Need a quick Mother’s Day gift idea? Make Mom some soap! I like this gift idea because it is a practical gift that any Mom can use. It is a consumable gift that does not create clutter. It doesn’t have to be dusted (more work for Mom) or stored somewhere. Mom can take the soap home, use it in the shower or by the sink and think fondly of her family every time she uses it. Just be warned…once Mom uses your soap, she may no longer like the store-bought soap as much.
You can pick up a package of soap base at most hobby and craft stores (Michaels or Hobby Lobby) or order it online from Amazon. Any melt and pour soap base will work for this project but I prefer the SFIC brand as it is a more natural product than many others. It can be ordered from many soap suppliers such as BrambleBerry or Elements Bath & Body.
You will also need a glass container to use to melt the soap base and a mold to pour the soap base into. You can use a Pyrex measuring cup or an old glass jar to melt the soap and yogurt containers or small gladware or ziplock containers as molds if you want to do this project on the cheap. If you want to give the soap a scent you will need to purchase either a fragrance oil or an essential oil. You can usually find soap scents in the hobby stores or order fragrance and essential oils online at Amazon. Recently I have found essential oils at Walmart in the health and beauty aisles. If you choose to use a fragrance oil or an essential oil, be sure to carefully research the correct usage amount before using.
With supervision, this is a project you can do with the kids. They can (carefully) stir the warm soap and also sprinkle the coffee grounds on top of the soap.
The list below will make 4-4 oz. bars. To make only one bar (like I did in the pictures below), use 4 oz. soap base and 3/4 teaspoon coffee grounds.
- 1 pound soap base, makes 4 bars
- soap mold, yogurt containers, or other small plastic containers
- sharp knife
- cutting board
- glass container, pyrex or mason jars work great
- 1 Tablespoon coffee grounds (not instant coffee)
- fragrance or essential oil, optional
Making the soap
Let’s get started making soap. First gather all your supplies. (See supply list above.) Your soap base will need to be chopped into pieces before melting. Using a knife and cutting board, carefully chop the soap into approximately 1/2″ cubes. You can use your kitchen utensils for this. Remember, it is just soap.
Once you have the soap chopped into cubes, place them in the glass container. Melt the cubes in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. (If only making one bar start with 20 seconds.) Continue melting in the microwave in 15 second increments until most of the soap is melted. Do not overheat. It is better to stop heating the soap before it is fully melted. You can continue to stir to melt the remaining soap. If you don’t have a microwave you can place the glass container containing the soap cubes in a shallow pot of water and heat until the soap is melted.
Once the soap is fully melted, stir in a few drops of fragrance oil or essential oil if you are using it. Then stir in the coffee grounds. The coffee grounds do not really add much scent to the soap, just a little scrubbiness. Pour the soap into your molds and sprinkle a few coffee grounds on top. Let harden for approximately 2 hours before removing from the molds. If the soap doesn’t release easily, place the soap in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Once un-molded, it is best to wrap the soap in plastic wrap to keep it from attracting moisture from the air.
Since you made soap, clean up is fairly simple. Let all your dishes soak in a sinkful of water for about 30 minutes and the soap should just wash right out.
Get ready to wow Mom on Mother’s Day with a very special bar of soap!