Friday, February 14, 2014

all-natural heart soaps for valentine's day

Making homemade soap has been on my to do list for as long I can remember {probably when I became a Martha fan many, many years ago}.  I finally bought some all-natural soap base from bulk apothecary back in November to make some fishy soaps for the boys for Christmas, but never got around to looking into all-natural tinting, so I never made them. So, when thinking of ideas for valentine's day,  I decided to make heart soaps, but still needed to find an all-natural way to color the soap since white heart soap is just no fun! I found on Martha two soap projects that caught my eye. One was for making heart-shaped soaps with cookie cutters and another was for using herbs or fruit purée in soaps. I combined the two project ideas and puréed thawed strawberries to add to the melted soap base for the red color. Let me preface by saying, that although I love Martha, rarely do I encounter one of her projects without a hitch, yet I am usually pleased with the results, so I keep going back.  And a very strong cookie cutter is necessary to cut through the thick soap. Mine started to get misshapen the more I cut out, so some are a bit irregular heart shaped. :) A soap mold is probably better, but when you have a lot to make, this method just made sense.

Makes 16 {approx} two-inch soaps

2 lbs all-natural soap base {I get mine from bulk apothecary}
6 - 8 Tbsp strawberry purée, strained to remove seeds
10 x 10  pan or baking dish, oiled
cookie cutter

Cut soap base into small cubes to melt easier, {for 2 lbs, it took about 45 minutes to an hour to fully melt}
Put soap cubes in "dedicated for soap making glass measuring cup" {I bought a 4 cup size and it's the perfect size for this much melting at once, it made just over 4 cups when melted}
Place measuring cup in pot with low simmering water and let melt.
Meanwhile purée strawberries {or whatever fruit or herb you are using}. Because I didn't want seeds in this soap I chose to pour it through a sieve
Add purée to melted soap and stir until completely mixed throughout.
Pour into oiled or greased 10x10 pan {I didn't mind using a baking dish I use to bake in since this was all-natural soap and it sure cleaned up squeaky clean. }
Let cool at room temperature for an hour and the put in freezer for a couple hours. {Martha's directions said freeze until it came away from the sides, but mine never did until it came to room
temperature a couple days later}. I still ran an offset spatula around the edges and had to gently coax it out of the dish.
Cut out soaps with cookie cutter, using some good strength and maximizing how you cut out. You can always re-melt the soap and start over if you oops cutting out or want/need to use the leftovers.

Put in soap dishes around the house or package them up to give as gifts.

Reed is giving these as his valentines this year. We have also been enjoying ours at the kitchen sink and in the tub. The boys have so much fun trying to keep hold of the slippery, slippery soap...we just laugh and laugh!

Hope you have a lovely valentine's day.

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