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d.i.y. soap!


As I’ve mentioned in a couple earlier posts, our kitchen regularly gets turned into a laboratory for various bath and beauty products, and recently Dave and I have been interested in making soaps. We dipped our toes in the water and tried an easy approach, using an olive oil soap base and adding various clays, herbs and essential oils. The results were pretty and smelled great, and it was really fun to use various found containers (milk cartons, yoghurt cups, pasta boxes, etc.) as molds. Still, we didn’t really make the soap itself, so now we’re going to take on the slightly more intimidating project of blending lye with oils and letting it cure for a couple of months. I got a little worried after I heard that a friend of a friend almost burned his house down when the lye combusted, but I really do want to try it. I’ll let you know how it comes out! In the meantime, here are some of our melt-and-pour-plus concoctions. If you want to try to make these, we got the soap base at Michael’s (they had an olive oil base and a glycerine base), and the essential oils and clays came from Whole Foods and Lakeshore Natural Foods (if you’re in Oakland).

The soap in the box was made with rose petals and rose oil, and just a little bit of food coloring. We used a 1/2 and 1/2 carton for the mold. The “edwin” soap was made for Dave’s dad, and has lemongrass and spirulina (for the green color). We stamped it with little letter stamps when it was almost set. The round soap has green clay and we used a yoghurt cup for the mold.

White clay and vetiver soaps with vetiver oil…

Rose petal soap with rose essential oil and orange soap with orange zest and tangerine oil.




  • Karen

    These are gorgeous! Did you make up your own recipes?

  • monaluna

    yup – there wasn’t much to it, as the soap base was already prepared, but we played around with the proportions of olive oil base and glycerin base (the translucent ones, above, have more glycerin), and the quantity of clays and oils. we had some fun blending the scents, too. we added oatmeal, peppermint, rosemary and lemongrass for texture and scent, along with the oils.

  • isabelle

    I would love to try it …
    I will have to check if the soap base is available here … thanks for the idea !!

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