Melt and Pour Soap Tutorial – DIY Goldfish in a Bag Soap for Kids

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This melt and pour soap tutorial for making your own DIY goldfish in a bag soap not only makes a super cute gift for kids but is also perfect for DIY party favors. While they look easy to make, these soaps are actually a bit tricky to perfect.

How to Make Goldfish Soaps in a Bag - DIY Melt and Pour Soapmaking Tutorial

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 candy making 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.

DIY Goldfish in a Bag Soap

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

5.5 oz. clear melt and pour suspension soap base
.15 oz. fragrance oil of choice

Tools and Supplies:

vinyl goldfish
2.5″ x 2″ x 6″ crystal clear cello bags
Pyrex measuring cup
microwave or double boiler
baker’s twine or ribbon
plastic transfer pipette
utensil for stirring
digital scale

Instructions:

This recipe yields one DIY goldfish in a bag soap.

How to Make Melt and Pour Goldfish in a Bag Soaps

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. (Be sure to choose a fragrance oil without vanilla content to keep your soap from turning brown. Additionally, clearer fragrance oils work better than those with a yellow cast.) 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.

DIY Melt and Pour Soapmaking Tutorial - Handmade Goldfish in a Bag Soaps for Party Favors and Kids' Gifts

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.

DIY Party Favors for Kids - Goldfish in a Bag Soapmaking Tutorial

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.

Fun DIY Goldfish in a Bag Soaps - Great for DIY Party Favors

Mix it up. For “colored” water, add a pinch of superfine emerald green or Caribbean blue glitter when you add the fragrance.

To use this DIY goldfish in a bag soap, 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!


Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.


A Cool and Crafty Holiday Season – Fun DIY Christmas Projects

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The holidays are just another excuse to get your craft on. So don’t be timid about it! Go bold and try some of my favorite DIY holiday projects from around the web!
Cool and Crafty DIY Holiday Christmas Craft Projects
1. Gingerbread Men Jello Shots from That’s so Michelle – Perfect for entertaining your favorite friends!
2. Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags from Paiges of Style – Give your Christmas gifts some cheer with printable labels and tags that will have you dreaming of a pink Christmas or perhaps even a sparkly one!
3. DIY Paper Dahlias / Christmas Stars from Project Zakka – Use your favorite patterned paper squares to craft these easy Christmas Star ornaments for your tree!
You can find even more great diy ideas pinned to my boards on Pinterest!

Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.


Upcycled Breakfast Table – DIY Chalkboard Game Table Craft Project

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Upcycled DIY Chalkboard Paint Game Table - Chalkboard Paint and Washi Tape Craft Project
Our neighbors upstairs recently had to move out unexpectedly. One thing they didn’t take with them was a breakfast table and two chairs. So they gifted them to us. While I haven’t decided whether I’ll be keeping the chairs or not – I may paint the fabric seats – I thought the breakfast table was perfect for upcycling into a chalkboard game table!
Breakfast Table Makeover
This is the table I started with. The first step was to clean it.
Upcycled Breakfast Table - DIY Chalkboard Paint Game Table Project
Next I applied two coats of Krylon Chalkboard Aerosol Spray Paint to the top of the table. I then painted the base of the table with Rustoleum White Gloss Enamel Spray Paint. I allowed both to then dry completely.

DIY Chalkboard Paint Game Table - Easy Upcycled DIY Craft Project Using Chalkboard Paint and Washi Tape
Next I took Washi tape and applied it around the entire edge of the table top. Because Washi tape is more like a masking tape than a regular, super sticky tape, I highly recommend that you apply Matte Mod Podge to the edge of the table only, then adhere your tape to the edge of the table over top of the Mod Podge. Next, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge over top of your Washi tape trim. Once the Mod Podge dries completely, apply a Clear Matte Acrylic Sealer over top of the edge of the table so it covers the areas that you used Mod Podge on. (If you plan to use your Chalkboard Paint Game Table outdoors at all in a covered area, I recommend using Outdoor Mod Podge to adhere the trim for your table followed by a gloss sealer as this Mod Podge dries with a gloss finish.)
DIY Chalkboard Paint Game Table - Easy Upcycled DIY Craft Project Using Chalkboard Paint and Washi Tape

Finally, add a magnetic tin – that DIY is here – to the metal base of the table. Or, if the stand for your table is not metal, you can glue one on using Gorilla glue. Now you have a finished Chalkboard Paint Game table for kids and adults alike!

One final note. You will want to allow your chalkboard paint to dry for a full 24 hours before attempting to write on it. This allows it cure completely to avoid scratching the paint off with the chalk. After 24 hours you would then prep your chalkboard surface by rubbing the SIDE of a piece of chalk over the surface then erasing. Now your chalkboard table top is ready for games of tic-tac-toe, artwork, or whatever else the heart desires!

What kinds of games would you play on this chalkboard game table?


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Instagram – My latest creative discovery

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I’ve seen a lot of instagram photos around lately and I’ll admit I was curious. But my LG phone just wasn’t equipped to take decent photos nor did it have a flash. It also wasn’t the most intuitive phone in the world. So when my phone suddenly stopped working after only 5 months of use – my boyfriend has also gone through two LG phones with little success – I decided it was worth paying a little more to buy an HTC Android. After all, I not only use my phone for emergencies, but my business and at work as well. I stuck with the regular last year’s 3G model and saved a hundred bucks, but still got what so far is turning out to be a great product. It’s like when buying a used VCR would cost you $800 (back when VCRs were the latest and greatest) but that sucker lasted for 20 years before breaking while the modern $50 versions killed over in about two. Or how Atari’s in all their retro wonder glory continue to work while my son’s original XBox crapped out due to overheating. Or all those PC’s that died in 3 years, while my macbook just keeps on truckin’. You get the picture.

So now that I have a decent phone, my own picture has gotten even bigger. And I’m having fun exploring the world through my camera phone. My goal is to try to find at least one creative shot a day and post it to instagram, my personal facebook page, twitter and my tumblr.
I started with the dead beetle at work, then had my boyfriend take a shot of me. Then I took a photo on my daily walk through the neighborhood followed by a game of Clue at my parents’ house. Here are the photos I’ve taken so far (with captions.)
Our mascot at work. Everyone needs a dead beetle to vent to. http://instagr.am/p/M9UzElwlet/
A very happy me. Scott registered for college classes today. http://instagr.am/p/M9aKG8QlSF/
Our neighborhood yards are often full of interesting surprises. http://instagr.am/p/M_09NTQlUT/
Clue. Sometimes you wish people would just get one. http://instagr.am/p/NEV5HvQlRL/
I’m excited by the prospect of building a portfolio of my very own through instagram. Do you use instagram? Love it? Hate it? And how are you using it to stay creative?

Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.


Unique Shopping Finds

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What’s more fun on a Saturday afternoon than a little window shopping? Well, buying of course! Here are eight of my top choices this week for fun and unique things you can buy.

1.) Recycled Necktie Wristlet 2-Pocket Gadget Holder, $20 from Tearful Touch
2.) Handmade Taco Teapot, $45 from Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen
3.) WTF Bandages, $7 from Urban Outfitters
4.) Spriglet Hair Pin, $10 from Pretty Little Things
5.) Video Notebook, $20.99 from Animi Causa 
6.) Tea Bag Tea Infuser, $30 from MoMA STORE
7.) Junior Dachshund Bookends, $150 from Jonathan Adler
8.) Blue Owl To Do List Notepad, $8 from boygirlparty

Have you come across a fun and interesting product lately that you just had to add to your wishlist? Feel free to share your unique product find(s) in the comments!


Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.