This year I wanted to make some handmade gifts for my family, and I also wanted to make something that I could make in large batches. The less and less time I have the more I tend to buy gifts instead of make them but I wanted to have something fun to make not only for my own family but something I could share with you guys. I have never made soap before but its always been on my list of things to try. I think this turned out really well except for a few soap chunks that didn't fully melt. This soap doesn't just smell good but the bits of coffee provide a nice exfoliation. I am also going to make two other soaps so I can give a set of three as gifts. The calendula and goats milk soap is currently setting up, and I plan on making a pink clay soap as well. I think this would be a great gift to give to your family if you have a large family and can't afford to give everyone a big gift. If you tend to have some last minute gifts for a teacher, mailman or just someone you might not have thought of, make a few batches of these soaps and have them on hand to give out.
2.5 lb melt and pour goats milk soap
2 tsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp coarsely ground coffee
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
glass bowl/measuring cup for melting
soap loaf mold (or any mold you want)
knife or soap cutter
spray bottle full of rubbing alcohol
First you want to cut your soap into small cubes. The melt and pour soap should be sectioned off so you can cut it more easily. I found that for melting quicker you can cut the cubes in half. Pop your soap into the microwave for 30 seconds and then for 10 seconds at a time stirring in between. Keep going until all the pieces are fully melted.
After your soap is fully melted, add in your vanilla bean paste, cocoa powder and coffee grounds. Since cocoa powder tends to get clumpy, just sift it before adding it into the soap. If you don't have vanilla bean paste, you can use vanilla extract or even scrape a vanilla bean right in! Make sure you stir everything in really well so you don't get any powder clumps and so you color the soap evenly.
As you can see in the photo, all the stirring creates a TON of bubbles. Thats where the alcohol comes in handy. As soon as you place your soap in the mold, immediately spray the top with the alcohol. You will see right away the bubbles just disappear! You can also lift and drop the mold down a few times to get all the bubbles to rise to the top and spray again with the alcohol. It will smell for awhile until it evaporates, but don't worry your soap won't smell like alcohol!
I know its hard to wait, but wait at least 2 hours before cutting your soap. As soon as your mold is cool to the touch it should be ready to cut. Use a large knife or a soap cutter and cut your soap into about 1.5 inch pieces. I got about 10-12 slices out of this loaf mold. I am sure there are way better places to buy molds, but I got mine at Michaels during their black friday sale where my whole order was 50% off! If you don't have a special soap mold you can really use anything! A bread loaf tin would work just as well, cupcake tins, or even ice cube trays could make some cute little soaps you can give in a clear cello bag.
Soap gift wrapping
I wanted to also share a nice way to wrap your soap so it stays fresh and looks good for when you are ready to present your gifts. I used some kraft paper, brown twine and some bits of foliage to top it off. If you want to label your soap you can also use a bit of card stock or plain kraft paper gift tags and hand write the soap name on it. Simply wrap the soap in the kraft paper, use some decorative washi tape to seal it together, tie on your twine and pop on a sprig of pine. Stack up a big bowl of these and keep them on hand until you are ready to give them out! I would love to see photos of your finished projects! Tag #aquariansoul or #aquariansouldesigns on instagram or twitter with photos of your soap! Happy Holidays!