Handmade Soaps

October 7, 2016 - Making Soap with Beer

Since I’ve been making, and selling, soap with beer, I’ve had people ask me how do you do that? It’s definitely a special process from a usual soap, and it’s not a last-minute project. You gotta plan ahead if you want to make beer soap. Gotta have flat beer. I start with a 12 ounce...
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September 26, 2016 - Hand-Crafted Goat’s Milk Soaps

All products are natural and preservative-free. Bar Soaps — Fresh & Creamy Goat’s milk soaps from Sassafras Farm are made with fresh raw goat milk from our own herd, with all the milk’s benefits of natural, nourishing vitamins, proteins, and alpha hydroxy acids. My soaps are hand-crafted the old-fashioned way, in small batches, using as...
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August 10, 2016 - Easy Homemade Liquid Soap Shampoo

Whenever I dig in to a major endeavor learning something new, it usually goes like this. First, it’s exciting and intimidating. I study and research whatever it is, then try it out, repeatedly, generally with mixed results. Then I get frustrated and impatient with the learning curve, and try again in fits and spurts. Then...
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March 28, 2016 - Perfect Hot Process Goat’s Milk Soap

Since I’ve had the new milk goats, I’ve been making a lot of goat’s milk soap. To make a goat’s milk soap that’s not dark, I focused on cold process methods. There’s nothing wrong with a darker soap, it’s just an aesthetic issue. Milk soaps are darker than soaps made from a water base because...
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March 3, 2016 - Making Lighter Colored Milk Soaps

Milk soaps are popular because they’re naturally nourishing, but they’re also naturally darker than soaps made from a water base because of the reaction of the lye to the sugars in milk. When mixing milk and lye, the milk will turn an orange color. Later, this color translates to a dark brown in the finished...
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November 4, 2015 - Three More Soaps

I’ve been doing a lot of playing with soaps in the past couple of weeks. Here are three more. The first one is a cherry-scented soap. I took out a small portion of the soap mixture after it came to trace and mixed in red soap coloring. Then I layered part of the plain soap...
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October 30, 2015 - Apple Cider Soap

Take a pot of cold process soap. Remove a small part of the prepared soap mixture to a small bowl. Add red and yellow liquid soap coloring. Decide that’s not enough and add some more. Mix it up. Pour the bigger pot of soap into the mold. Spread the smaller bowl of soap over the...
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October 28, 2015 - Peppermint Soap

Just showing off my latest homemade soap. This is peppermint soap. Not that there are any actual peppermints in it… But it’s made with peppermint essential oil for the fragrance. I made this soap with the cold process method, but it’s the same basic recipe that you can find here in my hot process tutorial....
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July 21, 2015 - All the Pretty Soaps

I’ve been playing around with soap lately, trying out different flowers, seeing what happens. Here’s the wild phlox soap. Yep, the pretty pinks and purples turned green in the soap. Not all flowers lose their color. Here’s marigold. And this is clover on the right, dandelion blossom on the left. Dandelion blossom turns the soap...
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June 11, 2015 - Wildflower Soaps

While I was out playing with wildflowers the other day, I picked some clover and dandelion to dehydrate–then I made soap! I’ve made quite a bit of soap lately. Here is a sampling of the different soaps I’ve made in the past week or so. Far left, lavender. Then there’s a bar of brown sugar...
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February 15, 2013 - Brown Sugar and Oatmeal Soap

Now THAT is a lot of soap! Twelve pounds, to be exact, cut into 72 bars. The sales conference for fall books is coming up, and my publisher asked if I would send “swag” for the marketing team to hand out to promote my book. I’m excited that they’re excited about my book, so I...
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December 7, 2012 - Homemade Dry Laundry Detergent?

I know. It’s like I’m obsessed with homemade laundry detergent. I get like that. Bear with me. I’m sure I’ll be obsessed with something else tomorrow! Like getting the new halters on Glory Bee and BP. Meanwhile, back in my soap laboratory, I was haplessly intrigued by the number of people who wrote encouragingly about...
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December 5, 2012 - Homemade Laundry Soap Concentrate

I wrote about homemade laundry detergent several years ago (here). Later, I edited that post to add notes about making a concentrate. I’d grown tired of taking up so much space with my homemade laundry detergent. I wanted to simplify–but still make a lot of laundry soap at once because who wants to make it...
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August 8, 2012 - Making Soap with Tea

Tea is a fun thing to use in soap in place of the water when making the lye mixture because it’s a chance to play with color. Most teas will turn soap some shade of tan/brown, but sassafras tea turns soap red or purple. Sassafras tea is a reddish color and does lend that color...
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July 31, 2012 - Selling Soap

Having encouraged–I hope!–many of you who read here to make soap, most likely some of you have also thought about selling it. For me, selling soap is very much a sideline. I’m a writer, and writing will probably always be my primary occupation, above selling soap, teaching workshops, or even farming. I’m no traditional farmer,...
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July 16, 2012 - Hot Process Soap in a Crock Pot

A couple of years ago when I started making homemade soap, I was scared. Soap seemed so complicated. Once I started making it, I realized it was quite simple–and even easy. I wrote a post, How to Make Soap. While that post is still useful, especially for someone who has never made soap before, it...
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August 30, 2011 - Virtual Retreat: Making Soap

This post is part of the Virtual Retreat series. If you can’t be there, you can be here! In times past, making soap at home was a necessity, not a craft. Today, people enjoy making soap at home for all kinds of reasons including controlling what goes into the products they and their families use...
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March 24, 2011 - How to Make Liquid Soap

Note: What follows is a complicated method for making liquid soap based on Catherine Failor’s book on the subject of clear liquid soap. I wrote this post five years ago, and have gained a lot of experience in the meantime. If you read this tutorial and want to tear your hair out, see how I...
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March 22, 2011 - Spoon Oil

I mentioned spoon oil previously in my Things to Do with Beeswax post, giving the recipe, and also noted in my Fun with Spice Jars post that I restored the vintage spice rack with it. I have a gorgeous set of antique wooden spoons, and spoon oil is so fabulous that I’m going to preach...
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March 14, 2011 - Only Better!

A few days ago, when I posted about putting flowers and other fun stuff inside liquid soap bottles, several people either posted a comment or emailed me about canning jar liquid soap dispensers, like this one. They sell them at Lehman’s, too. Four dollars. And I thought–I can make that myself. Only better. (With flowers!)...
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March 12, 2011 - Customizing Pump Bottles

Since I’m getting ready to make liquid soap, what better way to procrastinate than to play with liquid soap bottles? The least expensive way to get into making all of your own liquid soaps is to recycle the bottles you already have in your house. You can do this with hand soap bottles, shampoo bottes,...
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March 7, 2011 - Getting Ready to Make Liquid Soap

I’m studying on liquid soap. I always have to study on something new for awhile before I take the plunge. Study is possibly another word for procrastination, but even if you’ve made “regular” hard soap, liquid soapmaking is a little bit different, just different enough to require some study. What goes into liquid soap? Liquid...
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February 7, 2011 - Things to Do with Beeswax

Beeswax is produced by honeybee “worker” bees. They secrete it from glands on the underside of their abdomens then chew it up and mold it into the cells of the combs. That’s why they call them worker bees. It’s a big job for the beekeepers, too, who collect it from the hives and melt it...
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December 9, 2010 - Soap Palooza

In the past week or so, I’ve made a whole bunch of soap. I played with some new fragrances and some natural pigments I wanted to try. It was fun–but I’m so over soap at the moment. (Next up: homemade body sprays. I’m on a quest to put together gifts of matching scented candles, soaps,...
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November 5, 2010 - Chocolate Spa Soap

Chocolate is good for your skin in all kinds of ways. It’s full of antioxidants. It’s moisturizing, and the caffeine in chocolate stimulates your skin and gives it a healthy glow. (See my homemade Chocolate Cream Facial Mask.) For my latest in soap experimentation, I decided to swirl some chocolate right into bars of soap....
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October 30, 2010 - Coloring Soap Naturally

Yesterday, I made soap. JUST FOR FUN. A lot of times, I’m making a craft for two reasons–for fun and for a writing project. (If you can figure out how to turn crafts into a job, you can have fun all the time!) Well, as it turned out, I’m writing about it anyway, but I...
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October 5, 2010 - Lavender-Basil Soap

This soap smells so wonderful, I became immediately enamored with lavender and am planning to make more lavender-based soaps soon. For this recipe, I asked CindyP, who ran the soapmaking demonstration at the party, to include basil since I have all that basil. The recipe Cindy came up with for the party resulted in a...
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September 21, 2010 - Milk & Basil Soap

Since I have all that basil, I spent the weekend making three batches of soap with milk and dried, crushed basil. Homemade soap with milk from my cow and herbs from my garden–what could be better? I also did a few experiments. Every time you make soap, in fact, it’s an experiment. There’s always something...
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