A few years ago I took part in a soap making course. I enjoyed it a lot, it felt like being in the witch's brew. I was really enthusiastic, made notes on everything and had fun altogether. My notes have been lying in the back of the drawer ever since. Let's be honest, making soap is a sophisticated and complicated process, it requires attention, caution especially with kids running around all the time... and I am not a chemist. Moreover, a relatively big investment is needed at the start, taking also into consideration the not too vague possibility that things don't turn out right and your first attempt will also be the last. (You should buy for example a hand mixer designated for this purpose.)
But then, what do you do if your eight year old is a very keen hand washer, he is going on a school trip and you know that it is absolutely sure that no soap will be available at certain stops?
Soap making immediately popped on my mind so I searched the internet and found that actually there are soap bases available at an absolutely affordable price that I could take advantage of for making mini soaps that can be used on a one-at-a-time basis that my son could take along. All there was left to do was finding the ideal molds.
This was my first attempt to use melt and pour soap base, I considered it an experiment. I liked the idea that instead of keeping kids away from the kitchen because of working with lye they can be actually involved in the process.
Step 1: You Will Need
Melt and pour soap base (I used Stephensons)
Coloring (I used Wilton food coloring and home made beetroot coloring, the latter did not work very well)
Scent (I used vanilla essential oil)
Molds (I used empty pill packaging, plastic chocolate bonbon container, lip balm container)
Step 2: Melt
Cut as much of the soap base as you think would be enough to fill your molds. For melting, I used a tiny metal dish that I put inside a somewhat bigger saucepan with a little water in it. You don't have to care for temperatures, just gently heat your soap block until it melts. Meanwhile, grease the molds using a baking spray.
Step 3: Color and Scent
If you wish, you may add coloring and essential oil to your melted soap base.
I tried two things for coloring: Wilton food coloring worked perfectly. Take care, a tiny amount is enough. I just put the end of a toothpick into the coloring, stirred into the soap and I got a vivid blue.
I usually have at home beetroot powder that gives a beautiful burgundy color to food, so I decided to give it a try, It did not work well, at the very beginning the soap base was light pink but that faded totally upon firming. Maybe I should have added more.
You may add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.
Step 4: Pour & Ready
It's time to fill your forms. Should your melted soap begin to solidify too early, all you have to do is put it back to reheat for a while.
Wait a couple of hours (depending on the mold size) till your soap gets completely firm, then remove them from the molds.