October 18, 2009

Soap, Salts and Cupcakes

My brother's fiancee's bridal shower was yesterday, and I had spent the week making favors for the spa-themed shower. I loved how they turned out, and I think the guests all enjoyed them too.
Those are bath salts to the left, and soap to the right. Lots of cutting and pasting, but so worth it. It kept me busy as I was minding the boy.

It was such a lovely shower, with scrumptious food, made by the bride's mother, and yummy cupcakes made by a friend of the bride.
That's the famous cupcake tower, borrowed from my mother-in-law. It has 5 tiers, and we used the bottom ones for cookies and pizzelles to dip into my mom's chocolate fountain that I messed up.
I stupidly added a little milk instead of oil to the chocolate (it was too thick), and I clogged it. It looked awful, as you can see in the photo above, but the chocolate still tasted good and the heating element kept it warm. Lesson learned.

The soap and bath salts are really easy to make, and I've made them for other showers and for Christmas gifts. You need to buy a block of glycerin at the craft store (tip, get one of the 40% off coupons from AC Moore or Michaels to save some money). You'll also need a microwavable bowl or measuring cup, dyes (also available in the craft store), essential oil for fragrance, soap molds and bags.
Because I've made these many times over, the molds have definitely gotten their money's worth. You could use a PVC pipe capped on one end to make circular soaps. You pour it in, let it harden, then push it out and slice.

Here's the block of glycerin, out of the plastic container.
Cut some slices off of it
then cut into chunks.
Put them in the microwavable bowl or measuring cup (easier to pour)
and heat anywhere from 4-7 minutes, depending on your microwave. The glycerin will melt into a liquid when ready.Add the dye, just a drop or two at a time. I added 4 drops of purple and one drop of green to get a light, muted lavender color. Add the essential oils too, usually 2 drops per ounce.

Then pour into the molds. I added a lavender flower from my garden into each soap while the glycerin was still liquid.
Let it harden (I stick mine in the freezer to expedite the process), then pop them out of the molds.I stuck them into candy bags (also at craft stores) and printed a label for them that I folded in half and stapled over the folded bag. For a bridal shower, I write We celebrated {bride's name} before her "I Do", Now here's a little "shower" gift especially for you!.
For a baby shower, it's We showered {mama's name} in pink and blue, Now here's a little "shower" gift for you! Corny, but cute.

The bath salts are much easier. You just mix one box of Epsom salts with an 8 oz. box of baking soda. Add about 15 drops of lavender essential oil (or another of your choosing) and mix.
I added a pinch of herbs de Provence, which have lavender in them. I couldn't find my bag of dried lavender blossoms, so this had to do. It's more for color and interest. But don't add too much, or it annoys people in the bathtub.
I had lots of leftover baby food jars that I had saved, which made perfect free containers for the salt.
I fancied up the jars with scrapbook paper, cutting circles to cover the tops and strips to go around the middle. I stuck a label on to hold the strips in place. I also referred to the mix as bath salt/foot soak, in case some people weren't into baths. You could easily put this mix in a small tub and soak your tired feet in it.I think they look lovely, especially by candlelight!
Here they are at the party, alongside the homemade shampoo that the bride's sister's friend made. So that's it. Hope this has inspired you to try a little soapmaking.


  1. Wow, those all look *incredible*

  2. Thanks for sharing. Your soaps and salts look fantastic.

  3. So pretty! I haven't dragged my soap making stuff out since Roo was little. I should do that again one of these days. I bet she'd get a kick out of it, too.

    That cupcake tower is awesome!

  4. That is excellent! Very sweet of you to make {and to share}! Thanks for the post!

  5. Wow! You are so talented! Those favors are lovely!

    And the chocolate tower looks fine to me =). and as long as it tasted good, that's all that matters.

  6. I love this Kathleen! I'll be forwarding it to my daughter who seems to be always hosting some type of shower. Thanks for such complete and clear instructions. I bet the chocolate was YUMMY!!!

  7. What are great idea! The people that attended were soooo lucky.

  8. They are so beautiful!!! I love the tutorial!

  9. they are fantastic!! love it & think I'll need to venture into a bit of a new hobby :)

  10. Kathleen- I can not thank you enough for all of your help. Everything was wonderful and beautiful. I am so lucky to have you a my future sister in law. You are an amazing young women and an even more so amazing mommy to little Soren. Thank you again- from the bottom of my heart. Hugs and kisses,

  11. Thank you for the tutorial!! Where have you purchesed the molds?

  12. I just bought the molds at a local craft store (Michaels or AC Moore). They were in the soap making aisle.

    You could also use muffin tins or other cups you might have around the house.


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