Soaps are so taken for granted that we hardly pause to think more about how they are made. The general feeling is that the entire process is far too complicated, industrial, and way out of being made a hobby. In reality, soap making is a simple process, and there are ready-made melt-and-pour type of kits available that allow us to make soaps with our own chosen colors, fragrances, herbal ingredients, and shapes.
Soap making can be pursued as a hobby, and can even be turned into a small home-based business. All it takes is an interest in the making of soaps and some diligence in the whole process.
Soap is a simple mixture of oils and caustic soda (lye.) The resultant liquid when left to solidify forms soap with a lot of glycerin, hence also called glycerin soap. The industrial soap manufacturers remove excess amounts of glycerin and use other ways to make the soap soft and mellow.
The oils used in soap-making are common oils like palm oil, coconut oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, etc. The caustic soda used should be of industrial quality.
There is some amount of heating involved in soap making, and this therefore requires caution. The exact proportions of mixing oil and lye should also be known beforehand.
A melt-and-pour soap making kit can introduce a novice into soap-making. Simply buy the kit and follow the instructions that come along. Once you are familiar with this process, you may consult other sources and can try making soap yourself.
Everyone wants to have herbal soap, one filled with natural oils and fragrances. Children are delighted with soaps of various shapes such as animal figurines. Pursuing soap-making as a hobby allows you to make soaps as you desire.
A great and fun idea you can do with soap is by molding it into different shapes, shades, and sizes. Kids love writing on the tub when bathing and they can with soap crayons. Or you can experiment on soap flakes recipes. You can make your own with finely grated bars of pure soap to make soap powder. The amount of water may need to be decreased, so start with less water and add as needed. If you don’t want to make your own pure soap flakes, you can buy a package in the laundry aisle at the grocery store.
A few creative projects involving soap and how to make them are given below.
1. Bath Time Crayons
Combine 3 cups of soap flakes and ½ to 1 cup of water. Add 1 teaspoon of food coloring. Put the mixture into lightly greased ice cube trays, candy or soap molds. Press soap dough into molds lightly and let dry over night before un-molding.
2. Soap on a Rope
You will need some string for this project. Shape the soap with your hands. Cut a piece of string and tie the ends together. Push the knot gently into your finished shape. Let the completed soap dry before hanging it by the rope.
3. Cookie Cutter Soap Shapes
Pat or roll out mixture and let kids use cookie cutters or theme cutters to make individual soaps. Make “soap on a rope” by cutting two identical pieces and sandwiching the string between the layers.
4. Multi-color Soap or Soap on a Rope
Make two-tone soaps by using identical shapes of different colors and sandwiching them together. Small cookie cutters make nice shapes in guest-soap size that can be placed in a small wicker basket for a gift, bathroom display, or drawer sachets.
Balloons have always been associated with a fun, festive, and carefree time. What better to show that your party is a time to celebrate than having a balloon centerpiece or two around the room. Although there are professionals you can hire to do the work, have fun and learn how to do your own balloon centerpiece by following some tricks and hints.
An easy way to create a great centerpiece that incorporates festive balloons and fragrant flowers is to use this method. Simply choose a balloon in your favorite color, fill it 1/3 of the way with water, place a fresh flower inside, and place ribbon, netting, or even tulle around the balloon. Make sure the central balloon is stationary, and watch the flower and water ebb and flow whenever the people at the table get up to dance. It truly is a beautiful and festive centerpiece.
Another great way to create centerpieces using balloons is to place a small battery powered candle inside the balloon. Make sure the wattage of the candle is extremely low, and the balloon is inflated just enough to allow for a gentle glow over the table. Add a garland of flowers and ribbons to suit your taste, and you’ve got a great conversation piece as well as a great centerpiece. If you want to take it a step further, give the balloon and flowers a light spray of a white or silver glitter for a frosted look. It’s a simple idea that makes each centerpiece look like a work of art.
If you want a spectacular look when creating your balloon centerpieces, you can’t go wrong with this idea. Take some long, pre-cut ribbons and attach one end of the ribbons to the center of the table, either through weights or tape. Take the other ends and attach them to some balloons filled with helium gas. As the balloons rise and twist into the air, they create a great sight and conversation piece for your next party.
As you can see, these are but a few of the choices you have to make very festive centerpieces using a few simple balloons, pieces of ribbon, or the occasional ring of flowers.
It is amazing what a few ribbons, balloons and a little imagination can do. In no time, you’ll come up with centerpieces that will be the talk of your party. Let your imagination run wild and you will come up with a truly unique centerpiece.