Day 14: Make Soap For Gift-Giving

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope those of you who have a significant other are enjoying this day with them. For those of you, like me, who do not have a significant other, I suggest you still use this day to show someone you love them. I decided to do just this. Growing up, my grandparents, Grammy and Grampy, always gave their grandchildren a valentine on Valentine’s Day. Sometimes it was just one of those child’s Disney valentines with a dollar bill, other times a hand-written card with $10. Either way, it was a gift of love. I usually wrote them a thank-you note or gave them a call. Now Grammy and Grampy are getting older, and this year I wanted to give them something fun and special, made with love. So I decided to make them some soap. Well, really it’s more just for Grammy, unless Grampy decides he wants to smell like a woman. I also thought I’d make some for my aunt, mom and sisters, if they wanted it (Deb was just here and, when I offered her some soap, told me she didn’t really want it and I should give it to someone who needs it. I decided not to tell her that she needed it :) Just kidding, Deb!) Ok, so maybe I’ll just make it for Grammy.

I didn’t realize that you could make soap from scratch. Or maybe I knew that but was thinking about it, but anyways I ended up buying a soap-making kit and got to work. I had to melt down the soap and add fragrances and colors before molding it. The kit provided a Plumeria scent so I put the drops into the first two batches I made. It said to scent it to your liking so I added a little, couldn’t really smell much, then added some more. BAD IDEA. I poured it into the mold and within 2 minutes had a headache and wanted to vomit due to the overwhelming

Trying to get the soap out of the mold. Fail #53.

flower stink in the kitchen. I knew then that not only would Grampy not want to smell like this, but even Grammy, a woman in her right mind, would choose a non-scented, generic soap over my hand-made headache-in-a-bar. This was not good, and my lesson was learned. The next two I made I scented with some Almond Bakery Emulsion. I have no idea what this really is but I’d rather have my smell make those around me want to eat than puke. (However, I don’t think I’ll be doing either because I’m most likely not going to use the soap I made.)

I had green and red shimmery colors and so I made some light pink, light green, a darker red and a darker green(very original, aren’t I?).Before putting them in the molds, I put a thin, embossed decal on the bottom of the mold so that I could peel it off once the soap was hardened leaving flower and leaf imprints in the soap. Again, this was a fail. Although I followed the directions in setting up the decal and filling the mold, the removal of the decal did not go smoothly. Neither did the removal of the soap from the mold. Once I got the soap out, I realized that some had covered the back of the decal and I now had to dig into the soap to get it off. This left rough edges and a lopsided decal. It definitely would not give the appearance of professionally-made soap. Instead, it would leave no doubt in the mind of the soap-user that the bar they were using to “clean” themselves was, in fact, made in someone’s kitchen by a first-time soap maker. Of course, this was not the impression I got from the pictures of the perfectly-formed soap on the front of the kit I bought. I figured, though, that Grammy would not care how the soap looked or smelled, but would only be touched that I had made it for her with love. I feel like a more accurate description would be to say that I made it with a headache and frustration and would rather have just bought something with love and money, but Grammy doesn’t need to know that. I hope she doesn’t read this post.

As I’m writing this, I am waiting for the next batch of soap bars to harden in the molds so I can again be disappointed with how my soap turned out and move on with my life. I called Grammy to see if I could stop by later today to see them(and give them my soap), but she has a cold she would rather not pass on, and now my attempt at Valentine’s Day-giving has completely failed. At least I can console myself with the new episode of The Bachelor that’s on tonight.  But for now, I need to go scrub the Plumeria-Almond stink from my hands.

Tomorrow, I am going to make sushi. Side note: I have decided from now on that I won’t always be including the activity I’ll be doing the next day because it sometimes changes last minute (like today’s activity) and I’m not always sure what it will be exactly. So you’ll just have to be surprised most of the time!


Explore posts in the same categories: Crafts/ Home-made objects

One Comment on “Day 14: Make Soap For Gift-Giving”

  1. Nell Ruch Says:

    Sarah, have you ever talked with Katie Snyder? I overheard her talking many weeks ago with someone about making soap. I’ve never done it…and don’t plan to start either. =)

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