Saturday, October 31, 2009

How to Make Potpourri Pie

Several years back, I saw a booth at the Fremont Arts and Wine Festival where a lady created potpourri pies and sold them. I would say that it was the best item out of the whole event  They were so cute that I had to purchase one.

The potpourri pie fill was placed in a terra cotta saucer and it had a muslin lattis top.  These were to be placed on the tup of the stove/oven.  When the oven was warm it would heat up the pie and a wonderful aroma would fill the room.

By chance, I found these moderately easy instructions from the eHow Hobbies, Games & Toys Editor on how to make your very own potpourri pies.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Soap By David Fisher

If Pumpkin Pie is your favorite dessert, then why not make your dessert into a bar of soap! Here are step by step instruction from David Fisher from (Candle and Soap).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

How to Make an Herbal Oil Infusion

Oil Infusions
Herbal infusions are an easy way to obtain some of the properties of a plant material for use in products. They can be used in soaps, but there is debate about whether or not the properties of the infused oils remain intact during the saponification process. Oil infusions are recommended for use in massage and bath oils, lotions, creams, scrubs and balms. Basically, any product that contains oil can use an infused oil in its place. There are several methods to infuse herbs in oils.

Fresh herbs in hot oil - This method is perfect if you have access to fresh herbs. It’s also great from a marketing standpoint if you can tell your customers that your products are infused with herbs fresh from your very own garden or from a local farm. You’ll want to gather the herbs early in the day and allow them to wilt to remove excess moisture before infusing them.

The crock pot works best for hot oil infusions, unless you can obtain a heat diffusing mat or simmer mat. These mats can be purchased online or in kitchen stores that carry specialty products. Stove top temperatures are too high for proper infusions and will cook your herbs, depleting them of their properties.

Place your herbs in the pot. Add enough oil to just cover the herbs. As a starting point, try 1 part fresh herbs to 1 part of oil. Allow to heat at a temperature of 120-130 degrees. The “warm” setting on the crock pot should achieve this temperature, but as brands vary, you’ll need a thermometer to be safe until you’re sure of your crock pot’s settings. Remember, we do not want to cook the herbs. Simmer at this temperature for 2 - 3 hours. Once the oil has cooled, strain the herbs out of the oil using a couple layers of cheesecloth, which can be purchased at kitchen or craft stores. You can then use the infused oil in place of any oil in your recipe.

Dried herbs in hot oil – If you don’t have a green thumb or simply lack the time and patience to grow your own herbs, fear not. Dried herbs work well, too, and still contain much of the therapeutic properties of the plant. Dried herbs can be purchased from a host of companies, including soap suppliers. Simply follow the instructions for the fresh herbs listed in the paragraph above, but use 1 part of dried herbs to 2 parts of oil.

Dried herbs in “cold” oil – The cold infusion method is one of my personal favorites. It involves steeping the herbs and oils in the sun, which results in lovely jars full of infusions on the windowsills. The drawback to this method is that it takes weeks, and you cannot use fresh herbs, since their water content does not evaporate in a jar. But you can dry your herbs and then use the cold infusion method.

Sterilize a mason jar, or something similar. This can be accomplished by placing the jar in boiling water or by running it through the “antibacterial” cycle on your dishwasher. If you have ever canned food before, you will be very familiar with this important first step. You can either pack your jar with herbs and then pour the oil over the top or, for smaller recipes, use 1 part herbs to 2 parts of oil. Seal the jar tightly with a clean lid. Place the jar on a windowsill with lots of sun for 3 - 4 weeks. Give the jar a quick shake once daily. The object is to keep the jar warm as the herbs steep in the oils, so if you live in a cold climate, take that into consideration.

Further information on infusions – The choice of oils to use is entirely up to you. Choose the oils based on the benefits you would like to achieve. You may also use a combination of oils. If you are looking for a stronger infusion, simply repeat any of the processes above, adding new herbs after you have strained the old ones. If using the infused oils in something other than soap, it is recommended that you add vitamin E to slow the oxidation in the oils. It will extend the shelf life of your infusion and prevent the oils from going rancid too quickly.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Interesting Technique for Melt and Pour Soap

Yesterday I was watching an episode of That's Clever on HGTV. In this particular episode, Cassandra Lanning of Bothell, Wash., created spooky Halloween soaps. She made bone soaps, a crystal ball and a casket.

What I thought was really interesting is when she made the bone soaps that she put the mold in the freezer to prepare it for the hot soap. Then she pour the soap into the mold and let it set up for about 30-40 minutes. Place the tray into the freezer for about 15 minutes. 

Honestly,  this is the first time I have heard of placing the soap mold into the freezer prior to pour the melted soap base into it. I have poured the soap into the mold and placing it into the freezer if the soap is difficult to get out or to have the soap set up alot quicker.  Has anyone tried this technique before?  I will have to give it a try.

If you are interested in seeing Cassandra's Spooky Halloween's Soap, visit

Herbal Baby Powder


4 oz cornstarch
4 oz arrowroot
1 oz white kaolin clay
1 oz colloidal oat starch
1 oz powdered lavender buds
1 oz powdered calendula petals
1 tsp of a pearlescent mica to color
6 - 10 drops of essential oil of mandarin or lavender


Add the essential oil to the powdered herbs and mix well. Add the other dry ingredients to the herbs and mix. Add mica a little at a time until you get enough color. Sift and transfer into powder sifters.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rainbow Sprinkle Bath Tub Cookies

Rainbow_cookies_520 - 30 drops FD&C Yellow #5*
3/4 cup Epsom Salt
1 cup Oatmeal, Fine
1/4 cup Whole Milk Powder
1/4 cup Honey Granules
1 cup Cornstarch
1 cup Baking Soda
1/2 cup Citric Acid
2 oz. Mango Butter
2 oz. Organic Virgin Coconut Cream Oil
1/2 oz. Easter Cookie Fragrance Oil*
1/2 Teaspoon Assorted or Solid Colored Jojoba Wax Beads*
Line a large baking sheet with wax paper or plastic wrap and set it aside. Pour Epsom Salt into a large mixing bowl and color generously with the FD&C Yellow #5 Dye. You'll need about 20 to 30 drops to dye the salt bright yellow. Mix the salt thoroughly to make sure that it is evenly dyed. Next, add the Whole Milk Powder, Cornstarch, and Oatmeal, breaking up any clumps in the powders. Add the Honey Granules next. In a small heat proof container gently melt the Mango Butter and Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. You can either use a double boiler or a microwave to do this. If you use a microwave be sure to melt the oils in short 20 - 30 second bursts. Be careful not to overheat and damage the oils. When the oils are melted, allow them to cool for a few moments before adding the Easter Cookie Fragrance Oil to them. Next, add the Baking Soda and Citric Acid to the large mixing bowl. Mix the powders thoroughly then add the melted oil mixture, stirring constantly. After the oils and powders are mixed, wipe the mixing spoon clean and continue to knead the dough with your hands. This will make sure that all the ingredients are completely mixed. Using your hands, form small round balls out of the dough. Drop them onto the baking sheet and press them with your hands to form cookie shapes. Continue until all of the dough is used. This recipe will yield about 2 dozen 2 inch cookies. Allow the cookies to dry and harden for several hours before attempting to move or package them. The will harden completely when left overnight in a cool, dry place.
Usage and Packaging
Rainbow Sprinkle Bath Tub Cookies look adorable when packaged in our Small Cello Bags. Use a piece of ribbon or a twist tie to close each bag. To use the cookies, simply drop one or two in a warm bath. The cookies will fizz, melt, and disperse into the water.
*These ingredients contain synthetic components and can be left out if desired. Natural Herbs can be used to top the cookies, and Vanilla Absolute can be used to scent them. Leaving out the FD&C Dye will only alter the color slightly, so a substitute is not necessary.

Blogger Note:  If I were giving these as a gift, I would make a label or hang tag that says "Do not Eat!".  Because they do look good enough to eat.  And you definately do not want to make anyone sick.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Melting & Molding Soap : Rubber Stamp Soap Mold

If you are looking for a demonstation on how to do embossed soaps with rubber stamps, I found this clip from You tube:

Pictures of Soap from Advanced Cold Process Soap Class at The Nova Studio

I wanted to share the pictures of the soaps that were made from Ruth Esteves's Advanced Cold Process Soap Class on August 22, 2009. If you would like to see what kinds of soaps are created in her class, you can check it out right here.

If you are interested in taking her class, then visit The Nova Studio's website at for the next class. There is a prerequisite of taking a Cold Process Soap class at The Nova Studio or prior experience with this method of soapmaking.

Vegan Lip Balm Recipe

Vegan, no animal or animal by-products. Contains no artificial colors or preservatives!


2 ozs Hemp Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, or Almond Oil
1 oz Virgin Coconut Oil
1.2 ozs of Candelilla Wax
1/4 tsp. Rosemary Extract
few drops of Vitamin E Oil (Tocopherol) few drops of essential or flavor oils or a combination. We used tangerine essential oil, boysenberry and cranberry flavor oils.


Melt the candelilla wax in a pan over low heat. Once melted add theremaining ingredients except for the flavor or essential oils. Heat through and transfer into a microwave container with a pour spout. Add the flavor and/or essential oil - stir well and pour immediately into lip balm tubes or containers. Use a pipette to top off the lip balm tubes. If mixture starts to solidify before you're finished pouring, heat for a few seconds in the microwave. Recipe makes about 5 ounces of lip balm.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Scrub

1/4 cup Shealoe Butter
1/2 cup Sea Salt, Fine
1/8 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Specks
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Fragrance Oil or 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Absolute*
In a large mixing bowl combine the Shealoe Butter and Dendritic Salt. Shealoe is naturally soft, so you should be able to mix this without heating the Butter. However, if it is necessary, you can heat the Butter gently by warming the container in hot water. (Be careful not to let the water get inside the container though.) Next, add the Vanilla Bean Specks, followed by the Fragrance Oil or Absolute. Mix well to make sure the scrub is fully combined before spooning into jars.

Usage and Packaging

The Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Scrub is great for all over body scrubbing, but should not be used on the face or other very delicate areas. Like most handmade skin care products, this Scrub should be used up quickly, as it has not been formulated for long term storage. This scrub looks great in 2 oz. Flat PET Jars.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Soap Slime - A Halloween Tutorial

Here is a creepy project is super easy and perfect for Halloween that I found on Soapylove Daily Ditties (

Here's what you'll need:

3/4 cup water
1 packet powdered gelatin
1/2 cup of liquid soap (I used a liquid soap base since it was unscented and uncolored)
liquid colorant
fragrance oil
1 teaspoon table salt
cups, jar, or a glass pan
soap eyeballs or other creepy objects (optional)


1) Gather your favorite ghouls. I had the Jewelry Box colorant kit and Candy Jar fragrance kit, so they spent some time choosing their favorites. (I made 2 batches and let the kids pair up. This recipe is for one batch)

2) Place the gelatin powder in a bowl. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil. Stir water into gelatin until powder is dissolved. Stir in liquid soap.

3) Add colorant. For green I used 1 drop of turquoise and 4 drops of yellow. Now add a few drops of fragrance oil. The droppers on the kit bottles are so great for kids since they make it easy to control the drops, plus they're really fun!

4) Stir in the salt until dissolved. Put creepy objects into cups or jar and pour in soap (it is lukewarm at this point). Or you can pour soap into a glass pan.

5) Put soap into fridge for several hours or overnight. It's fun to cut it up into cubes and scoop out, which become single use soaps. Or you can use a fork and shred it into wormy noodles and pile up in a bowl. My eyeballs made the bottom of my slime a little white but it adds to it's grossness!

If you like this project or are looking for more soapy Halloween inspiration, check out the Fall issue of Let's Get Soapy! There is glow in the dark soap, soap painting, using juice cans for a mold, and a lot more.

Have fun!

Blogger Note:  You may find the "eye balls" at your local party store.  If live the San Francisco Bay Area, you will most likely find them at Diddams. I even found some at Target in their Halloween section.


Foot Balm Recipe


15 g (0.5 oz) beeswax

15 g (0.5 oz) cocoa butter

120 ml (4 fluid oz) sweet almond, apricot kernel or peach kernel oils (or any combination)

15ml (0.5 fluid oz) wheat germ oil (alternatively, use avocado oil or jojoba)

15 ml (0.5 fluid oz) rose water


For a luxurious, richly moisturizing foot balm add 5 drops each sandalwood essential oil and rose absolute (2 drops). For a refreshing, deodorant balm to make your feet zing, add 5 drops each of lavender and peppermint essential oils!

Friday, October 23, 2009

More Halloween Soap Cigarbands

I found another Soap Cigar band that you may want to take a look at to use for soaps.  It is from Perfume Kits.

Boo Halloween Soap Cigar Band

If you are interested in the templates for the cigar band from Bella Online (previous entry), Perfume Kits has the templates on their site. For easy access, I will post the link here for you.

Monster Halloween Soap Cigar Band

Have fun adding these cigar bands to your soap.  And Happy Halloween!

Halloween Monster Soap Cigar Band

These soap cigar bands were designed with a fun, kid centered project in mind. However, these designs also look great printed on grownup paper for grownup soaps. The typical monster soap usually comprises some gory objects such as eye balls and worms embedded in melt and pour soap. And that is fine.

But in my house monster soap is soap that is messed up. You know the kind - soap that is too gnarly to do anything with it. Well those pieces work nicely for any monster soap. It is easy to embed cold process soap or any other type of soap pieces into melt and pour soap providing it is a bit moist. Then mold it and slice it into big chunks and finish off with your monster wrap.

These designs make a nice project for little ones that are thrilled by anything cute. Melt and pour soap is your best bet if this is a kid project since it is safer to make than cold process soap. It is easily melted in a microwave or on top of the stove and takes colors very well without morphing into an unknown entity. For Halloween soaps, in addition to the regular Halloween fare of small toys, you can color it an outlandish color simply for the heck of it, then cut it into large imperfect chunks and wrap as monster soap.

To cover the soaps we have two style soap labels - a soap wrap which covers the entire bar of soap and a soap cigar band which wraps around the soap. The design features a monster on the front panel with space to insert the name of the soap, etc.

The other design is called "Boo". It features a kitty cat and space to insert your soap name and ingredients list at the side of the label. Both designs are available as a soap wrap and soap cigar band and both designs are available in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Publisher format.

These designs both look great printed on a variety of papers. To see what an outside print job would look like I had my design printed at Fedex/Kinkos. I emailed them the file and printed the designs on different colored papers. I was impressed with how great the design showed on fluorescent colors, which had not been my favorite color choice. But if this is a project to do with the kids, then fluorescent colors are great. Next were the regular colors such as the pastels, which I loved and which showed nicely even with the monster/kitty cat designs.

Download the free Monster Halloween soap cigar band and Boo Halloween soap cigar band files from Perfumekits Monster Halloween soap cigar band in the free soap cigar band section. Perfumekits is a supplier of natural soap making kits, DIY(do it yourself) bath and body kits and pretty color labels.

Reprinted with permission from Winsome Tapper, Soapmaking Editor,


Salve, Butter, Balm or Cream...What is the Difference?

by Joan Morais

Now a days, all these terms are used regardless of the ingredients used but this is how I define them.

Salve- a healing ointment containing a carrier oil like olive oil and beeswax.

Balm-a healing ointment containing a carrier oil, butters and beeswax.Butter-rich butters and carrier oils.

Cream-contains water, carrier oils and an emulsifying wax, may also contain butters.

All-Purpose Healing Salve

Salve is an ointment used to speed up healing. Use this salve on bruises, cuts, scrapes, burns, rashes, chapped skin. Do not use on open skin.

1/2 cup of herbal oils (Calendula- 2 ounces, Comfrey-1 ounce, St. John’s Wort Oil-1 ounce) available at resource below

1/8 cup of grated beeswax
optional: few drops of lavender essential oil

How to make a Healing Salve

1. Place herbal oils in a double boiler (a smaller pot inside a larger pot, the larger pot contains a small amount of water)

2. Warm oil slightly, do not overheat oil as it will ruin the oil

3. Add beeswax to oils and melt

4. Pour immediately into jars and let set 5. If adding lavender essential oil, add 1 drop to each jar or up to 4 drops in pot of oils before pouring

5. Cover jars and store in a cool and dark place. Salves can last anywhere from two months to a few years depending on how they are stored.

Resources for supplies


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Where to Purchase Cosmetic Body Glitter?

For those who make soap by the melt and pour method and are interesting in adding colorful body glitter to their creations, I have started to compile of list of online sites that sell this product. So far the only 2 sites that I have found that carries the most colors of body glitter are Go Planet Earth and Oregon Trail Soaps.

Go Planet Earth ( carries the most variety of colors of from yellow shimmer to bright berry. Pricing starting @ $3.19 per ounce.

Oregon Trail Soaps ( carries variety sizes and colors from shades of pinks and reds to the traditional silvers and golds. Price range from $1.50 for 1/4 ounce sample, $3,50 for 1 ounce and $12.00 for 4 ounces.

Brambleberry ( carries glitter in the following colors: fushia, red, navy blue, silver and iridesent. Price for 1 ounce of glitter is $2.50.

TKB Trading ( carries red, purple, green, bronze, gold and silver. Pricing ranges from$1.50 and up depending on what you order.

If anyone knows of any other places to purchase body glitter, please let me know and I will add it to the list. Thanks.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Palm and Coconut Oil Cold Process Soap Recipes

If you are just beginning to make soap by the cold process method or looking for a 4 1/2 pound or 6 1/2  pound recipe, you may want to check out this artucle by Valery Elias, Contributing Writer from ehow.  Most recipes you find online line are 4 or 8 pounds.  But these are unusal batch sizes that you may want to try.Palm and Coconut Oil Cold Process Soap Recipes 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Benefits of Almond Oil

Are you wondering what the benefits and effects of almond oil are?  Then check out this article  on the benefits of almond oil by BlueGaia, eHow Contributing Writer.  Now there may be some confusion on what the difference between Sweet Almond Oil and Almond Oil.  I have seen labels with either and am not sure if there is really a difference between the two. If anyone knows, would you please share your knowledge on this subject.  I would definately like to know in case if someone asks.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dangers of Commercial Soap

Commercial soaps are not as "clean" as you might think. First of all, commercial soaps contain harmful FD&C dyes, which are known to cause cancer, chromosome damage, hyperactivity, hives, etc. Furthermore, namebrand soaps spend more money on their packaging than the actual soap (not to mention advertising expenses).

The naturally-occurring glycerin, a moisturizer, is also removed from commercial soaps (so the bars are harder and longer-lasting). This is why we can't wash our faces with commercial soap, and instead need to now buy an additional product (presumably offered by the same company) to wash our faces.

Another danger of store-bought soap is that animal testing is still being used. Commercial soaps that test on animals include: Camay, Ivory, Oil of Olay, and Zest. Possibly even more disturbing is that many namebrand soaps are made with animal by-products (tallow, lard). Not only are these by-products full of toxic growth hormones, but they clog pores. Commercial soaps made with animal by-products: Irish Spring, Dove, Camay, Dial, and Lever 2000.

According to KitchenDoctor.Com, commercial soaps are "laced with antibiotics and derivatives of the petrochemical industry that eventually end up in our sewage and septic systems." So, be sure to factory in the harms of factory pollution, corporate waste, multi-national conglomerate corporations, globalization, and over-all corporate control in your new passion for handmade soapmaking.

According to FDA/CFSAN.Gov, "Today, there are very few true soaps in the traditional sense on the market...Most body cleansers on the market today are actually synthetic detergent products..." This is why you'll see things in the soap aisle labeled "beauty bars," "deodorant bars," and "antibacterial bars." These chemical mutations masquerading as soap no longer meet the FDA's definition of soap, which is pretty hard to do.

And, speaking of the FDA, they do not require the ingredients of true soaps to be disclosed to consumers. To this day, nobody knows what's in Jergen's or Ivory.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

DIY: Batman Soap Tutorial

If you are a fan of the Batman movies or even the corny show from the 60's, here is a great melt and pour soap project to pay to tribute to your favorite comic character.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

How to Make Apple Pie Potpourri

Fresh and sweet, this is a potpourri to cheer the atmosphere of any room in the house. It's also a lovely way to have a more permanent scent of apple pie wafting through your home.


1 cup dried apple slices
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup whole allspice berries
10 (2") cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp whole cloves
1/4 cup canella, sumac or nandina berries
10 small pinecones
7 drops cinnamon oil
2 tsp orris root

Other Things You'll Need

Tin or jar
Potpourri display container


Step 1 Mix the ingredients together in a large bowl.

Step 2 Put the mixture into a jar or tin and put the lid on.

Step 3 Put aside to infuse. Leave for about 3 to 4 weeks to infuse, remembering to shake the potpourri every few days.

Step 4 Test. If the scent is strong enough to your liking, then it is ready to use. Transfer to decorative potpourri containers


Friday, October 16, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Potpourri from Martha Stewart

From Martha Stewart a different take on Pumpkin Pie Potpourri. Instead of dry materials, Martha uses a hollowed out pumpkin with aromatic spices. Check out this interesting project and use it for an unique to scent you home for the fall season or for Thanksgiving.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Exploring Hydrosols

by Paula Harris

Hydrosols, also known as floral waters and hydrolats, are the by-products of the steam distillation of essential oils. The hydrosols contain small quantities of the essential oils themselves, as well as water-soluble components of the plants that would otherwise be lost in the distillation process.

Hydrosols differ from many of the "face sprays" and "spritzers" available in shops (which also occasionally call themselves floral waters) which are often a simple mix of water and essential oil, sometimes with a little food colouring added to make it too "authentic".

Hydrosols have a very subtle energy, and are therefore a useful addition and complement to essential oil-based therapy where a gentle approach is desired. Traditionally hydrosols are most commonly used for skin care, but they are also useful for eye inflammation and infection, and can be taken internally.

Until recently, the most readily available hydrosols were rose, lavender, chamomile and neroli (orange flower). But over the last few years more and more possibilities have been explored, as people realize that if it can be distilled, there can be a hydrosol.

Properties And Uses Of Hydrosols

  • Chamomile, Roman - soothing; anti-inflammatory; relieves stress; a compress for migraines; relieves nappy-rash; suitable for sensitive, inflamed or dry skin; sunburn; excellent for eyes
  • Lavender - soothing; gentle; balancing; antiseptic; suitable for all skin types; eczema; razor-burn; healing for burnt skin (including sunburn)
  • Manuka - cleansing; anti-fungal; antiseptic mouthwash
  • Melissa - hot flashes; a compress to relieve pain of shingles; suitable for oily skin
  • Neroli - calming; balancing; hydrating; rejuvenating; uplifting; anti-depressant; relieves stress; mildly astringent; suitable for all skin types
  • Peppermint - refreshing; deodorizing; cooling; antibacterial; mouthwash; clears sinus congestion; excellent as a facial and body spray in summer
  • Rose - refreshing; soothing; anti-inflammatory; regenerative; rehydrating; a gargle for sore or inflamed throats; suitable for sensitive or dry skin; soothes irritated eyes
  • Rose Geranium - balancing; antidepressant; hot flashes; suitable for oily or dry skin
  • Rosemary - refreshing; stimulating; razor-burn; suitable for congested skin
  • Tea Tree - stimulating; antiseptic; athlete’s foot; acne

Exploring The Possibilities

Hydrosols are excellent for using within a skin care regime. In addition to being completely natural, they are gentler than many commercial skin toners. They can also be combined with sun-dried clays to make natural face masks, enhancing the properties of the clay. During the long, hot summer days or when traveling, they can be used as a facial spray to revitalize and hydrate the skin, or to set makeup.

But to limit their use simply to skin care is doing an injustice to these often overlooked healing tools.

Much like the essential oils themselves, hydrosols can be used in the bath, in compresses, for facial steaming and as room sprays. And like essential oils, that can be blended together to create synergies.

Hydrosols can also be added to carrier oils, along with essential oils, to heighten the essential oils’ therapeutic value. For instance, adding a little lavender hydrosol to a massage blend containing lavender essential oil will enhance the lavender, and essentially make the blend "complete" by utilizing both the water-soluble and oil-soluble components of the lavender.

The internal use of hydrosols is still being explored, and should be considered cautiously. But studies do show that, for example, taking controlled doses of chamomile hydrosol orally can ease intestinal spasms.

Purchasing And Storage

True hydrosols should be colourless, or at most contain only a light sheen. If you pick up a bottle of neroli water and it is decidedly orange, put it back down.

Also, remember that not all hydrosols have a pleasant aroma, particularly those obtained from herbs.

Because hydrosols are all natural, they contain no preservatives and therefore deteriorate over time. The usual lifespan of a hydrosol is a year, and they are best stored in the refrigerator.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October Twilight Essential Oil Recipe

Craft Gossip ( has posted this great October Twilight Essential Oil Blend from Southern Soapers! What a great way to celebrate autumn with this great blend even thou autumn started 3 weeks ago!

Dilute these blends in 95% – 98% jojoba oil for a personal scent to carry with you, or use perfumer’s alcohol.

10 drops patchouli
5 drops cedarwood virginiana
5 drops neroli
5 drops rose geranium
5 drops clary sage


Lavender Linen Water Recipes

Lavender Linen Water I


Sprinkle on sheets or other other linens to freshen. Spray on linens before ironing.
1 teaspoon (100 drops) lavender essential oil
5-10 drops peppermint, spearmint or rosemary essential oil (optional)
2 oz. formulator's alcohol
24 oz. distilled water


Pour essential oils and alcohol into a bottle, cap and shake to emulsion. Mix with distilled water. Mix will cloud, and eventually separate.Shake well before each use.

Lavender Linen Water II

Sprinkle on sheets or other other linens and cottons to freshen. Spray on to linens before ironing.


1 teaspoon (100 drops) Bulgarian lavender essential oil


Pour essential oils and cyclomethicone into a bottle, cap and shake. Spray on dry linens before ironing or use as a fabric freshener (no need to iron).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bath Salt Scrub Bar

by Carrie Grosvenor

Bath salts are terrific, but they’re not all that conducive to showers. I mean you could throw some salts in your shower, but your feet are the only body parts that will benefit from that! If you want to take your bath salts and transform them into something shower-friendly, try making a Salt Scrub bar of soap.

There are two different ways to go about this that have worked for me, and both use melt and pour. I’ve tried adding salts to cold process soap but they’ve never stood up to the heat of the soap itself. I suppose you could add a layer of m&p soap on top of your CP batch and sprinkle the salts over the soap while it’s still hot - that might be one of my next experiments! Anyway, moving on.

For a simple Salt Scrub bar, you’ll need:

handful of prepared bath salts for each bar
clear or opaque melt and pour soap base
soap molds
soap dyes (optional)
essential or fragrance oils


Place a small handful of bath salts in the bottom of each soap mold; set aside.

Melt the soap base as usual, and add your colour and fragrance once the soap is completely melted and slightly cooled. (Note: Choose a fragrance that either matches or compliments the scent of the bath salts.) Pour the soap into the molds and allow to harden for several hours.

When you pop the soap out of the molds, the salts will be “stuck” on the top of the bar. This creates a scrub side for exfoliating, while the smooth side can be used for simple cleansing.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lotion Percentages - Simple lotion making instructions

  • by Judi

    Many different oils can be combined in varying percentages to create an endless variety of lotionblends, each with their own qualities benefiting your sking in different ways.

    To read about the oils we commonly use and their beneficial qualities, readIngredient and Oil Properties for Soap, Lotion, Serums, Bath and Body.

    For our basic lotion recipe, we generally follow these percentages:

    74% liquids of choice
    Chose liquids based on the qualities you wish to add to your lotion. Lotions can be made using distilled water, milk, hydrosols or teas.

    12% oils of choice
    Oils should be chosen for their qualities. To help chose, spread a little oil on your own skin. If it feels good, try it. Try one oil, or a blend of oils to create the perfect blend for your skin needs.

    5% glycerin (a humectant)
    5% emulsifer (blends the oils and water)
    3% stearic acid (thickener)
    1% fragrance of choice (optional)
    Unscented, qualitity fragrance oils, essential oils, or let your hydrosols scent it naturally.

    Preservative used in recommended percentage, usually .1%-1% (chose one specifically for water-based products)

    Simple instructions for making lotion:
    - Combine all ingredients, except fragrance and preservative, heat to melting.
    - Blend with mixer or stick blender until cooled.
    - At approximately 120 degrees or so, add fragrance and preservative.
    - Pour into sterilized containers.

    Soft & Silky Handmade Lotion Recipe provides specific ingredients and amounts.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cleaning Beeswax


Beeswax is not easy to clean. Nor does it leave your kitchen clean.


Put water in the pot, add the cappings wax and simmer the water. Once the wax is completely melted remove the pot from the stove and allow it to cool. The wax will set up and sit on the water.

Once the wax is cold, remove it from the water and discard the water. Simmer this same way again! This time pour it out into a plastic dish pan that is for inserting into your sink to do dishes. Except pour the wax and water through a flour sack towel or tightly woven cloth. This catches all the dead bees and bee parts. Discard the cloth.

Allow the wax to cool and become solid. Remove it from the dish pan. Discard the water.

Allow the wax to dry for several days. Heat the wax in a double boiler (bain marie) where the water is barely simmering in the lower pot and the wax is in the top pot. Pour the wax into molds.

That is it!

I use Orange Essential Oil when cleaning up. I saturate a cotton ball then clean the wax from my cold pots. I even use the orange to clean my floor and stove. Orange oil can damage the finish on some surfaces, so test first. Do not use orange oil near heat or flame. Once the wax is removed I follow up with soap and water.

Good luck! Tina

© 1996-2008 Majestic Mountain Sage, All Rights Reserved


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Herbal Baby Balm Recipe


1 cup calendula or camelina oil
3 tbsp. dried lavender
1 tbsp. dried calendula
1 tbsp. dried rose petals
1 tsp. dried chamomile
2 tbsp. vitamin E oil
1 1/2 tsp. jojoba oil
4 drops lavender oil
8 tbsp. beeswax


Grind the herbs into a powder using a clean coffee grinder or blender. Warm oil in top of a double boiler pot; add the powdered herbs and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes to 1 hour to allow the healing properties of the herbs to fully release in the oil. Place remaining oils in a glass bowl. Place a coffee filter inside a wire strainer, hold over glass bowl, and pour the warm herb oil through the strainer into the bowl. Melt the beeswax in the top of a double boiler; add slowly to the oil and herb mixture while whisking with a wisk or egg beater. Continue whisking until the mixture is thick and creamy. Store in 2-4 oz. containers. If you plan to store balm longer than 3 months, keep refrigerated.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Cinnamon Spice Bath Powder


1 cup baking soda
2 tblsp sugar
1 tsp grnd cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves


Swirl all together until well mixed. To use add 2 tblsp to one warm bath. Store in sealed container. 5 oz enough for 3 baths!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cherry Cola Lip Buff Recipe

by Allison B. Kontur

You will need:

1 oz Organic Confectioners Sugar

1 oz Organic Cane Sugar

0.50 oz
Behenyl Alcohol
1 oz
Castor Oil (1st Press)
0.50 oz
Olive Butter
5 ml (1 tsp) Carnauba Wax
5 ml (1 tsp)
Vegetable Glycerin
5 ml (1 tsp)
Polysorbate 20
0.15 cc
Cola Flavor Fragrance
0.15 cc
Cherry Bomb Flavor Fragrance

Phase 1:
In a double boiler over low heat, combine behenyl alcohol, carnauba wax, castor oil, olive butter, glycerin & polysorbate 20 until melted clear. Set aside.

Phase 2:
Sift confectioners sugar into a glass or stainless bowl and fold in cane sugar. Pour melted mixture from Phase 1 over sugars & combine. Allow to cool.

Phase 3:
Add flavor fragrance and combine well before packaging in small jars. Provide a spatula for the user to scoop enough product for a single use without contaminating the jar.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cran-raspberry soap recipe

***Recipe yields 1 lb of soap.


2 oz wt Sweet Almond Oil
4 oz wt Apricot Kernel Oil
4 oz wt Coconut Oil
3 oz wt Palm Oil
3 oz wt Palm Kernel Oil
2.33 oz wt Sodium Hydroxide
6 oz Distilled water

Optional: use between .2 and .5 oz of Cran-Raspberry Fragrance Oil


Normal Cold Process Soapmaking Method.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Online Selling Site

You have heard of ETSY to sell your crafts online, well one of my followers on Twitter mentioned Handmade Craft Show (

Handmade Craft Show is a virtual craft show. A virtual craft show is the latest craze in buying and selling online.

Of course there are the typical rules that you have to be 18 and selling handmade crafts which means that your site is family friendly and does not contain adult content.

What is really great about this site is that it gives a 25% discount on rental of certain aisles for crafters who are Twitter Followers. How can you beat that?

Your virtual craft booth will consist of a shop name, web site URL that links directly to your site or online shop so customers can purchase from you, 5 pictures of items that you would like to represent your booth (pic size is approximately 80x80 pixels), a brief description of your crafts or company, and a short list of crafts you are selling plus many more features.

Is your Etsy account getting lost in the crowd? Handmade Craft Show can link your booth to your Etsy site which is really great feature.

What more can you ask? What does this cost? A booth rental is for 30 days and can vary depending on the size of the booth. For a complete listing of prices please visit If you like to be a featured artist it will cost you $12.95 without an existing booth rental and $6.95 if you have one. If you are demonstrating your crafts on You Tube, you may want to add the Artist Exhibit - Demonstrate Your Craft Option. Handmade Craft Show could display it in their Artist Exhibit Pages. If you have an existing booth rental the charge for this feature is only $7.95 per month and $3.95 per month if you have an existing booth rental.

For more information on Handmade Craft Show, visit their website at

If anyone out there has experience selling on Handmade Craft Show, I would like to hear your experience.

Monday, October 5, 2009

10 Fun Scents for Halloween Soaps

by Kjersti Wasiak

Halloween is a great holiday to make soaps for. For one, soap is a fun alternative to giving out candy as party favors or to trick-or-treaters. Just make sure you label them as soap, as some soap looks good enough to eat. It will not usually hurt them to eat it, but it certainly will not taste good. Secondly, candy is a big part of Halloween and the soaps are a fun in theme way to clean up from what can often be sticky candy eating. Below are 10 of my personal favorite scents for using in Halloween soaps along with some ideas of what types of soaps to make with the scents.

Berry Bewitching Brew - I used to use a scent called Witches Brew just for the name, but it kind of stunk. I found Berry Bewitching Brew a pleasant smelling alternative. It is somewhat fruity, but it also has notes of cinnamon and musk. I like using it for my witch shaped soaps as well as my boo bar soap that has ghosts coming out of a cauldron.

Black Licorice - Honestly, I do not really like black licorice or the smell of it, but I still find it one of the best scents to use in the black colored soaps I make and it is one of my more popular Halloween scents. I like to use it in making black bat soaps and black cat soaps mostly, but I also sometimes make black witch soaps with it.

Black Magic - This is a more manly alternative to Berry Bewitching Brew. I do not like it much because has patchouli in it, which is a scent I cannot stand, but the blend is better than Witches Brew, which just stinks. It has notes of ylang ylang, sandalwood, baby powder, and vanilla. I use this for a manly version of witch soaps and myboo bars as well as for black cat soaps and black bat soaps for those that do not like Black Licorice, but still like the strong scent of things like patchouli.

Candied Apple - This is a very fruity apply scent that is reminiscent of candy apples. This would be good in an apple shape mold, although personally I have only used it for making soaps in a silicone muffin pan mold.

Candy Corn - This scent smells of vanilla, butter, and a hint of almond and does replicate Candy Corn pretty well. I do not like the candy, but I do like the scent. I love using it in my Candy Corn Mountain Soaps, which I make using layers of white, orange, and yellow in a massage bar of soap.I have also used it for making layered candy corns in a candy corn shaped mold.

Harvest Moon - This is a slightly fruity mostly woodsy (mostly pine) scent. I like to use it in moon shaped soaps for the fall season. It would also be good for scarecrow soaps or fall leaf soaps.

Pumpkin Apple Butter - This is my favorite of my Halloween scents. It is not only seasonally appropriate, but is just a wonderful smell of pumpkin and apple. I like to use it to scent my Jack-o-lantern and pumpkin shaped soaps. It is also good for other general Halloween, Fall, andThanksgiving soap designs.

Tricks or Treats - This scent is kind of like smelling the various candy you end up with from trick or treating. Some say it is more like marshmallow or pina colada. It is certainly an odd scent, but still pleasant. I like to use this as a substitute for Black Licorice in some of my cat soaps, as it stays in the candy theme while appealing to those that do not like Black Licorice.

Werewolf - This is just a fun scent because of its name. It is an interesting blend of earthy scents like patchouli along with hints of citrus, lavender, and ylang. It is a good scent for werewolf, wolf, or dog soaps.

Witching Hour - A little more towards Witches Brew than Berry Bewitching Brew, but less mystical and more tolerable for those that do not like patchouli while still being good enough to please patchouli loves. Basically those that do not like patchouli probably will not like this scent despite it being balanced with herbal scents, but it is not bad enough that I a patchouli-hater cannot stand to make soap with it for my customers that like patchouli. I sometimes use it for more manly (or just grown up) scented witch soaps, boo bars, and black cats.

Note: I get all of my fragrances from Natures Garden, but there are plenty of other good sellers of fragrances that have their own versions of some of my favorites or something similar, although Natures Garden is the only place I know of that has all of the ones on my list.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Make a Candy Corn Layered Pillar Candle

Do you love Candy Corn? I love it especially this time of year when it is getting close to Halloween. Why not make a candle that looks good enough to eat? This project by David Fisher give you step by step instructions on how to make this festive candle by either the one pot method or the multi-pot level. This is a simple decoration project for Halloween, so wait to get started.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Gothic Pumpkin Soaps From SoapyLove

Supplies for 2 bars of soap:

(you can get everything from Bramble Berry except for transfer sheet which is from Fancy Flours)

8 oz of clear soap base
Silver mica
Black oxide (optional)
Pepperberry fragrance oil (or any you like, but this has a really nice spicey scent)

Heavy duty octagon mold (or any flat faced mold you have)

"Floral Scroll Black" chocolate transfer sheet from Fancy FloursKnife, cutting board, scissors, rubbing alcohol in spray bottle, yadda yadda.

1) Choose a design that has very little detail. Sketch it on paper first and make sure it will fit in your mold.

2) Cut your shape out of your transfer sheet. Be very careful to avoid touching the rough side, since it's very sensitive and can smudge easily.

3) Touch your finger into a drop of vegetable oil or liquid glycerin and apply a thin coat to the mold where you will put your design. Place your design, SMOOTH SIDE DOWN, into the mold and use a pencil to touch the transfer gently and make sure it's completely stuck down. You don't want any air pockets where the soap can sneak under.

4) Melt 6-8 ounces of clear soap base (depending on the capacity of your soap molds) by cutting soap base into small chunks (dice sized), and heat at full power in a microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until all remaining chunks are melted. Dissolve a pea sized amount of silver mica in a 1/4 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol and stir into melted soap. You can add a touch of black (dissolved in alcohol again) if you would like a deeper shade like I have. Stir in 3 mL of fragrance oil (completely a personal choice. Use more or less!)

5) LET SOAP COOL A LOT! You need to pour this super super cool. If a skin is forming on the surface, that's good! It should be between 110-115 degrees. Now pour into your mold, but pour at the edge of the mold so the soap runs over your design. Do not pour directly onto the transfer.

6) Allow soaps to harden completely overnight. Unmold by inverting mold and pushing on the back with your thumbs until soaps pop out. Gently pry an edge of the plastic up and peel off. Voila!You can wrap these soaps in Saran Wrap and close the ends at the back with tape or a sticker, or put in a treat bag and tie tightly with a ribbon.

If you like this technique please check out more projects in my book, or if you're in the Halloween spirit please check out my latest issue of Let's Get Soapy which is chock full of soapy tricks and treats! Thanks!


Friday, October 2, 2009

Melt and Pour Soap Making: Autumn Roll-Ups Tutorial

If you are looking for an unique melt and pour project for the autumal season, then check out this tutoral from Go Planet Earth.

Go Planet Earth ( offers a free video tutorial for you to watch or you can purchase a pdf tutorial for $5.95.

Check it out - it looks like a great one for the Halloween holiday!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Inspiration for Halloween Soaps

As I browsed the blogs I follow, I found this photo from Craft Gossip had this mosaic of colorful inspiration Halloween melt and pour soaps. How cute are these?

On the right Gouls and Goblings. Upper left is Glow in the Dark Ghosts. Just underneath that is a loofah Candy Corn Soap. Then an Owl.

If you would like to see what Craft Gossip has to offer then go to It is a great place for craft ideas,, especially bath and body products. I found alot of inspiration from this site.