There is something so satisfying about making your own soap. The creativity of experimenting with recipes; mixing and matching aromatherapy oils that calm mind and body; looking to nature to add a botanical touch with lavender, rose petals and other herbs. Then there is the practical element: not only do homemade soaps beautify both body and bathroom shelf, they’re also free of the preservatives that traditional shower gels often contain, making them naturally much better for your skin and the environment. They also make thoughtful gifts!
I absolutely adore the many properties of aromatherapy oils, so I always add a few drops of my favourite scents to my soaps. My favourite combinations are lavender and bergamot for relaxation, rosemary and lemon to clear the mind, and geranium, lavender and rose for a deliciously scented calming soap. It is also possible to find natural, plant derived colourings for your soaps if you want to get really creative.
I recommend using the melt and pour style soap as a base for your makes – it is readily available online or from craft shops and couldn’t be easier to use. It’s simply a case of melting slowly in a saucepan, adding your chosen scent and colour if using, and then pouring into moulds. You can stir in your herbs or petals once the soap has melted, or you can add them to the top layer of your soap after you’ve poured it into your mould.
Once you’ve made your soap and it has fully hardened, wrap it to prevent beads of moisture forming, then store in a cool, dry place. As you are using completely natural ingredients, make small batches and use as soon as possible (within six months), as the petals will change colour over time.
I use Stephenson’s Melt & Pour crystal soap base for my makes – it’s vegetable-based and is sulphate-free. Find it online and in craft stores.
Tamsyn shares her favourite soap recipes for you to try at home.
- 1 tsp dried lavender buds
- 5-10 drops lavender essential oil
- 1 tsp dried rose petals, shredded if large
- 5 drops rose essential oil
- 1 tsp dried rosemary leaves
- 10 drops rosemary essential oil
Read on to learn how to make soap at home…
You Will Need
- An old saucepan that’s easy to pour from
- Something to stir with, old chopsticks are good for this
- Soap moulds or silicone cupcake cases
- Melt and pour soap base
- Aromatherapy oils, decorations and colourant of your choice
Cut your soap base up into small chunks. Pop it into the saucepan and heat over a low heat until all of the chunks have melted.
Take your saucepan off the heat and add the aromatherapy oil. How much you use really depends on how strong you want the scent to be in your finished soap, so it’s best to run a sample test on your first bar. You can also stir in your colouring, if using, now.
Decide how you want to decorate your soap. You can stir your petals or herbs in at this point to disperse them through the soap, but bear in mind that this may change the final colour of your soap (especially if using rose petals). You can then pour the hot liquid soap into your moulds. Alternatively, you can pour the liquid soap into the moulds first, then add a layer of petals or herbs on top of the soap. Finish with a thin layer of melted clear soap to seal them in place. Put your moulds in the freezer for at least 20 minutes to set. If you are giving as a gift, decorate your soaps with twine and herbs.
You’ve finished! Now you know how to make soap at home whenever you feel like it. Looking for more homemade beauty treats to make at home? Learn how to revive your hair with DIY haircare treatments, make chocolate orange body butter and make essential oil perfume pots. Head over to our sister website Gathered.how to learn how to make bath bombs.
We’ve also got a great article on the benefits of aromatherapy so you can create the most relaxing soaps.
About Tamsyn Morgans
Tamsyn is a stylist, photographer and lover of all things floral. Find more of her work on her blog: tamsynmorgans.com