This has very quickly become a favorite activity among my residents, in fact some have taken to it as a hobby in their own apartments. I like this activity because it is meaningful & purposeful to them as they can use the soaps themselves or give as gifts to family. All materials were chosen with sensitive skin in mind. I got all my materials at Hobby Lobby (because it has a weekly 40% off coupon and I gathered my materials over a couple of weeks to maximize my budget)
Soap Materials :
- Shea Butter Soap Base – There are other types of soap bases, I chose shea butter because it is moisturizing and gentle on thinning or sensitive skin.
- Soap Cutter – you don’t have to purchase this, but trust me, it is so much easier (and safer!) than using other cutting methods
- Soap Scents – Hobby Lobby has a variety, choose whatever you think they will like, just make sure they are intended for soap making and safe for use on the skin.
- Soap Coloring Drops
- Silicon Mold – I find these in the baking aisle, plastic molds are available however, they are very hard to get the soap out and reuse.
- Optional : Lavender Essential Oil – please be very careful when choosing your essential oils. I would not advise any citrus, peppermint or tea tree oils as some are allergic and they can cause irritation to any sensitive or thinning skin. I chose lavender because it is pretty stable for sensitive skin and you only need a couple of drops. Be cautious of where you purchase your oils, some are only formulated for use in diffusers and not for skin contact. I purchase mine at my local Massage Envy so that I can be assured it is safe for use on sensitive skin and is pure Lavender Oil.
- Optional : Dried Rose Petals – not a necessity but they look beautiful in the soaps
- Other things you will need – Cookie Sheet, coffee cup for each resident and a microwave or single burner to heat up the soap base.
Step 1 : Using the Soap Cutter, cut the soap into 1 inch blocks (doesn’t need to be exact at all). Place about 5 blocks into each coffee cup.
Step 2 : Set Up
Place the Silicon Mold onto the Cookie Sheet (this will make for easy transfer into the freezer-if you choose-once the molds are full)
Lay out Rose Petals, Lavender Oil, Coloring drops and Soap Scents on the table so they can add as they wish.
Step 3 : Once they have added their scents, etc. pop the coffee mugs into the microwave heating them for about 15 seconds at a time (don’t heat for any longer or they will bubble up and overflow). I hand them back to my residents to stir their creations.
Step 4 : Have the residents pour their creations into the mold of their choosing and place the mold in the freezer to speed up drying time. It does still take about 10 to 15 minutes to harden enough to remove them from the molds.
To pass the time, we watched a video from YouTube about the history of soap making, linked below.