Soap-making is something that I never do while sipping a glass of wine. It involves using lye (unlike melt and pour soap-making) and it's not the kind of thing that you want to do with any kind of distraction around you such as pets or small children. The process of saponification is actually a chemical process by which soap is formed. There are all kinds of resources on the web for cold-process soap-making, but I would recommend taking a class if one is available. This will not only teach you about making the soap, but also about the safety precautions that should be taken. After that, you really can go off on your own and create your own recipes. Essentially, if you can bake, you can make soap!
Over the past week, I have been soaping up a storm! My niece, Mairead, will be getting married late this summer, and I have offered to make soap to have as favors for her reception. Mairead and Andrew chose the scent "White Tea and Ginger" and this seems fitting since they met each other in China while each was doing a semester abroad. Andrew spied Mairead on a bus and was taken with her rosy cheeks ~
Making this now for an end of summer wedding may seem a bit early, but I really want to give the soap a chance to cure and dry out completely. This will allow me to wrap it well ahead of time without worrying about it further drying and shrinking some underneath its wrapping. Plus - I really am a bit compulsive about some things - and getting something like this done well ahead of time is one of them! And - my house now smells of lovely "White Tea and Ginger" instead of last week's sauerbraten!
I snapped some photos along the way to give you an idea of what goes into the process:
~ A sea of soap, and a labor of love ~