Thursday this week and I was booked on a Soap Making Workshop as part of Adult Learner's week. I was really looking forward to this workshop, as I've always wanted to try to make soap, more especially since I've started using bars of soap again in the last year, as part of the £100 per year Beauty challenge.
The workshop itself was being held at a location that was only about 10 minutes walk away from where I live, which was very handy as I could nip there very quickly on my bike after taking the dog for a walk.
It was a really enjoyable workshop. We were basically shown how to melt a glycerine based soap base, that can be bought from soap making/craft websites or even eBay. You need to use a bain marie type system to melt the soap base, which came in a big block. Once melted you take it off the heat and add soap making scent/essence and colourings and then pour the mix into silicone ice cube trays and leave them to set in the refridgerator. By the time we left to come home, we all had a tray of small handmade glycerine soaps to take home with us.
Whilst we were waiting for the soap block to melt and the soaps to harden, we all got stuck into making some pretty boxes and bags to hold the soaps. There was a great template for a small paper bag which fitted nicely onto an A4 sheep and which I really liked, so I stuck with this. It was so simple to make using the template. I copied the template whilst I was there, so I could use it again at home for gift wrapping. We used various printed papers to make the bags and then filled them with the soaps and shredded tissue. A very simple process, but with a lovely end product.
My soaps turned out a little dark, as I overdid the colouring (it was supposed to be purple). I'd definitely make them a lighter colour if I did this again. They smell very nice though, as I used a fern essence, which had quite a nice and fresh smelling scent. There was a bit of a seaside theme to them as I made crabs, shells and starfish. Here's a picture of the finished product.
We all had a great time and there were about 15 of us in total, all chatting and crafting away and swapping crafting tips. It was great fun. I definitely might order some soap base myself and try this at home at some point, maybe making a cake of soap that can be cut into slices, then wrapped in pretty paper.
Joining in with Dreamer at Living a Slow and Simple Life trying to complete a task a week for a year.