|One of the hardest things about soap making is presentation. How are you going to present your soap to family, friends and even customers? How are you going to label it? How are you going to identify what is it or even what is in it? One of the simplest labeling styles is a cigar band. Come join me to make cigar band labels for your soap!
For this project, you will need:
I want to print on my cigar band label then cut it out so I can wrap my soap. To start, I grabbed a bar of soap, a standard size bar from my mold. I decided I wanted the band to go across my soap horizontally. I measured how wide the bar was. My bar was 9 inches around the bar horizontally. My cigar band will need to be longer than 9 inches so I can tape the paper together.
To determine how much space I have at the front of the bar for my design, I took a blank sheet of 8.5×11 printer. I wanted to determine how tall I wanted my cigar band. I played origami for a while until I found the size I wanted. I then cut that out and wrapped it around my bar. If I want text on the sides of my bar, now is the time for that to be determined.
I went to my computer and created my cigar bands. I used Open Office but you will need to play around with the various programs your computer has. I filled in the blog title and what I wanted to call the soap. I decreased my margin size to 0.25 inches on all sides of the paper. I flipped the page to landscape. I then printed my paper. I checked to make sure my cigar band was longer than 9 inches.
I then wrapped the paper around the bar, centering the text in the front. I taped the paper in the back. Tada! I now have a labeled soap. How easy was that?
What program do you use if you create cigar bands? I want to know!
Archive for the ‘Product Assistance’ Category
I recently received a great query through our technical support email that inquired about how to create a lip balm with two different flavor oils and how to calculate for each. The two flavors in question are Chocolate Cream Flavor Oil and Peppermint Essential Oil. As some of you know, my answers often appear to be questions instead.
Here is the dialog so you can follow along and learn how to use two flavors AND how to do the math.
Customer: I would like to combine your chocolate cream and peppermint for a holiday lip balm. My recipe is a total 4.6 oz and makes about 26 tubes. Can you please help me figure how much of each flavor oil to use?
MMS: Do you weigh the items to make your lip balm mixture? If so, do you weigh in ounces?
Customer: Yes, I weigh in ounces. Thank you.
MMS: Does your scale offer metric units? Grams? if so, what is the readability (the smallest unit the scale can weigh and how does it increment upwards)?
Customer: My scale does offer grams….1 g is the smallest and it goes up 1 gr at a time.
MMS: These answers are awesome! You ask a good question and the answer is difficult to calculate without these answers.
Chocolate Cream is generally used at 2-4% of your mixture. So we calculate 4.6 x 3% to give us a good chocolatey flavor. Without a percent sign on the calculator it looks like 4.6 x .03 = .138
I doubt the scale goes to 1/1000 of an ounce so it becomes hard to weigh. This is where weighing in metrics can help. The 4.6 ounces becomes 130.4 grams, and the .138 ounces becomes 3.9 grams. We are still dealing with some limitations on the scale but now we know how close we can really get. The peppermint is even harder. I would make the test batch with 3% Chocolate Cream and 0.3% Peppermint Oil. It is easy enough to add more flavor but more difficult to add more fixed oils to make a double batch of lip balm.
4.6 oz x 0.003 = .0138 oz Peppermint
130.4 x 0.003 = 0.039 grams Peppermint
It looks to me that making a master batch of this flavor mixture is the better route to go. It would be 10 grams Chocolate Cream and 1 gram Peppermint Oil. From there you would calculate 3.3% or multiply by 0.033 to get the weight needed.
Long explanation isn’t it?
Customer: Wow! Now I don’t feel so bad about how much trouble I was having trying to figure this out. I think you are right, a master batch would be the best route. I am so grateful for your help. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
MMS: I would love to hear how your master batch turns out.
Customer: Just an update for you – the master batch was great. I made the lip balm this morning, and I like it. I’ll pass out a few over the weekend and see what others say. You can smell the chocolate right away and the mint is not overwhelming but you get it. I think it is just what I wanted. Can’t thank you enough!
From our team to yours: any time MMS can make your project seem more enjoyable and successful from the very first test batch then we are thrilled! It is what we work for each day. If you have two flavor oils that you would like to combine, offer them here in the comments and I will assist with some math and suggestions. If you don’t want a public answer, go ahead and send in your request to us in email. We will keep that private for you.
There are three possibilities that can cause this issue.
- The propel-repel mechanism was adjusted by twisting before the lip balm tubes were filled. Lip balm tubes come from the manufacturer with their propel-repel mechanism set at the correct point for. Never adjust this mechanism. This happens most with the Clear Lip Balm Tubes. Why? The space under the propel-repel mechanism has people thinking they have been “cheated” on fillable lip balm tube space! This space is important for the lip balm tubes to work properly and is in all tubes, no matter their color.
- Your customer (or a child) twisted the lip balm up and then twisted it all the way back down and disengaged the propel-repel mechanism. We’ve even done it ourselves on accident!
- Your formula has a high percentage of waxes and/or oils with high stearine content. This doesn’t mean that having 20% of any wax will make your lip balm tubes stick! It will depend on your formula. Your formula may have a high percentage of wax and yet still be fine because you don’t have any brittle oils and lots of liquid oils. If you aren’t sure if your formula is causing the lip balm to be stuck in the tube, test your lip balm using the plate test.
I hope this has helped you learn more about lip balms and lip balm tubes!
Ready to continue the various plastics? Today we are covering recycling number 4 which is LDPE, Low-density polyethylene. LDPE is like HDPE and MDPE as all three plastics are polyethylene. The biggest difference is that LDPE is not as strong or dense as HDPE and MDPE, but it does have the ability to handle more stretching forces without breaking.
LDPE is the original polymerization of the monomer ethylene. The first industrial synthesis of polyethylene was in 1933 by British company, Imperial Chemical Industries, and it was made by accident! However, the experiment was not easily replicated and it wasn’t until 1935 that a replicable method was discovered. This discovery became the basis for industrial production of LDPE in 1939. Due to the breakout of World War II, LDPE was deemed to be important for the construction and safety of the cables used in devices using Very High Frequency (VHF) electromagnetic radio waves. The use in military radios, radar sets, as well as other communication devices, meant the production process was a necessary secret. In 1944, two American companies began large commercial scale production of LDPE under license from Imperial Chemical Industries.
Where is LDPE used?
LDPE is used in plastic wrap, plastic coatings on wires, computer components, snap-on lids, six-pack rings for canned drinks and laboratory squeeze bottles. Like HDPE and MDPE, LDPE also has a lower cost which helps keep final product costs down.
Whew! I loved the history aspect about LDPE today. What did you think? Don’t miss out on tomorrow’s post on PP (Polypropylene)!
We have already covered two of the recycling numbers, so let’s tackle recycling number 3! The plastic recycled under this number is PVC or Polyvinyl Chloride. If you are like me, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of PVC is plumbing pipe. While PVC is commonly used for a variety of construction uses, there are more uses for PVC including shrink film, cosmetic containers like bath salt tubes, vinyl siding, windows and even medical equipment.
PVC is made by polymerizing the monomer gas, vinyl chloride. This makes a strong plastic that is resistant to solvents, has low costs and is used in a wide variety of items. The biggest complaint we hear about PVC is that it has a slight haze to the appearance. PET is crystal clear, and PVC does have a haze. Precleaning the bottle or jar only enhances the hazy appearance. PVC has been known to crack when dropped! it is not as resilient as HDPE or MDPE or PET.
While PVC is still not always accepted at every recycling center, it is still a recycled plastic and often recycled into fences, mudflaps, flooring and even speed bumps!
Be sure to tune in tomorrow for our next plastic, LDPE (Low-density polyethylene)! I’ll keep filling your brains with this cool information.
Is your brain feeling stuffed from yesterday? Well if not, today we are going to talk about plastics recycling number 2. There are two plastics that are accepted under this recycling number. They are HDPE and MDPE. Before you ask, LDPE falls under recycling number 4, so we will get to it later this week! These acronyms stand for High-density polyethylene and Medium-density polyethylene. Now what is the difference?
The difference between HDPE and MDPE is that HDPE is slightly stronger and heavier that MDPE. Both of these plastics are made in a similar manner by combining petroleum with a catalyst like chromium/silica catalysts, Ziegler-Natta catalysts or metallocene catalysts.
The production manner of these plastics means that these are plastics with a good resistance to dropping, rapid temperature changes as well as resistance to some solvents. This makes these containers ideal for milk jugs, cleaner bottles, yogurt containers, shampoo & conditioner bottles, as well many more uses including construction and medical uses.
So… where can we find HDPE & MDPE being used?
HDPE & MDPE are used most commonly used in bottles and tubs, as well as cereal bags! HDPE & MDPE are a common container material in both the food and cosmetics industries because HDPE & MDPE are squeezable and have low costs in comparison to PET. This means that you don’t have to have higher products costs just to pay for the containers!
HDPE & MDPE are accepted at many recycling centers and are often recycled into laundry detergent bottles, oil bottles, recycling containers, plastic lumber, doghouses, picnic tables as well as other sturdy outdoor objects like playhouses and storage bins.
That being said, what are the pros and cons for you using HDPE & MDPE containers for your products?
I hope I didn’t bore you today! Check back in tomorrow for the next plastics on our list, PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)!
|Today I will start a series about plastics. I plan to share information with you so you can make the best decisions for your products and your customers! Recycling is of big importance to many of us, as well as to our customers. That being said, sometimes we don’t know about different plastics and which plastics are best used in each of our own applications. So, let’s talk about plastics and recycling!
We are going to start at the beginning of the list with plastics recycling number 1. PET or PETE both are acronyms for the same plastic, polyethylene terephthalate. (pol-ee-eth-uh-leen tuh-ref-thuh-leyt) I find that to be a definite mouthful! Are you ready to begin?
Polyethylene terephthalate is actually polymerized units of the monomer ethylene glycol mixed with terephthalic acid, which in plain English is saying that the low weight molecules of have been mixed together and been made to be bigger and heavier by the evaporation of water!
So… where can we find PET being used?
PET is used most commonly used in bottles and jars, as well as plain packing tape! PET is a common container material in the food and cosmetics industry because PET is an excellent barrier material, preventing the rapid transfer of molecules. This means that sodas retain their carbonation, foods or cosmetics won’t oxidize and products with a high water or alcohol content won’t evaporate as quickly.
PET is one of the most recycled plastics, but in the USA only 30% of PET containers were recycled in 2012! In 2011, approximately 7.5 million tons of PET were collected and 5.9 million tons of usable PET flake were produced after cleaning. That is a staggering number that I can barely comprehend!
All PET containers can be recycled and reused to make new containers, polyester fabric, sleeping bag insulation and even carpet! The demand for recycled PET products is rapidly increasing and yet because the supply is limited preventing a rapid growth in the recycled plastics industry.
That being said, what are the pros and cons for you using PET containers for your products?
- Easily recycled
- Comes in a variety of shapes and colors.
- Low transmission rates between inside and outside of container slows oxidation and evaporation of products.
- The best way to sanitize is to dip in water/Hydrogen Peroxide solution containing 3% Hydrogen Peroxide and allow to air dry.
- Easily recycled around the world.
- Shatterproof and ideal for slippery bathrooms!
- PET has a low heat tolerance. If a product is poured in when too hot, the contain will warp. This also means products can’t be heated in the PET containers.
- If sanitized with a Hydrogen Peroxide solution as listed above, water marks can be left on the containers as they dry.
I hope I didn’t bore you today! Check back in tomorrow for the next plastics on our list, HDPE (High-density polyethylene) and MDPE (Medium-density polyethylene)!
|I love bananas! They make a great snack, or are great in breads, smoothies, pies, and with chocolate or caramel! Wow! How amazing! I am so glad that bananas are now is season here in Beijing. I have been making banana yogurt smoothies and plenty of banana bread. However, today has been made even better with the news I have for you! We now have a Banana Flavor Oil! I am going nuts over this new flavor oil.
Now you can have banana flavored lip balms and lip glosses. Yummy! Doesn’t that sound great?! What do you want to make with this scrumptious new flavor oil? The Banana Flavor Oil reminds me of banana candy that has jokes and riddles written on the wrapper.
Note: If you want the perfect fragrance oil to match this new flavor oil, I suggest Monkey Farts! While the name may sound very silly, it has a wonderful banana odor with a hint of tropical fruit. Yum!
Did you know that every time you place an order with TheSage.com we send you a free sample? These samples are products from the catalog. Well, recently we have been making several samples of the Head To Toe Cream Base, Paraben Free – we are taking the full gallon of the base and adding in 1 oz. of fragrance oil, stir until fully mixed, then filling sample sizes to be shipped to you for every order you place with TheSage.com. If you don’t care to get samples, would you tell us?
Some of the fragrance oil scents that we have already prepared and are shipping with orders are:
Romantic Wish - This scent has many followers and I am unquestionably one of them. This scent is an orange, apple and pear top note fragrance that is complemented with jasmine, lily and sweet melon; with a base note of sensual musk. I scent Head to Toe Cream with Romantic Wish and store in a refillable 8 oz size jar – I use it all the time. Ask for one of my favorites when you order! I love this stuff a ton and wish everyone had a sample. Get it? I wish, Romantic Wish. Ok, nevermind, I’m being silly.
Vanilla Yogurt - Can I just say, Wow! This fragrance is now one of my top faves. The aroma is definitely vanilla and cream with some tangy citrus and caramel notes. Not too sweet or over the top, but a nice happy scent. This scent is a good pick-me-up after a stressful day at work. The happy notes will reset your mind to a calmer, more enjoyable mood.
Pink Chiffon - Oh my! Fresh lilies, soft jasmine, apples, red pear, white peach, with muck and powdery amber. How can you go wrong with that? Names never seem to do the fragrances justice. I guess this is a reminder that the NOSE KNOWS! This means you must get a sample. Where would I use Pink Chiffon? Well, I would start with lotions, soap, or body sprays.
Red Grape and Blueberry - Fruit salad! Yum! This scent is a fruity blend of grape skins, strawberry, blueberry, pineapple and honeysuckle. Base notes of tobacco, caramel and balsamic amber round out this fruit salad scent. Very fresh, sweet (not too sweet), and a nice scent for soaps, lotions, candles and balms. Did you know that most people smell this scent and have a surprised look on their face? The reaction of “Oh!” says it all.
Want a sample of our Head to Toe Cream scented with one of these amazing fragrances? Just use the comment section on your next order and we will do our best to send it your way. Free, of course!
Please help us out! We have several gallons of Head to Toe Cream Base, Paraben Free that we are making into samples and instead of us going around with the eeny-meeny-miney-moe thingie, we would rather you help us choose! Send a comment to this blog with any fragrance oil that you would like to try in the Head to Toe Cream Base. We will take all of your suggestions and start mixing up more samples for your orders.
Happy smelling and moisturizing your skin!
I have gathered my supplies and I hope you are ready to make some tinctures with me. When making tinctures there are many herbs or botanicals that we can use, just remember this: DRY IS THE WAY TO GO! I’ve collected some items from our blog kitchen and will start with Ground Vanilla Bean, Paprika, Peppermint Leaves, Rose Buds and Petals, Rose Hip Powder, and Alkanet Root Powder. I’m planning on using these for skin toners or refreshers, as well as in foot soaks or the bath. Look around and see what kinds of DRIED herbs or botanicals you have and lets get started.
Herbs are put in a container and 80 proof Vodka or 190 proof Everclear, both are acceptable liquids. The filled jar is usually left to stand for 2–3 weeks and shaken daily in order to maximize extraction. Tinctures can easily be made in less time, so please don’t feel like infusing for 2-3 weeks is required. Each dry botanical will help you decide when finished really means finished, you’ll know because the dried herb material breaks down into awful, spent-looking material.
You will start with a clean jar, I’m using some basic pint-sized canning jars with screw top lids. You can use any type of jar or container that you choose just make sure it has a tight seal and that it is easy to add (and remove) any plant material.
Our target fill is 10% dried botanical and 90% alcohol mixture. So weigh the botanical into your jar, now multiply the weight of the plant material by 9 and add that weight of alcohol to the jar. Cap and shake. Store in a dark cupboard and shake the container once a day. This will help stir the product and allow for maximum extraction. The weight to weight ratio of 1:9 will help your tinctures become as consistent as possible. Each plant material will offer different amounts of extractives that can be given into the alcohol. So keeping a 1:9 is a great ratio to keep.
A note about the choice of alcohol. The higher percentage of alcohol that Everclear offers will allow your tincture to extract more alcohol soluble compounds as well as act like a preservative. So, if I had a choice, I would ask everyone to use Everclear. However, not everyone has Everclear available to them. So, please, adjust for what is available in your area.