So when my sister was young, she slept with a pillow filled with the scent of lavender.  Lavender oil is often used to calm the senses and induce sleep.  It also just smells great!  It isn't too sweet or overly feminine and I find that men often love it, themselves.  

So when I asked my dear sis if could make a handcrafted gift for her, she asked me to make a pillow with lavender in it.  So I did what any online shopping addict would do, I went on to Amazon with my Prime account.  Two days later, a huge bag of extra organic french lavender buds came in.  I had enough for a pillow and enough to sprinkle a path everywhere I walked.  I then started researching uses for lavender and my first idea was soap!  I looooove fancy soap. I could live in Lush Cosmetics.  I've often had to unclog drains due to seeds and oats in my soap, and it was worth it!  So this is my first foray into soap making, and I think it's going to be a problem.  It was so easy and the results were gorgeous!

It's very similar to cooking, adding a bit here and there, sprinkling things I found in my pantry.  

For soap:

  • goat's milk soap base (found mine easily at Michaels)
  • lavender essential oil
  • lavender buds
  • soap colorant (optional)
  • oats (you can grind them for a finer, less exfoliating soap)
  • soap mold

I really did purchase everything in one aisle of Michaels besides the lavender and oats.  You can really use your creativity and make any kind of combo you want.  I eyeballed everything and it still turned out great!

  1. Cut your soap base cubes into blocks using a large chef's knife.  Don't worry about the soap getting everywhere, it's soap!  It washes out of everything.
  2. I filled a Pyrex measuring cup with the cubes.  You can use anything that's microwave safe but the spout will save you!  I did about a third of the block  at a time because I only had three molds.
  3. Blast in the microwave for 35 seconds, stir and repeat at 15 second intervals until thoroughly melted.  
  4. Add in essential oils, lavender buds, and oats.  Put it in a little at a time so you don't over do it.  I totally winged it but used about 10 drops of lavender oil, 10 drops of lilac colorant, a tablespoon of lavender buds and a tablespoon of oats.
  5. Pour into mold. If any bubbles show up you can pop them with a skewer or give it a quick spray with alcohol.
  6. Let harden completely.  I'm terribly impatient so I popped mine in the freezer - it worked!
  7. Pull the mold away from the sides of the soap and slowly release them.  
  8. Wrap 'em up real nice!

Aren't they gorgeous?!  I put colorant in this batch but it hardly made a difference so I think I'll keep it dye-free next time.  

I wrapped mine up in parchment paper, then a strip of a wallpaper sample I had, a piece of ribbon and a little tag to let people know what they were getting into.  I went soap crazy that afternoon and made 18 bars of soap.  It was really satisfying and made gifts for the whole book club!

There are also some real wacky molds out there.  Just check out Etsy for a good laugh.  These make great gifts, use creativity and your wallet will thank you for not spending $10 on a bar of fancy soap.