Soap Making

At this point I have pretty much decided that making things from scratch, or almost-scratch, is what I’m all about.  So my mom, sister and I tried our hands at soap.  Now I will admit we didn’t start from complete scratch on this one, as we read how dangerous lye can be, so we started with these really great soap bases from Hobby Lobby- we used the Goats Milk Soap Base and the Glycerin Soap Base (which doesn’t seem to be available online).  After reading some different recipes and blog posts, we decided on a few ingredients we already had in our houses.

Here is what we started with:

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We melted the soap base cubes in a microwavable glass bowl, at about 20 second intervals.  We noticed the glycerin base took much longer to melt fully, and therefore got a lot hotter.

And here are our soap ingredients:

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This one is the glycerin soap base, lemon peel, and orange oil.

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For this one we used the glycerin soap base and brown sugar, vanilla extract, and mint leaves.

 

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Goats milk base with vanilla extract, brown sugar, castor oil, and oats.

For the final one we used the goats milk base and recycled coffee grounds.  I didn’t get a picture of the ingredients because I had stepped outside to help the guys with the water line project, and my sister and mom got tired of waiting for me.  I really liked this one because all I had to do was save coffee grounds from the previous week’s coffee!

Another note to add, I did read to spray each mold with rubbing alcohol, as the soap base tends to bubble, and this prevents that from happening.  Also spray the top of the soap after it is poured into the mold.

Now you might notice that our soap molds are random leftover containers.  Plastic sprout containers, lids, and butter containers.  The plastic sprout containers worked the best because they were pliable enough to pop the soap out once it had cooled, but they were also susceptible to heat and we were not able to reuse them.  The butter containers and lids were not flexible enough to pop the soap out of, so we had to pry them out with a knife, which made the soap edges not so pretty.  I am currently doing research on what works best for molds, without having to spend a lot on actual soap molds.  I suppose if you plan on making a lot of soap, and can reuse the molds, then it would be worth it.  I would like to make soap again soon, and start giving them out as gifts to family and friends!

And…final products!  We were really happy with the way they turned out and are already using them!

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My Very First DIY Project

I have to admit something—I have never been very crafty.  My mom can paint a mural without a second thought, but her artistic ability never made it to me.  However, when my husband and I bought our first home and weren’t quite ready to drop a few hundred dollars on a dining room set, I decided to take some old chairs and make them “work.”  Luckily I already had a table that had never been used, and was in good condition.  But for a month it was paired with lawn chairs.  Ugly lawn chairs.

We had some family move that left behind their old kitchen table chairs, and my first reaction to them was no way, I don’t want those in my house.  A few weeks later, and they were in my garage.  After a little bit of research on chalk paint and the technique of distressing furniture, I decided to take it on as my very first project.  Anyone who isn’t aware—chalk paint is not cheap!  Even though I was pining for some Annie Sloan paint, I settled for something I found mentioned on another blog, Valspar Super Flat Paint & Primer.  I went with a color called Pam’s Lace, and got started.  My canvases were not in great condition, with water damage from sitting out in a barn uncovered, but I persevered anyways.  I took my sander and worked the finish down on a couple of the worse-off chairs as much as I could.  Then brushed on two coats of paint (three or four coats in a couple really bad spots), and then got my hand sandblock ready to go.  I rubbed it over the edges and curves, places that would be more likely to have “natural” distressing.

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This is what I started with (one of the worse-off chairs).

Meet Beans, my barn kitty.  He was intrigued.
Meet Beans, my barn kitty. He was intrigued.

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My tools.

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My finished products.

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And…the end result.  Yes, there is one chair that’s the odd man out.  I take what I can get.