Monday, December 21, 2009

Vegetable Glycerin Soap Redux

I would have liked to have tried a different project this year, but Christmas crept up on us on little cat-feet, and what with gingerbread houses, and final papers, and travel plans, I didn't really even think about organizing a handmade gift for the girls to make their teachers this year until Thursday, the day before the last day of school before the break.

But isn't that what an old standby is FOR?
Vegetable glycerin soap is melt-and-pour, and just about the easiest project that you can get up to with a couple of little kids. One of these days I plan to write a vegetable glycerin soap tutorial for the sole purpose of illustrating how ridiculously simple and awesomely fun it is. The girls and I use regular all-purpose silicon molds, the same ones that we use for muffins and crayons and soap, but the thing that I think is the most fun, and the thing that I think makes this a project that children can make for ADULTS (projects like that are so few and far between), is the stash of essential oils and dried herbs and such that I bring out.

I have a pretty diverse stash, since I use oils and herbs medicinally, for cleaning, in soap-making, and for, you know, scenting baths--very important usage. Each girl, when it's her turn to create a soap, gets to sniff and sample and ultimately choose one essential oil and one herb. The unique combinations are what make the soap so sophisticated, and so fun. For instance, this is vanilla essential oil and dried calendula flowers in a Lego mold:
This is cinnamon essential oil and lavendar flowers in a heart mold--I really liked the combination of this one:
The only one that didn't work for us--I think the only one that hasn't worked EVER--was lemon-eucalyptus essential oil and Epsom salts. I've used Epsom salts before and they've worked fine, but this time they all settled to the bottom of the mold and formed a sludge there that refused to harden. Those are in our own bath right now.
And, of course, a little gift bag made from a single page from an atlas, or a single comic book page, is the perfect size to hold a single soap:
I've used several gift bag templates in my day, but one day soon I'm going to make my own, with measurements that use more measurable increments better--it's very annoying to have to measure 3/16 of an inch, or .8, etc., especially when you're trying to make a dozen of these during one episode of Law and Order: SVU.

And I think that my gift bag will be the EXACT size of a comic book page, not just an approximation. Because in a comic book, even the margins are important.


Anonymous said...

Between you and Cake, I swear I'm starting to feel more than a wee bit inadequate. Comic book geeks, like me, are eagerly waiting to see your comic book bags.

julie said...

Don't tell Matt, but I bought him some gift certificates to Vintage Phoenix for Christmas, but they come with the caveat that he has to keep me caught up on Buffy and Fables!

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