As I discussed in a former post, everyone on my mom’s side of the family gives a handmade gift for Christmas. It’s a tradition that I love, as it is both low cost and low pressure, while allowing everyone to contribute their specialty. This Christmas tradition is where my love for handmade soap began, as I’ve received several bars from my Uncle Dave over the years.
My affinity for handmade soap continued as I started becoming a regular at flea markets and farmers’ markets. As I don’t always have money to burn, I viewed my purchase of handmade soap as a means of supporting local artisans without breaking the bank. Further, I’m a huge fan of knowing each and every ingredient that goes into the products that I use.
More recently, I decided to try my hand at making my own. For whatever reason, lavender and goat’s milk seemed like the obvious combination for my first batch. As it turns out, handmade soap is ridiculously easy and super affordable to make. Now that I have my first batch under my belt, I’m already dreaming up which batch I’ll make next. Currently, it’s a tie between oatmeal, honey, and goat’s milk and grapefruit, poppyseed, and goat’s milk. Which would you guys prefer to see?
Anyway, goat’s milk will most likely be my constant as a soap base, as it’s known to deeply nourish the skin and have amazing lather. Further, I chose lavender as my scent for two reasons. One, I find it to be extremely soothing. Second, incorporating dried lavender flowers in addition to lavender essential oil provides a natural means of exfoliation.
Although this was totally by chance, I love that the lavender flowers floated to the top of the mold before hardening, making it so that one side of the bar can be used for lather while the other side of the bar can be used for exfoliation. Aside from its practicality, I also find the layer of lavender flowers to be aesthetically pleasing. With that being said, you now don’t have to wonder why I overdid it with photos in this post. ;)
Note: Recipe yields 12 bars of soap.
What you’ll need:
- 4 lb. goat’s milk soap base
- 60 drops lavender essential oil
- 1 cup dried lavender flowers
- A silicone mold with 12 cavities, each cavity being 4 oz.
What you’ll do:
- Cut each 1 lb. brick of soap base into 18 pieces
- Add all pieces of soap base to an 8 cup, microwave-safe measuring cup
- Microwave on high in 1 minute intervals, stirring in between, until melted through
- Add the dried lavender flowers, followed by the lavender essential oil, and mix thoroughly
- Pour 4 oz. of the mixture into each cavity and allow to harden overnight
These are so lovely!
This is so cool, Lauren!! I’ve always wanted to make soap. Did you buy your soap base from that online site? I have some lavender pieces from france that i’ve been waiting to use! I also have pieces of dried rose buds hmm… Anyway, I think you should make the honey and oat one! That sounds yummy for the fall/winter season :)
I did! Dried rose buds would be so lovely and would probably pair beautifully with an aloe soap base. Honey and oat soap is definitely happening in the near future!
Lauren – first, I love your blog and feel like I’m always repinning your pins on Pinterest! Second, I took a soapmaking class last weekend where you actually make the soap using lye. It seemed like half a chemistry class, half an artsy/diy class — the second half being the reason I went. All of the safety precautions you need to adhere to while using the chemical horrified me (gloves/safety goggles to prevent burns and you had to hold your breath while initially mixing so the gas it creates doesn’t burn your lungs!) The soap also needs to cure for 6 weeks before it’s really safe enough to use on your skin – such a long time! I need to try soapmaking using a base – seems much safer and you can use soon after you make. Your soaps turned out beautifully!!
Aw, thank you so much! That class sounds like an awesome experience, but definitely not practical for making soap at home regularly. Be sure to let me know about how your soap turns out! Keep in touch. :)