Day 2 of NaBloPoMo and the writing prompt is as follows:
What did you think was the coolest job in the world when you were younger? Do you still feel that way now?
I’m going back to when I first moved to Atlanta. I was at my boyfriend’s (now husband’s) house and he flung his mail onto the couch where I was sitting hitting me with one of the mail circulars. I picked it up and glanced at a class called “soap making 101: Intro to melt and pour soaps,” and thought it sounded like the coolest class ever!
I took the class, actually a series of classes, and fell in love with the craft of natural soap making. Making soaps became my peace and my happy place and even a source of extra income for me on occasion. When we’d travel, I’d imagine becoming a full time soap maker and opening a little soap shop in the local village. Plus, I thought, if I were to ever make this into a career, how cool would it be to say it just fell into my lap…literally!!!
I’ve made soaps only a few times since I had my kids, partially because my art room became the nursery and partially because of the constraints of my real job. However, I told my husband that now that I’m home, I was going to whip out my soap supplies and get back to one of my first creative passions outside of writing- soap making. It’s the most peaceful and relaxing hobby for me, only comparable to back in the day when I used to develop my own black and white film. So yes, I still feel like this would be the coolest job in the world!
Also, since blogging is technically my full time job, I’m gonna share some natural soap making tips with my readers too!
Natural Soap Making 101
What is Melt & Pour (M&P) Soap?
Melt and Pour Soap is one of the 2 processes of soap making; the other being Cold Process Soap. With the Melt and Pour soap making process, you use a pre-made, ready to use base. These include a standard glycerin soap base, olive oil, goat milk, honey, shea butter and several more. They can also be clear, white or other opaque colors, which only really affects the final color of the soap. When adding color to the clear base, you can get a more solid final color, whereas the white base will give you pastel-like color. Melt and Pour is the simplest process, as you get to really play with these to create some fun soaps since the hardest part is already taken care of. You can find these at most craft stores like Michael’s or buy wholesale online.
Cold process soap making is sort of the real deal. It involves mixing lye and oil into a chemical process that ultimately makes soap. Of course, this process takes a lot a lot longer and because of the lye, you don’t really want to do this inside of the house or in any poorly ventilated space.
Soap Making Supplies: What you’ll need:
Heat resistant containers (ex. Pyrex cup)
Soap base. (I used the olive oil)
Colorants, such as food coloring
Fragrance or essential oils (This is what gives it the scent you desire. Lavender is one of my favorites)
½ teaspoon Vitamin E (acts a preservative for the soap)
Spoon for mixing
Rubbing Alcohol (in a spray bottle)
Castor oil (gives a little extra lather)
Directions for how to make soap:
1. Cut the melt and pour soap base into chunks and place into the heat resistant container.
3. Add colorants, fragrance, Vitamin E, and Castor oil (optional). Stir mixture.
4. Steadily pour mixture into the soap molds. Fill each mold one at a time.
5. Spritz some alcohol to the top of the mixture in the molds. This helps remove any excess foam or clumps.
6. Allow mixture to cool and harden for several hours.
7. Remove soap from molds, lather up and enjoy!
Note: My daughters got a chance to learn the natural soap making process today too and helped me out with this. They continued on in the process as we experimented with these cute bunny soaps for their bathroom. What do you think?