One of the hardest parts about making soap for me isn’t formulating or mixing or even swirling. It is packaging. There is a mind boggling amount of packaging available for soap. You can use shrink bands, cigar bands, boxes, bags and more! You can even leave your soaps “naked”. Today I wanted to share a fun way to package your soaps. It is especially great for the upcoming holidays. Red, green and gold anyone?
What actually inspired this packaging was caramels. Every year, the women of my family gather in someone’s kitchen and we make caramels. Not the pre-made type that you melt down or cut. No, we make caramels from cream and sugar and butter. The kind of caramels that your grandmother remembers with a wistful smile.
After we have stood over the hot stove stirring till each of our arms has given out, we pour the caramel onto my mother’s marble block so that it may cool. Once the caramel has cooled, we slice that huge slab into bite sized pieces and we wrap it in little twists of paper. They remind me a little of salt water taffy when we are done. They are beautiful and a much coveted treat during the holidays. Come join me as we wrap another welcome gift, soap!
For this project you will need your finished soap cut into bars, tissue paper, tape and ribbon. Let’s get started!
Lay your tissue paper out flat, short end toward you. Place your soap in the center, closer to the top. Wrap the top of the tissue paper toward yourself and roll the soap until you reach the bottom of the tissue paper. Secure with a small piece of tape.
Crinkle the excess paper that is right next to the bar. This allows you to tie a ribbon around this section with relative ease. Tie a ribbon around the section of tissue paper that your crinkled. Repeat on the other side. You are done and ready to present your soap!
P.S. Send pictures of your holiday packaging for a chance to win one of our Extra Large Handmade Tray molds. You must be an MMS customer to win. Winners will be selected by the MMS Staff based on creativity and visual appeal. Two winners will be selected. Submissions must be sent to email@example.com by 12:00 PM on November 25th or they will be disqualified. Prizes will ship December 3rd.
There is nothing more amazing or spectacular than using a bar of homemade soap. So how do we make the experience of using handmade soap all that much more fun? We put it in sheep’s clothing of course! Today I will be sharing with you how to make felted soaps.
To begin we will need some bars of soap, wool roving and a bucket of hot water. This is a great place to use bars that may be a test batch or are even cosmetically challenged. If you need a place to find roving, check at your local yarn store.
Take about 2 feet of roving and fan it out so it appears lacy. Wrap your soap firmly until
you can no longer see the bar. Dunk the bar into your bucket of hot water and agitate the roving. Use small motions so the roving stays in place. Continue to agitate until the roving is a firm dense mass around the soap. The roving should not be able to move freely. If you are having a hard time, replace your water for something hotter and just keep agitating. Also the cooler your water, the longer it will take to felt. Keep it as hot as you can stand and it will work beautifully.
Once your roving has felted around your soap, pat them dry with a paper towel then set them out to dry. I really like to put them on a cookie rack or a wire shelf where they can dry out more completely. Repeat with your remaining soaps.
This project is a lot of fun because there is so much you can do. You can use colored
roving, you can hide cosmetically challenged bars and simplify using soap because it has a built in foam builder that shrinks with your bar! This is even a great project for those who will be traveling but don’t want to carry around a wash cloth with them!
What other great reasons can you think of for using and making felted soaps? I want to hear!
Yesterday I showed you how to make wool wrapped soaps. As nice as the wool wrapped soaps are some days, I need something outside that allows for a quick scrub and for my soap to dry quickly. One thing I started to do in order to make sure I wasn’t losing my soaps outside was put them in nylons. I would then tie them around the outside faucet and use them as I need them. They are so handy. I don’t lose the soap in the dirt when they get smaller and the best part is I always know where to find a bar of garden soap. I love this because they allow for a preliminary washing after I have been gardening and am a HUGE mess. It is also nice that I don’t have to worry because all cold process soap is bio-degradable. Yes!
What you will need:
Several bars of soap of your choice
Open your nylon. Drop a bar of soap in the nylon. Tie a knot in the end nylon and tie it on your outside faucet. Tada! Now you will always know where your wonderful garden soaps are!
I have a family friend who showed me how to make wool wrapped soap. Lynn from Spinderellas, www.spinderellas.com, has known my mother for several years as they are both spinners. Lynn has been caring for our fleeces, by washing and carding them. She taught us how to make wool wrapped soap too, and I have to say I love them. Wool wrapping is a fun way to present your soap, and does not require the use of a washcloth to create a rich, thick lather. You do not need to worry about the wool becoming too large for your soap because it will continue to felt, shrinking with your soap.
Now before I get too far into how to make a wrapped soap, I will explain some of the terms. Roving is fiber that has been carded, and top is combed. Top and roving felt differently because of the arrangement of the fibers. Sliver is roving or top that is split length wise. In top, the fibers are parallel making it harder for them to grip each other and felt. In roving, the fibers are every which way allowing them to grip each other and felt more readily. When you are getting your wool you will want to get roving, not top. You will also want to make sure you get plain wool roving and not a wool blend. This will insure that as your bar shrinks, the wool shrinks with it.
If you don’t have wool around the house, but want to try this project, order some thrums from Spinderellas. http://www.spinderellas.com/thrums.html will show you a nice offering of colors in 4 ounce to 1 lb increments. The Spinderellas thrums make beautiful soaps.
You will need:
Several bars of soap of your choice
Warm water bath
Take a long length of your roving, about 18 inches. Split it length wise. Fan out the fibers to make a wide strip, about 1.5 inches wide. The wool should have a somewhat lacey appearance, it should not be thick and dense. It is better to have more layers of fanned wool, than it is to have a big chunk of roving as the wrapping. Holding your soap in one hand, wrap your bar of soap starting from one corner and continue to the other corner. Do not twist the wool when you wrap around the bar soap, fold the fan at each 90 degree angle, and continue. This action will appear as more of rolling the soap around the wool, that twisting the wool around the soap. It is very important that the wool strip lays flat against the soap.
When you get to the opposite corner, turn your bar of soap a quarter turn counter clockwise (clockwise if you are wrapping left handed) and wrap the soap again. Make sure that the corners are well covered. Repeat until you have a thick layer of wool wrapped evenly around the bar. Wrap all of your soaps so you are ready to wash/felt them in a single session.
Now that all of your soaps are wrapped we can felt them. Fill a large sink with hot water. Take one of your wrapped soaps and submerge it. Bring it out of the water and squeeze your soap gently. Don’t rub so that your roving comes off. Squeeze the soap repeatedly, turning and re-dunking the soap until the roving feels dense and no longer like a soft fuzzball. The roving has now felted enough so it will not move freely. Now you can rub vigourously so the wool creates a firm blanket around your soap. Once the wool is completely felted, place the felted soap on a cookie rack so it is able to dry completely. Repeat the washing sequence with the rest of your soaps.
I love nothing more than going to new places and learning new things. However, the thing I miss the most, besides my own bed, is my own soap. I hate the hard, harsh hotel soap that is so small I can’t even hold onto it. I prefer my own soap because it smells and feels the way I want it to. Okay, I will admit it, I am a soap snob.
To transport my soap I wrap it in a dry wash cloth, that so it can breathe. I once used plastic bags but my soap would become wet and slimy. I keep that specific wash cloth dry during my travels so I don’t chance mildew beginning to grow.
I want to see how everyone else travels with their soap. Therefore, I have a challenge for everyone. Write a description and send some photos on how you travel with your soap. I will post them next Thursday so everyone else can see your ideas. I am so excited! I am sure I can find some gifts for those that send in ideas.
Have you ever gone to the sink to wash your hands and picked up a wet, slimy bar of soap? It just feels disgusting! Personally, I cannot stand the feel of wet, slimy soap. Sometimes, I have wondered if there are clothes pins large enough for bars of soap. One way to prevent slimy soap is to take a small bowl and fill it with rocks or marbles. Then place the bowl by the sink and put your soap on top. This method allows the soap to dry and it is a fun way to present your soap. If you do not want to use rocks or marbles you can use dominoes, shells, or even long pine needles. I don’t even remember who gave me this idea, so I really don’t know who to credit. However, I can say it has saved me from my paranoia several times. I love it. Yippee! No more slimy soap. What kinds of things do you use in your soap bowl to allow good drainage? Send photos please.
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Thoughts and ideas from the world of Majestic Mountain Sage.