Soap Star

A pretty powder room can look even prettier with lovely soap on display.  Decorative soap is not only fun to make, but as you'll see throughout this post, it's super easy too. 

I'll also show you how to dress up the finished product with beautiful packaging that will take you from ordinary soap maker to super soap star.

Blog soap peach


This particular mold creates a mighty hefty block of soap too.  It sits at 3-1/2 square inches large and a fat 1-1/4 inches thick.

There are loads of beautiful soap molds available at crafts stores and at on-line shoppes.  You can find the crown and lion molds that I used in this post if you click here.

Blog soap peach close3 

By the way, my pretty soap project and photos are featured in the July 2010 issue of Romantic Homesmagazine which is on newsstands now. 

I hope you pick up a copy to enjoy at home.

Blog soap rh cover2

It's always fun to see my efforts highlighted in a national publication and Romantic Homes magazine is one of my favorites.

This is a great issue too, filled with beautiful home decor ideas, seasonal recipes and decorating inspiration.

Blog soap rh page copy

The supplies for this soap project are easily found at most crafts stores and include (1) Soap block, (2) lavender pieces which add texture and additional color, (3) liquid coloring and fragrance additives, (4) and a soap mold.

Blog soap supplies

This particular brand of soap is super easy to work with.  Just scoop out the desired amount and melt it in the microwave.  About 3/4 this block was enough to create two hefty molds. 

Of course, smaller molds will require less soap.

Melt the soap in the microwave.  It's fine to use an everyday, microwavable glass bowl because any soap residue washes away easily and completely.

Blog soap bowl

After the soap is melted to a liquid consistency, add the coloring and the fragrance.  Start with a few drops and stir.  Build up to the desired color by adding a few drops at a time and stirring until you get the shade you want.

This is also the point where you add one or two pinches of lavender flowers or other elements that will be suspended in the hardened soap.  Stir thoroughly.

Blog soap color

Carefully pour the liquid soap into the soap molds and set aside to gel for at least an hour depending on the depth of the soap mold.  You can also speed up the gelling process by putting the soap molds in the freezer.

Because the front of the molds have a raised, irregular shape, I propped the molds up on top of bowls so the soap could harden evenly.

Blog soap fill

Tip: Stir the liquid soap slowly or you may create unwanted air bubbles as you can see in the photo of the lavender soaps above.  While air bubbles will not impact the integrity of the soap, the soap does look better without them.

One the soap has hardened, carefully pop it out of the plastic mold.

 

Blog soap mold2

It's fun to experiment with the different colorants to see how the soaps look in different shades. 

 

Here's a look at how the crown and lion look in pale green.

 

Blog soap green 

In the lavender version you can also clearly see the little specks of petals I added after the melting process. 

 

I think these petal flecks add a little extra interest to the soap but next time I'll add a few more pinches so they show up a more prominently.

 

Blog soap duo3 

Gifts of handmade soap deserve pretty packaging.

 

Everything you'll need can easily be found at most crafts stores and includes:  (1) tissue paper, (2) raffia, (3) small gift bags and organza, draw-string sachets which can be found in the bridal section of the craft store (4) artificial flowers and (5) hand-pressed paper.

Blog soap packaging supplies 

After the soap has completely hardened, gently wrap it in tissue.  No need to use any tape since the bar will be wrapped again.

Blog soap tissue

Wrap the soap again with hand-pressed paper.  I love this lavender-colored pressed paper because of it's natural texture and highly visible fibers that run throughout it.  It's also a bit more out-of-the-ordinary than regular wrapping paper.

Pressed paper typically comes on a large roll and iinstead of using scissors to cut it, I suggest you carefully tear it instead. 

By tearing the paper as opposed to cutting it, you'll get a wonderfully irregular and rough edge that makes the packaging even more appealing. 

Blog soap paper

Again, no tape required here.  Just secure the pressed paper wrap with several strands of raffia.  Add a few extra strands, clip the ends and fan them out for a open-ended bow.  

This may look like the front of the packaging but as you'll see further down, this is actually the back.

Blog soap raffia

Regular readers of this blog already know I put a handmade tag or card on practically every handmade gift.

If these rubber stamps look familiar it's because they're among my favorite and I use them over and over for various projects.  The Susanna stamp can be found here and the floral background stamp can be found here.

 

After stamping the image on the front of the card, cut it out, round the corners.  Then, cover the back of the card with the overall stamp. 

Use small alphabet stamps to spell out the contents of the packaging or any other desired message.

 

Blog soap stamps 

Place the wrapped soap inside the organza sachet and then slide the card inside.

I love how this particular stamped image looks through the sheer organza.  That's the beauty of organza and I think it's oh-so feminine.

Blog soap sachets

Remember the pretty fanned-out raffia ends?  As you can see in the photo below, they make the back look just as pretty and finished off.

Blog soap organza

Here's a look at another page from the Romantic Homes spread. 

You can clearly see how changing the organza bag to an ivory-color slightly alters the mood of the presentation.

Different exterior, but same pretty approach.

Blog soap mag 

Take the gift presentation to the next level by cutting a few stems from the artificial flower bouquet.

Pull out your trusty hot glue gun and put it to good use.  Apply a thin line of glue the length of the stem and attach it to the far edge of the gift bag.

Blog soap bags    

Pop the soap-filled organza bag inside the handled-bag and you have a fantastic looking gift ready to give away. 

They would also look just as good wrapped in a tissue-filled box or paper gift bag.

Blog soap bag

This is a great all-in-one-day project that kids will also enjoy making under appropriate supervision.

Consider making these pretty soaps as birthday presents, for a bridal shower, teacher gifts or as a housewarming gift.

Blog soap close

Whatever the gift occasion the recipient of this gorgeous soap will definitely sing your praises. 

With a few quick steps and a pinch and dash of creativity, anyone can become a soap star

  • Anonymous

    very nice post, i certainly love this website, keep on it

  • Heather

    With melt & pour soaps, a quick spritz with rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle will get rid of the bubbles without hurting the soap. Just spritz it right after pouring.

  • Esmee Lynne

    oh…BTW. Your Whistlestop train car was called a caboose when attached to the end of the train. I love caboose. I always wanted to buy one and put it in my backyard…only a dream…not going to happen

  • Esmee Lynne

    I love the flower pens. They have some at my eye doctor’s office in a dish. The patient’s use them to sign the register. They are nearly as pretty as yours.

  • cricri

    your soaps are merveillous
    and it’s make by yourself
    i will like to have one but i have not got any time for them
    your blog is always a pleasure for me to read your articles
    thanks
    your friench friend blog !!!
    cricri
    in french :
    tes savons sont magnifiques et me font très envie
    malheureusement je n’ai pas le temps d’en fabriquer
    c’est toujours un vrai plaisir pour moi de lire tes articles qui sont si beaux et explicites
    à très bientôt
    ton amie française blogeuse !!!

  • Rachel P

    Those are just beautiful. I am really impressed with them. Thank you for sharing how to do that. I always wondered how people could do that.

  • KimT

    love your work! Congrats on the publication!

  • Suzanne

    Yes, you are certainly multi-talented. I think your blog name reflects that perfectly. Thanks for bringing me over from Flying Lessons. You can check out my blog here:
    http://BlueSandStudio.blogspot.com

  • Melissa Prell

    Hi, Lisa! I’m a fellow flyer and wanted to say hi. Your blog is beautiful. Gorgeous soap!
    Where in VA are you? I live in Leesburg.
    Have a creative day.
    Melissa

  • Glittering Shards - Concetta

    Oh your blog is so beautifully done, well done ;)Am bookmarking it to pop back soon. Concetta x

  • creativechaos

    Hi Lisa! popping over from Kelly’s course….Love your blog!! The soap project is great…I’ve got you on my google reader now! Talk to you soon….K

  • Sherry Ball Schoenfeldt

    just popped over from class – beautiful blog, great post
    I am personally a fan of lots of pictures and these are so PRETTY

  • robin norgren-well of creations

    lovely space you have here-very warm and inviting…popping in to say “hello” from Flying Lessons, Robin

  • Laura

    Love these, Lisa…such elegant designs and beautiful finished presentation. I went on a soap-making binge during the holidays last year, but this project gets me wanting to pull all the supplies back out again!
    P.S. Love the blog. 🙂 Nice to find another creative spirit that enjoys working in so many different mediums. I’ll be sure to check back soon.

  • giftsofthejourney (Elizabeth Harper)

    What a great idea! I love your site and have you in my google reader now. I think I’ll be making some of these with lavender with our garden to take back to family in the US when I go home for a visit.

  • lois paulo

    beautiful soaps and what a package…..u out did yourself lisa
    lois

  • Donna

    Hi Lisa, from one fellow flyer to another, thanks for stopping by my blog! I have always wondered how to make homemade soaps — I love your tutorial and will try it out! Oh & congrats on RM — one of my all-time favorite mags!

  • Rebecca E. Parsons/Cre8Tiva

    congrats on the RH article…woo hoo..i am stopping by from flying lessons…so glad to connect…
    blessings,
    rebecca

  • JO

    What a beautiful idea…
    I have wanted to make some pretty soaps and tried and failed once before… this is so simple and easy I think I can actually do it…
    Thank you for sharing..
    I also love the packaging as much as the lovely soap itself!
    You always inspire me with your fabulous creations…
    JO

  • Tea Rose Home

    Oh my gosh, Lisa! You are one talented ladie… I LOVE the soap, very beautiful!

  • Berta

    Beautiful post and article in RH! I often buy that mag and when I saw your soap article, in the cart it went for sure! Thanks for the great tutorial here! As always your blog post are so well done!

  • katrika

    Congrats Lisa!!! The soaps are beautiful.

  • Jan

    Wonderful!!! Love the soap and seeing you in Romantic Homes…my favorite magazine!

  • Debra

    Another project I will have to try! What a great idea for teacher’s gifts.
    Hugs,
    Debra

  • Aina

    Hi Lisa!!
    You are amazing!! To me it seems like there is no project you can`t do well. And I love how you explain everything so precisely step by step. That helps enormously if you want to have a try yourself. Thank you for that. The soaps came out so lovely!! And you display them so beautifully. I wouldn`t even know where to look for these ingredients, but I am tempted to have a go myself. I love soaps that are 100% vegetable, they don`t irritate my skin. Lavender is my favourite 🙂
    Congratulations on being featured in the issue of Romantic Homes magazine!! It must be incredibly exciting to see your pretty soap project and photos in this beautiful magazine. I am glad they have noticed you and your projects, you always do it so well.
    And thank you for dropping by my blog as well! It was so nice to hear from you 🙂 I haven`t been so very good in visiting others lately, since we moved back to Norway I have been more focused with my family and my own projects, and it takes more of my time.
    I hope you are well and happy. Isn`t it great with summer?? I love this season 🙂
    Aina

  • Vicki

    I never, ever thought about making soap before…but now I am. Congrats on the publication, I will make a point to look for the magazine. Another great post!

  • Melony Bradley

    Lisa- I saw your article in RM and am so excited for you. These soaps rock! Congrats!!

  • Judith Norman

    Absolutely beautiful. Congrats on Romantic Homes!

  • Brenda Kula

    Oh, I’m so glad you commented so I found you. I just love your blog! I knew I recognized that soap. And then you said it was in Romantic Homes. My blog is featured in there this month, and I remember I dog-eared that soap article to try. I’ve never made soap before. It’s so beautiful! I hope I don’t make a complete mess.
    Brenda

  • Cee

    Chick, is there ANYTHING that you do NOT do?!?!?! You have reported the news; scrapbooked; sewn, and now, you are making soap! This is beautiful.
    Love ya!

  • Adrienne

    Beautifully done Lisa! Congrats on the feature!

  • Allie

    Gorgeous Lisa – I love Romantic Homes, congrats on your beautiful project being featured!

  • Thimbleanna

    What a fun project Lisa — I LOVE that pretty crown mold — thanks for including your source!

  • Laurel Harper

    How beautiful–as always. Congrats on yet another magazine spread!

  • Lelin

    Hermoso, me encantan todos tus trabajos. Mil Felicitaciones, tienes una creatividad unica.
    Saludos !!!

  • Damaris

    Yummy soaps!! I can not wait to get my copy of this magazine!! XXOO, Damaris

  • Diana P.

    Oh soap making is fun! I love how you dressed them up for gift giving! And congratulations on them being published in such a beautiful magazine!

  • Cassandra

    Lovely post. I’m thinking about making some fun soaps. This post is right on target.
    Your presentation is always the most impressive for me. You are so creatively gifted in wrapping or packaging your gifts. I want to be like you when I grow up! LOL!
    I’ve created my new blog. Come check me out when you have a chance.
    Keep up the good work!

  • Stephanie

    I’ve always wanted to make home made soap. I do buy it but what nice gifts it would make to be made by me. Thank you for sharing. You always dress things up so pretty.