How to Make Soap with the Book, Soap Crafting by Anne-Marie Faiola

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Soapmaking Book on How to Make Homemade Cold Process Soaps - Soap Crafting by Anne-Marie Faiola

When I first started making soap in 2001 the internet was still very young. Etsy didn’t exist yet and I wasn’t really aware of other soapmakers or crafters online. Eventually I discovered the Craftster.org – an online community for crafts and DIY where other craft novices and craft pros would share their finished projects and tutorials. That group eventually led me to Etsy when it first made its appearance in 2005 and I signed up while it was still in beta. Listings were free then; it was also a very different ecommerce site from what it is today. So essentially I learned how to make soap on my own through trial and error and what I considered the bible of soapmaking at the time, The Soapmaker’s Companion, by Susan Miller Cavitch which was first published in 1997.

Nowadays there are scores of books on how to make homemade soap as well as blogs and forums full of tutorials, recipes, techniques and other handy advice as well as communities like Etsy. There is also the book, Soap Crafting: Step-by-Step Techniques for Making 31 Unique Cold-Process Soaps, by Anne-Marie Faiola which was published in August of this year. Faiola, endearingly referenced as the “Soap Queen” ventured into soapmaking very similarly to the same way I did through book research and trial and error. As a result, unlike The Soapmaker’s Companion, Soap Crafting presents its content in a simple, straight forward manner that leaves no room for confusion. Easier for a beginner to grasp than The Soapmaker’s Companion, Faiola’s book not only breaks down the basics of soapmaking in a way that is simple and easy to understand, it is also presented with beautiful photography to guide you through the process so there’s no confusion – something that is lacking in The Soapmaker’s Companion which consists only of limited hand drawings and no actual photography. That said, The Soapmaker’s Companion is still an invaluable resource for those who are in pursuit of the all the information there is to have on making cold process soaps.

While this book is perfect for beginners wanting to make their very first batch of soap, this book is also suitable for those who enjoy making homemade soaps for more than simply function but aesthetic beauty as well. Faiola covers not only the basics, colors, molds, and food ingredients you can include as part your soap recipes, but she also delves into embedding soaps, funnel pours and gorgeous swirling techniques. In addition to the instructional content of this amazing soapmaking book, there are also thirty-one homemade soap recipes to get you started.

Currently you buy both kindle and spiral bound versions of Soap Crafting from Amazon. Or you can opt for the hardcover version of this book which is available from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Recipes for Natural Healing Oils & Salves and Other Fabulous Projects for Summer

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Recipes for Natural Healing Oils & Salves, DIY Herbal Pillows and Designing Your Own SoapsRecipes for natural healing oils and salves, diy herbal dream, pillows and designing your own homemade soaps. These are just a few of the treats you’ll discover inside the special, limited edition Nature Knows Best issue of Mary Jane’s Farm Magazine is now available from Mountain Rose Herbs. This special issue is the product of a collaboration between Mary Jane and the employees at Mountain Rose Herbs that contains diy articles and recipes for Herbal Health & Beauty, Herbal Cleaning, and the Herbal Garden along with tasty herbal ice cream recipes, toxic free mama & baby, quick & healthy breads, and much more. You can purchase this special issue from Mountain Rose Herbs while supplies last. Plus don’t forget to shop Mountain Rose Herbs for all of your organic essential oil and soapmaking needs.

If you’re delving into learning how to make homemade soap the old fashioned way with lye (alkali) and natural butters and oils (fats,) be sure to visit my DIY Cold Process Soapmaking Tutorial. I also have recently created a tutorial for making your own handmade wood loaf soap molds where I also give you the skinny on where to purchase lye!

Soapmaker’s Guide to Marketing Soap Online

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Handmade Organic Tangerine Glycerin Soap from Rebecca's Soap Delicatessen at http://shop.soapdelicatessen.comSoapmaking has been one of my favorite past times for over a decade. I first really began selling my homemade soaps online back when Etsy was in beta. Then I moved onto selling full time for a good, solid four years on my local farmer’s market until the economy and my health took a turn. Now I sell my handmade soaps and other bath and body products exclusively online via my own storefront. I’ve  learned a lot, but as you know, the world of ecommerce is constantly changing forcing those of us who sell our handmade arts and crafts online, to keep in the loop or fall to the wayside. However, there is basic know how that every soapmaker should have under their belt before they begin their adventure into selling their handmade products to the public. This is where the new ebook from established author, Lisa Maliga, comes into play.

Selling homemade soaps online is one of the most difficult ways to get your products into the hands of customers. As people enjoy smelling and handling a product  – it’s very difficult to describe a scent through words in a way that everyone will get exactly what that fragrance is – homemade soaps can be an especially tough sale outside of farmer’s markets, craft shows and shops. So if you are considering selling your handmade soaps online and are looking for a basic foundation of information to get you started, The Soapmaker’s Guide to Online Marketing is for true beginners who really have no idea how to get started.

Soapmaker's Guide to Online Marketing - How to Get Started Making Soap as a Business and Not Just A Hobby - Easy to Read and Understand Book for Beginners

The Soapmaker’s Guide to Online Marketing starts you off with a questionnaire that will help you determine if you’re really cut out for selling homemade soap online and also advises against premature selling – with specific instances of mistakes and pitfalls. There’s also a brief section over viewing online marketplaces you can sell your handmade soaps, including self hosting creating your website (I’m a fan of the ease of Weebly) and obtaining a domain name. There’s also advice on setting up things like a policy page that covers deliveries and returns and how to handle delivery issues. In addition there’s useful information on SEO, using meta tags, branding, photographing your products, and finally promoting your website using methods from a press release and Pinterest to creating a newsletter and youtube videos to using both paid and free advertising. You’ll also discover useful information on business basics, running a home office, invoicing,  shipping, pricing guidelines, labeling, creating your brand and how to avoid online scams.

Finally, The Soapmaker’s Guide to Online Marketing provides a handful of beginner glycerin soap recipes as well as resources and online shops for buying wholesale supplies for soapmaking, fragrances, molds and packaging and information websites, books and forums you can use to research for further information into this wonderful craft.

If you’re interested in learning more about making handmade melt and pour soaps, be sure to check out Lisa’s first soapmaking book, The Joy of Melt and Pour Soap Crafting. You can also now buy her latest book on making homemade shampoo bars, How to Make Handmade Shampoo Bars: The Budget Edition, in paperback. (You’ll love the large, easy to read text!)

Or check out her video (above) for a recipe on making Lisa’s Pink Clay & Shea Shampoo Bars!

Do you have questions about marketing your online business? Feel free to ask questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer. Also feel free to share some of your own tips, tricks and basic know how! (Also be sure to follow Soap Deli News on Blog Lovin’ and never miss a post!)

How to Make Handmade Shampoo Bars – Book Review and Giveaway

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How to Make Homemade Shampoo Bars - Melt and Pour Shampoo Bars DIY and Hand-Milled Shampoo Bar Recipes
Try out new homemade bath and beauty recipes is always fun. So when Lisa Maliga, author of The Joy of Melt & Pour Soap Crafting, asked if I’d like to review her newest book, How to Make Handmade Shampoo Bars, I was happy to oblige.
This book is a fun introduction to making homemade shampoo bars for those recently getting into melt and pour soapmaking. It provides overall comprehensive information you’ll need to get started and serves as a great springing board for later creating your own custom shampoo bar recipes for your family and their specific hair care needs.
How to Make Handmade Shampoo Bars begins by explaining the many benefits of making your own natural shampoo bars. Not only do you not have to worry about spilling shampoo bars, they also use less packaging, are perfect for travel and camping, easy to use, and they can be completely customized with your favorite scents or hair care needs. Additionally, homemade shampoo bars are economical and eco-friendly, dog safe and they can also be used on your face and body cutting out the need for additional products. What’s more, as many commercial soaps contain tallow – referred to as sodium tallowate in the ingredient list – which is render cow or pig fat, this book will allow you to create your own animal friendly products if you choose to live a vegan lifestyle.
DIY California Goats Milk and Honey Shampoo Bar Recipe

There are also some wonderful informational sections on how to store your soap bases prior to and in between usage, the differences between fragrance oils and essential oils, fragrance blending tips, and what kinds of molds to use – including my new favorite soap molds, silicone molds, which allow for ease of soap removal and the creation of fun shapes. (They can also be used to make your own handmade solid sugar scrub cubes, homemade solid lotion bars, and bath bombs making them a great choice if you are wanting to make more of your own diy bath and body products.) Further, there’s a guide to natural additives like aloe, avocado oil, jojoba oil – even beer – that can be included in your handmade shampoo bars as well as a list of herbs and essential oils that are recommended for each hair type from dry to normal to oily as well as those suffering from hair loss or dandruff.

The handmade shampoo recipes within this book Homemade Natural Sensuous Silk Shampoo Bar Recipe - Made with Moringa Seed Oil and Hydrolized Silkare divided into two sections – melt and pour shampoo bar recipes and hand-milled (or rebatched) shampoo bar recipes. Both of these methods are perfect for those who want to make their own quality bath products at home, but aren’t ready to delve into cold process soapmaking which involves the use of sodium hydroxide, commonly referred to as lye. Some of the homemade melt and pour shampoo bar recipes include Rosemary & Lavender, Mono de Tahiti, Peppermint Mocha, Chamomile Comfort, Lentil Bliss and Sensuous Silk (pictured right) which contains Moringa Seed Oil and silk.
How to Handmilled Soap Shampoo Bars - DIY Homemade Shampoo Bar RecipesThe handmilled shampoo bar recipes – which are made from grating and rebatching an existing bar of soap and adding skin and hair care ingredients – include  recipes like Pink Clay & Shea, Strong & Silky, Brewed Coffee, Bouncy Brew – made with brown ale, Chocolate Chili – made with cayenne pepper and chocolate, Roobis Tea & Coconut, Matcha Green Tea, and Yucca & Nettle Leaf. Each recipe includes a photograph of the finished product as well as photographs of the steps involved.

In addition to the twenty-one shampoo bar recipes included in this book, there are also hair rinse and hair mask recipes, as well as information on creating and using hair oil, tips for using your shampoo bars and packaging ideas. There’s also an excellent suppliers list of places to buy ingredients for your shampoo bar projects as well as a list of soapmaking mold suppliers. Of course one of my favorite suppliers for organic ingredients, Mountain Rose Herbs, is included within these extensive lists.

You can purchase Lisa’s newest book, How to Make Handmade Shampoo Bars, at Amazon.

Or you can enter for a chance to win the kindle ebook, How to Make Handmade Shampoo Bars, through March 24th, 2013 by entering via Rafflecopter below.

“How To Make Handmade Shampoo Bars” Kindle eBook Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

DIY Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

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DIY Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas - Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas for the Whole Family
With the holidays quickly approaching now is the time to start thinking ahead for the gift giving season. If you’re planning on making homemade Christmas gifts this year, getting started early means less stress later on and more time to create something really special for friends and loved ones. To help get your creative juices flowing, I wanted to share a few diy Christmas gift idea books that are currently available as instant ebook downloads! All of these ebooks are available for download to your Kindle or free Kindle App. (The kindle app is available for any device you own from your phone to your pc or macbook and doesn’t cost a cent!)

Homemade Christmas Gifts and More – Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas For The Whole Family contains a variety of handmade gift ideas including food gifts (and the recipes to make them), simple spa gifts, and gifts for the home such as diy picture frames, candles, crocheted gifts as well as Christmas ornaments, gift baskets, and homemade gift certificates.

Holiday Recipes: 150 Easy Recipes and Gifts From Your Kitchen is also free today and includes recipes for making breads, cakes, pies, candy, and cheese balls for gift giving. There are also recipes for making dishes to serve at holiday gatherings including appetizer, salads, drinks and dips! There’s even a no bake pumpkin pie recipe! You’ll also find photos of the resulting recipes along with ideas for packaging them as gifts and free printables for packaging your creations.

I also like the book, The Staycation Jar: 200 Family Fun Ideas For Creative Meals, Main Events, Silliness, Love Projects. As it’s starting to get really cold outside that means more time is being spent indoors which can result in either way too much tv, squabbling among kids, or going a wee bit stir crazy. This ebook contains some great ideas for entertaining the family inside while it’s cold outside as well as some fun and interactive creative meal ideas that get the whole family involved.

And because I know we all want to look and feel young for as long as possible, also be sure to grab Anti-Aging Herbs : Herbs To Help You Feel Better, Live Longer and Look Younger – Includes Recipes! (Healing Foods Series). It’s also free today and contains information on how herbs can lessen the effects of aging and which herbs offer what benefits along with some great recipes that incorporate these various herbs. Some of the recipes include Apple Ginger Oatmeal, Coconut Berry Smoothie, Walnut Protein Pancakes, Cinnamon Walnut Quinoa, Sugar Free Bilberry Jam, Black Cohosh Tea, Dandelion Walnut Salad, Ginseng Chicken Soup, Black Bean Meatless Burger, Chicken Tumeric Curry, Sauteed Asparagus with Ginger and Sesame Seeds, Squash Brownies and more!

Want to make your own cosmetics, bath and beauty products? These books aren’t free today, but they are very inexpensive to buy or you can borrow them for free with your Amazon Prime Membership for which there is a month free trial! Plus I think that handmade bath and body products make for great gifts and homemade stocking stuffers! Some of my favorites at just 99¢ each include:

Interested in a bath and body kit? Try Kiss Naturals’ DIY Bath Fizzie Making Kit,DIY Soap Making Kit and Creativity for Kids’ Make Your Own Cupcake Soaps – all of which qualify for free super saver shipping.

What kinds of homemade gifts do you enjoy giving and receiving?