphor like.

Number Five:
Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) – Tea Tree is an essential oil often used as a general cure-all and first aid kit. This oil tends to have a very strong medicinal fragrance. Some indications for this oil include fungal infections, urinary infections, and cystitis.

Number Six:
Pepper (Piper nigrum Piperaceae) – Yes, pepper is an essential oil. This ancient spice was, in fact, used as currency during the Middle Ages. Some indications for this oil include fever, cold, cough, decreased appetite, and impotence.

Number Seven:
Sandalwood (Santalum album, Santalaceae) – The essential oil of sandalwood has a sweet and spicy smell. This particular oil is has medicinal properties which include that of being an astringent and also being an aphrodisiac. Some health conditions indicating the use of sandalwood include gonorrhea and cystitis.

Number Eight:
Ylang-Ylang (Unona odorantissimum, Anonaceae) – Ylang-Ylang is an essential oil that has a sweet and exotic fragrance. The powerful fragrance of this oil is often sickening to many people. The medicinal properties of this oil include being euphoric and being a sedative. Indications for use of this essential oil include depression, insomnia, and high blood pressure.

Number Nine:
Sage (Salvia officinalis) – Sage is a very versatile plant often used for medicinal purposes. Sage can benefit health difficulties such as anemia, menopause, kidney problems, mouth ulcers and tonsillitis.

Number Ten:
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) – Patchouli has a sweet a spicy fragrance with a harsh smell that some people do not like. Indications for this essential oil include anxiety, skin problems and water retention.

Number Eleven:
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris A. herba alba) – The fragrance of the essential oil of Mugwort is a slightly musky. Some of the indications for Mugwort oil include amenorrhea, hysteria, convulsion, nervous emesis (vomiting), and epilepsy.

Number Twelve:
Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) – Cedarwood essential oil has, of course, a woody fragrance. Its fragrance is very pleasant and is similar to that of sandalwood. Medicinal properties of this oil include being a fungicidal. Indications for this oil include urinary tract disorders, hair care such as hair loss, and skin problems such as eczema.

Number Thirteen:
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens and P. roseum, Geraniaceae) – Geranium essential oil has a rose like fragrance. Medicinal properties of this essential oil include being an astringent and insect repellant and an antiseptic. Geranium essential oil is often used for such health difficulties as tonsillitis, sore throat, kidney stones, nervous tension and depression.

Number Fourteen:
Marjoram (Origanum marjorana Marjorana hortensi) – Marjoram essential oil has a sweet-smelling fragrance. It is often used in the cosmetic and perfume industries. Aromatherapy researchers have found that according to mythology, Marjoram was picked on the Mount Ida by Aphrodite to heal Enea’s wounds. Antispasmodic, analgesic, and digestive are medicinal claims of this essential oil. Other indications for Marjoram include insomnia, migraine headaches, and hypertension.

Number Fifteen:
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – Peppermint is produced worldwide. It has numerous uses in the food industry and it is also used in cosmetics and perfumes. One of the specific indications for this essential oil is impotence.

Number Sixteen:
Rosewood (Aniba roseaodora, Lauraceae) – Rosewood oil is known as one of the major oils in the perfume industry. Indications for the essential oil of Rosewood include various skin problems such as sensitive skin, wrinkled skin, and skin wounds.

Number Seventeen:
Grapefruit (Citrus paradise) – Grapefruit essential oil is mostly produced in the United States. It has a clean citrus fragrance. Grapefruit is used in perfumery and in the food service industry. This essential oil claims a specific therapeutic indication for obesity.

Number Eighteen:
Neroli (Orange Blossom, Citrus vulgaris) – Neroli biguarade is the name for real neroli. The essential oil of neroli boasts the claim as one of the most expensive oils. Because of this, it is often adulterated. Its fragrance has a sweet floral essence. Medicinal properties of this oil include the following: antidepressant, sedative, aphrodisiac. Energy healers use Neroli essential oil for stimulation of the heart chakra. Indications for this oil include insomnia, nervous tension, emotional shock and grief.

Number Nineteen:
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) – Fennel essential oil has a strong fragrance. It is recorded that this oil was used by people as a protection against evil spirits and witchcraft during the Middle Ages. The medicinal properties of this essential oil are diuretic, antispasmodic, and laxative. Uses for the essential oil of fennel include such health problems as amenorrhea, kidney stones, menopausal difficulties, and obesity.

Number Twenty:
Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum) – Anise is mentioned in one of the best selling books – the Bible. It is one of the main medicinal plants in India, Greece and Rome. Its medicinal properties include general stimulant for the digestive system, respiratory system and cardiac system. It boasts the claim of having the medicinal property of being an aphrodisiac which is stupefying at high doses. Indications for this oil include health difficulties such as impotence and epilepsy.

There are many uses for the variety of essential oils available. For the most part, they are easy to use. If you would like to find out more about essential oils, and how to incorporate them into your lifestyle, look for a variety of books on aromatherapy at your local library. Another way to obtain additional information on aromatherapy and the essential oils used is to consult with an alternative health care provider or a certified massage therapist.

For the following recipes, it is recommended that you use the ratio of 12 drops of essential oil per one ounce of carrier oil. Carrier oils can be almost any type of vegetable oil, including canola oil. You can also use apricot, avocado, or various other oils. Indulge and enjoy the following aromatherapy treats!

Massage Oil for Soothing
2 drops sandalwood
2 drops lavender
2 drops juniper
Mix with carrier oil.

Massage Oil for Stimulating
6 drops lemon
4 drops rosemary
4 drops juniper
Mix with carrier oil.

Fantastic Foot Bath
3 drops pepper
3 drops geranium
3 drops rosemary
3 TBLS Epsom salt
1 TBLS sea salt
Do NOT mix with carrier oil.

Massage Oil for Migraines
10 drops grapefruit
5 drops pepper
5 drops roman chamomile
3 drops rosemary
Mix with carrier oil.

Varicose Vein Massage Oil
6 drops cypress
2 drops sandalwood
2 drops peppermint
Mix with carrier oil.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Colorants for Soap Making

When I was learning to how to make soap by the melt and pour method (aka soap crafting or soap casting), I was taught to use a liquid coloring (it is the consistency of food coloring). Then I found out there are powders that you can color your soaps. And now I found a third method of coloring your soaps. It is called gel colors. The consistency of gel colors from Go Planet Earth (what I tried and I cannot speak for products from any other vendor) is similiar to tempora paint. What is really great about it is that the color lasts so using it for your soap embeds it will not bleed or give you that halo effect like the liquid colorant does overtime. Also that means you do not need very much to color your soap.

As, I looking for more information about this product, I was wondering if it would work in other methods of soap making. According to Alicia Gross, author of The Everything Soapmaking Book, says that gel colorants work most effectively in soap-crafting (aka melt and pour or soap crafting) methods which this product was designed for, but it is worth experimenting with in the cold process method.

If you would like to purchase this colorant for your soaps here are some online sites you can purchase this ingredient from:

TKB Trading (
Glory Bee Foods (
Go PlanetEarth (

You may want to check other online sites listed in the sidebar to see if they carry this particular products.

As of now, I am not aware of any retail stores that care this particular product. If I find a store that does I will let you know.

Weights and Measurments

To help you with some of your recipes, here are measurements and equivilents:

3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon
4 tablespoons = 1/4 cup
8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup
12 tablespoons = 3/4 cup
16 tablespoons = 1 cup

1 cup = 8 ounces
1 cup = 1/2 pint
2 cups = 1 pint
4 cups = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 gallon

1 ounce = 28.35 grams
1 gram = 0.035 ounce
1 quart = 0.946 liters
1 liter = 1.06 quarts

Source: Natural Beauty at Home...More Than 250 Easy to Use Recipes for Body, Bath and Hair by Janice Cox.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Grape Seed Facial Scrub

Crushed grape seeds and almond oil combine to form a soothing, refreshing facial scrub.


2/3 cup crushed grape seeds, packed
1/3 to 1/2 cup Almond Oil
1/2 tsp. vitamin E
45-60 drops of fragrance oil


Mix almond oil, Vitamin E and fragrance together in a glass bowl. Add the crushed grape seeds and mix well. Divvy up into jars. The crushed grape seeds will sink to the bottom - this is normal for scrubs of this type.

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Foil Candy Wrappers

If you are looking for foiled candy wrappers to wrap your bath melts, massage bars, and solid scrubs, here are some online sites that I found:

There probably alot more online sites that carry foiled candy wrappers. The other option is finding a local retailer that carries them. I know that Michaels Arts and Crafts stores sells the foil candy wrappers in their Wilton aisle. The available colors are red, gold, and silver. Lori Nova gets her supply from Sur La Table ( or Spun Sugar ( in Berkeley. If you do not live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you might want to check out a local candy making or cooking supply store in your area.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Melt and Pour: Soap Layering Technique

The way I used to creating layered soap by the melt and pour method, I used to melt a small amount of glycerin soap, add coloring and pouring it into a mold. I would allow the first layer to cure before adding the next layer.

Now, I have learned a new trick to to creating the layered soap look. First, I melt a small amount of glycerin soap (the layer should be thin) and adding color then pour into a smooth rectangle mold from the Life of the Party brand. Allow time to cool. I repeat this method two more times with different colors and pour into separate molds. Once all of the layers of soap have hardened, I will pop them out of the molds. Then I take three layers of different colors (that is about the capacity of what a Life of the Party mold will hold) and place them in a smooth rectangle shaped mold. I melt a small amount of clear glycerin soap and add a fragrance. With a popsicle stick, I lift a corner the color soap and pour a small amount of soap to cover the bottom of the mold. Once that is done, I carefully place the soap back down into the mold. And pour the remaining soap to the top of the mold. Allow time to harden and remove from mold.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Melt and Pour Soapmaking Projects From HGTV

For all of those who like to make their soap by the melt and pour method, here are some projects from HGTV. Some of the recipes color their soaps with food coloring. I do not recommend that. Use your regular skin skin soap coloring that you have used in the past.
Have Fun!

Making Decorative Soaps (,,HGTV_3483_1377606,00.html)

Smart Solution of the Day

Homemade Soap for Kids

Dessert-Themed Soaps: Lemon Bar, Chocolate Mint, Strawberry

Photo Soap

Homemade Herbal Soaps

Stamped Soap

Homemade Loaf Soap

Spicy Soap

Cookie Cutter Soap

Toy Surprise Soap

Stained-Glass Soap

Soap Crafts

Snowglobe Soap

Bubbly Bath Gel and Soap

Stamped Soap

Jellyroll Soap

Creative Soap Making

Spooky Halloween Soaps

Toy Soaps

Bath & Body Luxuries

Homemade Soap Bars

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Deodorant Soap

This soap absorbs odors. If you have been handling something smelly like fish, garlic, or onions, wash with this deodorant soap. It will make the odor disappear. The secret ingredient is coffee!


2 oz castor oil
6 oz coconut oil
11 oz olive oil
4 oz palm oil
1 oz beeswax

Lye Mixture
9 fl oz strongly brewed coffee
3.3 oz lye

If you use the hot process method, remove all but the bottom rack of the oven. Preheat it to 200 degrees.

Weigh all the oils. Put them into a big stainless steel pot. Set the heat to medium and stir the oils on the stove until they all turn to liquid. Turn off the stove.

Measure the coffee into a strong plastic container. Go outside and measure the lye into another strong plastic container. Mix the lye into the coffee. Keep stirring until the lye has completely dissolved. Then stir it some more. Take the lye mixture inside and pour it into the pot of oils. Stir it with a stick blender until it reaches trace. If it doesn't reach trace in five minutes, turn off the stick blender and stir by hand for a few minutes. Then turn the stick blender back on for about five minutes. Alternate stirring with the stick blender on for a while and then off for a while until you reach trace. If you run the stick blender continuously for too long, it might burn out.

The soap has reached trace when you see wrinkles in the surface and a trace of a drop after the drop has disappeared.

When the mixture reaches trace, if you prefer the cold process method, pour the soap into greased molds. Cover with saran wrap. Remove from molds 24 hours later. Let the soap sit in a well-ventilated area for about six weeks before using.

If you prefer the hot process method, put the top on the pot and put the pot into the oven. Cook it for an hour stirring every fifteen minutes.

When the soap is cooked, pour it into greased molds. Do not add fragrance: this soap will absorb the scent. That is the point.

Hot process soap is ready to use as soon as it cools. If it feels soft, don't worry. It might take a few days to harden.

Feel free to do the happy soap dance!

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.


Friday, October 12, 2007

Lotion Basics by Anne-Marie

Basic lotions are really just a mixture of 5 things:

1 - water
2 - oil
3 - emulsifier
4 - thickener
5 - preservative.

It’s important that these 5 ingredients be mixed in a very specific proportion. The proportion of one ingredient to another is what creates the right texture and consistency for lotion. Changing this proportion slightly will transform lotion into cream, using basically the same ingredients. An emulsifier brings the water and oil parts of lotion together into an emulsion, which is a sort of suspension. This prevents them from separating back into oil and water in the mix. Emulsifying wax is one of the best emulsifiers you can find. It produces a reliable and stable emulsion. Another emulsifier that is sometimes used in lotion making is soy lecithin.

Emulsifying wax typically makes up 5% of the total solution.

Working with percent formulas is not as hard as it might sound, even if you’re no math whiz. A digital scale that measures in grams is an essential tool to help with this. For example, if you want to make 1000 grams (a little over a quart) of lotion, here’s how the percentage weights break down:

Distilled water = 75% = 750 grams
Oil/Shea butter = 16% = 150 grams
Emulsifier = 5% = 50 grams
Stearic acid = 4% = 40 grams
Preservative = 1% = 10 grams
TOTAL = 101% = 1010 grams (including preservative)

Read more soap making questions and answers at Ask Anne-Marie!
Find lotion making ingredients including Emulsifiers, Stearic Acids, Preservatives and more.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Shea Butter Fizzie Recipe

I like this recipe because it makes a nice light natural yellow bath bomb. I have yet to meet kids or adults that do not like the scent.

Clementine Mango Bath Fizzie Ingredients:
3 cups Citric Acid
6 cups of Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Shea Butter Clementine Mango FO
(amount as desired) Sprayer bottle of rubbing alcohol or witch hazel
Bath Fizzie Super Scooper

Melt shea butter in microwave and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine citric acid and baking soda. Mix well. Add shea butter & fragrance. Mix well. Heavily spray mixture with rubbing alcohol. Toss and mix. Spray again and toss. Repeat this step over and over until mixture adheres to self. Do not make too moist. Scoop an ample amount of mix into scooper and press. Slowly open scooper and remove ball. Place on lined cookie sheet and allow to dry 24 hours. Once hard, package and store for use or label for sale.

Note: Bath tub will be slightly slippery. Use caution when entering or exiting.

Wishing You Much Success!
Debbie May

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

How To Create Heavenly Organic Bath Treats

by Louise Forrest

Who said that wonderfully relaxing baths had to be full of chemicals? Homemade bath products guarantee that you know the ingredients your bath products have in them and save you on cost. Just remember that ingredients should all be organic to keep from inadvertently exposing yourself to unwanted chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and preservatives. Following are four decadent bath recipes you are sure to enjoy!

Relaxing Bubble Bath:
This recipe can be changed to suit your tastes or moods. Here we have used rose essential oil, but other essential oils (or a blend) may be used instead. For example, peppermint oil will invigorate you while the lavender tends to relax - just substitute your preferred oil in place of the rose oil in the recipe. Mix all ingredients and store in an easy-pour container (a gallon jug is great). Pour a small amount in running bath water.

8 cups (1/2 gallon) distilled water
8 oz (2 bars) castille soap, grated (moisturizer/softener that can be found in health food stores or on the internet)
3/4 cup liquid glycerin (moisturizer/softener that can be found in health food stores or on the internet)
1 1/2 teaspoons rose essential oil (essential oils can be found in health food stores and on the internet, just be sure that they are produced from organically produced base plants)

Super-moisturizing Strawberry Delight:
This is a great summertime bath because strawberries are readily available. However, if you can get them in the winter, this bath is an awesome 'pick-me-up' from the wintertime blues and dry skin. Between the castor oil and fresh cream, this bath is an excellent way to combat dry skin, so substitution of essential oils or frozen strawberries in place of fresh strawberries can be done if strawberries aren't available.

Essential oils can be purchased at most heath food stores or on the internet, you just want to be sure that they are produced from organically grown base plants. If you choose to substitute essential oils for the strawberries, use the 2nd version of ingredients listed below.

Ingredients (1st version)
1 ½ tablespoons castor oil
¾ cup organic cream (heavy)
¾ cup fresh organic strawberries
3 cups distilled water

Ingredients (2nd version)
1 ½ tablespoons castor oil
1 ¼ cups organic cream (heavy)
1 teaspoon essential oil of your choice
3 ½ cups distilled water

For either version, blend ingredients on high until smooth and creamy. Place ½ of the mixture in an airtight container and refrigerate (use within 1 week) and use the other ½ of the mixture immediately. All you have to do now is pour the creamy mixture into running bath water, stir a bit, and enjoy!

Soothing Lavender Bath:
This is a great summertime bath because strawberries are readily available. However, if you can get them in the winter, this bath is an awesome 'pick-me-up' from the wintertime blues and dry skin. Between the castor oil and fresh cream, this bath is an excellent way to combat dry skin, so substitution of essential oils or frozen strawberries in place of fresh strawberries can be done if strawberries aren't available.

Essential oils can be purchased at most heath food stores or on the internet, you just want to be sure that they are produced from organically grown base plants. If you choose to substitute essential oils for the strawberries, use the 2nd version of ingredients listed below.

1 cup baking soda
1 ½ cups organic lavender, dried and crushed (found in health food stores or on the internet)
3 cups organic oat flour ((found in health food stores)

Vanilla Delight Bath Cookies:
These will smell terrific and the ingredients are not harmful, but you won't want to eat them . . . trust us on this one! Dissolve 2 or 3 of them in your bath water for a delightfully relaxing experience.

1 cup baking soda
1 ¼ cup cornstarch
4 large eggs
4 cups sea salt (finely ground)
1 ½ teaspoons pure organic vanilla extract
3 tablespoons organic vegetable oil
2 teaspoons organic vitamin E oil

You will be making these like most cookies. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all ingredients, forming a very stiff dough. Rolls into 1 inch balls and place on a non-greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown (about 10-12 minutes). Cool completely before removing from cookie sheet. Store your organic bath cookies in Mason Jars (canning jars).

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.

Source: Back to Natural Elements Skin Carehome page click here:

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Easy Homemade Lotion Recipe (from scratch)

If you have taken Lori Nova's Lotions and Creams class, I found this recipe that is similiar in the making process but it has different ingredients. For example, this recipe uses a different preservative, borax, different oils and beeswax instead of E-Wax (NF). I have to disagree with the author's suggestion of subsituting your favorite perfume if you do not have a fragrance oil. I think it is better to use a fragrance oil or essential oil over a perfume because of the extra water content. If you are interested in checking out the blog or website, I have included it in the side bar.

This entry was posted on 6/17/2007 2:49 PM and is filed under Lotion,Bath and Body,Recipe.

Well, this week I've been making lotions by the bucketful! And getting frustrated. Each batch separated, no matter how much I tweaked my emulsifying wax (e-wax) amounts. I finally realized that it was my e-wax, not my recipes, that was the problem. So, I'm waiting for a new type of emulsifying wax (Polawax) to come in. So, after taking a day off, I went back and tried a different type of lotion recipe. This one uses beeswax and borax as the emulsifying system. Good news! It works!

Fabulous Lotion from


two saucepans filled 1/4 to 1/2 full of water
candy thermometer
Pyrex measuring cups
metal mixing bowl
kitchen scale
two to three spoons
electric hand mixer, wire wisk or mixing stand
spritz bottle full of rubbing alcohol
plastic gloves either made with neoprine or latex

Ingredients: Oil Phase

325 grams Olive Oil (32.5%)
50 grams sweet almond oil (5%)
25 grams castor oil (2.5%)
40 grams jojoba (4%)
10 grams cocoa butter (1%)
75 grams beeswax (7.5%)
5 grams Phenonip (preservative) (.5%)

Ingredients: Water Phase

445 grams distilled water (44.5%)
10 grams borax (1%)
15 grams glycerin (1.5%)
Ingredients: Miscellaneous Phase

6 grams Fragrance oil or Essential Oil (I used Coco Beach Baby) (.6%) 1000 grams total

Before beginning, make sure that your work area is clean. Scrub down the counters and stovetop area with bleach water. Boil your equipment in distilled water. Once dry, spritz with rubbing alcohol. Make sure to wear plastic gloves when creating your lotions.

If you do not use a preservative (which I highly recommend), place that amount back into the olive oil. If you use more or less fragrance, add or subtract that amount from the water.


1. Combine and heat Water Phase to 176°F, cover and hold for 20 minutes to kill any bacteria and mold spores, and remove from heat.

2. Combine and heat Oil Phase ingredients to 176°F and remove from heat. Gently stir the oils and waxes to combine. Cover and hold at this temperature until the water phase is ready.

3. Pour Water Phase into Oil Phase with mixing. Insert an immersion (stick) blender into the mixing vessel, keeping it near the bottom and blend. Move the stick blender around in the vessel to make certain that the lotion is well mixed. NOTE: I use the milkshake attachment for this step. If you don't have either a milkshake attachment, stick blender, or mixing stand, just use a wire whisk.

4. Stop blending briefly. Place your mixing vessel into a cold water bath in your sink. Immediately resume blending your lotion with your stick blender, moving it around the bottom of the pot to fully incorporate the mix. Mix until temperature is approximately 122°F. This should only take about 1-2 minutes. Remove from water and place mixing vessel on counter.

5. Check the weight of your batch to make sure you still have 1000 grams (or however much you have decided to make), add more heated, distilled water if needed to replace what may have evaporated.

6. Add the fragrance to the mixture and mix well with wire whisk.Lotion will be thin. Pour into bottles. Let sit for about 24 hours to fully cool down and thicken. It can be used right away, though, so don't freak out if some spills on your hands or arms!

I have included percentages to the right of the ingredient name just in case you want to make more or less lotion or would like to use ounces rather than grams.

Most of the oils can be replaced with what you have on hand. Grapeseed oil, hazelnut oil, and sunflower oil are good substitutes. Be aware that grapeseed oil has a short shelf life so use it only if you are making a batch that will be used quickly.Alternatively, you could use all olive oil for this recipe. However, olive oil has a distinct smell that your fragrance might not be able to cover.

If you don't have fragrance oil, you can try substituting your favorite perfume. Do not use anything less than a cologne, though, because of the extra water content. Also, try your local health food store as they might carry essential oils that will add a wonderful smell and health benefits to your lotions.

Have fun! I know I am (finally)!


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Easy Dog Soap Recipes

From David Fisher, Your Guide to Candle and Soap Making.
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Clean Dog, Good - Good Dog, Clean

Is Max or Fluffy or Frankie a little less than fresh smelling? Is your four-legged canine buddy being bothered by fleas? Well, while not nearly as potent as modern chemical flea treatments (and many people think that's not such a bad thing!) a good blend of essential oils in an oil-fortified soap can be just the ticket to get Mr. Pupster fresh and clean and repel the fleas.
The recipes below are all based on basic melt and pour soap making. (Though you can easily use the same essential oil blends in a cold process soap recipe as well.) Since you're not bathing your dog every day, a few bars of dog soap will probably last a while, so it's often not practical to make an entire batch of cold process soap.

The recipes feature a blend of essential oils, many of which are mosquito repelling as well. The main ones I use in my dog soap blends are:

Tea Tree - it is known for its mild antiseptic and antifungal qualities and for being good for the skin.

Lavender - lavender is great in just about everything - it's known for being good for the skin and for repelling fleas and mosquitos.

Citronella - perhaps the most famous and widely-used mosquito repelling essential oil - works for fleas too.

Peppermint - fleas don't like it...and it makes your dog minty fresh smelling!

Cedarwood - blends well with the other oils, helps anchor the scent blend (as a base note and repels fleas and mosquitoes

Eucalyptus - known as a germicide and for its flea/mosquito repelling qualities - plus just plain smells good.

You can blend them however you like. Any of them in a blend will be good for Fido's soap. I usually try to balance out between top notes, middle notes, and base notes. You aren't limited by just these either. You could blend any other essential oils (patchouli, ylang ylang, benzoin) you like in with them too. Be careful with citrus oils, though. They can cause your, or your dog's, skin to be more sensitive to the sun.

Now remember, like I said above, none of these is going to repel fleas like a chemical pesticide - but they are a natural, safe, effective alternative - and actually do better than you might expect.
On the next page are some recipe blends that I've used, that I like a lot. (My dog Daisy is the freshest smelling pooch on the block!)

Note: Essential oils are very dangerous/toxic to cats and rabbits. Do not use this soap on cats!

Buy Supplies for this Project Direct
Melt and Pour Soap BasesEssential OIlsCastor Oil and Other Base Oils

Essential Oil Danger for Cats
Essential Oil Danger to Cats

Elsewhere on the Web
How to Wash Your Dog

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Peppermint Fizzie Recipe

This week, I am going to give you a different bath fizzie recipe each day. Bath fizzies are easy to make and very popular with shoppers of all ages. I am hoping you will give them a try or if you already make them, perhaps find a new recipe to add to your line.Peppermint Bath Fizzies


3 cups Citric Acid
6 cups of Baking SodaMagenta Powder Color
(amount as desired) Peppermint EO
(amount as desired) Sprayer bottle of rubbing alcohol or witch hazel
Bath Fizzie Super Scooper


In a large mixing bowl, combine citric acid and baking soda. Mix well. Add powdered color. Mix well. Add fragrance. Mix well. Heavily spray mixture with rubbing alcohol. Toss and mix. Spray again and toss. Repeat this step over and over until mixture adheres to self. Do not make too moist. Scoop an ample amount of mix into scooper and press. Slowly open scooper and remove ball. Place on lined cookie sheet and allow to dry 24 hours. Once hard, package and store for use or label for sale.

Peppermint Vanilla Variation:

In a large mixing bowl, combine citric acid and baking soda. Mix well. Divide mixture into two bowls. Add powdered color and peppermint fragrance to one bowl & mix well. In second bowl, do not add color, add vanilla buttercream fragrance oil & mix well. Do not combine mixtures yet. Heavily spray both mixtures with rubbing alcohol and toss until it adheres to self. Do not make too moist. Very lightly toss two mixtures together. Too much mixing will prevent color contrast. Scoop an ample amount of mix into scooper and press. Slowly open scooper and remove ball. Place on lined cookie sheet and allow to dry 24 hours. Once hard, package and store for use or label for sale.

Wishing You Much Success!
Debbie May

Food for Thought: I use to call these "Bath Bombs"......that was until a customer from Canada called to tell me that US Customs "blew up" the bath bombs she was sending to a US retail store. Now I call them bath fizzies. :-)



(Submitted by Ela Heyn)


Opaque M&P Crafting Soap Base
Watermelon Scent
Black, color fast colorant (black oxide would be ideal - can be obtained in the Natural Pack.)
Red and green colorants (color fast colorants are better. Food colors might be too light for this purpose; a mica or gel colorant would probably work better.)
Thick, large straw . . one from a stadium "sipper bottle" is ideal, or very small, round cookie cutter.
Round soap mold(s)
Knife with thin blade


Melt opaque soap base, color it a solid black with the black, color-fast colorant. Pour in thin layer (1/8" to 1/4" in thickness) on a plate or onto waxed paper; let set up.

Use the end of the straw (or cookie cutter) to punch watermelon "seeds" out of the black soap base. Set seeds aside.

Prepare red soap base with watermelon scent. Pour into soap molds, and quickly add "watermelon seeds" you just cut out. Try to place seeds more in the middle of the soap mold, as opposed to near the edges.

Let the watermelon soap set up. Using your knife, VERY carefully cut approximately 1/4 inch of the outside of the soap off, all the way around. Set the cuttings aside; you can use them later for decoration in another soap, or add them to a "fruit cocktail" soap.

Put watermelon soap back into center of round soap mold, trying to leave an equal amount of space from the side of the soap mold to the soap all the way around. Now prepare green soap base with watermelon scent. With one hand, press the watermelon soap FIRMLY against the bottom of the soap mold. With the other hand, very carefully pour the green soap base into the space in the soap mold between the soap and the side of the soap mold. Hold this for about 10 or 20 seconds, then gently release pressure, and leave soap alone so it can set up.

Gently unmold soap. Voila. . . . a watermelon soap!

NOTE: You might need to trim the very bottom of the soap off a bit, in case some green base slid under the soap as it was sitting in the mold. If your mold was sufficiently deep, you will even be able to cut the soap into multiple "watermelon slices". Make sure you wrap these finished soaps promptly, preferably in shrink wrap, to keep them from drying out.

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Soap Melting Pot

When I first learned how to make melt and pour soap, I learned to melt the soap base with a microwave oven. I have tried it in a "Soap Kettle" by Life of the Party which is a glorified rice cooker. I found it to be messy to use and the clean up was impossible. Then I tried using a crock pot. It took forever to melt the soap and like the Soap Kettle it was messy to transfer the melted soap. But it was alot easier to clean. By accident I found this piece of equipment that may solve the problem of melting large amounts of soap without making a messy. It is a Presto Kitchen Kettle which has been converted to melt soap or wax. Basically it is a electric stock pot (I am guessing 4-5 quarts) with a brass spigot mounted on the side for easy transfer of melted soap.

I found this melting pot on Ebay by doing a search on soap melting pots. The average cost is between $48 to $50. Here is the description provided:







Now, I have not personally tried this pot but it may be a great alternative to a crock pot or soap kettle if you need to melt large quanities of soap for your homebased soap business. So all of you melt and pour soapmakers that sell online like on Etsy this is perfect for you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Lovely Lavender Soap

(Submitted to Soap Wizards by Ela Heyn)


• Lavender essential oil (or Fragrance oil)
• Kaolin Clay
• Clear soap base or opaque soap base (molding soap base is better than crafting soap base for this application)
• Soap Molds
• Color (I use FD&C purple for this)

Optional: Lavender Buds (make sure they have not been treated with pesticides; I get organic lavender buds from the health food store - sold as loose tea - or gourmet shop for this reason). If you do use lavender buds, you will probably want to color your soap purple, to hide the brown discoloration that your lavender buds will incur after they have been in the soap for approximately a week.


1. Melt soap base, and color it with FD&C purple, if you desire.

2. Add approximately one teaspoon kaolin (or less) per lb (2 cups) of melted soap base, and stir. The kaolin serves to anchor the scent of the lavender essential oil in the soap (making the scent last longer), and is also good for oily skin.

3. Allow soap base to cool slightly before stirring again. Now add lavender essential oil. (Essential oils are very sensitive to heat, so you want to add them at the last possible moment to preserve as much of the lavender's healing properties as possible). Add approximately 40 drops of essential oil per lb. (two cups) of melted soap base, or less.

4. Add lavender buds, if desired, and stir them in.

5. Pour soap into molds, let harden, and unmold.

NOTES: To give added "staying power" to the lavender scent, you can try adding one or two drops of oakmoss absolute per lb. of melted soap base as well.

If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Photoshop Help For Soap Labels

Soap labels can be pretty daunting to make. First, the graphics have to be obtained then they have to edited in a program that most of us do not have such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. These programs are costly and require a lot of time to understand.

So, what do you do to solve the label problem?

One answer to that is to invest a few hundred dolllars in a good logo. Once you have a good logo, then it becomes easier to get good labels. A good place to find great designers to design labels is Elance. Elance represents hundreds of skilled designers worldwide. One set of labels for all your products can end up costing much less than what you think. So, have a look at their designers portfolios and remember it never costs you anything to get a quote.

In the meantime, how do you solve the problem of labels that are not professional enough.

Here is an idea.

Try to make labels from products that are sold for scrapbooking. That includes papers, stamps, embossing inks and powders, embellishments, aging inks and acid dyes. The more handcrafted your labels appear, the more imperfect they are allowed to be.

In addition scrapbooking supply stores offer great embellishment classes. Last time I checked, one class, which lasted two hours was less than $60.00, supplies not included.

(To start learning how to use Adobe Photoshop)
But in the meantime, it would be well worth your time to try to understand Adobe Photoshop to create basic labels. First download the trial software from Adobe Photoshop CS3.

Adobe Photoshop creates images that are pixelated - which means that there is a certain amount of dots per inch each inch of the design. This is much like bed linen that is 180 thread count versus 400 thread count - there is a big difference between the two. Therefore, a picture that is say 300 DPI's (dots per inch) will have a different resolution (clarity of detail) than an image that is say 72 DPI's per inch. The image which is 300 DPI's will be a larger file and be more detailed (because of the fine resolution) than the image that is 72 DPI's. So, it is impotant when setting the resolution of the image to create it at a higher DPI, say 300-600, for print. Usually an image taken from the internet will be of of low resolution and will not be good for printing labels. Reason for this is that typical website graphics usually are only 72 DPI's.

So the first rule of creating labels is that all images created have to be set to have a resolution of 300 DPI's or more. Anything less would be poorly defined. Remember, the quality can be scaled down, but not up, so it is important to start with a high resolution file.

So to start creating a soap cigar label create a new document in Photoshop. Even if you do not have any designs in mind still try to create a label in Photoshop. You would be surprised at how beautiful plain words by themselves without any pictures look.

GOTO FILE NEW - name the document and set the size. Set the document size at 2.5-3 inches in length x 8 inches wide(It may be set the other way around, but for the time being, this way is easier to edit). This is a standard size of most soap cigar bands, plus you are making use of all of the width of a regular 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper.

Make sure in this same box that color is set to RGB and resolution is 300. Also, make sure, the background contents are set to TRANSPARENT.

Set the label so that the view you have of it is a realistic one. GOTO - VIEW -ZOOM OUT. Zoom out until the image bar says 33% which is the size at which the document will print at. If the image were zoomed in at 100% then the image would be bigger than the the computer screen. This is because the 300 DPI's image takes up more real estate on a computer screen that is set for web graphics that have DPI's of 72.

FYI: The print standard for professionally worked labels is usually 300-600 DPI's per inch.

Next, set the colors. If the color palette is not floating around in the workspace then GOTO Windows and check - SWATCHES. The color palette has different colors to choose from for the foreground colors and background colors. For the meantime, lets try one of the colors. Click on one of the colors. This first color chosen is the foreground color.

In Photoshop, everything has to have layers. So make a layer. GOTO - LAYERS - NEW. The box that opens up gives you the chance to name your layer - make sure the name is significant like - 'LOGO LEAF' or something that will help you to distinguish the contents of the different layers.

Select the type tool(T) and type the name of the company or soap. Create another layer and put graphics on that layer. Then a third or fourth till the label is complete.

To get graphics onto a layer. GOTO FILE - OPEN - and find the graphic file. Open it in Photoshop. Position that file on its separate page near your open label file by minimizing both boxes by dragging the cprners till both fit in the workspace, then select the picture and drag it onto your workspace. Remember that the layer that was last selected before the drag is the layer the graphics file will be positioned on.

Click on each layer and move the contents around. Get familiar with what this means.

Having different layers means that:

*Text can be superimposed on graphics
*That graphics can be layered for effects
*That editing one layer to change the name of one product would mean that the other information in the label would remain intact.
*That once you have your labels designed in Photoshop, you would be able to update the ingredients or other info on the label without having to get a designer to do this.
*And much more.

(Stay tuned for more on working on a label template to finish the soap labels)

Source: Permission to reprint by Winsome Tapper, Soapmaking Editor,

Monday, October 1, 2007

Soap and Bath Products Resources

If you are looking for supplies or equipment to make your own soap or bath related products, here are some more that I just learned about:

Glory Bee Foods ( Carries carrier oils,; melt and pour soap bases (castile, goat's milk, translucent glycerin soap, and white glycerin soap); additives and natural ingredients such as germaben II, lectitan, mango butter, shea butter, titanatum dioxide (a natural whitening agent for your soap); botanicals; gel tones; soap paints; loaf molds; containers; 1 quart double boilers; soap shaver (aka cheese plane); lip balm tube filing tray and more.

Check out Mission Peak Soap ( in Fremont, CA for soap molds and cutter boxes in addition to other supplies.

When purchasing lye from most websites, you have to purchase large quantities. If you want to purchase smaller quantities because you have limited space to store it, then check out Certified Lye ( You can also purchase gloves, aprons and masks.

If you are looking for another source for essential oils, then check out Nandia Essential Oils ( located in Sacramento.

Another source for botancials and essential oils is Mountain Rse Herbs in Eugene, OR. Check out there website at

If you do not find what you are looking for at this sites, always check my list of website in the sidebar.