There's one thing that I've been wanting to try for ages - soap making so we took the plunge to create a gift for some people making honey and oat soaps that kids can make with you as well and it's perfect for Week 2 of our Counting Down to Christmas. Check back to see the Christmas Cards that we made last week as the paper craft week, and at the end of this post find out what the other fabulous European Bloggers are creating as handmade gifts this week. Next week it will be recipes and I can't wait to share our recipe with you.
Soap making to me always seemed almost dangerous as we had learned in Chemistry at school all about using Lye to create soaps and even had a go at creating it in the lab, but things have changed and the melt and pour method of soap making is perfect for you to do with the kids, it's no different than melting chocolate and you basically need a lot of the same equipment.
Materials Need for Honey and Oat Soap
Melt and Pour Soap Base - we used some transparent base for this, but I have just purchased some goats milk melt and pour base to use in future soaps.
Moulds of some sort - cupcake cases would work as would silicon muffin moulds, chocolate moulds we have a set of 3 soap moulds so used those
Making Honey and Oat Soap
If you've never made soap (as I hadn't until a few weeks ago) then it really is easy. Don't worry if you haven't got a microwave at the end of this step by step I'll put how to do it without a microwave - but if you can melt chocolate then you've got the method. First of all your soap base will usually come in a block - I have discovered that the block that we have (around the size of a plastic take out container) will make 9 soaps so to make the 3 this time I cut a third of the block off - I've read that if you pour water into your moulds and then measure out the water, weigh the water then cut out the same amount from the block it's a good way to work out - but we've not tried that method.
Once you have a block of melt and pour soap base, cut up into cubes this will speed up the melting process
In a pestle and mortar grind up some oats to give the soap a grainy texture, this kids loved doing this part - if you haven't got a pestle and mortar then you could chop up in a food processor or chopper - but you could also leave the oats whole for a rougher texture to the soap. For my 3 soaps I used 2 tables spoons of oats and 1 tea spoon in each mould for the top of the soap.
Place the cubes into a microwavable dish and into the microwave for 10 - 20 seconds at a time, taking out and stirring each time until the base has just melted.
Once the soap has melted add in 1 tablespoon of honey to the mix and stir, then add in the ground oats and mix more - to get a good suspension of the ground oats mix well.
Place a teaspoon of oat at the bottom of your mould and then pour in your soap mix
Allow to set - check your melt and pour soap mix for instructions of times, mine says cover with film and place in the fridge after an hour to make it easier to pop out of the moulds.
Once made wrap and gift however you want.
Non-Microwave Method to melt soap
Sorry no pictures for this, but you need to use a double broiler method to melt the soap base as it doesn't need to get too hot, you want it at the point of just melted.
So follow to chop up the soap base into cubes and places in a heat proof bowl over the top of a pan with a little water at the bottom, heat and stir until the soap has just melted and then add in the honey and oats as above.
If you melt the soap base straight in a saucepan IT WILL BURN.
More handmade gifts for you and your kids to make
Making gifts has always been one of my favourite activities and I do try and create something for special people each year however small it maybe. Join some bloggers from European Kids Activities bringing you ideas for homemade gifts you and the kids can make this year.
Rainy Day Mum,