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Jun 19, 2014

Lemon Verbena and Coconut Melt-and-Pour Soap

Since we needed a favor for Samantha's shower, Carolyn and I decided to make soap. The only problem was that neither of us really knew anything about making soap. After reading several tutorials online and deciding we didn’t want to bother with using lye, we decided to try melt-and-pour soap base. It's available at most craft stores (or online), along with the other soap ingredients you might need, like colorant and essential oils for fragrance. To give the soap some texture and additional visual enhancement, we added lemon zest and shredded coconut.

 Lemon Verbena and Coconut Soap (makes about 24 soaps)

-32 oz olive oil melt-and-pour soap base
-32 oz glycerine melt-and-pour soap base
-1 lemon (for zest)
-1 cup of shredded coconut
-10 drops of lemon verbena essential oil (give or take, this stuff pours out quickly!)
-4 drops of coconut essential oil
-2-3 drops of red or pink soap colorant (Be sure to get the kind meant to be used in soap. Don’t use food coloring or you might turn someone red!)

-plastic bowl for heating in microwave or pot or metal or glass bowl for double boiling
-grater (for zest)
-silicone mold (I used two 9X9 silicone baking pans I found at Burlington Coat Factory for $3)

Step One: Break up desired amount of soap into small chunks. We used about half of the olive oil base and half of the glycerine base for each batch of soap.

Step Two: Zest your lemon and have your coconut, colorant, and oils handy.

Step Three: Melt the soap. We double boiled the soap on the stove top, since that seemed like it would be easier to keep an eye on than in the microwave. I used a wooden spoon to stir as I went (the soap residue washed right off afterward).

Step Four: Once your soap base is entirely melted, add your oils, zest, coconut, and coloring, if desired. We did one batch with just 2 drops of red coloring to give the soap a soft pink color. Adding the zest to the soap will turn it yellow naturally, so we did not need to add color to that batch. Stir all the ingredients together thoroughly.

Step Five: Pour the soap into the silicone mold and let harden, about 2–3 hours or overnight.

Step Six: Pop soap out of molds. Since we made the soap a few weeks before the shower, we wrapped it in plastic until we were ready to package it.

Step 7: Using a sharp knife, cut your soap into squares and wrap as desired.

We wrapped our soaps in cellophane and tissue paper and then put them in little cardboard favor bags from the party store. My husband created the labels for us (and took all of the shower pics, thanks Josh!) I hope this post has inspired you to try making your own soap with melt-and-pour soap base; it was really easy and everyone at the shower seemed excited to receive it!

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