Saturday, September 26, 2015

DIY Spa Pamper Gift Basket

This is going to be a loooooooooong blog long in fact, that I am going to have to split it into 2 or 3 parts! I was gifted with some wonderful containers from SKS Bottle and Packaging, and I thought it would be a really fun idea to make a whole head-to-toe inspired DIY gift basket set using their containers:

I really wanted to make this a complete head-to-toe experience, so I made products for the head all the way down to the toes. Wax melts, facial mask and serum, hair conditioner, handmade soap, body mist, body/foot scrub, shaving soap and a milk bath with a bath cookie and soap :) With the Christmas season approaching (yikes!), this would be a great gift for anyone special who could use a little pampering. And in the last post, I am going to include a download with the printable labels that I made for these containers (if I can figure out how to do that!) :)

I decided on a fall-inspired Apple Raspberry theme for this gift basket. The first thing I made was this cute Apple, Pecan & Raspberry layered wax melts in a glass candle jar:

Now, I purchased the wax melts to put in there...I could have made them - but I would have to buy all the molds and all of the candle scents and colors, so instead I chose to buy them already made. If I was an experienced candle maker (which I am not), I definitely would have used these embeds to make a yummy pie candle, but because I do not know how to make candles, I stuck with just layering the melts, which can be melted in a tart warmer.

Next, I made a facial clay mask. I used a recipe that I found on Wholesale Supplies Plus:

Dry Facial Mask:
Recipe adapted from here:

0.5 pound Kaolin Clay
0.5 ounce Aloe Vera Powder 100x
1.5 tbsp Rhassoul Clay (I used Bentonite, but other clays would work too)

Fragrance Oil (amount according to suppliers recommendation)

Mix the dry ingredients together with a fork. Drizzle fragrance oil over dry ingredient mixture, a little at a time, and incorporate with the fork until the fragrance oil is fully blended with the powders.

3 easy ingredients!

I found it was easiest to use a piece of paper to pour the dry ingredients in the bottle:

I used a French Square Bottle with a Cork Stopper for this facial mask: 

To Use: Place 1 to 2 scoops of dry mask into a small bowl. Add just enough water to make a paste. Spread paste on face, avoiding eye area. Let mask dry and then wash off with warm water. 

And of course, no gift basket would be complete without a bar of handmade soap! I made an Apple Raspberry soap using raspberry seed oil and raspberry seed powder. 

I used a recipe that I adapted from Lovin' Soap. I will insert the video for the soap here, and I will post the recipe below the video: 

Apple Raspberry Cold Process Soap:
Recipe adapted from here

158 grams Coconut Oil
152 grams Olive Oil
38 grams Red Raspberry Seed Oil 
38 grams Rice Bran Oil
37 grams Cocoa Butter 
30 grams Castor Oil

Gold Mica
Red Mica
Fragrance Oil of your choice (I used and apple fragrance for the bottom and top layers and a raspberry fragrance for the middle layer) 

I used 160 ml of distilled water to dissolve 63.5 grams of lye. 
I added a small amount of raspberry seed powder to the red portion of the soap. 
If you make any substitutions above, you must recalculate the lye amount! 

As a side note, this was a lovely slow-moving recipe to work with, it's definitely a keeper! :)

That's it for now, next blog post I will continue on making some goodies for this apple raspberry gift basket! A special thanks to SKS Bottle and Packaging for sponsoring this post! 

Cee :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Whipped Beer Soap

Something I've been wanting to try for a while is beer soap. From what I've read, the extra sugar in beer really adds a nice lather to the soap, so I was very curious to try it.

Now, let me first say, I am not a beer drinker, so I was just amazed at the different kinds of craft beer available! So intriguing - like Chocolate Coffee, Oatmeal Stout, Bourbon, and Raspberry, to name a few. I tried to choose one that didn't have a lot of additional ingredients added, so I settled on a sweet potato variety.

Before you can use beer in soap, you need to prepare it, which I have demonstrated in the video below:

Once my beer was prepared, I thought it would be fun to try it in whipped soap....I have only ever used water in my whipped soaps, so wanted to try something new. The only glitch is that I think one of the fragrances I used accelerated, which you will see in the video below. I would definitely try beer again in whipped soap, but would make sure that I used well-behaving fragrances next time!

As always, thanks for stopping by! =)
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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Whipped Soap Cupcakes

I looooove making cupcake soaps - love it, love it, love. it.

I’ve tried to make my soap cupcakes (bottoms and tops) out of cold process soap before, but the cold process frosting never seems to work out very well for me. Maybe (probably!) I’m just too impatient waiting for it to thicken up. In any case, I always find that I have more consistent results when I make the cupcake bottoms out of cold process and the frosting tops out of whipped soap.

I’ve made whipped soap before, you may remember this previous post:

To recap the basics of whipped soap:
1. You need a higher ratio of hard oils to soft oils.
2. Your lye must be cool.
3. No stickblender! You need an electric mixer for this soap.
4. You need to make your colors darker than you want them to be, because they turn lighter/pastel.
5. Do not gel this soap.
6. Interestingly, whipped soap does not seem to get ash...bonus!

While I was browsing my Soap Crafting book (I highly recommend this book, by the way!), I noticed that Anne-Marie has a recipe for cupcake soaps in it, with the bottoms being made out of CP and the tops out of whipped soap, so I was very excited to give these new recipes a try!  

Just a warning, this post is very picture heavy - there is a video at the end if you'd prefer to watch that instead! :)

I followed Anne-Marie's recipe for the cold process cupcake bottoms and colored them green, because I am using a delicious watermelon fragrance for these cupcakes:

Next, I prepared my oils for the whipped soap, see the amount of coconut and palm oil in the container compared to olive oil? You can't even really see the olive oil, but there is a little bit in there!

Then, I melted the oils and cooled them until they were semi-solid and at room temperature:

Then I used my electric mixer and mixed:

And mixed:

And mixed - until the soap had started to thicken up like whipped cream:


Next, I added my cold lye, very carefully to avoid splashes:

I mixed a little bit more on low speed with the mixer to make sure the lye solution was incorporated well:

Then I switched to hand mixing, carefully stirring through the bottom to make sure all of the lye had been incorporated:

Now, I can add some color...I am using pink mica:

I made it a shade darker than I needed it, because whipped soap fades as it cures:

I filled my fancy piping bag:

Okay, it's not so's just a freezer bag with a large open star tip :)

I began by piping a dollop of frosting onto the center of each cupcake:

Then I swirled the frosting around the dollop, working my way up higher and ending up in the center:

I had 3 mini cupcakes left over, and I topped all of the cupcakes with mini (melt and pour) cherries:

Then I added glitter:

These were too much fun to make and they smell amazing - I forgot how much I enjoyed making whipped soap!

And here is my video of the whole process:

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Brown Sugar Lip Scrub

So, a couple of months ago, the girls at my work were chatting about lip scrubs. I’m not familiar with lip scrubs - I’ve never used one…but with me being the do-it-yourself(er?) that I am – I immediately offered to try to create one for them. 

It took me a bit of experimenting to get a consistency that I liked, and in the end a 1:1:1 ratio of cocoa butter, coconut oil and brown sugar ended up being what I pictured the perfect lip scrub to be - a creamy and soothing blend that exfoliates but also moisturizes. I took some samples into work and received an enthusiastic stamp of approval from my co-workers, so I thought I would share the recipe here with you!

I chose to use food-grade ingredients because I had a feeling my co-workers were not going to be able to stop licking this sugary treat off their lips; in fact, once they tried of my co-workers asked if it could come with a spoon....ummm, no Sara it cannot! lol! ;)

I like that this creamy scrub softly exfoliates, while leaving behind a nice layer of buttery moisture on your lips:   

Brown Sugar Lip Scrub
makes 3x 15ml lip balm jars (perfect for 3 co-workers!)

20 grams cocoa butter
20 grams coconut oil
20 grams brown sugar

(optional – 2 grams of flavor oil, or the recommended usage rate suggested by your supplier)

Melt the cocoa butter in a microwave safe dish. Add the coconut oil and stir until the coconut oil has melted into the cocoa butter. Cool the butter mixture for 15 minute intervals in the fridge, until semi solid and creamy when mixed together. Stir in the brown sugar and add the recommended amount of flavor oil (if using), and package into lip pots. Let cool thoroughly before putting the lids on.

Here is a video demonstrating how I made the lip scrub:

You can lower the amount of cocoa butter if you like a thinner scrub. You can also substitute white sugar (you may find it less exfoliating). If you over-chill the butter mixture while you are making it, you can soften it in the microwave for just 10 seconds, until it is soft and creamy again. You could definitely experiment with adding liquid oils, such as avocado or sweet almond oil - I liked a firmer texture, and that is why I chose to stick to a harder oil and butter.

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Making Coffee Infused Oil (and sugar scrub cubes)

Mmmmm, coffee! Is there anything more divine?? I love to drink it and I love the smell of it - and if I could slather myself in it...I would! And I'm happy to report that I think I've found a way to do it!

Coffee Infused Oil:

1 cup olive oil (or other light oil with a longer shelf life)
1/2 cup fresh coffee grounds

Heat gently on low for 1 hour (if using a tiny slow cooker) or for 2 hours (if using regular size slow cooker), then shut off the heat and let it sit overnight or longer. Strain through coffee filter and store in fridge until ready to use.

Here is a video, demonstrating how I made the coffee infused oil:

Now, the possibilities seem almost endless with coffee-infused could add it to hot process soap (after the cook), lip scrubs, body butters, facial scrubs, body polishes, lip many different ways you could use it!

I'm going to use it in something I have been wanting to try, which was these super yummy coffee-infused sugar scrub cubes!

Coffee Infused Sugar Scrub Cubes
(recipe adapted from here)

3 oz melt and pour soap base
2 oz coffee infused oil

1/2 tsp coffee fragrance oil
1 tsp fresh coffee grounds
6 oz white sugar

Melt MP soap in microwave, the add fragrance oil until combined. Stir in the coffee-infused oil and fresh coffee grounds. Add sugar until thoroughly mixed. Pour into a square or rectangular mold, cool and cut into cubes.

*note, if the mixture cools too quickly to get into the mold, you can reheat it (gently!) in the microwave - don't overheat or the sugar might dissolve.

Here is a video showing how I made the sugar scrub cubes:

How to use sugar cubes:
Hold sugar scrub cube under warm running water for a few seconds, then massage the cube in your hands until it crumbles and mixes with the water, exfoliate the dry areas of your skin, rinse.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

New Video - Doggie Shampoo Bar with Infused Oil

Okay, I'm having way too much fun learning how to make videos!

Today I'm trying something I've been wanting to try for a while - Doggie Shampoo Bars!

I picked this particular recipe from Soaping 101, because the olive oil is infused with flax seeds and oatmeal, which sounded really nice (even for us humans!). Be sure you research your fragrance and essential oils (and any other additives) before using them to make sure they are pet safe. This is the recipe I used:

I started by making a flax seed / oatmeal oil infusion, here I am using a heaping 1/4 cup of the ground flax / oat mixture in 200 grams of olive oil:

After stirring it in, I heated it gently for 1 hour (if I was using a larger amount of oil in the bigger crockpot, I would have heated it on low for 2 hours), then I turned off the crockpot and let it sit, covered, overnight. This is what it looked like after 24 hours:

I then strained the oil through a coffee filter, the fine mesh did an excellent job of removing the pulp:

I prepared my additives and then stickblended the powdered oatmeal into my oils, before adding my lye solution:

I poured my soaps into the mold and texturized the tops:

I added some soapy doggie bones to the tops:

Here they are all in the mold:

And out:

And the video....hope you enjoy! :D

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

New Video - Hot Process Soap!

I’ve been asked by a few people lately how I make my hot process soap, so I thought it might be easiest to make a video demonstrating the process. But before I get to that, I just wanted to share a couple of notes about hot process soap, based on my experiences:

1. While you can technically use hot process soap right away, I always let mine sit for at least a week or two, preferably even longer, until the majority of the moisture has evaporated. The longer they sit and harden, they longer they will last.

2. You can get away with using less fragrance oil with hot process soap, I tend to use it at a rate of 0.5 to 0.75 oz per pound of oil, depending on the strength of the fragrance.

3. You can use any cold process recipe to make hot process soap. I always use the full water amount suggested, but I hold back 1 ounce of liquid per pound of oils to add after the cook. 

4. I always superfat my hot process soaps with 1 tbsp of oil or butter per pound of oils. I have also added a bit of honey after the cook.

5. I always add sodium lactate to my hot process soap, at a rate of 3% of my oils weight, to help keep the soap more fluid for pouring.

6. If you use milk as part or all of your lye solution, it will darken as you cook it.

7. For the hot process soap in the video, I used the SeaClay Avocado Facial Bar recipe from Brambleberry, which was courtesy of Amanda from Lovin’ Soap…I didn’t have any avocado oil, so I subbed rice bran oil (note that because I subbed the oil, I made sure to run the recipe through a lye calculator again). 
Here is the video showing how I make hot process soap...I hope you enjoy it! :)

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