Friday, February 29, 2008

Handmade Bath Products Class Update

As of today, my class Handmade Bath Products through College of San Mateo's Community Education currently has 8 students. This is a new class that I am offering at CSM. So if anyone has taken any of my other classes, here is a chance at a new one.

So I have 5 to 7 seats available for anyone interested. There is still enough time to sign up, but I would not wait until the last. So tell your friends.

For more information, check out their website at and go to the arts and crafts section.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

At Last You Can Add Colorful Designs To Your Homemade Soaps

There are many ways to add colorful designs to your homemade soaps. We will discuss using the cold process soap making method to make soaps with intriguing designs.

First, you will need to start with a plain white base. A base of 30 percent coconut oil, 5 percent castor oil and 65 percent lard (for vegaterians try using vegetable shortening) makes a nice white base that lathers and conditions well.

To make tri-color soap with nice triangular designs, first make one third of your base recipe to pour into your standard block soap mold. Once the base has traced, add colorant of your choice, then prop your mold at an angle so that when you pour your base into your mold it will fill only one corner of your mold instead of the whole bottom.

To do this, place a few books under one side of your mold to raise one side a few inches from your counter then place books against the other side of the mold to keep it from moving. Pour your soap down the side of your mold that still rests on the counter until it has filled the corner, but not quite fully to the top of the mold.

Now carefully cover your mold with a towel until your soap has gone through the saponification process and has cooled into soap. This will make a triangle block of soap that will sit off to the side of your regular bar, making a nice design.

Next, mix two thirds of your plain white base recipe, and separate it into two equal amounts. Color these with 2 separate colors, pour one into your mold being careful not to splash it onto your triangle block, then pour the second color on top of this.

Let this set for 24 hours covered, unmold your soap, cut, and you should have a nice tri colored bar of soap with a triangle to the side. I have found these soaps to be much sought after from customers as a nice novelty for their bathroom decor.

Another way to put nice designs in your soap would be to use a mold that makes individual bars of soaps instead of blocks.

First, make a plain white base to fill your mold, and then remove a cup or two from your batch. Add colorant to the cup of mixture, and then pour this into a cake-decorating bag. Use this mixture to write colorful designs onto the bottom of your mold.

Once you have completed this, then spoon your white base mixture on top of this, being very careful not to disturb your writings.

Once you have spooned a few inches over your writings, then you can carefully pour the rest of your soap into your mold (do this in one corner so if your writing is disturbed only one section will be messed up), let this set for 24 to 48 hours. Unmold and cut into bars.

When you unmold your soap, the bottoms will have your designs permanently embedded into your bars of soap. This is yet another intriguing method used to decorate your soaps.

Be creative and above all, have fun.

Source: All About Hobby Blog.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Imprinted Soap

According to Kelly Ewing, author of Making Candles and Soaps for Dummies, imprinted soap is simply a bar of soap that you have stamped when wet.

If you like to try to make this bar of soap, the author suggests the following steps:

1. Choose your stamp. Try to choose a stamp that doesn't have alot of intricate detail. At your craft store, look for stamps with sharper edges. Metal stamps work better than others.

2. Melt your soap base.

3. Pour you melted soap. A square or rectangle bar of soap works well for this soap. But Life of the Party, has a hex and circle geo shaped molds that would also work. Try to match your mold size to the approximate sign of your stamp so that the edges are not as visible.

4. Wait for the soap to get and then gently place your stamp in the mold.

5. Let your stamp remain in the mold for approximately 15 to 30 minutes. If you remove your stamp too early, the soap is still liquid and runs back into the spot where your stamp was.

6. Remove your stamp.

7. Gently smooth out any rough edges.

8. Let your soap continue to solidify.

9. Remove your soap from the mold.

10. Wrap your soap in plastic if you're not using it immediately.

This is only one way of making this type of soap. You may find that this process may be called embossed soap and may be done slightly different. Check out HGTV, DIY and other sites and do a search on embossed soaps.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ingredient Info on Creating Bath Balts

If you have taken my bath salts and body scrubs class and are looking for more information regarding bath salts, Salt Works has provided detailed information in regarding to blending your sea salts.

Blending Bath Salts

Bath Salts: Sea salts and essential oils are a wonderfully synergistic combination. The relaxing properties of hot water compliment the effects of well chosen salts and essential oils. Aromatic baths can provide relief from stress and anxiety, assist with muscle and joint pains, and treat the symptoms of more severe skin conditions. Both men and women are enjoying aromatic baths in increasing numbers. The therapeutic benefits of sea salt baths are well known and often recommended by doctors for treating a wide range of medical conditions.

Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is the practice of controlled use of essential oils to maintain and promote physical, psychological, and spiritual well being. As a holistic medicine, Aromatherapy is both a preventative approach as well as an active treatment during acute and chronic stages of illness.

Essential Oils: Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts distilled from a variety of plant material including leaves, flowers, needles, fruit peels, grasses, wood and roots. These oils, with the exception of Lavender and Tea Tree, should always be diluted in carrier oil before applying directly to the skin.

Dried Herbs: Many dried herbs possess the same scent and healing properties of their essential oil counterparts. Herbs are popular additions to bath salts and bath teas and look great in a finished product, one draw back is that it can be messy in the tub. A good option is to include an organza bag with your salts to use as a tea bag - the salts melt, the herbs seep in the hot bath water and once the bag dries it is easy to empty out the herbs and re-use the bag.

Carrier Oils: moisturizing vegetable oils are commonly used as a "carrier" for essential oils. Most essential oils are too strong to apply directly to the skin and should be diluted 12-30 drops to 1oz of carrier oil. Carrier oils are also combined with sea salts to create defoliant salt scrubs.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Adding hydrogen peroxide to bathwater increases oxygen available to the body. Hydrogen peroxide baths leave the body feeling alert and revitalized, like just after a rain shower. This gentle bath is antibacterial, antiviral, and cleansing to the emotional and energetic bodies. Add six ounces of food-grade hydrogen peroxide to a hot bath and soak for 20-30 minutes. Be careful in handling this concentrated solution of hydrogen peroxide as it can "burn" or irritate the skin. Diluted in the bathwater, it is fine for skin contact.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar baths restore a natural pH to the skin and hair, as well as rejuvenating and building up the body’s resistance. It helps restore acid mantle protection to the skin, which is lost from swimming and from routine use of soaps on the skin. It thus helps combat “unfriendly” bacteria, fungal overgrowth, and as helpful with vaginal and bladder infections. Apple cider vinegar baths are soothing to the skin, alleviating itchiness, poison ivy, and sunburn discomfort. As with all hot baths, it causes the pores to open and aids in general systemic detoxification. Make certain to use pure, unprocessed apply cider vinegar. Use 2-4 cups in a hot bath.

Sodium Bicarbonate: A hot bath with equal parts of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and sea salt assists in detoxification from exposure to heavy metals and radiation. It is also beneficial for cleansing the theauric field, and for soothing itchy skin. In combination, use 1-2 pounds of each. Sea salts is recommended, as opposed to rock salt or common table salt, which are depleted of nourishing minerals.

Citric Acid: Citric Acid is a key ingredient, along with Sodium Bicarbonate, for bath fizzies (recipe below). It is also great for making fizzy bath salts. The combination creates an effervescent blend that helps release the aroma of your essential oils into the air, creating an uplifting aromatic bath.

Colorants: FD&C dyes dispersed in liquid or glycerin are popular for adding color to bath salts. Herbs can also be used to create beautiful natural colors for your salts. Powdered Mica can create beautiful pearl essence salt.

Scenting Sea Salts

The amount of Essential Oils or Fragrance Oils you will need to use will depend on the quality of oil and the variety of oil used. For example, you would need more grapefruit in your salts than peppermint as the mint family is much stronger than the citrus. The oils will travel easily through the salts. Always store your scented salts in airtight glass or PET (type of plastic) containers.

Coloring Sea Salts: Be sure to use FD&C approved, or herbal, colorants for bath salts. It is recommended scenting the salts first and then coloring. Once you mix in the color, let sit in a sealed container overnight. The color will disperse for a more even coverage.

Sea Salt Cell: Some therapies call for a Sea Salt Cell or Dead Sea Salt Cell. This is simply a single bath portion of Sea Salts mixed with Therapeutic grade Essential Oils. A deep therapy cell will call for 2 lbs of salt mixed with approx. 40 drops of your chosen EO Blend.

If you like to check out there site for recipes on creating Salt Glows, Bath Teas, Salt Potpourri, Bath Fizzies, and Essential Oil Blends, click on this link,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Homemade Bon Bons for the Bath

In my search I found this creative recipe for your bath. If you ever made a bath melt this recipe is very similiar that. This would be a great addition to any gift basket full of bath and body products.

Just to let you know that this recipe makes 12 bonbons.


9 tablespoons virgin coconut oil (see note)
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons baking soda
3 tablespoons sea salt
3 drops ylang ylang pure essential oil (optional)

***Since coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees F, the temperature of your oil will make a difference in the method you use. Coconut oil does not need to be refrigerated, but once you make the bonbons keep them there so that they don't melt. You can't start with refrigerated coconut oil because it is very hard, so start with room temperature.

If your room temperature is above 76 degrees, the oil will be liquid—you will need to stir in the ingredients and then pour the mix into an ice cube tray, mini muffin tin, or similar receptacle. Then refrigerate until hardened, remove (you may need to briefly set the container in warm water to release the bonbons) and store in a jar in the fridge.

If your room temperature is below 76 degrees, the coconut oil will be softly solid (as opposed to hard solid like straight from the refrigerator). You can mix the ingredients and then scoop by rounded tablespoon onto a baking sheet or plate to chill in the fridge. Once hardened, remove (you may need to set the sheet or plate in shallow warm water to release the bonbons, or line the sheet with wax paper first) and store in a jar in the fridge.

Dissolve one or two bonbons in your bath, get soft.

Note: Coconut oil is commonly used in food, but has been used as a skin moisturizer for centuries by people living in the tropics. Studies show that it imparts significant improvement in skin hydration and increases skin surface lipid levels. Buy virgin coconut oil, which is unrefined, and if you can find it select a fair trade brand.

Coconut oil is available in health food stores and some supermarkets.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Soap in a Bag


Clear polypropylene bags
Curling ribbon
Translucent soap base
Fragrance Oil or Essential Oil (Choose type and amount you like)
Rubber or plastic fish, duck, alligator, etc.


Open and stand bag upright in a cup or bowl. Melt the soap in the microwave, making sure it doesn't boil. Add fragrance once soap is melted. Pour a small amount of soap in the bottom of the bag. Place the plastic fish (or other animal) inside the plastic bag on top of the soap, so that it stands upright. Cover the fish with more melted soap. If using two fish, allow soap to form a film that will hold the weight of the fish. Place second fish in bag and cover with soap. When soap is cool, gather bag at top and tie with curing ribbon.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Secrets of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile liquid plant materials. It is a also called is essential oils. The use of aromatherapy can benefit you in many ways. Aromatherapy is a generic term that refers to any of the various traditions that make use of essential oils sometimes in combination with other alternative medical practices and spiritual beliefs. There are about 150 essential oils. Most of these oils have antiseptic properties; some are antiviral, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antidepressant and expectorant. Two basic mechanisms are offered to explain the purported effects. One is the influence of aroma on the brain, especially the limbic system through the olfactory system. It has a particularly Western currency and persuasion. Bathing in essential oils is an all-natural way to unblock congested pores and ease the symptoms of fatigue and muscle tension.

Aromatherapy can also be used to ease the discomfort of suffering from colds and flus. Oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, ginger, clove, juniper and rosemary can help relieve congestion. Aromatic herbal baths have been referred to as "body and soul therapy" since they positively affects one's mood and general well-being. Nurses, doctors, massage therapists, osteopaths and trained aromatherapists are some of the people who practise aromatherapy. Essential oils, phytoncides and other natural VOCs work in different ways. Aromatherapy has proved to be so effective at relieving headaches that there are now many commercial aromatherapy preparations on the market concocted especially for this purpose. Aromatherapy comprises essential and scented oils. These oils are intended to reinstate or preserve overall health and are designed to help relieve stress. As well, the oils are used to heal the body and mind of ailments.

Aromatherapy oils come from natural sources, such as plants, bark, trees, flowers, herbs, etc. Aromatherapy bath happens to be a very effective method for relaxing tired, stressed bodies. Aromatherapy oil is the essential oil that comes from the distillation or any extraction product of other aromatherapy products. Aromatherapy uses this principle to provide a soothing and beneficial escape from our everyday cares, worries or responsibilities. People with high blood pressure should avoid hyssop, rosemary, sage and thyme, while diabetics should avoid angelica oil. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid a number of oils. he essential oils come in a variety of fragrances. These oils work to offer serenity to the body, while pampering the soul. Benifits of aromatherpy can be sought through massaging and inhalation combined. And as mentioned above, you can use aromatherapy oils as d├ęcors, fresheners, etc.

Secrets of Aromatherapy Tips

1. Lavender - First used as perfume by ancient Egyptians 2,500 years ago, lavender is now used to treat insomnia, migraines and provide stress relief.

2. Rosemary - This fragrant plant relieves muscle pain, low blood pressure and cold feet and hands.

3. Spearmint - The oil from spearmint aids digestion and eases nausea and vomiting

4. Certain oils can also stimulate lymphatic drainage or have antibacterial properties.

5. Aromatherapy can help to strengthen the immune system and has been shown to be useful for easing muscular pains and rheumatism.

About the Author

Juliet Cohen writes articles for and tips.

Source: href="">

The Nova Studio Segment Airs on TV 20

I was reading on Lori Nova's website that The Nova Studio is going to be on TV! According to her website that a few weeks ago, she was paid a visit by Lesley Nagy, TV Host and Producer of The TV Show "Your Green Life." Anyway, a three minute segment will air on TV20 (Comcast cable 13) this Sunday, 2/24/08, at 6pm. In the segment, Lori is showing Lesley how to make eco-friendly poured soy & rolled beeswax candles.

I have taken alot of classes from Lori, but not this one. If you are interested in making your own candles and what to get a preview of her class, then I would recommend checking it out.

For more information on The Nova Studio, check out the studio's website at

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hand Milled Soap Recipe

We all love those specialty soaps, you find at soap shops. Sure they're wonderfully scented and rich and creamy, and expensive. I have a few recipes for hand milled soap that rival those expensive brands, for half the price. They're great for a personal treat, or for gift giving.


For Rich and foamy milk soap, you'll need:

2 bars mild unscented white soap
½ cup dry instant milk
a small sauce pan
a wooden spoon
plastic soap molds (found at craft supply stores)
a cheese grater
3 drops of essential oils, your choice of scent ( optional )

Grate the bars of soap, like you were grating cheese for pizza, into a bowl. In your small sauce pan put ¼ cup of water. Now add your grated soap. Heat on low until melted. Try not to stir. You will be tempted to but don't, or you'll make bubbles that you don't want. When it is all melted, fold in your dry milk. Make sure you don't stir, it's very important to fold gently. Remove from heat, and add essential oils, if desired. Spoon into molds, and stick into the frig until it's set and hard. Remove from frig and take your soap out of the molds. Put your soap on a cooling rack, and put it somewhere to dry. The drying can take up to three weeks. It's very important to make sure your soap is completely dry before wrapping. When you're sure it's thoroughly dry, wrap your creation with plastic wrap, tightly. Tape the wrap closed. To give as a gift, add extra wrappings. I use floral tissue paper, then a corrugated cardboard strip around that. Tape it closed, add a label, and there you have a lovely gift.

Sage Soap

2 bars mild unscented white soap
¼ cup rubbed sage
a small sauce pan
a wooden spoon
plastic soap molds (found at craft supply stores)
a cheese grater

Grate the bars of soap, like you're grating cheese for pizza, into a bowl. In your small sauce pan put ¼ cup of water. Now add your grated soap. Heat on low until melted. Try not to stir. You will be tempted to but don't, or you'll make bubbles that you don't want. When it is all melted, fold in your rubbed sage. Make sure you don't stir, it's very important to fold gently. Remove from heat. Spoon into molds, and stick into the frig until it's set and hard. Remove from frig and take your soap out of the molds. Put your soap on a cooling rack, and put it somewhere to dry. The drying can take up to three weeks. It's very important to make sure your soap is completely dry, before wrapping. When you're sure it's thoroughly dry, wrap your creation with plastic wrap, tightly. Tape the wrap closed. To give as a gift, add extra wrappings. I use floral tissue paper, then a corrugated cardboard strip around that. Tape it closed, add a label, and there you have a lovely gift, for your favorite gardener. This soap also acts as a light astringent.

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.


How to Turn a Fun Hobby into a Financially Stable Business

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and wanted to make money from a hobby or an interest, then I found a class for you! This class is offered through Chabot College's Community Education. Here is the information:

Do you want to make money from a lifelong hobby or interest but are not sure where to begin? Take this class from an experienced entrepreneur and learn the fundamentals needed to establish a clear direction and vision for your business. Topics will include: the “simple” business plan; business structure in California; break-even analysis and pricing; your market and customers; pricing, marketing and your image; the wholesale vs. retail decision…and much more.

Saturday, March 8, 2008
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Chabot College
25555 Hesperian Boulevard, Room 315
Hayward, CA
Phone: (510) 723-6665

Cost $59

It is not to late to register. I would not let this one pass you by. I am seriously thinking of taking this class myself. Here is a click directly to the class descrption:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Networking with your fellow crafters

These websites allowpeople to connect with each other and to each other's networks. Sites like MySpace, FaceBook, and Linked In are examples of social networking sites. Well now there is one for crafters! If you are interested in networking with your fellow crafters, here is a new site for you to check out,

And if you would like to sign up for free, here is the link:

I just out about it through my subscription to Craft Show Success Newsletter. I am going to check it out.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Make your own homemade lip balm

Lip Balm Recipes ~

To make the following homemade lip balm recipes, melt beeswax and oil in microwave or double boiler, add other ingredients and pour into attractive containers. Let sit for 48 hours allowing time to set before use.

CAUTION: Your oil and beeswax will get extremely hot. DO NOT BOIL!! If it starts boiling, then cut heat source off and allow it to cool before handling it.

Honey Lip Balm
4 oz extra virgin olive oil
3 oz beeswax
½ vitamin E capsule
1 oz honey

Aloe Lip Gloss
4 oz extra virgin olive oil
3 oz beeswax
½ vitamin E capsule
½ teaspoon aloe vera gel

Creamy Cocoa Lip Balm
4 oz extra virgin olive oil
3 oz beeswax
½ vitamin E capsule
½ teaspoon cocoa

Chocolate Chip Lip Balm (This lip balm recipe is one the children are sure to enjoy!)
4 oz extra virgin olive oil
3 oz beeswax
½ vitamin E capsule
3-6 Chocolate Chips

Cocoa Butter Bliss
4 oz extra virgin olive oil
3 oz cocoa butter
1 ox beeswax
½ vitamin E capsule

There are many other recipes that you will find online. These are only a few. I will be posting other lip balm recipes in the near future.


Soap Ingredients on Clearance

I happened to be at the Michaels in Mountain View. And I noticed in the aisle where they have the soap and candle supplies that they are clearance some merchandise out. The merchandise that is on clearance are the Life of the Party Herbs, Life of the Party Fragrance such as peach, sandlewood and fragrances from the Natural line. Sorry no soap base on clearance. So if you are wanting to stock up on these supplies, I would get to your local Michaels and check it out.

If you are a candlemaker, they do have some colorings and fragrance that are on clearance.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Berries & Cream Salty Scrub


15 oz wt fine sea salts
10 oz wt medium sea salts
2 oz wt sunflower oil
3 oz wt macadamia nut oil
4 oz wt glycerin soap base
0.17 oz wt germaben II (optional)
.5 ml raspberry fragrance oil
.5 ml wild strawberry fragrance oil
.5 ml blueberry thrills fragrance oil
.5 ml cran-raspberry fragrance oil
1 ml vanilla cream fragrance oil

Melt your glycerin soap base in a microwave safe container for 1 minute on a medium heat. When glycerin soap base has melted add your emollient oils and germaben II, mix these up well and then add your slats. Last step add fragrance oils and mix until all ingredients are incorporated evenly (mixture will be thick). Put finished salt scrub in a tightly sealed glass container.

For more great recipes check out


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Layered Soaps from DIY

Try making this bar of soap layered with star-shaped soaps. These bars of soap would be great to be put out on holidays such as Presidents Day, Memorial Day and 4th of July. This project from the same lady who did the popsicle soaps that was posted earlier. Another idea is to purchase the star shaped muffin mold from Wilton, which can be purchased at Michaels.

From "Craft Lab"episode DCLB-261 which airs on the DIY Network.

Jennifer Perkins and Debbie Chialtas show how to make layered soap. This project is impressive despite how easy it is to do.

clear and white soap base
mica colorant – pink, silver, black
rubbing alcohol in spray bottle*
circle, square or rectangle soap molds
small metal cookie cutter shapes - stars, circles, etc.
glass measuring cup
popsicle sticks
small cups

*Fill a small spray bottle with rubbing alcohol to break any surface bubbles on the soap while it’s still liquid.

- Melt 3/4 ounce of clear soap base in a measuring cup.

- Spritz a few sprays of alcohol in a small cup.

- Mix the pink colorant with a craft stick to dissolve the colorant.

- Mix the colorant into the white soap base and stir thoroughly.

- Pour the pink soap into a desired soap mold (rectangle, circle, square). Mist with alcohol to eliminate bubbles. Let sit for 15 minutes until set.

-Repeat the above steps for the silver and black soaps, however, only mix the black and silver colorant in a clear soap base.

- Remove all set soaps from the molds.

- Use small cutters to cut assorted shapes from the soap molds.

- Melt two ounces of clear soap base to form the large bar of soap.

- Pour the clear soap base into one rectangle soap mold until 1/2 way full.

- Layer the soap’s interior design with the pink, black and silver star shapes.

- Top off the mold with additional clear soap.

- Let the layered soap set at room temperature for 15 minutes, put in freezer for 10 minutes, then unmold.


Debbie Chialtas, Soapylove


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Apple Tart Soap Recipe


4 oz. Clear Unscented Glycerine Soap
1 Tablespoon Liquid Soap
1 teaspoon Liquid Glycerine
1/2 teaspoon Apple Fragrance Oil
**2 Drops Red Food Color
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon


- Melt soap in small pan over low heat or in a glass cup in the microwave.

- Add Liquid Soap and glycerine and stir gently but well.

- Add fragrance, color and cinnamon.

- Stir and let stand a couple minutes, just enough to start tot hicken so when you stir again the cinnamon will be more evenly distributed.

- Pour into molds. Allow to set completely (in or out of freezer).Wrap in plastic wrap or use cellophane candy bags.

**Note: The author of this recipe is using red food coloring. I do not recommend it. It is better to use a liquid soap dye. I can tell you from experience that the red liquid colorant from Michaels is more of a pink red,whereas the red liquid colorant from Yaley's is more of a orange red. Also you may want to try Life of the Party's Suspension Formula Soap Base to have the cinnamon evenly distributed among the soap.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Mojito Soap Recipe (cold process)

When I took Lori Nova's Cold Process Soapmaking 201 (layering and Swirls) class in Januuary, I had picked her Mojito scented soap. Mojito had become a favorite scent of mine since I took her body butters class so that a likely choice for me. And I have been looking for a recipe that would be close to recreate it. So I found this recipe to pass along to anyone whose favorite drink is a Mojito.

Click here for the cold process soap recipe for Mojito soap:

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Bath Bubbles

30 oz wt. Liquid Soap Base
10 oz Distilled Water
3/4 cup Liquid Glycerin
15 drops liquid color
1 1/2 tsp favorite fragrance oil

Combine all of your ingredients into a bowl and mix together with a stick blender for approximately 1 minute. Pour into your bottles of choice and they are ready to use. Variations- you can use less distilled water if you want a thicker final product. You can also incorporate the polysorbate 20 (use equal parts polysorbate 20 to fragrance oil & warm for approximately 10 seconds in the microwave before adding to the rest of your ingredients).

For more great recipes check out


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Potassium Hyroxide Source

If you are having difficulities finding Potash ( potassium hydroxide ) for your liquid soap recipes, check out Camden Gray ( which happens to be located in Florida.

This source also sells Lye (sodium hydroxide), essential oils, fragrance oils, mica powders and more for your soap and bath products.

Heart-Shaped Soap From Martha Stewart

Stamped soaps, inspired by candy conversation hearts, are great gifts for friends. Put in cellophane bags tied with tags; adorn with glitter.

Tools and Materials

Nonstick 9-inch square pan
Heart-shape cookie cutter
Glass measuring cup
Glycerin soap
Bench scraper
Soap colorant or food coloring
Spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
Cutting board
Needlenose pliers
1/8-inch metal letter stamps
Masking tape

Heart-Shaped Soap How-To

We used a 2-inch cookie cutter (1 inch high) and 2 1/2 pounds of glycerin soap-sold at crafts stores-to make 16 hearts.

1. Depending on your equipment, yields may vary. To determine how much glycerin you'll need, fill pan with water to 1/4 inch below height of cookie cutter; pour water into measuring cup. Record amount; discard water.

2. Cut soap into small pieces with bench scraper; fill measuring cup. Microwave on medium heat until melted; stir. Add soap and heat until you've reached the water amount. Add colorant; stir. Pour liquid into pan. Spray with alcohol to eliminate bubbles.

3. Let harden at room temperature, 2 hours. Freeze 10 minutes.

4. Turn upside down onto cutting board. Create soaps with cookie cutter; pull cutter out with pliers if it sticks. Tape stamps together to form words, and imprint on soap, applying light, even pressure.

First Published: February 2006


Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bath Oil Recipe Demo (Carol Duvall Show)

On an episode of The Carol Duvall Show (DIY Network), a demonstration of bath oil project is featured.

Kathy Lamancusa demonstrates how to make stimulating and relaxing bath oils using oils most people have in their kitchens. She uses almond and soy oils; essential oils of juniper, jasmine, lavender and rose; and vitamin E in capsule form. Lamancusa suggests using an aromatherapy book to learn the different properties of various oils, and then creating your own recipes. She also explains how to put flowers in a decorative bottle, fill it with oil, seal it with paraffin wax, and decorate the bottle's exterior with dried flowers and raffia.Mix the ingredients of the following recipes in a glass bowl and let cure overnight:

Stimulating oil:
1-1/2 to 2 cups soy oil
4-5 drops of jasmine essential oil
3 drops of juniper essential oil
contents of 4-5 vitamin E capsules

Soothing oil:
1-1/2 to 2 cups almond oil
4-5 drops of lavender essential oil
3 drops of rose essential oil
contents of 4-5 vitamin E capsules

Duro Clear Silicone Sealant (Model #: 80242)
Manco Inc. / Loctite
32150 Just Imagine Dr.
Avon, OH 44011
USToll Free Phone: 800-321-0253

Quick Tite Super Glue Available at local craft retailers.
Manco Inc. / Loctite
32150 Just Imagine Dr.
Avon, OH 44011
US Toll Free Phone: 800-321-0253

Kathy Lamancusa
Author / Owner, Creative Directions/ Visual Design Concepts
8755 Cleveland Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Phone: 330-494-7224


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, February 8, 2008

Scented Blend Recipes

If you are interested in creating your own blended scents for your soaps or bath products, I found a link at Pine Meadows that can help you:

If you try any of these recipes, please let us know how it works out. And definately tell us which recipe is your favorite.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Tangerine-Peppermint Heart Shaped Soaps

Here is a cute idea to give as a gift for Valentine's Day!


Clear Glycerin Soap Base (about 4 squares will fill one sheet mold)
Red Natural Powder Soap Color
Tangerine or Orange Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil
Hearts Lollipop Sheet Mold


Coat mold with cooking spray and wipe out excess. Cut soap squares into 1/2-inch chunks and place in microwave-safe bowl (we used a 1-cup pyrex measure with spout) and melt on high power for 30 seconds. Continue to heat at 10-second intervals, until completely melted, stirring after each interval. Remove from microwave and add Coloring until desired tone is achieved. Add about 2 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil and about 2 - 3 drops of Tangerine Essential Oil. Cool slightly and pour into the prepared mold. Try to avoid filling the stick channel.

Allow to harden for about 10 - 15 minutes. If any soap has entered the stick channel, simply pinch-off the excess with your fingers.

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, February 5, 2008

A New Craft & Business Forum

I was just reading Wholesale Supplies Plus's Blog. The recent entry announced a new Craft and Business Forum I would like to share with all of my readers.

I often purchase supplies from Wholesale Sales Plus and I am looking forward to reading entries from other customers/readers. I have signed up and I hope you will too!

Shea Butter Fizzy Pops

By: Sue & Kathy, Customer Service at Wholesale Supplies Plus(


1 ½ cups Citric Acid
3 Cups Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Shea Butter
2 teaspoons Dreamsicle FO 228
4 drops Citric Orange Liquid Color
Candy Lollipop Sticks


Large glass mixing bowl
Fine Mist Spray Bottle of Rubbing Alcohol
12 Plastic Beakers


Melt shea butter in microwave and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine citric acid and baking soda. Add shea butter, fragrance and color. Mix well. Heavily spray mixture with rubbing alcohol. Mix well. Continue the alcohol “spray and mix” procedure until mixture begins to stick together. Fill plastic beaker with mixture, patting down as you go until about ¾ full. We found that it was easier to put an empty beaker in the filling beaker and press. This gave a nice firm press without air pockets. Fill cups until ¾ full. Take one lollipop stick and push into the center of the pop. Let harden overnight. When hard, it is ready to unmold. Press firmly on the bottom of the beaker and product will pop right out. Package as desired. We used a cello bag and ribbon.

Important: Instruct user that product is not edible and lollipop stick should be discarded.

Source: Debbie May,

Monday, February 4, 2008

Tips for making melt and pour soaps

The first rule of making melt and pour soap is to use low heat to melt the soap, especially soap bases with additives such as oatmeal and milk products. This is especially important if you are melting soap directly on the fire in a pot. Then it is best to use a thick-bottomed pot, turn the heat down to low and add a small amount of water, say 1 tablespoon, to the pot before adding soap pieces.

After taking the soap off the heat, allow it to cool a bit so that a skin forms on the top, gently stir this skin back into the mixture and allow to cool until the temperature is lukewarm, at all times gently stirring in between cooling to get rid of the skin that forms on the top of the soap. This is very important. The cooler the soap, the more intact the final design will be and the more pronounced the scent will be because the fragrance will not be destroyed. I usually cool all my soaps until they are a bit warmer than lukewarm to the touch to spare the fragrance but also so that the design will not be shifted by melting pieces, and embedded pieces will not melt because the soap is too hot.

Use colorants that are non-bleeding to color embedded pieces and the greater soap design. Remember that bleeding occurs both from the embedded pieces and inward to the embedded pieces. This is okay though, if one wants colors that bleed. I remember the first time I saw melt and pour soap slices; the unstructured and fuzzy color combinations that enhanced its handcrafted look fascinated me. In retrospect, the soap I admired so much was actually soap that had the colorants that bled and disrupted the design, but I liked that as it appealed to me. Some color combinations that bleed into each other that are especially nice are blues that bleed into reds and yellows and greens that bleed into yellows and oranges. These are nice especially done in a clear base. An attractive design could include a fuzzy color combination with a dot of non-bleeding black or brown off-centered in the design –something akin to a modern dot of geometry in a sea of impressionism.

To layer soap—spritz between layers with alcohol or distilled water. If the soap you are making is for yourself and is to be used in a matter of weeks then, plain tap water is fine.

If embeds used are colored with colorants that are water dispersible and bleed, dip them or paint them in a solution of clear soap base. This will seal the outer layer and help to retard some of the bleeding of the colors. I have even seen soap pieces covered in a thin layer of wax to retard the bleeding between embedded pieces and soap.

Craft embedded pieces separately from the actual soap or soap loaves being made, and then have all the pieces laid out assembly line fashion to instill order and clarity to the project.

Have fun making soap!

Even though you are having fun, approach soap making with discipline. Have supplies organized and laid out for each step of the design process. Have a plan B for your design if that first design does not work out. This is especially important if you have to have a gift or order that is waiting for the final finishing touches and soap.

Try drafting a design ahead of implementation in a graphic design program. This gives you to opportunity to see color combinations together. One way to do this even if you do not have a graphic design program is to use paint chips to test different color combinations side by side.

Get ideas from different sources. Some of my favorite places to get ideas for design as well as color combinations are - greeting card designs, artful web designs, pattern books, graphic anthologies, fashion design color theory books, scrap making paper designs and the garden.

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

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Color Bleeding

Definition: Color bleed occurs in melt and pour soap when the color you've added doesn't stay where it's supposed to - when the color in an embed or section of of the soap "bleeds" or "migrates" into the section or part next to it after it is made - usually after couple of weeks. The blue in the blue layer starts to "leak" into the white layer...or the red in the hearts (pictured) starts to bleed into the clear soap base.

This happens primarily with liquid dye-based colors - but can happen with any colorant that is water soluble. Red is often the most problematic. Non-water-soluble colorants like oxides, pigments and micas will not bleed, but they do not provide bright, vibrant colors, and aren't as transparent. The red of an oxide is more of a brick red; the yellow, a mustard yellow. Several companies sell what are called "non-bleeding" colors. I have had mixed results with them.

Again, the key factor is whether or not the dye is water soluble. If it will mix in well, be clear, and likely more vibrant. But, it can bleed...

Using a pigment, mica or oxide won't bleed, but the colors won't be as vibrant.

The new "non-bleed" colors are complex combinations of dyes, pigments and polymers. Very interesting things.

Here is a list of Non-bleeding Colors Vendors

Go Planet Earth (
Brambleberry (
Ponte Vedra (
More Soap Colorant Info
Soap Teacher (

I hope this information helps. If anyone finds another company that sells non-bleeding colorants for Melt and Pour Soaps, please let us know. Thanks.


Friday, February 1, 2008

How to Swirl Colors in Soap by Sinclair A. Sheers

Oct 18, 2001

This article describes how to swirl two or more colors of soap in a single bar. There are several different ways to do this depending on the type of soap you are making, the type of mold you use, and what you want the final product to look like.

Melt and Pour

Use water-based colorants with melt and pour soap. There are two different methods to swirl melt and pour soap colors. The first method is to melt two separate containers of soap, color each one separately, and then carefully pour them into the mold. The second method is, if you have liquid colorant, to fill the mold with uncolored soap and then drop a different color into the soap at opposite ends of the mold. Then, no matter which method you used, gently swirl the colored soap with something like a toothpick or a craft stick. If the mold is deep, remember to swirl the soap at the bottom, too.

Cold Process, Hot process, or Rebatching

There is a certain time in the soapmaking process when you add the additives like scent. In cold process, this time is right after you reach trace. In hot process or rebatching, this time is after the cook. When you reach this point, mix in all the additives except the colorants. Divide the soap into stainless steel containers, one for each color. The original pot can be one of your containers. Mix each oil-based colorant with a little oil and then add it to the soap in one container. When it is mixed in, put that soap into the mold.

If you are using one large mold, put all of one colored soap into the mold then add the other colored soap. When all of the colors are in the mold, gently slice a spatula or spoon through the soap until you get the swirl you want. Try to pull some soap off the very bottom of the mold and replace it with a different color. Slice up and down as well as from side to side.

If you are using several small molds, pour a bit of each color into each mold until each mold is full. Try to put about the same amount of each color in each mold. Then stir the soap gently until the colors swirl.

Source: '>">