This is that time of year that I start thinking ahead to the holidays. The leaves are starting to turn and fall. The night air is crisp and cool, and aside of the seasonal allergies, it’s one of my favorite times of the year. (Not to mention my favorite look for fall always involves a turtleneck sweater.) It also means I get to help all of my lovely readers come up with some fabulous homemade gift ideas for the holiday season.
I had a blast creating this homemade coconut milk soap recipe for the Christmas season/winter holidays. It’s a fun festive holiday soap scented with a frosted cranberry fragrance and made with rich, luxurious butters and moisturizing coconut milk. You will need to make these early on as they take a minimum of three weeks to cure. Four weeks if you’re not crunched for time.
Homemade Moisture Rich Frosted Cranberry Coconut Milk Soap Recipe:
3.5 oz. lye/sodium hydroxide
9 fluid ounces distilled water
Supplies & Tools:
digital kitchen scale
spatula and mixing utensils
large non-aluminum pot
stick/immersion hand blender
glass pyrex measuring cups
deer silhouette hand carved stamp from extase
Diamond Dust mica
Earthen Mist mica colorant
For this cold process coconut milk soap recipe, you’ll want to follow my basic soapmaking instructions on how to make cold process soap. If you’ve never made homemade soaps with lye from scratch before, I recommend starting out with a basic recipe first before delving into a recipe that calls for more expensive ingredients. This recipe will easily fit into one of my wooden soap molds – learn how to make your own for next to nothing here – and will yield approximately eleven bars of soap weighing approximately 3.3 oz. each. (For fewer and larger soap bars, simply use a smaller mold.) You can also use a silicone loaf mold although it may take two of these depending on what size you choose to purchase.
Follow all safety precautions when making soap including wearing gloves and protective eye wear. Keep vinegar on hand to neutralize accidental spills.
This project will take about one hour to make.
If using a wooden soap mold, you’ll want to start by lining your mold. (This isn’t necessary for silicone molds as they will pop right out.) Then make your lye-water by first measuring out the distilled water into a large glass pyrex measuring cup. Then, using a digital scale, weigh out your lye and stir into the water. Set aside in a well ventilated area to cool.
Now weigh out the soapmaking oils and butters – mango butter, cocoa butter, shea butter, palm kernel flakes, castor oil, olive oil, rice bran oil, and apricot kernel oil – and combine into your soapmaking pot. Place the pot on the stove on medium heat until all of the oils have melted (about 10-12 minutes) then remove from heat and set aside to cool to about 100 degrees F. (I allowed my oils to cool for about 25 minutes.)
While your oils are cooling you can prepare the coconut milk powder and colloidal oatmeal by weighing these out into a container and setting aside. Weigh out the fragrance oil and red orange oil locking mica shimmer powder as well into separate containers and set aside.
Once your oils have cooled, add the coconut milk powder and colloidal oatmeal to the oils and mix until thoroughly incorporated with the stick blender. Now slowly pour the lye-water into the oils and blend until you reach a light trace. Now stir in the fragrance oil and blend well until a moderate trace is acheived. Now slowly and evenly pour 1/3 of the soap into your mold.
Next, add the mica shimmer to the soap remaining in the pot and use the stick blender to mix the mica into the soap until fully incorporated. Then pour the remaining two thirds of soap on top of the soap you previously poured into the mold.
If necessary, even out the top of the soap using a butter knife. I run a butter knife back and forth along the width of the mold to evenly distribute the soap, then run it back and forth along the length. For a “frosty” look on top of your soap, lightly dust the top of the soap with additional coconut milk powder.
Now cover your mold with a lid – a piece of cardboard will work! – and a towel to insulate.
After a twenty-four hour period your soap is ready to unmold. Remove your soap from the mold, then cut into bars of your desired size by eye or using a soap cutter as a guide. Lay the cut bars out flat onto a wax or parchment paper covered surface.
Place a small amount of diamond dust mica into a shallow bowl or plate, then lightly dip your deer silhouette stamp into the mica and then firmly press onto your soap bar. Repeat with each bar until all bars have been stamped. Then, if desired, flick a small amount of both the diamond dust mica and earthen mist mica onto the front of each bar to achieve your desired look. Allow bars to cure in a cool, dry location for 3-6 weeks then wrap and label as desired.
If you’re giving these as gifts there’s no reason to hide your pretty image. Simply wrap in cheap plastic food film- the kind that sticks to itself – or restaurant food service film. These would look especially sweet, I think, as part of a homemade gift basket.
For more homemade gift ideas for the holidays as well as handmade soap recipes and bath and beauty recipes, be sure to follow my boards on Pinterest!