Monday, November 3, 2014

Making Soaps for Christmas

Just in case anyone has ever wondered about the mysterious process of soapmaking, here are a few photos I took of my equipment and supplies that might (or might not) be of interest to the uninitiated:

Several stainless steel bowls/pans
Several all-natural base oils
Distilled Water
Natural colorants (like powdered sandalwood,
madder root, French green clay, etc.)
Essential Oils
Fragrance Oils
Botanicals (like oatmeal, rosemary, lavender, etc.)
Several wire whisks
Stick blender
Several spatulas
Scale that weighs in ounces
Large (as in huge) stainless steel spoon
Large plastic spoon
Smaller spoons
Wooden molds (designed by me, made by Mr. C.)
Freezer paper
Rubber gloves
...and probably some other things I'm forgetting at the moment.

Oils and lye water getting to temperature

'Sweet Baby Calendula' with
all-natural, calendula-infused olive oil
poured into the freezer-paper-lined mold
Ready to cure

After the soap has its initial cure,

I cut the soap log and set the bars out on drying racks

Some Christmas soaps on my drying racks

And here they are, photographed and
 ready to go to my website and Etsy shop.

Each bar is 4.5-5 oz.
Every bar is vegan.

When I get a soap order,
the bars are each labeled with their specific label

placed in a clear cello bag,
and sealed with a gold paper seal.
Then they are carefully wrapped and placed in a bubble wrap mailer
along with a little card that explains how to care for
your handcrafted soap,
and off they go to the post office.

And there you have it!


Buy any 5 or more, Get 1 FREE

 Check out all my handcrafted vegan soaps at

Although I usually forget to do it, there is a chance that this post will be linked to one or more of these great linky parties:  Amaze Me Monday and Inspiration Monday and Mosaic Monday and The Barn Collective and    Treasure Box Tuesday and Vintage Bliss Tuesday and KatheWithAnE and Rubbish Tuesday and Our World Tuesday and Tuesdays at our Home and Tuesday with a Twist and  Knick of Time Tuesday (vintage)  and   Tweak it Tuesday and Vintage Inspiration Wednesday and Ivy and Elephants Wednesday and Adorned From Above  and Artsy Corner Thursday and  All Things With Purpose and Home & Garden Thursday and Good Fences on Thursdays and  Time Travel Thursday and Freedom Fridays and Vintage Inspiration Friday and Saturday's Critters


Denise said...


DeniseinVA said...

Fascinating and I bet your house smells wonderful!

Michelle said...

They are really beautiful and no doubt smell just as great.

Lynne said...

I was a lucky Giveaway Winner . . . and these soaps are wonderful . . . Christmas Morning essence mixes in nicely in the kitchen. My hands feel very soft with each use.
Thanks again Judy for gifting me with your vegan soap.

Debbie said...

Good morning! I found this VERY interesting! And somehow I can just imagine the smell it all produces while you work. Enjoy your day!

MadSnapper said...

so glad you showed us this, i have wondered about how you make the soap. in the first photo, the white lard looking stuff, what is that.

Arlene G said...

Very interesting Judy!! Thanks for sharing.

Cranberry Morning said...

Sandra, what you're seeing there is coconut oil. I use a combination of all-natural vegan base oils. I never use animal fats, which of course, is what lard is.

Anonymous said...

This is interesting to see the process of your wonderful soap making.

podso said...

Good morning, Judy. It's fascinating to see how you make these. Especially interesting is the mold, now I see how they get to the shape they are. I bet there's a wonderful scent about when you are making soap!

Linda Kay said...

Hi, Judy...thanks for the soap-making technique demonstration. I'm sure they are all very lovely. I agree with Denise that your house must smell lovely.

Nancy said...

Fascinating process photos.

My mother made soap when I was a child, but it was only used for laundry and was pretty harsh.

TexWisGirl said...

might have to order more for my neighbor! :) she loves it.

Maureen @ Josephina Ballerina said...

Hi Judy, I would have commented sooner, but I was playing with muker. I am a sucker for cute.

Anyway, what I wanted to know is How did you decide to start making soap??

Cranberry Morning said...

Maureen, I have always been intrigued by the idea of making my own soap. My grandma used to make laundry soap, but it was nothing like gentle, beautiful, and fragrant. It had an odor, but definitely not one I would intentionally replicate! Then one day a friend gave me a small bar of soap her mother had made. It was phenomenal. I think that because I carried on about how wonderful that soap was, she volunteered to teach a small group of us. We had one lesson. That's all it took, plus a lot of courage, to get me started. The soaps always turned out well, but over time I've come to settle in on my own method and unique shape for my soaps. It's actually quite addictive, like playing with Muker. :-)

Primitive Stars said...

So interesting and beautiful. Great job you do. Checking out your shop,Francine.

Julie's Lifestyle said...

Wow, it looks like a lot of work goes into making you pretty soaps. Thanks for your sharing. I will visit you shop. Have a nice day

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Oh how I love your soaps! The Calendula is one of my favs and I love seasonal scents. It's a lot of work but we are so appreciative when we use them! Sweet hugs, Diane

Ginny Hartzler said...

This is a whole lot of work and equipment! Your back must hurt by the time they are finished. And the big bar stage actually looks yummy, like a cake with whipped cream!

Anonymous said...

You're very talented!

A Joyful Cottage said...

Lovely. It must be so rewarding to do this.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Your soaps are awesome, I love them!

Debby Ray said...

Wow, my friend...that looks like SOME process. I am in awe.

Donna said...

There is a lot of work that you put into them! We are still enjoying the order I placed earlier this year.

Anonymous said...

I've never made soap before. Thank you for walking us through the process of making it. Your bars of soap certainly must make wonderful gifts. I can imagine that they must smell divine! I definitely will check into your etsy shoppe!

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

I love homemade soap. I have a friend who made some for me last year and it is about gone- it wasn't anything fancy like yours, though. I bet it smells wonderful!

Nancy Shuman said...

I had been wondering how this was done - thank you for letting us in on it!

Terri D said...

Judy, my order arrived today! I LOVE your soaps! The recipients of these wonderful bars will be thrilled, as were last year's recipients! I will make sure to keep a couple for myself, too. Thanks for sharing the process! Very interesting!

Deborah Montgomery said...

My order came on Saturday, and I can't wait to use my bar (they are all going in Christmas stockings, inc. one in mine!). They smell wonderful. Thanks for sharing how you make them.

Cheryl said...

I certainly have wondered about the process of soap-making! So fascinating to see all of your supplies and read of the steps involved. Homemade soap is very special!

Eileen H said...

Your soaps look wonderful, you are so professional!

Judy S. said...

Very interesting! When will these soaps be ready? I've about run out of my supply!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Yes I have wondered...this was fun to see :)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

JUDY! These look good enough to EAT! I always get this hunger pang when I see a nice hunk of lovely reminds me of CHEESE! teeeheeee

What an industry you run here! I suppose you've been doing this for quite some time, and your products are gorgeous. And thank you for stopping by Minneapolis from Wisconsin to leave me a comment! ENJOY preparing for the holidays! Anita

Empty Nester said...

Did you mention that they are truly wonderful and amazing and smell good and work great and those of us with allergies LOVE them???? :)

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

It was so interesting to see what's happening behind the scenes!


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