Sunday, September 27, 2009

Melt & Pour: The Possibilities are Endless!

I have been a crafter for as long as I can remember. As I grew up, I graduated from Play-Doh finger puppets to sand castles on the beach to hand-made clothes for my dolls. As a young teen I learned how to make friendship pins and bracelets and how to jazz up my own clothes. As an adult, I focused on jewelry making and computer crafts. What all this pursuits had in common was the ability to take a specific medium, and transform it to my exact vision (or, at least, a reasonable facsimile thereof.) So when I found melt and pour soap-making, it was almost inevitable that I should fall madly in love.

The medium of melt and pour soap is extremely versatile. To begin, you must select a soap base. You can choose from white or clear, or a base enriched with goat’s milk or honey or shea butter or coconut milk, or many other additives. You can add herbs or spices or seeds or butters to your base. Then, you can use a plain loaf mold, or find one shaped like a duck or a kitty or a cupcake. Next, you can choose from a rainbow of colorants in various formats (or you can choose to leave the soap its natural hue). Then, you can scent your base with fragrance or essential oils or a combination of the two, or, if you prefer, leave it unscented.

One of the best parts of melt and pour soap is that you can make soap in extremely small batches. Traditional soapers generally make batches starting at about 16 ounces, because of the precise nature of the chemical reaction required to produce the soap (saponification). Melt and pour soap has already been saponified. In order to prepare it for accepting your fragrance, color and other additives, all that is required is a few seconds in the microwave to melt it. I’ve made “batches” of soap as small as half an ounce! So, with melt and pour soap, you can literally make one bar at a time, if you’d like. This is handy if you want to make a small bar for testing purposes, or, if you’re making a customized soap for someone.

For example, I have a friend who has a medieval-themed bathroom in three shades of blue. Probably not surprisingly, she was having some difficulty finding soap to fit her theme, so she asked if I could make her some. I found a dragon candy mold, which I used to make two-toned blue dragon soaps, in the lavender scent she’d requested. With melt and pour soap, if you can imagine it, it can probably be made!

The melt and pour soap artists on etsy have taken this concept to the extreme. You can find soaps in the shapes of animals, vegetables and minerals. A soap that looks like a root beer float? Soapy cupcakes, cookies and candies? Soapy sushi? A soap shaped like a pizza? Just do an search on etsy and you’ll see what I mean. Even though I sometimes feel that I’ve seen everything you could possibly do with melt and pour, at least once a week I see something that makes me stop and go “WOW! How did they come up with that?”

To me, melt and pour soap gives me the opportunity to be extremely creative, while making a product that is, in the end, totally usable. If you’re thinking of trying melt and pour, I recommend that you go for it. Give your imagination free reign. Maybe you’ll be the next person to amaze me with your technique. At the very least, you won’t be buying soap from the grocery store anytime soon!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Whooooohooooo!!!!! Entries are in, votes have been counted!
Thank you all for your interest and participation! and now on to the fun part!
The winner of the latest SAFEteam Challenge is......

with her amazingly creative take on Booze and Bonbons!!

and as all challenges go....she is so sweet (even sweeter than her bonbons) to send a FREE package to one lucky winner! Chosen by, so all is fair....

Congrats Red Bamboo!!! You will be contacted by our dear Bunny shortly! Enjoy your prize!

You can check out Red Bamboo's Blog at

Update: due to a tad of confusion...we have 2 winners this month!!! Congrats to Kim's Beads as well! Enjoy your bon bons! You can check out Kim's shop at


The next blog challenge is underway....and boy is it a good one!!! Stay tuned for more info...maybe a teaser or two ;)

Thank you to all who contributed and all who voted, together you make our team more fun, informative, and stronger by the day! Stay tuned for updates from your favorite soapers!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


and today it feels like it is already here. We didn't have much of a summer in the northeast....and I am a little sad to see it go...but I am ready for apple pies, colorful leaves, sweaters! Oh, and did I mention SOAP!

Here are a couple of amazing fall soaps from the members of the SAFE team!!

A seasonal favorite by Willow Bay Bath & Body! This pumpkin pie soap smells good enough to eat! (But please don't!) This is so close to the real thing, you'll swear your grandmother baked it. There's no way you can say no to a pumpkin pie on a brisk fall evening. But with moisturizing goats milk this soap is a definate yes!

Start the season off right... and EARLY with Bambu Earth's Spiked Egg Nog with Peppermint Candy Sticks Soap. What a great stocking stuffer this will make! (Try not to keep it all to yourself!) This soap is made with heavy whipping cream, real egg yolks, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla bean, and RUM. It is completed with a peppermint foamy topping and candy sticks. My soap is completely NATURALLY scented. Yes, even this one. No artificial flavor, color, scents in here. Although it smells good enough to drink, please do not consume this sudsy bar of goodness!

You have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA how much you would be missing out on if you didn't add this to your collection. Muspotwitharsan Cold Process Soap Ala Anhoki!! OMG! An amazing blend of Tuberose, Sandalwood and Musk. Sensual, soft and incredibly sexy. A bar for both men and woman it was named by the infamous Dr John and is a family favorite.

This Limited Edition Floral Bouquet soap from Soap Scentsation is a sweet floral blend of geranium, lavender, and palma rose. Enhanced with carrot juice and dried/ground chamomile petals, this is a true floral bouquet perfect for sink side. Pumpkin shaped for fall, would make a perfect addition to your autumnal decorating. And the blend makes for a wonderful facial bar!

Drive the men crazy with Pumpkin Lavender Oatmeal by a Breath of French Air! Sounds weird, but the combination of Pumpkin and Lavender drives men crazy in lust! As stated in Cosmo magazine: "Smell actually might be the most important sexual sense," explains Alan Hirsch, MD, neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. "There's a direct sensory pathway between the olfactory bulb above the nose and the arousal center of the brain," Dr. Hirsch says. In other words, just a whiff of something sexy can be all it takes to get your or your man's motor running. So what scents unconsciously rev his engine? Dr. Hirsch's research shows that guys are most aroused by, of all things, the smell of cinnamon buns, followed by lavender, vanilla, doughnuts, and pumpkin pie.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bonbons and Booze SAFEteam Challenge

There is actually a little sentimentality to this challenge. We are a team filled with CRAZY, nostalgic, sentimental, protective and understanding people. We are a diverse group of people who really care about one another. This got our challenger, Anhoki, thinking. Quite a few of us have had a pretty rough year. ALL of us have been supportive with hugs, prayers, juju, mojo, good vibes, thoughts, lit candles, fights with those who HOG the chocolate, and let's not forget the passing of the alcohol. SO....The THEME to this challenge is "Bonbons and Booze".

The RULES: Challengers WILL have to find a wine, champagne or alcoholic beverage scent and you will also need to find a chocolate or candy scent for this challenge. If your soap does not have both it WILL NOT count. Multiple colors would be nice and multiple scents is a must.

Your Job: Read through the entries. Leave a comment voting for your favorite one and you will be entered to win the "winning" bar of soap! Good luck EVERYONE!!!!

Brandied Chocolate Truffles by Soap Scent-sations

There are 4 things that are a must at the holidays in our house: homemade biscotti of all varieties, gingerbread men, Grandma’s cranberry salad, and chocolate! My mom makes dozens of varieties of chocolate treats; Peanut Butter Balls, dipped Pretzels, fudge, the list goes on! My addition to her chocolate plate is a creamy, brandy filled truffle. When this challenge was announced I knew immediately I had to recreate these decadent treats in a bar of soap! So here they are, complete with heavy cream, real unsweetened chocolate, and YES! a shot of brandy. Life is always better with Chocolate! Find the edible recipe on my blog:


Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Champagne by Sunset Soaps

What’s the best way to win over someone’s heart? With bonbons and booze of course! This is my very first Etsy Safe Team Soap Challenge entry. When I learned of the theme for this month, I knew I had to jump right in and join the party with my version of chocolate covered strawberries and champagne!

I love making hand dipped chocolate strawberries and sharing them with my sweetie along with a little bubbly. So I attempted to make a soap that could represent all of the same goodness! Made with palm oil, coconut oil, olive oil, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and sweet almond oil and scented with strawberries and champagne fragrance oil this soap smells just like the popular Victoria’s Secret Garden body fragrance. It is the perfect blend of strawberry, champagne, flowers, and sandalwood. Very soft and romantic. But wait, don’t forget about the chocolate! A touch of real cocoa powder has been added and swirled on top, because in my opinion everything is better covered in chocolate!

Bourbon de Vanille By Swan Mountain Soaps

There is a sign on my soap table that says, “Do Not Eat the Soap!” Still, every time I sniff my Bourbon de Vanille soap, I am tempted to take a bite! This soap blends the scents of Madagascar vanilla with smooth bourbon, one of the most creamy, decadent blends ever to tempt a soap addict. Warm and comforting and yet sensual and alluring, this scent will appeal to both men and women. Our Bourbon de Vanille soap smells so good, you'll want to taste it too ... but we don't recommend it. Since the number one ingredients in this luscious soap is cocoa butter, this soap is dessert … for your skin!

Boozy Bonbons by Bunny Bubbles

The most recent SAFEteam challenge is entitled, "Bonbons & Booze". Take a look at these soaps, and you'll see how literally I took that!

At the end of the day, it's nice to give in to a little vice. Some of us love our chocolate, and some love our wine. But, if you want a totally sin-free treat, how about these "candies" for your bath?

These chocolate-scented soap "bonbons" each have a core of booze-scented soap. Each set contains nine soaps in total.

3 "Crème de menth" soap bonbons with a minty green center
3 "Grand Marnier" soap bonbons with a bubbly orange center
3 "Amaretto" soap bonbons with an almond-y light brown center

Each set is packed in a candy box. These realistic chocolate replica soaps are NOT recommended for households with young children or husbands who eat first and ask questions later.

Grand Marnier and Chocolate Covered Strawberries by Gourmet Soaps

Grand Marnier is a french liqueor made from a blend of true cognacs and orange bitters. This versatile dessert wine can be added to lattes, cosmopolitans, margaritas or even added to dessert recipes to kick it up a few notches. I prefer drinking it neat with chocolate covered strawberries. It's simple, yet has the most decadent flavors to ever cross your lips. Who can resist a bite of a sun-ripened strawberry covered in warm chocolate, and then a sip of Grand Marnier to send the yummy to your tummy. It's a great way to pamper yourself, and an even better way to pamper that special someone in a sensuous way. Try it, and then thank me later :)
Vino e Cioccolato in Toscana By Anhoki
Vino e Cioccolato reminds me of my youth living in Italy. Every Sunday, or so it seemed, we would have lunch with our friends and share laughs, great food, better wine and fantastic espresso. I remember playing in the vinyard behind our villa with my friends and trying ever so hard to NOT eat the beautiful grapes. Our villa overlooked acres of beautiful grapevines that shined in the afternoon sun. On Saturday mornings my mom, a few friends and I would go to the open market and shop for fresh bread, veggies and meat for that day's meal. The booths that had a bazillion bottles of wine for sale to the Americans who loved to sample the local vintage were amazing. Walk a little further and you walked right past the Alimentari that ALWAYS had the BEST chocolates. We would NEVER leave the market without chocolate. That would have been a major crime. Those, as they say, were the good ol' days.

Our soap is made with an olive, coconut, palm and canola blend with cocoa powder and titanium dioxide for color. Each bar is approximately 5.25 oz in weight.
Chocolate Margaritas Soap by Sassy Soaps n' Such

Bon Bons and Booze what a wonderful combination. I live in Texas so of course the first thing that came to my mind was Tequila and since we were working with a “Mexican” Booze why not add the most comforting kind of chocolate I can think of. When my Mis hijas or my daughters, were little we would have hot chocolate infused with Mexican cinnamon every night before bedtime. I decided to combine the Tequila with the Mexican Hot Chocolate and you give you a Chocolate Margaritas Soap Bar.
I work with Melt and Pour Method of Soap so I used goat’s milk base and clear glycerin base to create our 5 oz three layered Chocolate Margaritas Soap. The bottom layer is made from Starbucks Moca Powder and goats milk soap base...with just a touch of fresh Mexican cinnamon. The middle layer is lime green glycerin soap and the top layer is clear glycerin soap that in infused with Sauza... that is real Tequila Blanco. Now, no Margaritas would be complete without salt and lime so the lime on the side has a hint of salt in the glycerin and of course lime essential oils. You can smell the Tequila and lime and Mexican hot chocolate base...YUMMO makes me wish I could drink this soap.
Would you like some Champagne and Chocolates by Pacific Paradise
This exquisite soap was blended to smell like champagne and chocolates & nourish your skin while you enjoy it! Each bar of Champagne Soap has 2 chocolate truffle soaps hidden inside. I twirled milk chocolate soap like 2 bonbons into each big bar of champagne soap. I placed thin curls of renewing face soap into the champagne soap to mimic bubbles going up a champagne glass. Just look at all the wonderful ingredients! How can you resist? Each bar contains soybean oil, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, water, sodium hydroxide, organic pink grapefruit essential oil, a blend of fragrances, shea butter, borage seed oil, evening primrose oil, rose hip oil, silk protein, and carrot seed essential oil.
The goodness of chocolates & champagne will make your shower a pampering experience. Go ahead, indulge.

Cherry Cordial By Lily Pond Soaps



The delicious scent of dark chocolate mingled with the sweet scent of ripe summer cherries.

A must have for chocolate lovers!!
Disclaimer....this soap is not for eating, only bathing and washing hands with. The scent is so Delicious, you may be tempted to see if it tastes as good!!!
Caramel Cream (Irish Cream that is...) by Angie's Suds n' Such

Okay, so it's not the prettiest...BUT the scent is amazing! The delicious aroma of melt in your mouth caramel combined with the sweet scent of Irish Cream. Yum!
This soap has been handmade using the cold process method of soapmaking. Each bar has cured for a minimum of 4 weeks.