Monday, November 29, 2010

There are just two ways to make soap for the Christmas season. One is to make the bar itself Holiday Soap Making: Fun with the Season

There are just two ways to make soap for the Christmas season. One is to make the bar itself suggestive of the yuletide, and the other is to encase any handmade soap you have produced in holiday-themed packaging.

Holiday soap making need not be complicated. Your options are made less bewildering by the limits to which soap mixes lend themselves to shape and color manipulation, and by the cultural bounds for decorative elements associated with the season. In other words, you just have so many traditional Christmas symbols to choose from.

Snow, snowmen, pine trees, stars, angels, gifts, wreaths and boughs, Santa, glittery hues of green, red and gold—these and others form the relatively fixed array of advent representation.

Holiday Soap Making: Christmas-shaped Soaps

What are some of the Christmas shapes into which we can mold soap bars? Pine trees, bells, stars, angels, snowmen and stockings are ones that come into the mind easily. You can buy plastic, stainless steel, wooden molds and stamps from a crafts store, but why not try making your own casting forms this time?

Use gypsum plaster (not plaster of paris) as your molding medium, latex molding rubber as the barrier, and an object, say a Christmas tree figure, as your model. This last item has to be made of non-porous material like plastic, glass, ceramic or sealed wood. After making your mold, peel off the rubber from the object. The shapes you can come up with for your holiday soap making are as many as the non-porous models you have!

Holiday Soap Making: Christmas Scents and Colors

Pine and peppermint are the fragrances you will want to add to your soap to make them “smell like Christmas.”

As for colors, green, red, white and gold are your logical choices. If you want to stick to natural coloring, you’ll probably get less vivid hues, but it may not matter to you if you are happy with a toned down effect. If such is the case, you can use turmeric for gold, Moroccan red clay for red, and alfalfa for green.

But if you want to get closer to the vivid, glowing hues of Christmas, use micas combined with liquid colorants. You can use Ruby Mica for your reds, Emerald Mica for your greens, and Polar Ice Mica for your white. One other option for red is thoroughly mixed Ultramarine Red.

Now here’s one cool holiday soap making idea that plays with the colors green and red against white. The Melt and Mold technique of crafting soap is used:

Make both red and green translucent bars of soap, then cut into chunks. Arrange the chunks inside your molds whichever way you like. Get your opaque white soap base ready for pouring into the molds. Let this base cool off a bit and then pour over the chunks inside the mold. Allow to cool and harden, and then unmold.

Holiday Soap Making: Packaging Tricks

You may be one of those whose idea of holiday soap making is simply to package soap with the trimmings of Christmas or as gift items. Outlined below are just a few of the ways of doing this:

Pack your soaps in:

Fabric gift bags made of muslin, calico or mesh
Handy-sized pine wood crates
Gift baskets that are bundled up with glittery organza or cellophane paper
Christmas stocking-shaped nets
Corrugated carton sheets tied up with hay-like or ornamental string

For trimmings, use strips of Christmas paper (which look like colored aluminum foil), raffia ribbons, red and green checked cloth, shiny Twistee wires, and Christmas ribbons. These items come in handy as you engage in your holiday soap making activity.


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