Happen to have lots of leftover soap slivers? Don’t throw them out! Use them to craft new soaps. Here’s an easy handmade soap project you do on a weekend afternoon with the kids with quick results from left over glycerin soap slivers and a bit of new melt and pour soap. These soaps are quick and easy and make a fun kids’ project or a simple Mother’s Day gift that kids can craft mostly themselves depending on their age. (Be sure to always provide age appropriate adult supervision.)
What you’ll need:
leftover glycerin soap slivers
melt and pour soap base of choice
peppermint essential oil
glass measuring cup
containers to use as molds
1. Cut your left over soap slivers into small chunks.
2. Line your containers you’ll be using as molds with plastic wrap. I used lids to some of my pottery dishes. But you can also use muffins tins or cups. Just be sure the opening of the container is slightly wider than the base, otherwise it will be difficult to get the soap out!
3. Place an assortment of your soap chunks from your leftover soaps in the lined molds.
4. Cut up some fresh melt and pour glycerin soap base into chunks. I used a natural, opaque shea butter glycerin melt and pour soap base. The amount is up to you based on how many smaller soaps you want to create. Take note of how much soap you are using however, by weighing out the soap either before or after you cut it into chunks. This will determine how much fragrance to use.
5. Melt your uncolored, unscented soap base in a glass measuring cup or other glass container in the microwave. Don’t let the base boil.
6. Mix the melted soap base to be sure it’s melted through. Measure out your peppermint essential oil for fragrance. The essential oil should equal 2% by weight of the total amount of your soap base by weight. This makes for a great math lesson for the kids! Note that you can use any fragrance you like, but I like to use peppermint as it tends to mix well with almost any fragrance that may still be left in your cut up, leftover soap chunks. Plus it’s a refreshing scent most people like and it’s great for circulation! Use tripled distilled or Japanese peppermint essential oil for a more peppermint candy like scent rather than a medicinal fragrance. Mix the peppermint essential oil into the soap base and stir well.
7. Pour the peppermint scented soap base into the molds over top of your leftover, colored soap chunks. If you’d like your chunks to “float” within the soaps you’ll need to use a suspension soap base. However, you probably won’t need a suspension soap base unless you are using a larger mold like a loaf mold.
8. Place your soaps in the molds in the freezer for about a half hour. (Not necessary, but they will solidify faster this way and the kids won’t have to wait as long!)
9. Remove from the soaps from the molds once solidified and peel away the plastic film. Use immediately in your shower or by the sink. Or wrap tightly in plastic film to store for use later or so the kids can gift to friends and family.
If you don’t have leftover glycerin soaps, you can use soap slivers from your regular bath soap or cold process handmade soaps. This process is known as rebatching or handmilling soap and involves grating the leftover soap slivers and combining with a bit of milk or water in a pan over heat on the stove top or in an oven. This process is a great way to use up leftover soap bits, but it does take some time for the excess water to evaporate from your bars before use. You can find instructions on how to make handmilled soap here.
For more on making melt and pour soaps, be sure to check out Lisa Maliga’s The Joy of Melt and Pour Soap Crafting.