These super cute handmade goldfish in a bag soaps are great as gifts for kids as well as for DIY party favors. While they look easy to make, these soaps are actually a bit tricky to perfect. I recommend buying more materials than you think you’ll need and be prepared to exercise a bit of patience. It took me more than a few tries to get these adorable fish in a bag soaps just right.
Ready for the challenge? First a few tips.
Stick with a clear suspension soap base over a traditional melt and pour soap base for less frustration and fish that stay put without having to pour the soap in layers. I tried both and the suspension soap base made this soapmaking project much much easier.
Don’t overheat your soap! If it’s too hot your bag could leak and getting that fish to stay where you want him will take longer. You also need to keep your suspension soap base below 160°F to keep it at its peak performance.
Use clear cello bags NOT candymaking bags. The plastic is very different and the candy treat bags will melt under the heat of the liquified soap base.
Make sure you have clean hands before you handle the cello bags. The tiniest bit of soap residue on your fingers means residue on the cello bag.
Allow yourself plenty of time to make these. If you try to rush it and it doesn’t work out the first few goes, the frustration of a deadline will only make this project harder and it’s probably going to raise your blood pressure. I worked on this for several days to get it just right and had to switch my soap base and my bags.
While you may be tempted, don’t spray the top of this soap once it’s in the bag to knock off any air bubbles on the top. The alcohol will leave an unsightly residue on the bag. Besides, fish like to make bubbles!
Make these one at a time. If you try to make more than one at a time – at least starting out – you’re going to get overwhelmed with the details of pouring the soap without getting drips on the sides of the bag or fish that end up upside down. Plus, you really want the lowest temps possible for the soap base so making them one at a time is ideal.
Here’s how you make them.
Goldfish in a Bag Soapmaking Tutorial
Tools and Supplies:
This recipe yields one goldfish in a bag soap.
Begin by weighing out the suspension soap base. Cut it into small chunks – so it melts more quickly at a lower temperature – and heat at 50% power in the microwave until almost completely melted through. (Alternately you can use a double boiler.) Watch the soap carefully so it doesn’t overheat. If it starts to bubble, remove it immediately from the heat source to avoid overheating.
Now weigh out the fragrance oil using the plastic transfer pipette to add the fragrance directly to the soap base. The pipette will keep you from accidentally adding too much fragrance and keep the fragrance from sliding down the side of the jar. Stir well.
Allow the soap to cool slightly, until a think layer of soap starts to solidify on top of the soap. Mix the soap again then slowly pour the soap into a bag. Be careful to pour the soap directly into the center of the bag so it doesn’t hit the sides going down. You may want to stop partially through the process to readjust the bag. If you don’t have a steady hand, place the bag in a dish that will hold the bag and still keep it slightly upright.
Place your goldfish in the bag and use a pipette or chop stick to press the fish in the desired position against the very front of the bag. Leave the pipette in the bag to hold the fish in place until the fish stays in place upon removing the pipette.
For a wider based bag, leave the soap to cool with the bag open, then tie closed once the soap has solidified completely. Otherwise, gently gather the top of the bag while the soap is still soft and tie off with baker’s twine or ribbon. This will move the soap up the bag and create a slightly narrower base. I did mine both ways and it’s really just personal preference.
Mix it up. For “colored” water, add a pinch of superfine emerald green or Caribbean blue glitter when you add the fragrance. You can also substitute the fragrance oil for another of your choice, but be sure it has 0% vanilla and is clear, not yellow.
To use these soaps, simply peel off the plastic and scrub away!
For more fun homemade projects you can craft for kids, be sure to check out my Pinterest board, DIY for Wee Ones. You can also find more homemade melt and pour soap recipes and projects on my DIY Bath and Body Pinterest board. Or visit Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen for a listing of all my DIY soap recipes. You can also follow me on Blog Lovin‘, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google + and Instagram!