Monday, May 31, 2010

Garden Flower Bath Melts

How to Make Garden Flower Bath Melts

(1) Chamomile Cream Bath Melts (Makes 8 to 10 bath melts)

Chamomile and vanilla are wonderful for relaxation, making these bath melts perfect for evening baths.


2 teaspoons jojoba esters, 70 (MP70)*
1 ounce babassu oil
1 ounce coconut oil
1 ounce aloe vera oil
1 tablespoon oat flour, fine
1/2 teaspoon vanilla absolute**
1/2 teaspoon Roman chamomile essential oil**
1 to 2 tablespoons chamomile flowers
8 to 10 small foil cups

(2) Green Goddess Bath Melts (Makes 8 to 10 bath melts)

Energizing yuzu blends beautifully with the delicate, feminine aroma of ylang ylang. These green-colored bath melts are sure to get you in touch with your inner goddess.


2 teaspoons jojoba esters, 70 (MP70)*
1 ounce babassu oil
1 ounce organic virgin coconut oil
1 ounce cucumber seed oil
1 tablespoon oatstraw powder
1/2 teaspoon yuzu essential oil**
1/4 teaspoon ylang ylang essential oil**
1 to 2 tablespoons jasmine flowers
8 to 10 small foil cups

(3) Rosebud Bath Melts (Makes 8 to 10 bath melts)

The luxurious, romantic aroma of rose is a classic, sophisticated scent that is aimed to please. These bath melts make great gifts.


2 teaspoons jojoba esters MP70*
1 ounce babassu oil
1 ounce coconut oil
1 ounce passionfruit (maracuja) oil
1 tablespoon fine colloidal oatmeal (sifted)
8 to 10 pink rosebuds
1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon rose otto essential oil**
8 to 10 small foil cups

*In warm weather, or if you plan to ship these bath melts, add 1 additional teaspoon jojoba esters, 70 to these recipes.

**To make these recipes more affordable, you can substitute the essential oils and absolutes for cosmetics-grade fragrance oils.

Making the Bath Melts

Gently heat the jojoba esters and solid oils until they have melted completely. Ideally, you should use a double boiler to heat the ingredients, but you can also use a microwave. If you are using a microwave, make sure to heat the ingredients in short, 20-second bursts, being careful not to overheat the mixture.

After the solid ingredients have melted, add the liquid oils, essential oils, and/or absolute. Stir the mixture well to make sure that these ingredients fully disperse.

Using a flour sifter or a fine-mesh strainer, sift the oatstraw powder or oat flour into the mixture, stirring well to combine.

Place the foil cups onto a baking sheet or other flat surface, and carefully pour the mixture into the cups.

Allow the melts to cool for a few minutes, until a firm layer forms on the top. When they are ready, carefully place individual flowers into each bath melt.

Allow the melts to cool overnight or until they become totally firm before handling or packaging them.

Ingredients for these recipes can be found at For a limited time, readers can enjoy a 5% discount off of qualifying online orders by using discount code "CYSH4233" at checkout.

If you'd like to try other natural or handmade skin-care recipes, check out the selection of Body Care Craft Kits at, or visit their natural skin and body care blog at


Sunday, May 30, 2010

DIY Exfoliating Scrub! Banana Nut Soap

Do you love Banana Nut Bread?  Then you may want to try to make this Banana Nut Soap.  I found this video clip from You Tube.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

How to Make Bath Salt Wedding Favors

Here is a great idea from the Weddings Editor of Ehow on How to Make Bath Salt Wedding Favors.  The instructions are moderately easy and could made in a relatively short amount of time.  For those maid of honors, may you can make bath salts during  the bridal shower as an activity. It would something totally different and unexpected.

How to Make Bath Salt Wedding Favors

Friday, May 28, 2010

Homemade Fragrant Bath Tablets

Drop two of these homemade fragrant bath tablets in the tub and enjoy the wonderful fragrance as it engulfs your senses! These are very easy to make, and smell great!

To package into homemade bath gifts, cut a circle of fabric large enough to hold 4 tablets, draw up around the bath tablets and tie closed with a pretty ribbon.


1 Cup Baking Soda
1 Cup Citric Acid
1 Cup Corn Starch
1 Tablespoon Of Your Favorite Essential Oil
3 Tablespoons of grated cocoa butter
Spray bottle of water or witch hazel


Place attractive cookie cutters on a sheet of waxed paper. These will be your molds, hearts shapes are great! Mix the baking soda, citric acid and conrstarch together well. Slowly mix in your cocoa butter and essential oil.

Spray the mixture with light mists of water or witch hazel until it's damp BUT NOT WET. You want the mixture just damp enough to hold together and no more.

Press the mixture into your cookie cutters, let dry, unmold and enjoy!

If you notice the mixture foaming out of the molds, press a flat plate over the molds then weigh down with several books to keep the misture nice and flat.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Soapylove Tutorial: 2 Scoop Ice Cream

Calling ice cream lovers! Here is a tutorial from Soapy Love which appears on the Soap Queen's Blog which is introducing release the newest design in the Soapylove supply line - the Ice Cream Cone Mold! With polka dots, layered ice cream scoops, and an adorable "cake" cone, you will have so much fun designing your own flavor combinations. So try out this new tutorial from Soapy Love. It looks simply delicious without the calories! And it would be perfect treat for summer or a birthday party.

So give this 2 Scoop Ice Cream Tutorial a try today!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Honey I Love You Bath Melts Recipe

This recipe makes romantic bath melts that are meant to be shared by two. Your bath water will be silky and sweet smelling when using one cupcake sized melt in your bath water. Enjoy these bath melts with candles and soft music for a romantic evening you won't forget! Caution should be used when getting in an out of the tub because bath melts do make the tub slippery.


3 Ounces Cocoa Butter
4 Ounces Shea Butter
2 Ounces Palm Oil
1 Ounce Sweet Almond Oil
1 Teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
1/2 Cup Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Citric Acid
1/4 Cup Sea Salt
1 Tablespoon Rose Essential Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Lavendar Essential Oil
1/4 Teaspoon Sweet Orange Essential Oil


Melt the palm oil and cocoa and shea butter on a very low eye. Once fully melted, remove from heat and quickly mix the baking soda, citric acid and sea salt. Next mix in the sweet almond oil, vitamin E oil and your frangrances in that order.

Pour into lined cupcake pan to make a cupcake sized bath melt. You can use mini cupcake pans as well, when using minis then add 5 bath melts to your bath instead of just one.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How To Make Rose Water - 4 Recipes

Rose water (also spelled Rosewater) can be used in cooking as well as a rich beauty aid.

Try some as a facial toner or astringent, in your bath water or as a facial splash (refresher).

Notes on Preparation:

* Rose petals must be freshly picked and have no pesticides or chemicals used on them.

* Pick the roses just after the morning dew has evaporated, about 2 to 3 hours after sunrise.

* Use only the petals, not the stems or leaves.

* Wash the petals quickly to remove any bugs or specks of dirt and immediately process with one of the methods below.

* If you don’t grow your own roses, ask at the local florist or Farmers Market for organic roses.

How To Make Rose Water Recipes

Old Fashioned Recipe for Distilled Rosewater
(Rose Hydrosol)

Items Needed:

Fresh rose petals (3 to 4 quarts)
Ice cubes
Distilled Water
Enamel canning or stock pot with lid
Deep, heavy heat proof bowl


* Fill the bottom of the pot with the rose petals and pour water over them until the petals are just covered.

* Place the bowl in the middle of the pot. The rim should be at least a couple inches higher than the water. If you have a canning rack, you can set the bowl on top of that so the bowl doesn’t sit directly over the heat. A pyrex loaf dish underneath the bowl would do the trick too. Set these in place first before adding the rose petals and water.

* Cover the pot with its lid, but position the lid upside down so that you have a dipped “container” to hold the ice on top (to be added later). Now turn on the heat and bring the water to a boil.

* Once the water is boiling, fill the top of the inverted pot lid with ice cubes. Turn the heat down and keep at a bare simmer for about two hours.

* Top up the ice as needed and quickly peek occasionally to see that the petals don’t boil dry.

This process will enable condensation to form on the top inside of the pot lid. The condensation will drip down into the bowl inside the pot, the liquid inside the bowl is your rose water.

Old Fashioned Rose Water Recipe

Items Needed:

Rose Petals
Distilled Water
Enamel Pot (any size)


* Fill the bottom of an enamel pot with the rose petals a few inches deep. Pour distilled water over the petals until they are just covered.

* Turn on heat for the water to be steaming hot, but do not boil. Let the water steam until the petals have lost their color, the water has taken on the color of the rose petals and you see rose oil skimming the surface. This will take approximately 60 minutes.

* Strain the water and squeeze out the liquid from the rose petals, this is your rosewater.

Homemade Rosewater - Quick & Easy Recipe

For every 1 firmly packed cup of rose petals, pour 2 cups boiling water over top. Cover and steep until the liquid is cool. Strain, squeeze out the liquid from the petals, and refrigerate the rose water in a sterilized jar.

Oven Recipe for Rosewater

Preheat oven to 450°. Line an enamelware roaster a few inches deep with rose petals. Fill with distilled water until the petals are just covered. Place the roaster uncovered into the oven and bring to a boil.

As soon as it starts boiling, turn off the heat and cover the roaster. Leave in the oven until the water is cool (several hours). Once cool, strain the water and squeeze all the petals to remove the liquid. Store the rose water in the refrigerator.

Important Notes:

After preparing the rose water with your recipe of choice, refrigerate in a sealed, sterilized jar.

Use in recipes that call for rose water, but make sure to use fresh batches. Although the water is refrigerated, my notes have vast discrepancies in shelf life. Some state several days, some say a year.

Rose Water Beauty Aid Additive:

Add 1 part rubbing alcohol or vodka or witch hazel to 10 parts rose water to use as a facial astringent or toner.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Marbled Container Candles

After taking the Eco-Friendly Candlemaking Class at The Nova Studio, I went online to check out what kind of candlemaking projects there were out on the web.  I happened to come across this project for Marbled Container Candles by David Fischer of Guide.        

I found the marbled effect quite interesting and it was something that I wanted to try in future candlemaking projects.  Has anyone tried this technique before?  How did it turn out? 

Sunday, May 23, 2010

How to Create an Altered Art Book

Have you ever heard of altered art? Altered Art is like mixed media college art. This would be a great second craft for all you scrapbookers.If are interested in getting into altered art and do not know how to get started here are instructions on how to create an altered art book.  These step by step instruction written by ronahshouse, eHow Member, looking simple enough.  Why not give it a try today! 

How to Create an Altered Art Book

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How to Make Poured Beeswax Candles

There are many different types of candle wax on the market from Parafin to Gel Wax.  One of the best types of wax is melted beeswax.  In article written by Lizz Shepherd, eHow Contributing Writer, poured beeswax candles are made from melted beeswax that is reshaped in a mold to create the candle instead of using pre-formed beeswax sheets. The completed candles look like paraffin candles, but they burn cleaner. Poured beeswax candles burn slower than rolled beeswax and they don't develop a white film on them as quickly as rolled beeswax does.

If you would like to learn more on how to make poured beeswax candles and not the rolled beeswax sheet candles, check out the following instructions in the article titled, How to Make Poured Beeswax Candles.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Draw String Muslin Bags

I used to be able to purchase individual muslin bags when Elephant Pharm was open but they closed back in September 2008. And recently I found out that Sun Country Market in Palo Alto no longer sells them invididually.  Sun Country has 3 in a pack for around $2.

So I now I have resorted to purchasing them online.  The two places I have purchase these items are at Wholesale Supplies Plus and Element Bath and Body.

Element Bath and Body has 2 sizes 3x5 and 4x6.  Prices vary depending on the quantity you purchase.  As for Wholesale Supplies Plus, they also have 2 sizes (4x6 and 5x7).  The prices of these will vary but unlike Element Bath and Body, Wholesale Supplies Plus sells them in packages starting with a quanity of 25 and up.

If you know of anywhere else that someone can purchase these, please let us know so we can pass the information along.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Scented Body Spray

Posh Body Spray has posted a recipe for a scented body spray that you may want to try. It is an easy, easy recipe that you can make in a snap. Just make sure you use it within a couple of weeks. Or, you can add an antibacterial agent such as grapefruit seed extract or germaben

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Felt-Covered Soap Washcloth

Heard of felted soap?  How about taking it a step further by making a Felted Covered Soap Wash Cloth ? Check out this video that appears on Ehow video. It looks really fun to make and it would be something completely different as a gift in your gift basket.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Emulisified Salt Scrub Recipe

Here is a different take on a salt scrub recipe from Allison B. Kontur of  Bath Body Supply .  This recipe appear's on Allison's Blog Design it Yourself Skincare.

You will need:

1 oz Stearic Acid - Vegetable TP
1.5 oz Emulsifying Wax NF
2.5 oz Almond Oil, Sweet USP
1.5 oz Jojoba Oil, Clear (Organic)
1.5 oz Olive Butter
12.5 oz Dead Sea Salt - Fine Grain
5 ml (1 tsp) Fragrance Oil (optional) - We used Paradise Fragrance Oil


Phase 1: In a double boiler over low heat melt stearic acid, emulsifying wax, olive butter, almond oil & jojoba oil until clear. Remove from heat.

Phase 2: Pour melted butters, oils & waxes over dead sea salt and stir to combine. Add optional fragrance and stir again to combine. Allow to sit overnight (alternately, you can cover and pop in a cooler until it sets).

Phase 3: When scrub has set, stir again and package in airtight containers.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What is a Cold Cream?

I never used cold cream in my life. But when I hear of cold cream, I think of those old movies when the ladies put cold cream on their faces before they go to bed.  So I wanted to find out more about cold cream and found a very good explaination from

"Cold cream is an emulsion of fats and water which can be used to clean and soften the skin. Traditionally, cold cream has been used to remove makeup gently at the end of the day, and it can also be used to soften tough skin on the knees and elbows, or to keep skin protected from harsh winter weather. Many drug stores and beauty suppliers sell cold cream, often in a variety of styles; different brands have different ingredients, and some people experiment with several before finding one which works.

The concept of cold cream is quite ancient. Credit for the invention is usually given to Galen, a second century Greek physician who developed an emulsion of beeswax, oil, rose petals, and water. The cream was designed to moisturize and condition the face, and to help remove the harsh makeup of the period. In some regions, cold cream is called “cream of Galen” or “Galen's cream” in a reference to this; the “cold” in cold cream comes from the cool, refreshing feeling that it leaves behind.

There are several ways to use cold cream. To remove makeup, a thin layer is spread on the face, allowed to sit for a moment, and then wiped off. Tissues or washcloths can be used to remove the cold cream. The moisturizing agents in the cream will condition the face and help it recover from harsh beauty products.

Cold cream can also be left on trouble spots overnight; some women, for example, rub it into their skin before bed, wiping it off in the morning, and it can be worn with gloves or socks to condition the feet and hands as well. Cold cream is also used in some home remedies; a classic remedy for scaly elbows is a mixture of cold cream and ground oats, rubbed gently into the skin and then wiped or rinsed off.

The oils in some cold creams can leave skin feeling greasy. People with oily skin may want to take a pass on this product unless they have been introduced to a brand which does not create an oily feeling. Cold cream can be scented or unscented, depending on preference, and the oils used can vary widely. Most companies do not use the olive oil recommended by Galen, for example, since it can go rancid quickly. Generally, cold cream keeps well at room temperature, and it should not go bad unless the climate is extremely hot or impurities are introduced to the container."


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Decorative Soap Display Ideas

After a great amount of time making soap, now you want to open your own soap shop or sell soaps at an arts and wine fest.  You are now wondering how should you display your soap. Right? Here are some suggestions from Soap-Making-Essentials that may give you some ideas on how to decoratively  and eye pleasing ways to display your soap.

So check out the article titled Decorative Soap Display Ideas on Soap-Making-Essential's site.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Homemade Made Soap Article Appears in National Craft Magazine

Today I was browsing at Barnes and Noble in Redwood City. CA just browsing at some books.  Before I left I went to the magazine section to look at the craft magazines they carried. I happened to come across the Spring 2010 issue of Living Crafts.  I was suprised to see on the cover an article on handmade soapmaking. Too be honest I rarely see any craft magazines contains articles on the subject and it was very nice to see a national magazine covering the subject.  There are not too many craft magazines covering the subject of soapmaking.  Most of them cover scrapbooking, papercrafting and knitting.

The article titled "Handmade Soap...Using Nature's Cupboard" was written by Tracy Adams who has appeared on HGTV's "That's Clever:", teaching clasess at John C Campbell Folk School in North Carolina.  She is also makes soaps and is the owner of Nanty's Naturals.  The article which appears on page 30, is a very nice step by step directions (with nice color photographs) on how to make cold process soap, but the cover price of $6.99 I found very steep and I hope I can find a local library that might have a copy so I can check it out.

If your local bookstore carries this magazine, I would recommend taking a look at the article just for the pleasure of how Tracy makes her own soaps.

How to Pick Waxes for Candlemaking

Are you new to candle making like I am or just getting reaquainted with the craft?  And you are wondering how to pick the right wick for the right candle? Here is an article I located on titled "How to Pick Waxes for Candlemaking" which should guide you in the right direction.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rose Garden Solid Perfume

If you love the smell of roses then this solid perfume will have you smelling as if you are surrounded by hundreds of beautiful and fragrant flowers


1 Oz Beeswax
1 Oz Cocoa Butter
1 Oz Mango Butter
4 Teaspoons Rose FO

Combine the beeswax, mango butter and cocoa butter in a pot. Melt over a low heat using a double boiler, or place your pot in simmering water until fully melted.

Remove from heat, and then add the rose FO. Mix well and pour into perfume tins or lip balm tubes. Let cool then use.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bubble Gum Bath Bomb

This bath bomb recipe creates a fizzy that will have your children begging to take a bath. The fizzy is fun to watch as the pink foam rises to the surface of the water, and the bubble gum scent will have any child loving the idea of bathing in “bubble gum” water.


1/4 Cup Citric Acid
1/4 Cup Powdered Milk
1/4 Cup Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Bubble Gum Fragrance Oil
6 Drops Red Food Coloring
2 Tablespoons Sweet Almond Oil
Witch Hazel


Mix all of the dry ingredients together; add fragrance, colorant and sweet almond oil.

Spritz with witch hazel, mixing fast while spraying, until it’s moist yet crumbly. Do not get it too wet or it’ll expand on you.

Press into your molds, allow 24 hours drying time, un-mold and enjoy!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How to Reduce Bubbles in Your Lotion Recipe

When you are making your lotion recipe, are you having trouble with bubbles? Then check out this article from Duffin's Soap Bakery on How to reduce bubbles in lotion.

There are a few great tips in this article, so check them out to see if they help you with your problem.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quick Stick Deordorant

According to, "Many store-bought stick deodorants contain aluminum which has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease. This is a great alternative that uses a natural moisture absorber, deodorizer, and anti-bacteria/fungal oil to keep any stink from developing in the first place." And has kindly posted this deordorant recipe from Little House in the Suburbs.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Essential Oil Extraction 101

If you do not know how essential oil is extracted from plants, here is an article from Aroma Living describes the various processes there are out there.  The article Essential Oil Extraction 101 explains the basics in a simple English.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rice Bran Oil

by Allison B. Kontur from  Bath Body Supply.

Rice Bran Oil, which is obtained in the milling process, is the part of rice richest in fat. This natural oil, which is expeller pressed, has the presence of natural antioxidants making it an excellent ingredient for food grade products.

Rice Bran Oil is full of antioxidants, such as Vitamin E, ferulic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, and oryzanol. The oil acts as both a carrier and emollient.

In Japan, Rice Bran Oil is used as a skin and hair beauty enhancer. It is also used throughout the world in a variety of cosmetics, especially for those that treat dry and mature skin.

If you would like to purchase Rice Bran Oil from Bath Body Supply -


Friday, May 7, 2010

Make your own Make-up Brush Holder

Isn't this cute?  If you are a sewer and you need a new make-up brush holder, why not make your own?  Here is a tutorial on how to make one from Freshly Picked.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Soy Candle Project from Living Live!

Here is a soy candle project that appeared on Cathie Filian's Blog - Ideas and Instruction For Living Creatitvely back in July of 2007.

Create your own soy candles - it is easy & fun and soy wax burns cooler and cleaner than tradition waxes! So they last longer, are cleaner for the environment and great for people with allergies.

Ideas for containers: ramekins, sea shells, glass jars, tea tins, clay pot saucers, old glasses

Ideas for decorations: fringe trim, raffia, ribbons, scrapbook papers, sea shells, die cuts, stickers, paint pens

Supplies Needed:

soy container-blend wax
recycled glass jar
6 tsp. essential or fragrance oil
cotton-cored wick, 3" longer than the height of the container
metal wick base
candle thermometer
encillarge glass measuring cup
large pan & stovetop or a microwave
oven mitts


1. Determine the amount of wax needed by filling the glass container with water, pouring the water from the container into a measuring cup and making note of the amount. One pound of melted soy wax will make 2-1/4 c. liquid wax.

2. Attach the metal wick base to one end of the wick, following instructions on the package. Tie the other end of the wick to the center of a pencil; balance the pencil across the opening of the glass jar (make sure the container is dry). The pencil will keep the wick straight during the pouring and cooling stages.

3. Stove Top Melting Method: Fill one-third of the pan with water and bring to a boil. Place unmelted wax in a glass measuring cup and sit the cup in the boiling water (this is a homemade double boiler).

4. Microwave Melting Method: Place desired amount of soy wax in a large glass measuring cup. Melt on medium temperate in short intervals. (1 minute at a time) The time it takes will depend on your microwave and the amount of wax you're melting.

5. Place the thermometer in the wax and monitor the temperature, stirring as needed, until the melted wax has reached a temperature of 160 degrees (never heat above 160 degrees).

6. Wearing oven mitts, place the melted wax on a heatproof surface. Add fragrance oil after the temperature drops to 125 degrees; stir thoroughly. The intensity of fragrance is a personal preference: add more drops for a stronger scent. A good guideline is between 20 to 40 drops.

7. When the cooling wax reaches 110 degrees, pour it very slowly into a container to just below the rim. Check to make sure the wick is centered and taut before placing the container, away from cool and drafty places, to rest at room temperature.

8. When the wax is completely cool, trim the wick to 1/4" long. Wait four days before burning in order to settle the fragrance.

9. Add decorations or keep your design minimal. You can hot glue trim around the edge, add fun bits of paper to the glass with decoupage medium or tie a pretty ribbon around the edge.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lavender Milk Bath Recipe

Do you like to take baths? And is lavender your favorite scent?  Then why not combine the two to create this relaxing milk bath.  To make a soothing and relaxing Lavender Milk Bath, fill a tub with hot water, then add the following:

1/2 cup dead sea salts
1/2 cup epsom salts
8 drops organic lavender essential oil
4 drops neroli essential oil
1 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup lavender buds
1/4 cup baking soda
5 drops jojoba oil *

Stir around and soak. Enjoy with candlelight and some relaxing music.

*for oilier skin types you may want to omit the jojoba oil

**epsom salts contain magnesium to soothe and relax muscles

**try filling the tub with hotter water than you would normally use and letting it sit for 15 minutes to cool and allow some of the chlorine to evaporate before your soak

***after your bath you may want to leave the water in the tub for an hour or so to continue to enjoy the relaxing lavender scent in your home


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Green Tea Body Scrub

Love Green Tea? How would you like to incorporate it into a body scrub? Then take a look at this video clip on how to make a Green Tea Body Scrub.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Paraben Facts! From Elements Bath and Body

Parabens.  You have heard the word and you are wondering what the fuss is all about?  Well, here is an article from Elements Bath and Body that can spell out all the facts.

The article titled "Paraben Facts! " also includes a helpful Word document on information from the FDA on this very subject. And it can be printed out for easy reference.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Testing Natural Colorants in Soapmaking

Testing Natural Colorants for Use in Soap Making
By David Fisher,

People have been using natural colorants in soap for years. But unless you've used this colorant before, or are followig some one else's recipe, it’s a very good idea to test them out for yourself. Yes, it takes a bit of time, but you’ll be spared of any surprises. Natural colors can sometimes do very odd things!

There are three tests for natural colorants:

(1) A lye test
(2) An oil test
(3) A final test in a small batch of soap

The Lye Test

To test how your colorant will react to the lye, dissolve about a tablespoon of lye into a half cup of water. Stir until the lye is completely dissolved and let it cool. Slowly add some of the plant material. You don’t need to use much – perhaps ¼ teaspoon of powdered colorant, or a few leaves of a fresh. TAKE NOTES!! In your notebook, jot down the amount of plant material used, and what color it turned. Check the solution again in a few hours. Then let it sit for about 24 hours and check again.

The Oil Test

Heat up about 4 ounces of oil. (I prefer to use coconut oil or lard so that I know that the oil is not imparting any color to the final results.) Add your colorant as before, and let it steep. Check back in a few hours and again after about 24. Again, TAKE NOTES!!

The Soap Test

After you’ve tested the colorant in both the lye and oil, you should be ready to try it in a small batch of soap. Depending on whether the colorant acted better in the lye or the oil will determine when you add it to the mix. Some plant materials work better when steeped in the lye solution, others work better when added at trace.

Unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule for how much of each colorant to add to your soap. Different plants have stronger coloring abilities, as well as each person's tastes are different. When I’m testing out a recipe, I usually start with 1 tsp. of colorant for each pound of oils in my recipe. Then, based on those results, I’ll adjust the amount from there. If you're going to steep the colorant in the lye water, mix your lye-water first, then add the color. Let it steep for a few minutes - or a few hours if necessary. Then using this colored lye-water, make your soap.

If you're going to add the color to the oil, you can either add it at the beginning to the oils, or at the end, at trace. Either way seems to work about the same. As before, TAKE NOTES - how much of the colorant you used, when you added it, how it reacted in the soap. Your memory may be good now, but several months from now, when you want to duplicate your wonderful results, you'll be grateful for those notes.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bath Tea Make Great Mother's Day Gifts

Looking for something to give to your mother on Mother's Day? Why not make bath teas for her? One or both of these tub teas would make a great gift for Mother's Day because it is something different and you made it yourself. Plus they are easy to make and you do not have to invest in alot of money to create them.

These bath tea recipe appears on The Soap Queen's Blog Soap and the Finer Thing with many other great bath and body product ideas for you to create.