This year I was delighted to take part once again in the #CraftBlogClub Secret Santa. In case you haven’t heard of it, #CraftBlogClub is a weekly Twitter chat which takes place between 7 – 8pm every Tuesday, hosted by the lovely Katie (@katiegetscrafty) and Fiona (@fizzijayne), with occasional guest hosts.
As well as chatting all things craft, throughout the year, Katie and Fiona love to set us seasonal crafty challenges from spring-cleaning (stash swapping) to upcycling, but my favourite has to be the annual Secret Santa where everyone is paired off to create homemade presents for each other.
This year I was paired with @knitknatlaura and decided to try my hand at homemade soaps for the first time. A while ago, I found this pin on Pinterest, and decided to give this ten minute DIY a go. The tutorial is by Heidi at Happiness is Homemade – it’s super easy, and the results do look really great.
You will need the following materials:
- Honeycomb moulds (Amazon US)
- Melt and Pour goat’s milk soap base (2kgs / lbs) (Amazon UK)
- Bee Beautiful soap colours (Amazon UK)
- Local runny honey
- Pyrex cup (or microwaveable bowl)
When Heidi says that this DIY takes 10 minutes, she isn’t lying. The bit that takes the longest time is waiting for your Amazon orders to arrive, but it’s worth the wait. Once you’ve got your materials together, all you need to do is cut your soap base into small chunks and place in a Pyrex cup or bowl.
I started with half the block (1kg / lb), and microwaved in 1 minute intervals, stirring to check how melted the soap was. Once it is completely melted (no lumps and bumps), it’s time to mix in your honey. Heidi recommends stirring in 3 tablespoons of honey, and then adding in a few drops of colourant, as desired.
I experimented with adding in a few drops of yellow and red to try and get a golden hue, however I found that adding varying amounts of honey was a simpler way to change the colour. Just 3 tablespoons of honey and you’ll have a lovely white soap, 4+ tablespoons and you’ll get a darker golden hue.
My main tip is to move fairly quickly at this point, as once the soap starts to cool and solidify it won’t pour into your moulds as easily. Before you pour (or do anything), make sure your mould is clean, dry and free of fluff. For best results use a Pyrex cup rather than a bowl, as it will allow a neater pour.
Pour the soap base into your mould, filling each segment almost to the top, and leave to set on a flat surface. This may take 20 minutes to two hours, depending on the temperature of your room etc., but I found it to be quite speedy. Once cooled (I left mine overnight to be sure), remove from your moulds.
The soaps come out really cleanly from the moulds, and smell great too. I packaged four of these into a Paperchase ‘bracelet’ box on some natural paper shred, with some baking paper inserts to separate them. The packaging definitely helps to turn this homemade DIY into a present that you’re proud to give away.
I also made a homemade card for Laura, which you can see in the pictures, though I expect I’ll blog about those before Christmas 2017, so look out for the full tutorial later this year! It’s super simple, but cute.
Last but not least, I wanted to share the awesome present that I received from Sarah-Jane at @justacraftymama. She made me a gorgeous scented candle and homemade ‘Let it snow’ card, which I love. The candle sits perfectly on the new hearth in my lounge and smells like candy cane – delicious!
If you’re interested in joining the #CraftBlogClub weekly chat, just say hello on Twitter using the hashtag – the first chat of 2017 is on Tuesday 3rd January at 7pm where we’ll be sharing our Secret Santa makes, and chatting about our crafty resolutions. Hope you can join us. Happy New Year!