Saturday, July 31, 2010

Melt & Pour: Peanut Butter & Jelly Soap Sandwich

Do peanut butter and jelly sandwiches bring back fond memories of elementary school? This is a famous recipe from Debbie from SoapyLove Fame. She has taught this technique @ The Nova Studio in Point Richmond, CA. If you would like to create this childhoold favorite into a bar of sap by the melt and pour method, then purchase the materials listed below and watch the instructional video.

Supplies Needed:

Clear and white melt & pour soap base
Oriental mustard & neon bright purple colorants
Peanut butter fragrance
Grape slush fragrance
8 x 8 flexible jelly roll pan
Microwave for melting soap
Sharp knife for trimming the finished soap
Microwaveable dishes or measuring cups

For a video clip on how to make this cute and unique soap, please visit

Friday, July 30, 2010

What is Beeswax Used For?

Are you wondering what beeswax is used for?  It can be found in alot of different everyday things, but according to

"Wax differs from fat in being harder and less greasy. Wax from a variety of animals is used for various purposes. Lanolin is wax from sheep's wool. Spermaceti is wax from the sperm whale. And beeswax is the material secreted by a bee's abdominal glands.

Health care is one area in which beeswax is used. In the area of skin care, one can find beeswax used in lip gloss, lip balm, hand products such as creams, lotions, and moisturizers. One may also find beeswax in cosmetics, such as eye shadow, blush, and eye liner. It is also used in some pharmaceuticals.

Beeswax is also used in a number of crafts. Ukrainian Easter Eggs or Pysanky, which rely on a technique of successive dyeing from light to dark, are made by covering lighter colors with beeswax to keep them from being covered by the darker colors. It is similarly used in batik, which also relies on multiple dyeing.

Beeswax candles are prized, and required for certain religious ceremonies. Beeswax candles are both dripless and smokeless and they smell of honey. Beeswax can also be used as a based medium to affix yarn for “yarn painting” or other material for collage. Beeswax is also used in painting, in Veronese paste, used to meld brushstrokes into a uniform finish. Sculpture or jewelry may be modeled in wax, and then cast with the lost wax method.

Just as oboe and bassoon players craft their reeds, didgeridoo players craft their mouthpieces — of beeswax! In fact, beeswax is used as a sealant in reed making, too. Certain guitar and bass finishes used beeswax to give the instruments a protective coat.

Sealing wax, which was used to seal letters before the days of lickable or prepared envelopes, was originally made of a combination of beeswax with a special turpentine and coloring agent. It was molded into a stick shape, which was melted onto the letter and sealed with a stamp or impression.

Beeswax has a place in the care of musical instruments. The mouthpiece of the didgeridoo is made of a uniform beeswax ring affixed to the end. Beeswax is also an ingredient in cork grease, used to lubricate the cork joints of instruments that are stored in pieces and then fitted together for performance, as many of the woodwind instruments are.

Food uses of beeswax include glazing of fruit, candy, and baked goods, and as an ingredient in natural chewing gum. Beeswax is also used to seal cheeses. Beeswax is also the coating of choice when making Canneles de Bordeaux, a confection that is fidgety about being removed from its mold, unless the mold is first coated with beeswax.

Beeswax is used as a protective shield on concrete countertops. preventing oil and water stains and bringing out the color. It is also used as a finish for wooden kitchen implements, such as salad bowls and butcher’s blocks."

Most of you reading this blog are reading this post because you are wondering if beeswax appears in any of your bath and body products.  I know that beeswax appears in lip balms, body balms, some candles and some lotions."


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Swirling Soap Techniques From Inner Earth Soaps

Ever since I learned how to make swirl soaps at The Nova Studio over two years ago, I have always enjoyed seeing other soap makers versions of swirling soap.  If you want to learn how to make swirl soap, I found these great instructions for In the Pot Soap Swirl Technique from Inner Earth Soaps. Inner Earth Soaps provides some really good tips on this technique that are really helpful.

So if have never made swirled cold process soap, you should give it a try!  I have seen other soapmakers have six colors or more.  I think that is alittle bit too much and it would be very difficult if it was your first time trying this technique.  I would say start with two colors. Once you master two then try three. I really like to keep things simple. You know that saying "Less is More".I think three is the maximum number for me.  If I were to do three, I would try two primiary colors like red and blue.  If they combine that would make purple.  But that is just me.  You go for what is best for you.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Embedding Photos into Candles

Do you have a favorite picture that you like to recreate into something more memorable?  Then why not embed your favorite photo of your pet, baby or vacation spot into an unique candle?  This would definately be a a great ecomonical gift to make for this holidays!

So check out these step by step instructions for Embedded Photo Candles from Peak Candle Supply, find your favorite photos and start creating!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Body Powder Recipe from Aquarian Bath

Do you live in an area where it gets hot and humid?  And because it gets hot and humid where you live, you need to apply a body powder?  If you cannot seem to find one that works well to your liking, then try this Body Powder Recipe from Aquarian Bath. This recipe should work for you since Aquarian Bath is located in Central Florida.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Need Packaging Ideas?

Need help packing your soaps, etc.? There are plenty of packaging ideas from Aussie Soap Supplies ranging from rustic to???.  Check out Aussie Soap Supplies Packaging Ideas plus other packaging ideas that appear on Flicker.  Also check out the box templates packaging page to inspire you even more!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Soothing Oat Fizzies

Love bath fizzies? Here is an interesting recipe  from Allison B Kontur of Bath Body Supply that your may want to try.  What I found most interesting is the ingredient in this recipe was oat straw tincture. I never heard of oat straw tincture and did not know it existed and actually being used in a bath products recipe.

If you you want to see other receipes from Alison, check out her blog Design it Yourelf Skincare.

What you will need :

10 oz Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
4 oz Citric Acid
2 oz Colloidal Oatmeal NF
5 ml (1 tsp) Fragrance Oil
1/2 oz Witch Hazel Distillate
1/2 oz Oat Straw, Tincture (Organic)
Fine Mist Sprayer & Bottle
Liquid Colorant, Mica or Herbal Powder
Soap Mold, Plastic Ornament Ball, Meatballer or Silicone Mini Muffin Pan


Phase 1: Sift Baking Soda, Colloidal oatmeal and Citric Acid together to get all the lumps out. Be sure and wear gloves, as the Citric Acid may burn and/or dry out your hands. (Work in a well-ventilated area.)

Phase 2: Add mica and/or herbal powder and mix it in. You'll notice that it seems to all disappear. When your finished bath fizzie hits the water, those additives come out in full force. If you are using liquid colorant, add one drop at a time to avoid setting off the fizz and mix thoroughly between drops until the intensity you desire is achieved.

Phase 3: Adding fragrance or essential oils should also be done by the drop. Once your scenting material is well blended, then it is time for the tricky part.

Phase 4: Combine the Witch Hazel and Oat Straw Extract in the bottle with fine mist sprayer and shake well to combine. Give the mixture a couple of sprays of Witch Hazel/Oat Straw. Be careful of adding too much. Once you add too much, there is no going back as it will set off the fizz. Spritz about 3 or 4 times and stir and spritz and stir, being careful not to over spritz before you stir.

Phase 5: When done, the mixture will stick to itself a bit when you pinch it between two fingers. Be very careful to not over-wet the mixture. Witch Hazel is good about not setting off the fizz, but if you give it too much it will destroy the batch. (Adding more of the powdered ingredients won't fix it.)

Carefully, but firmly press the mixture into the mold/ornament/meatballer. Leave the bath bombs in the molds for about 5 or 10 minutes, then flip the mold over and tap it out. They will be fragile at this stage, so work carefully.

Phase 6: Set the fizzies out in a dry place (or in an enclosed room containing a dehumidifier) until you need to wrap them or use them. Let them sit over night before attempting to wrap them up or package them for sale. When storing fizzies, be sure to put them in a very dry place. Some people put them in an oven with very low heat to dry them out well before packaging them. This is a good idea if you live in a very humid area.

FYI: Colloidal Oatmeal and Oat Straw Tincture are used extensively in "soothing" skincare products and are the basis for the well-known "Aveeno" line of products. The latin name for Oat Straw is Avena sativa.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer Body Spray

Looking for a cooling summer body spray for those hot summer days?  Then why not try this soothing recipe from Pioneer Thinking:


1 tablespoon witch hazel
1 teaspoon lemon essential/fragrance oil
1 teaspoon cucumber essential/fragrance oil
1 cup water


For a refreshing cool feeling, make an after shower spray by combining all the ingredients. Place in a pump spray bottle.

Note: Don't use if you have sensitive skin, the lemon may irritate it.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Rainbow Chunk Candles

While surfing the internet for interesting candle projects to do, I found this colorful Rainbow Chunk Candle Container project from Peak Candle Supply.  If the colors in this candle are not your colors, then try other colors that would fit your decor.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

SuperFatting Your Homemade Soap Recipes

If you are someone who knows how to make homemade soap, or you are simply looking to get started with homemade soap recipes, there is a good chance that you have heard the phrase superfatting being tossed around a lot. Superfatting is essentially the process of adding more oil to your soap while keeping the amount of lye that has been used essentially the same. If you are looking at your recipe, you can superfat it by looking at the lye and oil ratios and increasing your oil content by five percent or so.

When you are looking at how to make homemade soap and you want to know how to superfat a recipe, whether it is one that you have loved for years or whether it is something that you have always wanted to try, start with a lye calculator, which will often give you an option to superfat the recipe.You may also just figure it out mathematically. If you want to superfat the recipe by, say, five percent, take the amount of lye in the recipe and multiply it by .95, leaving the oil as it is.

Superfatting homemade soap recipes can leave you with a 3% increase in oil or even a 10% increase. Remember not to go overboard though. The free oil that remains in your recipe can go bad, and spoiled soap has small unattractive orange bubbles of spoiled free oil. This is a trial and error method, so keep good notes on what you are doing and what the results are.

You may be wondering why you would do this. The truth of the matter is that having too much lye is something that can be extremely bad for your soap. You’ll wind up with a product that you don’t like, that is far too abrasive and that may have you wishing that you had never gotten started in the first place! This is essentially saying that with superfatting your homemade soap recipes, it is better to err on the side of caution.

Similarly it is also important to realize that there is nothing wrong with soap that can add a little it of moisturizer to your hands. This gives your soap slightly more emollient qualities, which essentially means that it can soften your skin much more effectively.  As a lot of soap tends to dry your skin out, this can be very important.

Have some fun experimenting with the process of superfatting when you go to make homemade soap. You never know when it is going to make your next batch something really special!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lip Balm/Lip Butter Recipe Guidelines

If you are interested in creating your own lip balm or lip butter recipe, I found these guidelines from Element Bath and Body Supply that could help you. I found the information quite helpful and hopefully will be brave enough to make up my own lip balm recipes.

You will need the following ingredients. Tip: Make sure to keep a journal of what you made so if the recipe turns out then you can recreate it at a later date.

20% Beeswax
25% Soft Butter (Example: Shea butter)
15% Brittle Butter (Example: Cocoa butter, Mango butter)
40% Fixed Oil (Example: castor, grapeseed, sunflower)

Because lip balms are oil-based (contain no water), no preservative is necessary. Add Vitamin E as an antioxidant (to prevent rancidity).

BASIC LIP BALM This is a recipe to get you started. Remember that you can be creative & alternate oils & butters to formulate your favorite recipe. 1 oz Beeswax 1.1 oz Shea Butter, refined 1.1 oz Cocoa Butter, deodorized 3.3 oz Castor or Grapeseed Oil

MELT: Add all ingredients in one microwave-safe container or double boiler. An inexpensive 4-Cup plastic measuring cup that has an angled tip for easy pouring is perfect for such a task. Do no overheat. If using a microwave, stir every 30 seconds.

When above ingredients are melted, add the following optional ingredients: .1 oz Vitamin E If you prefer a sweetened lip balm, add .5 tsp stevia powder (stevia powder can cause graininess, so you may opt for no sweetener or some other source of sweetener.) Flavor Oil or Essential Oil: Depending on the oil, use up to .1 oz flavor or essential oil.

POUR into Lip Balm Tubes . As the batch cools, it will coagulate & become difficult to pour. Simply place in the microwave for 10-15 seconds & then continue filling tubes. Fills approx 30 .15 oz lip balms.

Variations: 2ml Peppermint EO is nice & simple w/this recipe. Change the deodorized cocoa butter to natural cocoa butter & you've got a Chocolate-Peppermint Lip Balm!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fizzling Milk Bath

Here is a great recipe from Pat Storer at Skinny Dippin:


11-part goats milk powder
3 parts dry milk
1 part citric acid
1 part cornstarch
1/2 part borax
2 parts Epsom salts
2 parts baking soda
2 parts rock salt crystals
Few drops of FDA color


Blend all in a Ziploc. For each 2 oz. of mix, I put in 1 ml. Herbal essential oils. This is milliliter not part on the essential oil. It is not very much. You can substitute fragrance oils or other essential oils but will have to use judgment on how much. Remember also that not fragrance or essential oils are sensible to use in baths. Check with someone who knows if you are not sure first since a person will be soaking in them.
Note: You can make in the quantity you desire: (example a 'part' can be one tsp., one T., one cup, one bucketful, etc.)


Monday, July 19, 2010

Colorful Soap Embed Ribbons

Looking for something new to embed in your melt and pour soaps?  Then why not makes these colorful soap curls/ribbons to add. Learn how to make these colorful soap embeds ribbons from

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cocoa Butter Massage Bars

By David Fisher,

For more information about this recipe, check out David's Cocoa Butter Bars Recipe.

The basic recipe includes the following ingredients:

One part beeswax, One part butter - cocoa, shea or other nut butter and One part oil - any oil soft at room temperature,

The goal in creating the recipe is to have a bar that melts at skin temperature. The beeswax melts at about 160 degrees, the cocoa butter at about 120, and the oils are soft at room the combination will create your bar. The butter you use will also determine any adjustments to the ratio. That is...cocoa butter has a higher melting point than shea butter - so if you make these bars with shea, you will need to decrease the amount of liquid oil.

For these bars, David used:

4 ounces of Natural Yellow Beeswax
4 ounces of Natural Cocoa Butter
4 ounces of Fractionated Coconut Oil (a very absorbable oil - great for skin applications!)
1 ounce (total) of Lavender, Eucalyptus and Patchouli essential oils - or whatever fragrance or essential oil you want.Note: You may want to try this with no fragrance - just with the natural beeswax and natural cocoa butter - the honey scent from the wax and the chocolate scent from the cocoa butter are heavenly in a subtle way.

Measure out your oils and start melting the beeswax first.

I melt the beeswax first because it has the highest melt point. Once it's completely melted, I take it off the heat and add the cocoa butter. The cocoa butter will mostly melt with no additional heat. Put it back on the heat briefly to melt the rest of the cocoa butter.

Once the cocoa butter is completely melted, add in your liquid oils and fragrance. Stir well.

Once everything is melted and mixed together, pour the mix into your molds. As you can see, I'm using the molds I used for my Melt and Pour Valentine Hearts from Brambleberry.

Slowly pour the liquid wax & oils into the molds and set them aside to cool.As they cool, depending on your combination of wax and oils, you may get small sink holes like this one - since they're on the back of the bar, I didn't bother fixing them - but you could, if you wanted, pour a bit more melted wax/oil into the sink hole after it's cooled - just like you would a candle that had a sink hole.

Once the bars have completely cooled, gently pop them out of the molds. Since they are formulated to melt at skin temperature, be sure to keep them in a cool place like a cupboard or the refrigerator.

Use them as solid massage-oil bars...or they are also really great to use after you get out of the shower on legs and arms. You do need to wait a few minutes for the oil to soak in - they are almost pure oil, remember - but once it's soaked in, your skin will love you for it!

Instead of pouring the bars into regular soap molds, pour them into a push up lotion bar tube. Much easier and cleaner - though somewhat less romantic, I suppose. These are great if you're using the balm as a handy body butter, bug-off balm, or solid perfume.

Source: :

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Handmilled Soap Tutorial

If you are interested in making soap by the handmilled method, then check out this tutorial from Soap Making Supplies and Tutorials.This tutorial explains the basic process involves five simple steps.  If you follow each step, youu should be able create your very own rebarched soap.

1. Make a plain soap base from scratch using the cold process method or hot process methtod but do not add any extra essential oils, dyes, or nutrients. In other words, create your initial soap using only the ingredients that actually take part in the saponification reaction.

By the end of this initial stage you should have made a basic, pure, unscented soap base with no other additions. Note that some soap makers do add some of the extra ingredients during the cold process procedure, but most add them later on in the milled soap process.

2. After the soap base is fully hardened, grate it into small pieces and melt in a microwave, crock-pot, or double boiler. You may want to put the grated soap in a heat resistant heavy duty plastic bag so that you can snip off the end for easy dispensing. This also allows you to easily mix the extra nutrients added into the soap by kneading the soap within the bag.

Remember, if you did not wait for the soap to fully cure, it can still be somewhat caustic. So make sure you follow these soap making safety guidelines!

3. Once the soap base is liquefied, add the essential oils, soap dye and various nutrients and mix the concoction until the soap is one solid color.

4. Now pour the soap into a pre-designed soap making mold, or wooden loaf soap mold to harden.

5. After the soap bars are solid, take them out of the mold and lay them on a rack to further cure

Keep in mind that you don't need to do this if you already waited the initial 3-8 weeks for the soap that you made from scratch to completely cure before grating.

6. Before using hand milled soap, or any homemade soap for that matter, always test the PH levels to make sure the soap is completely safe.

Friday, July 16, 2010

How to use Avery Design Pro to create labels

Avery Design Pro is great for creating soap cigar bands and other labels that are compatible with Avery's design templates. Avery design template can even be used to create labels that are not in their design roster with a few tweaks. The software is a free download and it accepts different types of graphic formats, including JPG, TIFF and PNG formats.

In order to use Avery Design Pro to print labels that are not in their design roster you will have to think outside the box. I use Avery Design Pro to print regular sized labels such as a 2.5 inch circle and the 5x3 inch rectangle. These standard label sizes are typical Avery compatible label sizes. But what do you do to create soap cigar bands that are approximately 3 inches x 8 inches?

See below for instructions for creating soap cigar bands in Avery design Pro.

The software takes up from total of 200MB but it recommended that you have at least 800MB free on your hard drive. The program is compatable with Windows 7, XP, 95, 97, ME and Vista.


•The software is easy to use

•Its free, which is great for those who do not have expensive software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create labels

•Labels print to any Avery compatible type label. Avery labels are the standard for home printing label needs for the novice at home printer. In addition, Avery pro is great for designing basic graphic layouts for such items as product hang tags and gift tags --- all of which can be printed on card stock or other stiff material and then cut out.

This software has all the nuts and bolts to make designing a breeze, with features such as:

•insert shapes and boxes
•insert text on top of graphics and shapes
•rounded corners and line fills
•text on a rounded path (text in a circle)
•graphics that stretch and can be resized
•design possibilities that the very makers of the software have no clue to-;


•There are not many tutorials available to help figure out the software so you are on your own.
•The program is fairly easy to use but has many functions that you just have to play with to understand.
•Some folks claim that the software does not recognize the file types that it claims. That is a easy fix as you have to specify the file types in the file import dialog box so it will look for that file type.

Directions for using Program to create soap cigar bands

1.Download Avery Pro from website (It is a free program)

2.Check your Avery label and make a note of the label number, you will need this to find the particular label template you will working on - For these examples we will use the full sheet label template to create soap cigar bands - the Avery label you would use is Avery® 6465™.(however when printing, print on regular paper or card stock)

3.Create a new document in Avery Pro:

DESIGN FROM SCRATCH --------- scroll to find 8 1/2 x 11 full page ------ click OKAY zoom button to zoom into the page 100 -200%

5.insert image onto template ----GOTO ---- INSERT ------ IMAGE FROM FILE

6.make sure "all files" option is selected so that you can see all the file types in your folder. The program has several glitches, one of which is that it opens files such as PNG files, even though it is not listed as a supported file type.

7.Resize image to fit the space. Typically, three cigar bands can hold on a 8 1/2 x 11 inch page.

8.alternately if you do not have a high resolution image or a cigar band template, you can still create a soap cigar band in this program. add three cigar bands ------ RIGHT CLICK ON FIRST CIGAR BAND IMAGE AND COPY AND PASTE ----- IMAGE ----- ARRANGE the three labels on the 8 1/2 x 11 space.

10.If you do not have an image, you can still create a simple cigar band. To do so, start a new file and choose DESIGN FROM SCRATCH -------choose a 8 1/2 x 11 template.

11.To create the shape of the cigar band select DRAWING -------- RECTANGLE----- use the rectangle drawing tool to draw a rectangle on the page --- a good size for each cigar band is 3inches x 8 inches.

12.To customize each cigar band right click on the edge of the line to add a fill color, fill pattern, line thickness, or to create a box with rounded corners, etc.

13.To insert text ------GOTO INSERT TEXT------- explore the options to create a text on a rounded path, to customize font type, colors, etc.

To download Avery Design Pro, visit Avery Dennison

Reprinted with permission from Winsome Tapper, Soapmaking Editor,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tropical Dream Foot Scrub

This tropical scented Salt Scrub is made with an intensive exfoliant, Bora Bora White Sand. This exotic, white sand is actually composed of calcium carbonite, or coral. It adds super scrubbing power to this recipe. Monoi De Tahiti and Papaya Oils help to moisturize and condition dry feet, leaving your skin smooth, soft, and smelling delightful.  Intriqued?  Want to learn how to make it?  Then check out this simple recipe for Tropical Dream Foot Scrub from The Natural Beauty Workshop.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Soap Exchange - List Items For Free!

I came across The Soap Exchange while visiting Mission Peak Soap's website and I wanted to tell you about it.  The Soap Exchange is a website that is intented to be a place where soapmakers and other artisan involved in the manufacture of handcrafted personal care products can place and peruse classified ads specific to their area of interest.

You can list something here for FREE, and you'll make a few bucks, and maybe even connect with a pleasant soul from somewhere else in America. Give it a whirl! Registration is simple, and confidential. So if you have anything to sell such as supplies (soapmaking, lotion, fragrance oils, fixed and carrier oils, essential oils, butter and waxes), equipment, packaging and containers, even finished goods, then try selling them here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Class: Make Meltable Transparent Soap ~with David Critchfield~

It has been 8 years since I took my first melt and pour soap making class. To tell you the truth it seems like it was only yesterday. But since taking that first class back in April 2002, I have purchased a lot of soap base and was wondering if it was possible to make my own soap base.

Earlier this year I saw this Meltable Transparent Soap class offered at The Nova Studio. I originally signed up for the class in February 2010, but unfortunately the class had to be canceled. So I put my name on the list for the next available date which was on June 13, 2010. After I signed up for the class, I was at my local used bookstore and found that they had a copy of Catherine Failor's Making Natural Liquid Soap. I had intended to read the book prior to the class, but I did not immediately read it.

So as the date was approaching I was getting a little apprehensive and not sure if I wanted to actually take the class because I took David's Liquid Soap Making class nearly two years ago and I felt making liquid soap was not my cup of tea. I found out that liquid soap was a lot more difficult than making an soap in bar form. I decided what the heck, what do I have to lose? I plunged ahead and read Catherine's book a day before the class and made the trek over to Point Richmond.

About midway through the class, I was extremely happy how things were going. And I am truly glad that I decide to make the class after all. I wound up learning a lot more than I thought. First thing, learned was that the recipes in Catherine's book were not meltable, which is major disadvantage for me. I really wanted to be able to make a soap base and be able to remelt the batch at a later date. Even though her process seemed simple enough, I really did not like how Catherine used alcohol in her batches. The way David taught the classes was like making hot process soap in a crockpot/slow cooker. This was great because I had taken the hot process soap making class at The Nova Studio and already had purchased a slow cooker so I was already halfway home. Second, I really liked learning about certain ingredients that appear in Life of the Party brand of soap base. Some of these ingredients were used as substitutes for other natural products and also were to insure shelf life. David also discussed about solvents. And one particular came up was glycerin. Glycerin is found in most "commercial" soap bases and has a purpose but it often makes a bar of soap sticky and sweat. David's recipe does not include glycerin and it will be interesting to see how a bar turns out. Third, the soap base that you buy at Michaels that has the olive oil etc in it only has a small amount in the soap base. And lastly, the recipe demonostrated in class makes a womping 7 3/4 pounds of soap which can be used immediately unlike Catherine's recipe you have to wait two weeks before you can use it. Just want to let you know if you make a batch of David's soap and you allow it to harden in a large mold to be used later, it will be an amber color. But if you slice it and remelt the soap, it will become clear.

This class will focus on creating a transparent soap that is as “natural” as possible, but which employs man made solvents to achieve transparency. This class will include a discussion about the use of both natural and man made ingredients in transparent soap and the trade-offs involved. The only thing that concerned me was being able to purchase sorbital. It maybe difficult to purchase in small amounts, but David graciously sold one pound increments and I took him up on his offer. Since David's recipe calls for 17 oz. I purchased two pounds. I guess I will worry about purchasing more when I get to making my second batch.

This demonstration style class covers a discussion and demonstration on how transparent soap is made. It is important to understand that by sticking with mostly "natural" or "naturally-sourced" ingredients, it's impossible to achieve a very clear, hard bar of soap. Natural-ingredient transparent soaps are always going to be more amber in color, slightly milky (as opposed to crystal clear), and a bit softer than their detergent-based, synthetic counterparts. What was really interesting is that the sample we received was pretty close to clear. David did show the class a batch that was cooled in a larger block and you could really see the amber coloring. But David did say that if you melted the bar down into smaller bars, the clarity would be more apparent.

Just to let you know that the making of transparent soap from start to finish takes longer that 3 hours, so parts of the process will be pre-made (where necessary). Each student will take home 1 full-sized bar of soap (in a to-go container) made in the class, to cure at home and handouts which include the recipe made in class, as well as instructions.

I would highly recommend this class for seasoned cold or hot process soap makers, but it is great for someone who makes their soap by the melt and pour method. It is truly worth taking. For those who are interested, three are some requirements in taking the class. This is an intermediate-level soap making class and is designed for students who have either taken our Cold Process 101 Class, the 2-day Soap Boot Camp, or who have experience making soap from scratch on their own. If you have never made soap from scratch before (cold process or hot process), you must first take our Cold Process 101 Soap Class which demonstrates soap making using a 4-pound batch and teaches all the basics (including lye safety) needed for all beginning soap makers.

Are you ready to take this class? Then check out The Nova Studio's website and see when the next time this class is offered.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Natural Candles - Scenting with Essential Oils

If you are just starting out on how to scent your candles, here is an article from Erica at The Bonnie Bath Company that can help you scent your candles with essential oils.  Her article titled Natural Candles - Scenting with Essential Oils, discusses  that not all essential oils can be used in candle making. In fact, a large number are not safe at all. Her articles lists the essential oils that seem to work fine in candles. Be aware that the essential oils must be pure and all candles should undergo a burn test, which simply means that you should burn one candle from each type you carry to ensure that it burns properly.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Marketing Soap -- 5 Fast Ways To Sell Handmade Soap

Marketing soap as a small scale business is one  of the easiest ways to start a small part-time business. Let's face it, soap making is a great hobby and maybe you've thought about trying to sell soap as a business. Maybe you wonder how to get started and where you can sell it.

Here's what we found as we made and sold tens of thousands of bars of natural soap as a part-time little family business.

Fast Way 1 -- Sell it at festivals...

There they are... thousands of people just walking around looking for fun and entertainment. Some of them are looking for homemade soap. Be there with a story and attractive products and they will buy... sometimes by the armload. Did you know that the average person can stack ten four ounce bars of soap on their upper arm? Know how I know?

Fast Way 2 -- A little ten cent brochure...

Once you have a customer give them a little brochure you just printed on your printer. Tell what you have and how to get it... They will mail it back to you or give you a call... Easy sales are repeat sales.

Fast Way 3 -- The Internet works...

Just a little website that's like an on-line brochure will do. Give folks a way to contact you and they will buy...

Fast Way 4 -- Keep all those addresses...

The addresses of your customers are like gold. Just send them a little brochure or catalog. They will buy again if your products are top quality. It's repeat sales and that's the easy way.

Fast Way 5 -- Shops want your soap...

Want to sell a hundred bars at a time? That's what shops will buy. Make sure you have a volume discount price that will work for you. Shops will call you or you can call them. Volume sales are nice and easy too.

Marketing soap on a small scale is easy. If only you didn't have to make all that soap... That can be a nice problem to have...


Saturday, July 10, 2010

What is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate?

Have you seen the ingredient Sodium Lauryl Sulfate some of your bath and body products and you were wondering what is was?  Well, according to

"When manufacturers mix sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, and sodium salt together, they can, surprisingly, come up with an everyday product that is used by much of the general human population. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), is a chemical compound used as a detergent in many beauty, household, and industrial products. In a pure state, sodium lauryl sulfate is known to emit toxic fumes in the presence of excessive heat because of thermal decomposition. But when mixed into diluted concentrations, they can be bottled and sold as your favorite brand name skin care product or cologne.

Its role in these products is usually that of a foaming or a dispersal agent. For example, toothpaste or bubble baths that foam when used contain sodium lauryl sulfate, as well as products that need its components dispersed homogeneously, such as fragrance oils in body spray.

However, the use of sodium lauryl sulfate has been a subject of lot of controversy. It has arguably been called one of the most dangerous ingredients in products today. Household essentials like cosmetic cleansers, bath gels, shampoos, and dishwashing detergents contain up to fifteen percent sodium lauryl sulfate. Also adapted for industrial applications, sodium lauryl sulfate is present in higher concentrations when used in floor scrubbing and degreasing solutions, due to the compound's corrosive and grease-fighting properties.

One thing about sodium lauryl sulfate that had a lot of animal rights activists protesting is its use in clinical testing. The chemical is employed as a primary skin irritant in trial tests on animal or human subjects. Usually after sodium lauryl sulfate is applied to the skin, a rash is likely to develop. The product itself, usually intended to heal skin irritation, is then tested for effectiveness.

Besides subjecting human and animal test subjects to different degrees of discomfort, critics claim that sodium lauryl sulfate is retained in the long run in organ tissues like the heart, liver, and brain. In lab animals, testing has been blamed for causing mutagenic effects. If they remain in the eyes for too long, they may also lead to the development of cataracts. Because sodium lauryl sulfate is corrosive by nature, it can dry out skin by stripping the protective lipids from the surface of the skin, weakening the body's natural moisture regulation mechanisms. If it eats away at the follicle, hair loss may also be induced.

In extreme cases, sodium lauryl sulfate is argued to be carcinogenic, though not by itself. When exposed to other nitrogen-bearing ingredients of a skin product though, the oxidation reaction that results may form nitrosomines, which are carcinogenic nitrates. Opponents of this argument claim that the percentage of sodium lauryl sulfate in such products is usually not enough to cause cancer in human beings. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) are all research-based organizations that have rated sodium lauryl sulfate as non-carcinogenic."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Peachy Keen Massage Butter

Peachs remind me of summer time.  If you love peaches as much as I do, then you will love this Peachy Keen Massage Butter recipe from Melt and


6 Tablespoons Shea Butter
1 Tablespoon Grapeseed Oil
 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Apricot Kernel Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Soap Crafters Very Peach Flavoring


Melt all ingredients on stove in a small pot making sure they reach 180 degrees. Take off the heat. Allow to cool off until just warm. Add the flavoring and mix well.

Pour into the 4 ounce Soap Crafters Salve Jar . In a few hours at room temperature, it will be ready for someone to give you a wonderful massage!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tutorial: Birthday Cake Loaf Soap

Do you have a friend celebrating a special birthday?  Then why not make this special Birthday Cake Loaf soap from the bakeries of the Soapy Love and The Soap Queen.

This unique birthday cake soap loaf recipe makes a special appearance on The Soap Queen's blog Soap and the Finer Things.  Check it out, it would be the perfect favor for any birthday or for any age!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Raspberry Truffle Cupcake Candle

Cupcakes are not just for kids' birthday parties anymore. They've become extremely popular and more decorative as they grace tables at elegant weddings, showers, and holiday gatherings.

So, here's an idea to try Candle Science's brand new Raspberry Truffle Fragrance Oil. We've taken this luscious scent along with our ever popular Golden Brands 464 Soy Wax and made a fun Raspberry Truffle Cupcake Candle. Give it a try with this or any of our wonderful candle fragrances and dyes.

Golden Brands 464 Soy Wax - 3 lbs. (1 lb. for the "cake" part of the candle and 2 lbs. for the "frosting".
Raspberry Truffle Fragrance Oil
Brown Liquid Dye
Burgundy Liquid Dye
•Hot Plate or Double Boiler
Pouring Pitcher
Wick For this project, we're underwicking the candle with an ECO 2.
Foil Cupcake Liners (not paper)
•Cupcake Tin for 6 cupcakes
Wick Stickum
•Hand Mixer or Egg Beater
•Metal Spatula


Heat 1 lb. Golden Brands 464 Soy Wax to 185 degrees. Add 6-9 drops Brown Liquid Candle Dye and stir thoroughly for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 oz. Raspberry Truffle Fragrance Oil and stir gently.

While wax is cooling, prepare cupcake tins by putting one foil cupcake liner in each holder to make 6 cupcake candles. Attach wick to center of cupcake foil using a Wick Stickum.

When wax has cooled to 135 degrees, pour colored and fragranced wax carefully into cupcake tin about 1/8 inch from top. Let cool until solid.

Meanwhile, heat 2 pounds Soy Wax to 185 degrees and add 6 drops of Burgundy Liquid Candle Dye for the frosting. (You can also add fragrance oil to the frosting if you wish.) Remove from heat and allow to cool. When you see the wax beginning to solidify (it looks like a film is forming on the top), use an egg beater or hand mixer to whip the wax until desired consistency. We cooled our wax to 85 degrees when we "frosted" our candle.

With a metal spatula, "frost" the cupcake candle to desired thickness. Sprinkle some white shaved wax on top. Trim the wick and enjoy.

NOTE: If you choose to burn this candle, make sure it is sitting level and on a safe candle holder. Remember to always follow safety procedures for burning a candle.

Source: Raspberry Truffle Cupcake Candle from Candle Science

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Beauty Benefits of Kokum Butter

According to the blog Joy of Soap the beauty benefits of Kokum Butter is

" in essential fatty acids, which aid in cell oxygenation and make nutrients more readily available for use by skin tissues, and also contains antioxidant vitamin E. And, yes, Kokum Butter is non-comedogenic (non pore-clogging) so it it helps with quick absorption. I find that the addition of Kokum Butter adds a more lush and silky texture to lotions and creams and makes my skin feel super smooth and soft for much of the day. Because Kokum Butter helps regenerate tired and worn skin cells and supports skin elasticity it is used in health and beauty products that advertise the ability to prevent dry skin and wrinkles. This is a great ingredient to look for if you have mature or dry skin.

The Kokum tree is a tropical evergreen fruit tree that provides culinary, industrial and medicinal uses especially in ayurvedic and eastern medicines. The trees are found in the forests of Goa in India. The dried outer skin is used as a culinary spice. The seeds, fruits, and extracted oils of and are used in curries and syrups. The bark and young leaves provide astringent benefits.

NOTE: We recommend that if you have persistent skin problems, such as eczema, please consult a physician before using Kokum Butter. Not recommended by those with nut allergies."


Monday, July 5, 2010

How to Make Container Candles

Love container candles?  But you were not satisfied with your purchase or lack of options in the retail establishments that you frequent?  Then why not learn to create your own with these simple instructions  contributed by Alan Wallace, Peak Candle Supplies.

To find out more on How to Make Container Candles, visit the link to start creating your very own container candles.  This would make a wonderful gift for someone at any time of the year.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

What is the Difference Between Hand Lotion and Face Lotion?

Some can be confused in the difference between hand lotion and face cream.  Sometimes, I have a difficult time understanding the difference myself.  But according to

"While many people are of the opinion that all types of lotions are the same, the fact is that there are a few important differences between hand lotion and face lotion. These differences have to do with the effect that each type of lotion is designed to achieve, and the mixture of elements that are included in the basic formula. Here are three of the main differences between face lotion and hand lotion.

Hand lotion, like body lotion, is formulated to have a thicker consistency than face lotion. While it is true that both types of lotion are used to moisturize the skin, most people need a different level of moisturizing on the face than with the hands. This is because the facial area tends to contain sections that already exude a fair amount of natural oils. The thicker texture of hand lotion allows the product to more effectively treat the rough patches many people develop on knuckles and palms, since a residue will cling to the hands even after washing. By contrast, using this thicker lotion on the facial skin is likely to clog pores and create skin problems.

With face lotion, the idea is usually not only to moisturize but also to cleanse. Many creams and lotions that are formulated especially for the face will include cleansers that help to remove excess oil deposits from the pores of the skin. The result is that the face lotion is applied for a short time and then rinsed off the skin. Unlike hand lotion, there is no residue that continues to protect the face from the elements. Most people have enough natural oils to accomplish this task, and simply require face lotion to help augment the process.

Last, the formulas for hand lotion and face lotion often contain a range of nutrients that are especially blended for the special needs of skin on the hands or the face. The hand lotion will contain properties that will help to nourish the dryer skin found there, while face lotion will include nutrients that help to leave a smooth and clean complexion. Many types of face lotion today include elements that are meant to tighten the skin and provide a more youthful appearance. Those same elements would not work well with the hands, and could lead to cracking and scaling on the dryer texture of skin found on knuckles and palms.

The bottom line is that hand lotion and face lotion, just like other forms of lotions, are formulated to meet the specific needs of the skin found at different points on the human body. Choosing the right type of lotion or cream will result in helping the specific area to be healthy and look more attractive."


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dreamsicle Bath Salts Recipe

One of my favorite treats as a kid was a dreamsicle bar.  You know that frozen treat on a stick that had a orange outer coating and a vanilla ice cream inside.  When I found this recipe for this bath salt recipe from Pure and Natural Soaps brought me back to my childhood during the hot summer months. What is great about this recipe is no calories.


2 cups Epsom salt
1 cup Sea salt
1/2 cup Baking Soda
liquid food coloring (color of your choice)
15 drops of vanilla essential oil
15 drops of sweet orange essential oil
1 Tbsp. of carrier oil (almond, coconut, olive, etc., your choice)

Place the salt mixture into a bowl. Add the drops of your chosen essential oils. Add the drops of your liquid food coloring. Mix very well with a fork. Add the mixture to a pretty jar, salt tube, or container that has a tight fitting lid. After a day, you may wish to mix well again to ensure that the oils have blended very well.

Add 1/2 - 1 cup of the salts to running bath water. Mix well to ensure that the salt has dispersed well in the tub before entering. To keep the essential oils from evaporating too quickly, you can add the bath salts just before getting in the tub instead of while the water is running. Sitting on undissolved chunky bath salts can be painful, so make sure the salts have dissolved well before entering.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Vanilla Party Hearts

Love wax tarts?  Or need a favor to give at your next party? Then try this project from Wholesale Supplies Plus:

Project Level:
Estimated Time: 1/2 Hour 
Yields: 10 sets of 4 tarts

When making candles and tarts do not leave melting wax unattended. If it gets too hot, it will flash fire. Wax does not boil it will immediately catch fire. In case of fire, turn off heat source. Remove oxygen from the fire by covering melting pot with a lid or smothering with baking soda. DO NOT USE WATER to put out a wax fire. Always use a candy thermometer to monitor wax temperatures and avoid a fire.


  • 2 Pound(s) Candle Wax IGI 4641
  • 2 Ounce(s) Crafter's Choice Vanilla Buttercream FO
  • 4 Ounce(s) Candy Sprinkles
  • 10 Tin Tie Ribbon 12" - Green
  • 10 Tin Tie Ribbon 12" - Cerise
  • 10 Cello Bags 2.5" x 2" x 6"


  • Dropper
  • Gloves
  • Jelly Roll Pan (to protect work surface)
  • Melting Pot
  • Petite Heart Silicone Cups
  • Spoon
  • Thermometer


 Using a candle wax mlting pot and candy thermometer, melt wax until it reaches 165ยบ F.

 Add fragrance. Stir well.

 Set the molds on a jelly roll pan. This will protect your work surface and allow you to easily move the molds while the wax is cooling.

 Carefully pour the wax into the mold.

 Sprinkle wax (in molds) with candy sprinkles.

 Allow wax to fully return to room temperature and unmold. Note, if you try to remove wax from the mold too soon, the wax will stick to the mold.

 Place in cello bag and tie with tin tie ribbon. To make curl ribbon, wrap around a pen.

 Apply label.

 Directions for use: Melt in tart burner. Follow directions for use on the tart burner.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Patriotic Star Soaps

Show your patriotic spirit by making these easy and fun 4th of July soap making project, I found this cute 4th of July Soap  from to make with your friends and family.

The ABC's of Soapmaking (cold process): Gathering the Equipment You Need (Cold/Hot Process Method)

Mary Welty, author of "The ABC's of Soapmaking (cold process): Gathering the Equipment You Need", explains what equipment you will need to make to make your batches of cold process soap.  If you are making hot process soap, you will need alot of the same equipment but you will need a heat source.  Most will will use a slow cooker, but some will make their soap in the oven.  According to Mary, here is what you need:

"Ready to try making your own soap? Then the first place to start is gathering the supplies you will need. Nothing could be worse than starting a project dealing with caustic lye and suddenly find out you're missing a key piece of the puzzle. So, before you begin make sure you have these materials and supplies close at hand.

A Kitchen Scale: You'll find out very quickly that unless you have an accurate kitchen scale, you're going to have problems with your soap. Some of the features you'll want to look for include: A scale that can be readjusted to zero each time you use it. This will permit you to set your pot on the scale, set the scale to zero, and still achieve the accurate weight of the ingredients. You will want a scale that can measure accurately up to 5lb's.

Soap Pot: You will need a large kettle for mixing your soap. This should be made of unchipped enamel or stainless steel. Lye will corrode most other materials. Smaller pots may hold your batch of soap but they won?t leave enough room for stirring. When choosing a pot, select one that is tall and narrow, rather than short and wide. Soap made in a taller pot will mix more efficiently.

Plastic Pitchers: You're going to need two plastic pitchers for missing and pouring the lye solution. The pitchers should have pouring spouts, removable lids that either snap or screw on tightly, and secure handles. Select pitchers that are "dishwasher safe". These types of pitchers will be able to accommodate the lye solution that can heat up to 200 degrees. Do not use glass or metals. Metals can react with the lye and glass may crack when subjected to the high temperatures of the lye.

Long Handled Spoons: The spoons are used for stirring the caustic lye solution so be sure it has a good long handle. Spoons can be of plastic or wood, though the lye will eventually chew up a wooden spoon. Plan on reserving these spoons for soapmaking only.

Kitchen Thermometer: You will need 2 kitchen thermometers. Each must be capable of registering temperatures as low as 100 degrees F. The probe end should be made of glass or stainless steel. Lye can ruin most aluminum probes. Purchase thermometers with hooks so you can attach them to the side of your pitcher or pot. Make sure you know how to read your thermometer, as inaccurate readings can ruin a batch of soap!

Safety Glasses: Always wear safety goggles/glasses when mixing soap to protect your eyes from the caustic lye.

Rubber Gloves: You will also want rubber gloves to protect your hands and lower arms from the possibility of a chemical burn. Protective Covering: You will also need an adequate supply of newspaper or plastic to cover all counter surfaces and protect them from the caustic lye. Lye will absolutely destroy Formica and other laminated surfaces. Make certain you have all work surfaces protected before your begin.

Ladle: A ladle comes in very hand for transferring the soap from the pot into the mold. Use either wood or stainless steel.

Knife: You will also want a sharp knife for cutting up suet or beef fat for rendering and also for cutting your soap into bars.

Large Plastic Container with a Lid: This will used as a primary mold and will hold your basic liquid soap. It must, of course be large enough to accommodate your soap batch. Clear plastic works well because it allows you to spot any problems with your soap before you attempt to remove it.

Blankets or Towels: These will be used to wrap up your primary mold to keep the soap from cooling too quickly. A Screen, Freezer or Butcher's Paper. After you cut your block soap into bars, you will need a place to let them cure. Do not cure bars on color impregnated material like cardboard as the color may transfer to your soaps. Kitchen Grater: If you plan to turn your basic bars into hand-milled soap, you will need a grater to grate the soap into small pieces.

Soap Molds: This can be the most creative part of the soapmaking process. Use your imagination when selecting a soap mold such as old-fashioned gelatin molds, microwave containers, candy molds, or my personal favorite ? the hexagonal container for the Folgers specialty coffee. These make great bath-sized bars with wonderful cropped corners. Some considerations you need to give your molds are:

Flexible Molds are preferable to ones that are completely ridged, as the bars will be easier to remove. Mold material must be able to withstand the high temperature of hot soap. The open end must be larger than the closed end or you will not be able to remove the soap.

Plastic and stainless steel are generally the best mold material. Glass and china molds might be acceptable, but the soap won't be easy to remove.

Additives: What you add to your soaps is limited solely by your imagination and the desired result. The best way to determine what to add to your soaps is to think about what you hope to achieve with the end product. Are you attempting to treat a specific skin condition like dry skin or acne? Or are you hoping for a more generic soap that can be milled into a variety uses like shampoo or laundry soap? Some soap additives are: Herbs: Herbs make a wonderful soap additive and can treat a variety of skin conditions. For ideas or properties of specific herbs try for detailed information on herbs, their properties and uses.

Essential Oils: Essential Oils are perfect for scenting your soaps. Unlike many other types of oils they are extracted from the plant source and are very potent, their scent often lasts longer than synthetic scents.

Fragrance Oils: These oils are commonly used in potpourri and are made synthetically. While generally not as long lasting as essential oils, they do offer unique scent combinations. So, at least we've made a start. Once you've gathered all of your supplies, check back and we'll discuss basic soap making techniques.

MK Welty hosts an informational site for soapmakers at: From beginning to end, you will find everything you need including soap recipes, soap making instructions, and suppliers."

Article Source: and—Gathering-The-Equipment-You-Will-Need&id=288159