Monday, November 30, 2009

Scented Jars Project

by Allison B. Kontur (

If you missed our Sachet Bead Tutorial previously, you can revisit Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.

For this project, you will need:

8 oz
Sachet Beads
2.5 oz
Fragrance Oil

Phase 1: Measure sachet beads, mica and fragrance oil into a glass jar that has a tightly fitting lid.

Phase 2: Cover with a lid and allow to sit for up to 1 week. Agitate several times a day. The beads will eventually absorb the fragrance oil and become dry to the touch. Some fragrances absorb quickly and others require longer to absorb. Be sure to agitate frequently to ensure color and fragrance are distributed uniformly.

Phase 3: When beads have dried, distribute them into our glass jars with daisy cut out lids. A handy safety seal is included to prevent beads from pouring out of the lid in transit. Simply instruct the receiver to shake the beads upon receipt, then remove the seal to enjoy the fragrance!

Note: Avoid allowing the beads to lay directly on any surface as the fragrance and/or mica may damage plastic or upholstered surfaces.

FYI: If you are feeling creative, try combining different colors and/or scents in the same jar.

Allison saw these at a Big Box store where they were retailing between $12-$15/jar. They are simple (and relatively inexpensive) to make!

Snow-Globe Soap

Stuff their stockings with something they can wash their hands with!By Brenda Ponnay

What's cuter than a button, small enough to fit in a stocking, won't rot your teeth and leaves you squeaky clean? A mini snow-globe soap, of course! Here's a super-fun craft you can whip up in an afternoon. It's quick, it's easy and it hardly makes any mess! I'd say it's just about as easy as making a batch of homemade popsicles except you get to melt things in the microwave.

First you'll need some wee little toys, small enough to fit inside an ice-cube tray. I found some tiny plastic reindeer, some snowflake-shaped buttons and a few mini ornaments that did the trick. I meant to find some of those cute little plastic snowmen that bakeries sometimes stick in holiday cupcakes but I never managed to run any of those down. Really anything that strikes your fancy and will fit into the ice cube tray will work for your mini snow-globe soap.

Next you'll need to run to your nearest craft store for a brick of clear glycerine, some soap dye in blue, some soap scent (I chose peppermint because that's what Christmas smells like to me) and some soap glitter. From your kitchen you'll need the microwave, a dish to melt and pour things in (my Fiestaware gravy boat worked marvelously but a glass measuring cup would be fine too), a potato peeler, a cheese grater and a spoon for stirring. You'll also need a bar of white soap.

This is technically just "melt and pour" soap so it might be considered cheating to some hard-core soap enthusiasts but I'm not about to mess with lye or distilling vodka when I've got a small child acting as my personal assistant. Melt and pour is plenty homemade by our standards. Especially since I get to choose what shape the soap takes and what fun toys I put inside them.

First you'll cut up the glycerine into 1-inch chunks. Then microwave them on high for about 40 seconds. After that, microwave in 10 second intervals (stirring in between) until your soap is a nice gloppy liquid.

After your soap is melted you can add your blue dye, scent and glitter. I added two drops of blue to get this winter sky color. Just like food-coloring, it's always best to err on the not-putting-enough-color-in side than the oh-no-I've-put-too-much side. You can always add more dye.

Much harder to get it out.

Don't be fooled by the picture above (see source link for pictures). It might look like ice cubes floating in Anartica but it is actually very hot. Not as hot as you might think though. I was afraid that this project would be too dangerous for my nearly-three-year-old but the soap actually cools quite quickly and as long as I kept her away from me while I was pouring, she was perfectly fine. In fact she helped me choose which toys to put in each ice cube block and she added the snow curls that would later become the snow globe floor. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Pour your glycerin mixture into each section of the ice cube tray leaving about a quarter inch at the top. You will need this space later to add the snow floor and another layer of glycerine to seal the snow floor to the rest of the globe.

After you've poured the glycerine, let it cool just enough to form a thin skin on the top. It doesn't take long. Maybe a minute, maybe a few seconds. I didn't time it. I was too busy grating my snow to really pay attention. Then situate your toy in each ice cube block by poking it with a toothpick or pin. As it hardens it will be easier to manipulate so your toy is standing up straight and not floating dead at the top. Just make sure they are upside down because the "top" will be the "bottom" when you are done.

After all your toys are arranged, you can add your snow. We made our soap snow by peeling off curls from a regular bar of white bath soap. I also made some smaller snow shavings by grating it with a cheese grater. Soap is really easy to manipulate. I expect kids of all ages will get a kick out of this part.

When you sprinkle the snow on top, make sure to leave spaces that you can later fill in with a cap of glycerine. I made the mistake of packing the snow a little too tightly on a few of my cubes and they later fell apart because the snow shavings were not melted and there was nothing to hold them to the top part of the snow globe. Of course you could melt opaque white soap instead of using curls for snow but I sort of liked my shavings. They look really pretty in the end. Once you've added the snow shavings, top each cube off with a little more glycerine.

Next you'll pop it in the freezer for about twenty minutes or until the cubes are cool to touch from the underside of the ice cube tray (be sure to check the middle). Then you just up-end them like you would ice cubes and your little wee snow globes will be sitting pretty, all ready to be packaged!

I used a small paring knife to shave off some of the irregularities on the bottom but that was purely aesthetic. Once you wrap them, they look almost good enough to eat. Which reminds me, make sure your kids know that these are not candy. Unless of course you want to teach them a lesson about what happens when they say naughty words but that's another blog post for a different website.

You can wrap these any old way you want, but I chose clear cling wrap because I wanted my cool little glistening gems to show through the wrapping. I printed up some home made labels and tied them up with string. Now they will be perfect for mailing off to those distant relatives, stashing inside of stockings and saving for that bath time that needs a little something special.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Joy Holiday Soap

This is the perfect bar for holiday specials. Easy and quick to make. Ideas for different letter combinations: Dad, Mom, Wow, Boo, ABC, 123. Birthday Party Favors: A single number in the center of the bar.

Joy Holiday Soap

2 oz Crafter's Choice Ultra White Soap
4 oz Crafter's Choice Extra Clear Soap
Super Sparkle Iridescent Glitter
Crafter's Choice Crimson Powder Mica
Crafter's Choice Red Liquid Pigment
3.5 ml Crafter's Choice Hunter Green Liquid Color
Crafter's Choice Hollyberry Fragrance Oil
Silicone Alphabet Mold
Crafter's Choice 9 Cavity Rectangle Mold


Melt the white soap. Color white soap with crimson mica and red liquid pigment (until desired color is achieved). Pour soap into alphabet mold. Allow to harden and unmold when solid.

Melt clear soap. Add desired amount of glitter and 3.5 ml of fragrance. Pour soap into mold until you have a layer 1/8" deep. Immediately spritz with rubbing alcohol and set letters in place. You may need to wiggle letters a bit so that any air pockets are released.

Color remaining clear soap with a few drops of color green color. Spritz soap in the mold with rubbing alcohol and pour green glitter soap into mold.

Allow to harden. Remove from mold. Package as directed.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Debbie May


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Candy Cane Swirl Soap

You will need:

½ lb. MP opaque base
1 tsp. Stearic acid
red colorant

Candy Cane fragrance oil
candy cane cookie cutters
wax paper lined pan or tray
**you could also use the Wilton mini cake pan candy cane mold


Melt the MP base and stearic acid seperately.

Combine them when they are both liquefied. Whisk well.

Add the fragrance oil and pour into a wax paper lined pan or tray.

Take a bit of red coloring (just a bit on the tip of the toothpick) and swirl into the soap until it is marblized.

When it is firm enough, take cookie cutter and cut out candy cane shapes. These are great for Christmas!!!


Friday, November 27, 2009

Christmas Tags Made with Glycerin Soap

Here is a really cute idea from Soap Queen to make Christmas Tags for your gifts tags for your gifts. What is really great about them is that they are ecologically friendly. This is such a good idea that I am going to do this for any gifts that I give out not only for Christmas, but for any other celebration.

For full instructions and photographs visit -

Starry Night Melt-and-Pour Soap Craft

Posted by Cynthia Townley Ewer on December, 9, 2007
Makes 1 4-ounce bar.

Transparent soap the color of the sky. A crescent moon and shining star glow through a sweep of glitter stars.

This project teaches how to add cut-out opaque soap inclusions to clear bars. A bonus: free printable gift tags make this a great holiday gift!

Materials and Supplies:
3 oz clear glycerin soap base
1 oz opaque glycerin soap base
small pinch soap glitter
2 drops blue soap colorant
8 drops soap vanilla-chamomile fragrance
4 oz-capacity soap mold
microwave-safe measuring cup (2-cup size)
instant-read thermometer
small loaf pan
small moon and star cookie cutters
spray bottle filled with rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
bamboo skewers
vegetable oil in oil mister or vegetable oil(do not use pan spray)


Spritz loaf pan sheet with vegetable oil.

Cut opaque soap base into 1/2-inch chunks and place in microwave-safe measuring cup. Heat in microwave for on High for 10 seconds, followed by 5 second intervals until melted. Do not allow soap to boil.

Insert instant-read thermometer to monitor soap temperature. When thermometer reads 120 degrees (or when soap forms a skin in the measuring cup, move skin aside and gently pour soap into prepared loaf pan. Soap should measure 1/8th to 1/4-th inch thick.

Allow to cool until nearly hard, about 15-20 minutes. Use cookie cutters to cut out small moon and star shapes from the opaque soap. Remove from pan and set aside.

Prepare the soap mold by spritzing lightly with vegetable oil sprayer and wiping nearly dry.

Cut clear glycerin soap base in 1-inch chunks. Place three ounces soap in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Heat on High for 15 seconds, then for 5 second intervals until soap is melted.Do not allow soap to boil.

Remove measuring cup from microwave. Stir in 8 drops soap fragrance, mixing thoroughly.

Add 2 drops blue colorant andmix. Add small pinch of soap glitter, and stir gently.

Insert an instant-read thermometer to monitor soap temperature. When thermometer reads 120 degrees (or when soap forms a skin in the measuringcup), move skin aside and gently pour soap into prepared mold, filling the mold 1/4th to 1/3rd full. Allow mold to stand for 5 to 10 minutes, until it has formed a skin strong enough to support the opaque soap pieces. Spritz moon and star lightly with rubbing alcohol, and place gently on the cooled soap film. Use the bamboo skewers to make any tiny adjustments necessary. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Reheat remaining soap in measuring cup, stir and cool to 120 degrees. Pour soap gently over opaque moon and star, adding only enough soap to barely cover moon and star. Allow soap in mold to cool and form a skin for 10 to 15 minutes.

When inclusions are fairly firmly embedded in cooled soap, reheat the remaining soap in the measuring cup. Stir and cool to 120 degrees. Pour remaining soap into the mold, filling the mold completely. Immediately spritz the soap surface with a light mist of rubbing alcohol to control any bubbles that have risen to the surface.Cool soap completely before attempting to unmold. You may put the mold in the refrigerator to cool, but do not put it in the freezer. Press the mold gently with your thumb to unmold.

Allow 3 to 4 weeks for soap to cure before wrapping. Wrap completed soap with clear plastic food wrap, and attach a gift label with soap contents listed.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holiday Wax Tarts

Here is a really cute holiday idea from Dee & Debbie L.
Customer Service Staff at Wholesale Supplies Plus. These Holiday Wax Tarts
would be great to give out as gifts. But you may want to put a warning that these are not to be meant for eating. Because these wax tarts definately look good enough to eat!

All ingredients to make these holiday wax tarts can be purchased through Wholesale Supplies Plus Website.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Reindeer on Ice Pond Melt & Pour Soaps Instructional Video from Soapylove

How would you like to learn how to make this adorable holiday melt and pour soap?  Then check out this video on Go Planet Earth -

What is great about it is that once the soap is gone, you have a bendable toy to play with.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Around this time of year, Michaels Arts and Craft Store has for sale the season pine cones with that great cinnamon blend fragrance.  I always want to purchase some but never do.  Then I found this recipe that I just may try.  Looks like I will be on the hunt for pinecones.

8 lbs (approximately) Pine Cones (any type of cones or pods)
3/4 oz Bayberry Fragrance Oil
1/4 oz Cinnamon Fragrance Oil
1/4 oz Clove Fragrance Oil
1/4 oz Orange Fragrance Oil
1/8 oz Bay Essential Oil

Use a 30 gallon trash bag 3/4 full with cones. Sprinkle the oils over the cones, mixing them so that the oils are distributed evenly. Fasten shut near the top of the bag, leaving room to jiggle and mix the cones around occasionally, for a few days 'til the scents are blended.

Display in decorative baskets or bowls along with, for color and variety, long cinnamon sticks, tangerines or pomegranates, cedar tips, or your own cut evergreen tips. Or keep by the fireplace and toss in for a quick burst of scent. 8/92


Monday, November 23, 2009

Shea & Mango Bath Melts

A wonderful bath melt which mixes and disperses with a fizz when you drop one or two into the bath. You can use icecube trays as moulds or anything else that you think might be suitable!


200g Bicarbonate of soda
100g Citric acid
25g Shea butter
12g Mango butter
2.5ml Apricot kernel oil
1ml Wheatgerm oil (good anti-oxidant)
3g Polysorbate 20
20-30 drops essential or fragrance oil


In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and place in the moulds

In a double boiler, melt the butters and add the fixed oils, heat through and stir well

Allow a few minutes to cool before adding essentail or frangrance oils, mix well

Pour the oil/butter into the moulds containing the dry ingredients (you may want to mix in gently to fully coat the dry ingredients a remove pockets of air

Cool rapidly (best to place moulds in the freezer)

When set, remove from the moulds. Drop one or two into a warm bath!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Stories and Quality – Details Sell Handmade Online

If you are selling your handmade crafts online, here is an interesting article on how stories and quaility can really enhance your sales.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

How to Make Spa Coffee Scrub

I love the smell of fresh coffee brewing in the morning.  But I am not a coffee drinker.  Even you are not a coffee drinker this recipe for a Spa Coffee Scrub would really get one up in the morning. This article by hethra77 of ehow makes a good point that this would be a great idea to give as an unique gift for Christmas or for any holiday for that matter.  You could find some really cute containers at your local craft store to put your creation in. I know I would feel pampered receiving this as a gift.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Solid Perfume Vegan Recipe

Here is a vegan solid perfume recipe from Allison B. Kontur ( ) that is very easy to make.  Why not make a bunch of it and give it out as gifts for this upcoming holiday season?  Your friends would just love getting their own uniquely scent perfume.

You will need:

1 oz Coconut Oil (Fractionated)
1 oz Soy Wax Pastilles
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) Fragrance or Essential Oil (We used Euphoria Essential Oil Blend)

Phase 1: In a double boiler over medium heat, melt together oil and wax until clear. Remove from heat.

Phase 2: Allow to cool slightly before adding your choice of fragrance. Stir well before pouring into small containers. To Apply: Rub finger over solid perfume and allow body heat to slightly melt the solid before applying to pulse points. Reapply as needed!

Alternate Packaging Idea: Natural Slim Lip Tube & Cap

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Body Butters: Whipped & Lotion Bars Online Class with Joan Morais

Learn how to create superb body butters.

You will receive a class e-handout and an e-video you can watch from your computer. You will also be part of a live online class and be able to ask questions on making body butters. Class size is limited, sign-up early to reserve your spot.

This class will cover:

~Whipped Body Butter
~Lotion Bar/Solid Body Butter Stick
~Shea Butter
~Kokum Butter
~Sal Butter
~Mango Butter
~Cocoa Butter
~Organic or natural skin care carrier oils
~Essential Oils

When: December 3rd, 2009 Thursday

Time: 6pm- 8pm Pacific Standard Time /7pm- 9pm Mountain Time/8pm-10pm Central Time/9pm-11pm Eastern Time

Where: Online, can be accessed from any computer

Cost: $200 includes e-video, e-class handout and live Q & A.

More Information Call 707 426-9480


Tell Joan you saw her posting on this blog )  If cannot afford to take the class, but would like the handout, visit this link for more information -

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Soaps! Pies, Cakes and Ice Creams from Castle Baths

Check out these cute soaps from Castle Baths (, they look good enough to eat.

How to Make Potpourri Tarts

Wax potpourri tarts are little tartlet-shaped disks of wax infused with fragrance. Place a couple into your favorite potpourri pot and light the tea candle underneath.

As the wax melts, the aroma is released into the air. No more mess of simmering water mixed with dried herbs, spices and wood chips. When the scent is used up, just pour out the wax and wipe your potpourri pot clean.

Make wax potpourri tarts or use small candle molds (as for floating candles), soap molds or muffin tins to make rounds, stars, hearts or flower shapes.

Potpourri Tart Materials

Country Lane Container Wax
Yaley Candle Spray Mold Release
Yaley Dye Block(s) (1/8 block will color 2 lb. of candle wax)

Yaley Candle Scent Block(s) 3/4 oz (1/8 block will color 2 lb. of candle wax or 1 1/2 lb. of wax for potpourri): Available in bayberry, cinnamon, jasmine, pine, rose, spice, strawberry, vanilla, peach, lavender, mulberry, eucalyptus, rosemary, gardenia, and blended (herb, rain forest, Christmas, winterberries, Holidays at Home).

Candle Magic Candle Molds Tray 7"X 11" Hearts & Star:
Candle Wax Melt Bag (Optional)
Vybar 260 Nordic Ware Tartlette Pan (makes 12 mini tarts)


How to Make Potpourri Tarts

Be sure the wax you buy has a low to medium melting point (no higher than 135 F). Otherwise the wax will not melt under the heat of a tea light in order to release its fragrance.

Spray molds with release spray and set aside.

Melt wax in a double boiler over simmering water. If you are using a wax melt bag, place wax in the bag and secure with a twist tie. Put the bag into a large pot one-third filled with water. Bring water to simmering.

When the wax has liquefied, remove from the water and turn the heat to low.

Add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of Vybar 260. Vybar is a wax hardener which imparts a creamy texture to wax and assists in fragrance release.

Vybar 260 is formulated for lower melt-point waxes which have a higher percentage of oil. In this case, the Vybar also serves to bind the oil and keep the tarts from leaching oil onto any surface you set them on or wrap them in.

Add dye and mix completely. Test your color by dripping a few drops onto white paper where it will quickly harden so you can see the final color.

Add fragrance oil. Use 1/4 to 1/3 more than indicated on the package for candles. For potpourri you want more intensity of scent.

Pour the wax mixture into your molds. For shallow molds you may only need to do one pour. Place any leftover wax back over (or into, if you’re using a wax melt bag) the hot water. If a sunken area forms in the center of any of the tarts, pour enough wax to level the tops. Let harden completely.

Release the tarts from their molds. If any do not pop out easily, place the mold into the freezer for 5 or 10 minutes and try again.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Indian Paper-poms w/ Potpourri & Spice

From the Creative Juice - Re-Craft Book and TV Show

Capture the exotic smells of India with paper poms filled with potpourri and spices.


Small rubber balls (such as racquetballs)
Petroleum jelly
White glue
Disposable drinking cups
Rubber band
Craft knife
Small craft cork
FolkArt craft paint
Spray varnish
Hot glue
Potpourri and spices, such as star anise, cloves, fennel, etc.


1. Coat each rubber ball with a thin layer of petroleum jelly.

2. Make a glue solution from one-part white glue and one-part water. Tear small strips of newspaper, coat with glue solution, and adhere to the ball. Coat each ball with six layers of papier mâché. Set each ball in a disposable drinking cup and allow to dry.

3. Place a rubber band around the center of each ball. Draw a line around the center with a pencil and carefully cut the paper ball in half with the craft knife, peeling each paper shell half from the rubber. Set aside and allow the interiors to completely dry.

4. Align the edges of the dry halves together and use white glue to re-attach them. Cover the joints with thin layers of papier mâché. and allow them to dry.

5. Criss-cross the ball with two rubber bands to divide it into quarters. Using the awl, carefully pierce a grid of holes in each quarter. Make a hole for a small cork at the bottom of each ball.

6. Prime and paint the paper balls, being careful that the paint does not fill the awled holes, and allowing drying time between each coat. Apply some spray varnish.

7. Fill each ball with potpourri and spices. Replace each cork. Secure a decorative ribbon to each ball with dots of white glue and hang. Add rhinestones with hot glue.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Shea Butter, A Natural Skin Care Ingredient Used in bluebasins

Toronto, ON, Canada -

The skin care industry has changed more in the past ten years than it has in the past 20. With the ever-increasing popularity of natural skin care products, Shea Butter as an ingredient is fast becoming known as a great skin moisturizer. Predominantly known for skin care in the natural product and ingredient communities, Shea butter is hailed for its protecting and emollient properties as well as its softening and conditioning capabilities for the skin. Extracted from the Shea nut of the Shea tree in Africa where it has been used for generations, this butter has a yellow colour and has a rich, creamy nut aroma. bluebasins bath & body is a new online all natural skin care product company which uses 100 % Shea butter in a variety of their products which can be found at

Shea Butter is used in a large majority of natural skin care products such as Shea butter body butters, soaps, lotions/creams, lip balms and shaving creams. Rich in cinnamon acid, it also protects the skin from UV rays and therefore can be included in skin care products for the sun. It can also be used as a massage butter and as a treatment for minor skin wounds and irritations.

Other benefits of Shea butter include the fading of scars, ecezma, burns, rashes, acne, severely dry skin, dark spots, skin discolorations, chapped lips, stretch marks, wrinkles and psoriasis as it absorbs rapidly into the skin without feeling greasy. Because Shea butter contains vitamins A, E and F, it is great for year round use however using it in the winter is a great aid for dry skin.

Natural skin care products are rapidly becoming the preferred choice for consumers. Whether you are looking for information on natural body care products or want to purchase natural bath and body products, bluebasins bath and body is a logical first step.

At bluebasins bath & body, we carry 100% natural, bath and body products. Our products are created using the best herbs, flowers, extracts, essential oils, exotic nut oils and butters. Special attention is paid to the details whereby all of our products are created from scratch and hand made in small quantities, therefore maintaining a high standard. Pride is taken in knowing all of the ingredients in our

About the Author

Public Relations
bluebasins bath & body
P.O. Box
Mississauga, Ontario
Canada L5J 4S6


Friday, November 13, 2009

How to Make Luscious Cream Perfume - Formula

posted by Annie B. Bond Mar 26, 2001 3:26 am

Adapted from Perfumes, Splashes, and Colognes, by Nancy M. Booth (Storey Books, 1997).

I couldn’t believe how easy it is to make this luxurious cream perfume. It is such a great gift idea, and so quick you can whip up a batch at the very last minute and still have it done in plenty of time!

We include two different formulas: one is bright and citrusy (according to a recent study I just saw discussed on the internet, wearing citrus scents makes you appear thinner to the opposite sex!) and one spicily reminiscent of the Three Kings’ gifts. Both are completely divine.


2 tablespoons grated beeswax
2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
1-2 teaspoons pure essential oils


1. Melt beeswax in an enamel or glass pan over boiling water. Add sweet almond oil; combine. Be patient with this step; it’s important to blend them completely.

2. Allow the mixture to cool slightly before adding the oils of your choice (see formulas below).

3. Fill small clean, dry glass jars with the solid perfume.

Sunny Citrus Blend
1/2 teaspoon essential oil of sweet orange
1/2 teaspoon essential oil of lemon
1/2 teaspoon essential oil of bergamot

Three Kings Blend
1 teaspoon essential oil of frankincense
1/2 teaspoon essential oil of myrrh
1/4 teaspoon essential oil of sandalwood


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bath Melts from Recipezaar


2 cups melted cocoa butter
2 cups baking soda
1 cup citric acid
food coloring (optional)
essential oils or fragrance oil (skin-safe)


Melt the cocoa butter, add colorant and fragrance, mix.

Then add powdered ingredients, stir well and pour into small molds, such as a fancy ice cube tray.

Let sit in fridge or freezer until set then pop them out of the molds onto waxed paper or parchment paper and let sit for a short while.

Store in baggies or airtight container.

Use one or two per bath, and be sure you have a non-slip mat in place, as the oils may make for a slick surface in your tub.

Note: Be sure that your"parts" are based upon weight, that the cocoa butter is melted when you weigh it, and that your"parts" are small amounts, such as a tablespoon or two.

You can also substitute the citric acid with more baking soda and/or sea salt to make non-fizzing melts, however the fizziness helps to slowly disperse your oils through your bath.

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, November 11, 2009

10 Ways Herbs Can Freshen Your Home

Fresh Herbs From The Garden

10 Ways Herbs Can Freshen Up Your Home

Homemade Herbal Carpet Freshener Recipe: I like to use dried lavender, but I included other herbal mixes to try as well. This makes a big batch of carpet freshener that will last quite awhile. You can cut the amounts down if you like until you find your favorite blend. To give yourself a small variety to choose from, you could split the recipe in three then add three different herbal fragrance choices to each container/mix.

Herbal Mattress Freshener: Using your blender, grind until fine 1/2 cup of dried herbs (try mint, lavender, lemon balm, etc.); Mix ground herbs with 1/2 cup baking soda; Sprinkle mixture lightly over mattress pad or cover then top with clean fitted sheet; Spread mixture more heavily on top half of bed where upper body rests to enjoy a consistent fragrance.

Freshen laundry with Homemade Herbal Lavender Dryer Bags: Fresh and fragrant laundry can be achieved chemical free with easy to make lavender dryer bags. Using lavender buds gives the benefit of a natural moth repellent, sleep aid and a natural antibacterial.

Bugs-Be-Gone Bags: The herb mixture helps to naturally deter and repel bugs and pests from the places you have stored the bags.

Homemade Herbal Cleaner Recipes: Recipes for Thyme Disinfectant Cleaner, Herb Disinfectant Cleaner, Herbal All Purpose Cleaner and Lavender Soft Scrubber. Also see this All Purpose Scouring Powder: Grind dried petals or fragrant herbs and mix with baking soda.

Multipurpose Herb Vinegar Recipe: Use as an environmentally friendly air freshener. For another freshener, try a pleasing assortment of dried herbs and flowers to make homemade potpourri, keep in open bowls and shallow vases to freshen rooms.

Store off-season clothing with Moth Repellent Sachets and Lavender Wands to keep moths at bay and stored clothing fresh. Tuck Lavender Sachets in closets and drawers for naturally fragrant clothing, bedding & linens.

Herbal Firestarters: Pinecones and dried herbs such as rosemary, sage leaves, and cinnamon sticks make fragrant kindling for a winter fire. Bundle dried herbs and small pinecones in a sheet of newspaper and secure the ends with raffia or cotton twine; As you pile up logs for your fire, nestle the herb bundle underneath, with paper ends sticking out; To start the fire, light the newspaper ends.

Fill homemade trivets and coasters with dried herbs, they’ll fill the air with the scent of delicious herbs when hot dishes and mugs are placed on them.

Consider growing a One-Pot Indoor Herb Garden, you can use the herbs for cooking and creating your own herbal cleaners and fresheners–plus a thriving herb pot is also a lovely addition to any kitchen decor.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What is Orange Blossom Water?

According to

"Orange blossom water is distilled water which has been infused with essential oil extracted from orange blossoms. The water has a rich citrus scent and a strong orange flavor. This flower water often appears in Middle Eastern cuisine, and in the dishes of some European nations as well; it is also sometimes used as a beauty item, commonly being used to rinse hair, hands, and feet in some regions of the world.

Obtaining orange blossom water can sometimes be challenging. If you happen to live in an area with a Middle Eastern population, you may be able to find it in a market, along with rose and lavender waters. You also sometimes see it at large markets for the more general population, especially in urban areas. If you intend to use orange blossom water for cooking, avoid products sold at drug stores and beauty shops, as they may not use food-grade essential oils.

The flavor and scent of orange blossom water is quite distinctive. Most recipes encourage cooks to use it lightly, because it can become cloying and overwhelming. One very common use is in sugar syrups which can be drizzled over pastries and fruit salads to provide a hint of flavor. It is also used in savory recipes and marinades, sometimes along with candied orange flowers or rose petals; the sweet floral notes of the orange flower water can pair very well with savory foods, especially spicy ones.

Culinary historians believe that orange blossom water originated in the Middle East, since evidence seems to suggest that Middle Easterners developed the extraction process needed to access the essential oils in orange blossoms. By the 10th century CE, orange blossom water was common across the Middle East, and European adventurers were bringing it back with them as an exotic delicacy; dishes with orange flower water were often in high demand, because the ingredient was perceived as unusual and exotic.

The blossoms of Seville oranges are believed to produce one of the finest orange blossom waters, since they have a very strong, rich aroma. Other oranges can be used as a source of orange blossom water, of course, but they may not yield the desired high essential oil content. If you cannot track down orange blossom water in your area, you may have better luck seeking out food-grade orange blossom essential oil and adding it to water yourself to dilute it. You can also order orange blossom water from importers, although it can be extra-expensive when obtained this way."

Palm Oil

Here is some information from Ruth Esteves (Sirona Springs) about Palm Oil:

Palm oil is an edible oil extracted from the fruit of the oil palm. It’s naturally red in color, due to the high amount of carotenes. In fact, red palm oil is the richest dietary source of provitamin A carotenes (beta-carotene and alpha-carotene). It has 15 times more provitamin A carotenes than carrots and 300 times more than tomatoes! First cultivated in western Africa, it is widely used today as a cooking oil.

Palm oil is very commonly used to make soap. Often used in combination with other oils, it helps make a bar hard, long-lasting and produces a stable lather. The palm oil used in soap is refined and deodorized, losing its red color in the process. But some handmade soapmakers have been known to use the red oil instead, giving their soap a lovely, natural red or yellow color.

Currently, much controversy exists around the use of palm oil, which is found in a wide variety of products, from soap to processed foods to biodiesel. The pressure for more palm oil has lead to the deforestation of much rainforest for oil palm plantations, especially in Malaysia and Indonesia, which together produce almost all of the world’s palm oil. The claiming of rainforest by burning releases more carbon into the atmosphere and robs many species of precious habitat. The Sumatran tiger, the Asian rhinoceros and the Sumatran orangutan are all considered critically endangered.

But oil palms can be grown in a sustainable way. The supply is small, but growing. To support these companies and help protect remaining rainforest, all of the palm oil that we use in our soap is certified sustainable.

Source:  Sirona Springs (

Monday, November 9, 2009

How to Make Reed Diffusers

This article outlines step-by-step instructions for how to make your own reed diffuser using essential oils (or fragrance oils). Before you begin, you may want to look at the Reed Diffuser Oil Recipe.

What You Need to Make Your Own Reed Diffuser

Decide on a reed diffuser oil recipe and calculate how much of each ingredient, how many glass bottles (and what sizes), and how many diffuser reed sticks you'll need. Before you begin to make your reed diffuser, make sure you have everything you need.

Ingredients and Supplies You Need to Make a Reed Diffuser:

Essential oil(s) (You also may use fragrance oils.)
Dipropylene glycol, fragrance grade (DPGF) or reed diffuser base oil
Perfumer's alcohol (You may or may not need this.)
Diffuser reeds (Reeds should be a few inches taller than the bottle.)
Narrow neck glass bottle (Do not use plastic or metal containers.)
Some notes about choosing your reed diffuser ingredients: You may find it easiest to use a preformulated reed diffuser base oil rather than DPGF. Although it is possible to make reed diffusers using essential oils, you will get a more strongly fragrant diffuser using fragrance oils instead of essential oils. The ingredients you use to make a reed diffuser may be flammable.

How to Make a Reed Diffuser

1. Add essential oil (or fragrance oil) and fragrance grade dipropylene glycol to the glass bottle (read How to Make Reed Diffuser Oil for the right proportions, or use this Reed Diffuser Oil Recipe). Don't fill the bottle completely full. There must be enough space so that when you put in the diffuser reeds the liquid doesn't spill over the top.
2. Put the cap on the bottle and mix by gently turning the bottle upside down a few times.
3. Remove the cap and insert the diffuser reeds, fanning them out as shown in the photo above. It may take several hours for the oil to wick all the way up the reeds and diffuse the scent into the room. You can "refresh" your reed diffuser by flipping over the reed sticks every few weeks.

Troubleshooting Problems with Your Reed Diffuser

Problem: My reed diffuser oil isn't wicking up the reeds.

How to fix it: Make sure the diffuser sticks you used are reed. Bamboo or other types of wood won't wick the oil. If you're using recycled (i.e. used) reed sticks, you may need to discard them and use new reeds instead. Old, saturated reeds don't wick as well as new, unused reeds. It's best to start with new reeds rather than trying to recycle used ones.
If you're using new reed sticks and your oil isn't wicking, your reed diffuser oil may be too thick (viscous). If you think the oil is too thick, remove the reeds from the bottle and place them on a plate or other surface that won't be damaged by the oils. Add about 5% perfumer's alcohol to the bottle (i.e. if you have 5 oz of reed diffuser oil, you would add 0.25 oz perfumer's alcohol). Cap the bottle and mix gently. If after a day or so it's still not wicking well, you can try adding another 5% perfumer's alcohol.

Problem: My reed diffuser oil is wicking just fine, but the aroma is too weak.

How to fix it: Where is your reed diffuser placed? If it's in a corner of the room or tucked into a bookshelf, there may not be enough air movement around it to diffuse the scent into the room. Try placing your reed diffuser in a location closer to where people pass by, which will help move air past the reeds.
If your reed diffuser is in a good location but it's still not producing much scent, you can add more essential oil until your reed diffuser oil is 50% essential oil. If your reed diffuser oil is 50% essential oil and the scent is still too weak, you may need to try making a different essential oil blend with more strongly fragrant essential oils. Some essential oils are more volatile (i.e. evaporate more easily) than others, and essential oils vary in their perceived intensity. Choosing stronger and/or more volatile essential oils will make your reed diffuser more fragrant. Using synthetic fragrance oils instead of essential oils is another way to make your reed diffuser more strongly fragrant.

More Information About Reed Diffuser Ingredients

Read safety information for dipropylene glycol at More about dipropylene glycol fragrance grade at

Sunday, November 8, 2009

How To Create Your Own Scent Blends for Soap and Candles

By David Fisher,

Scent is perhaps the most compelling aspect of our handmade candles and soap. If you want to try your "nose" at creating your own blends of essential or fragrance oils for your soaps and candles, it's not hard. Whether you're an experienced aromatherapist or new to scent blending, you can create your own complex scent blends that will make your soaps and candles smell wonderful with a scent that is uniquely yours. Grab a notebook and let's get started.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: A few minutes to a couple of days

Here's How:

  1. Many people start with blending essential oils. They are basic components that can be used to build more complex blends. But you can any combination of essential OR fragrance oils. I recommend choosing components based on having at least one top note,middle note, and base note, or just choose several oils that you think will go well together. This is all about experimentation.
  2. Open the oils and the small glass jar. You may be able to get a preview of your scent blend merely by having the three bottles open at the same time.
  3. One at a time, dip the tip of a clean cotton swab into the fragrance or essential oil. Squeeze any excess oil from the swab on the lip of the bottle.
  4. Place the swab in the glass jar.
  5. Repeat for each of the scents you want to add to the blend.
  6. Make sure to write down each oil you include in the blend.
  7. Walk away from the jar and wait a few minutes.
  8. Come back to the jar and gently sniff the air above the jar. This will be the scent blend in its early stage of development. Take notes on your thoughts about it. Is one oil overpowering the others? Do two of them seem too similar to tell apart?
  9. Put the lid on the jar and leave it in a cool, dark place. After a few hours, open the jar and smell the blend again. The scent should have mixed further and "matured" a bit. Take further notes on your thoughts about the blend.
  10. Put the lid back on the jar and leave it again in a cool, dark place. After about 48 hours, open the jar and smell it again. The scent blend should be fully mixed and "matured" by now. Take further notes about the blend.
  11. Make corrections to your blend. Perhaps try two parts of oil A and one part of oil B. Or add some oil D to your blend of A, B, and C. Try the blend again until you find the perfect combination.
  12. Last, but not least, try the blend in a candle or soap, and take notes on how it works in them.


  1. Try to get equal amounts of fragrance or essential oil on each cotton swab, and make sure your they are completely clean - or else you'll risk contaminating your essential oils.
  2. Instead of cotton swabs, you can use an eye dropper or disposable pipette and a paper towel, but you must use a fresh dropper or pipette for each essential oil.
  3. Don't stick your nose into the jar to smell the blend. Let the scent rise from out of the jar.
  4. Sniffing coffee beans or ground coffee will cleanse your scent receptors. (Yes, just like cleansing your palate.) Sniff some coffee beans in between tests and you'll get a more accurate reading on the scents.
  5. Experiment, experiment, experiment! Don't be afraid to try odd combinations, or combinations that don't adhere to the top-middle-base note ideal. Above all, be sure to take good notes!

What You Need:

  • An assortment of essential or fragrance oils
  • A small jar with an airtight lid
  • At least one clean cotton swab for each scent oil in the blend
  • A notebook to record your results

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cinnamon Roll Body Scrub

I found this recipe from one of the blogs I follow. Since I love aroma and taste of cinnamon rolls, I thought this would be an interesting body scrub recipe to try and share:

You will need:

4 oz Bulk Dead Sea Salt Scrub
4 oz Bulk Sugar Scrub
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) Cinnamon Roll Fragrance Oil
0.15 cc Radiant Mocha Mica

Phase 1: Measure Dead Sea Salt Scrub Base into a zipper-type baggie and add half of the fragrance oil. Combine thoroughly. Our body scrub base will accept 1% fragrance oil without breaking the emulsion. Higher levels of fragrance will cause the base to become thin and runny.

Phase 2: Measure Brown Sugar Scrub Base into a zipper-type baggie and add the other half of the fragrance oil. Combine thoroughly. We added 0.15 cc (using one of our convenient mini-scoops) of Radiant Mocha Mica to this base to add a little sparkle.

Phase 3: To package, cut a corner off the bottom of each of your zipper bags and pipe alternating layers into a sterile container.

Allison B. Kontur

Friday, November 6, 2009

MP Soap: Geometric Loaf

Check out this project from Wholesale Supplies Plus (
Different color combinations give a totally different look to this soap!

Note: If you are making this soap for the purposes of sale, you should wear a hair net, gloves and protective clothing as outlined in the FDA's Good Manufacturing Practice Guidelines.


• 1/4 Ounce(s) Crafter's Choice Liquid Lake - Yellow 5
• 1/4 Ounce(s) Crafter's Choice Liquid Lake - Yellow 6
• 1 Ounce(s) Crafter's Choice Mica Powder - Crimson
• 2.75 Ounce(s) Crafter's Choice Freesia Fragrance Oil

Mold: Rectangle Silicone Loaf
Double Boiler
Droppers - Plastic
• Ladle
Measuring Cup - Small Plastic, 1 oz
• Plate - Disposable Paper
• Rubbing Alcohol with Fine Mist Sprayer
Scale - Digital
Soap Slicer/Cutter
• Spoon
• Stove Top
Thermometer - Digital


Using a soap slicer, cut white soap into 1-2 inch pieces. The soap slicer is dull and perfect for this project.

Do not use a knife as it is very sharp and the soap is slippery. The knife could slip causing injury.

On the stove top, melt 12 ounces of white soap in a double boiler (the double-boiler prevents burning).

Once soap is completely melted, add 12 ml of fragrance oil.

Color the melted soap with Crimson Mica Powder until it is a light pink color is achieved. Set aside.

Place the Silicone Rectangle Loaf Mold on cookie sheet. Prop it at an angle. You can use craft putty as a prop or you can use another silicone mold turned upside down. For our project we used the smaller Silicone Guest Loaf Mold for the prop.

Pour the soap into the angled mold.

Lightly mist the top of the melted soap with rubbing alcohol. This will cause any bubble to pop and give your soap a shiny surface.

Allow soap to return to room temp and turn the mold so that it is propped up at the opposite angle.

Melt 12 ounces of white soap. Add 12 ml of fragrance. Add Liquid Lake Yellow 6. Mix well. Note: this color looks orange not yellow.

When the liquid soap reaches 125º F, apply a fine mist spray of rubbing alcohol to the soap in the mold and carefully pour the liquid soap into the mold. Note: When you spray, be generous as this is what will allow the layers to adhere to each other and not fall apart when the soap loaf is sliced.

After the soap in the mold has returned to room temp, remove the prop and lay the mold flat on the cookie sheet.

Melt 12 ounces of white soap. Add 12 ml of fragrance. Mix well.

When the liquid soap reaches 125º F, apply a fine mist spray of rubbing alcohol to the soap in the mold. When you spray, be generous as this is what will allow the layers to adhere to each other and not fall apart when the soap loaf is sliced.

Melt 8 ounces of white soap. Add 8 ml of fragrance. Add equal amounts of Liquid Lake Yellow 5 and Blue 1 color (this will make green soap). Mix well.

When the liquid soap reaches 125º F, apply a fine mist spray of rubbing alcohol to the soap in the mold and carefully pour the soap into the mold. Note: When you spray, be generous as this is what will allow the layers to adhere to each other and not fall apart when the soap loaf is sliced.

Mist the top of the loaf with alcohol to remove any bubbles on the surface.

Allow the soap to completely cool for 4-6 hours. Remove the soap from the mold.

Cut your loaf into slices and wrap immediately. Feel free to cut into unusual shapes such as chunks and triangles.

The soap is ready to use after unmolding. If you plan to sell your soap, wrap it immediately.

Options are plastic wrap, shrink wrap or cello bags. Proper packaging keeps the fragrance strong. Don't forget to label the soap to complete the package. Label according to FDA cosmetic label guidelines.

Wholesale Supplies Plus is not responsible for the products you create from our supplies. You alone are responsible for product and recipe testing to ensure compatibility and safety.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

How to Make Swirl Soap Bars (Cold Process)

It has been almost 2 years since I took a class at The Nova Studio on how to create a cold process swirl bar of soap. I would say that the swirl and funnel technique for cold process soap are probably my favorite.

I really enjoyed learning how creating this type of bar soap, I have been searching to see how popular this technique is. I came across this article by Jillian Downer, eHow Contributing Writer, on creating a swirl bar of soap and realized how popular this particular technique has become. Jillian state that this process can be challenging and it can be but you can do it with her step by step by step instructions and helpul hints. My suggestion is to start with only 2 colors. I have seen some recipes that have up to 6 more. So start off really simple. Do not be scared and give it a try today!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Picture of an Interesting Bar of Soap

I found this picture of a bar soap from The Soap Makery ( that I wanted to share.  Since I took Ruth Esteve's Advanced Cold Process Soap Class, I am trying to figure out how this was done.  I am stumped.  Any suggestions on how to recreate this?

Safety when working with Potassim Hydroxide

Guest Author - Angela Chinhing

As a nurse I would like to emphasize the importance of wearing protective gear and following safety precautions when making soap. During soap making many things can go wrong. Accidents can be prevented by working in a more organized method. However, prepare for the unexpected.Raw KOH in water has a PH of 13.5, this means it will irritate skin and mucosal tissue like an acid. During the Saponification process there are two different types of injury that can occur. Irritation from a corrosive chemical and burns because the chemical’s temperature is above 160F. KOH added to water is an exothermic reaction, it generates heat, lots of it.

Your work area should have a sink available in case you need to rinse. Vinegar should be within easy accessible reach. Contact with skin can cause deep penetrating slow healing ulcers. If the skin comes in contact rinse with vinegar then water for up to 15 minuets, even if it is not hurting. Contact with the eye can cause severe damage even blindness. There should also be an eyewash solution in case of splashes to your eye. Rinse with eyewash solution for 10-15 minutes then seek medical attention. Poison control number should be by the phone. If you make soap alone at home someone should be aware that you do.
Never eat or drink in you work area while making soap.

Protective gear will only protect you if it is worn properly. If you wear glasses, invest in a face shield, if not, then wear goggles. The goggles should be able to protect your eyes from splashes and liquid dripping into your eyes.

KOH is more corrosive than NAOH. The severity of the injury depends on the injury with this alkali depends on the duration of contact, the concentration of the solution and the temperature of the solution.

IF you have never seen or looked up a MSDS (Material Data Safety Sheet) look up KOH, it is available online. A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is designed to provide proper procedures for handling or working with a particular substance. MSDS's include information such as toxicity, health effects, first aid, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures. These are of particular use if a spill or other accident occurs.


Reprinted with permission from Winsome Tapper, Soapmaking Editor,