Friday, January 30, 2009

Valentine's Day Gifts: Bath & body products

Who doesn't love love? And by extension, who doesn't love Valentine's Day? It's a cheap excuse to make some heart shaped things and give them to people you love! So I bring you some wonderful ideas for Valentine's bath & body products...

These are super easy if you follow the instructions properly. Bath bombs are made with citric acid and baking soda. When you add them to the bath, they fizz up when they touch the water. So you don't want to use water based colours or scents in these.

My recipe:
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1 to 2 tbsp oil of your choice (I like soy bean oil, but olive oil is awesome also)
about 1 tsp of fragrance oil (not water based - and do not use perfume!!!)
Mix together your baking soda and citric acid. Then add the oil, a few drops of colour, and your fragrance oil. Mix together well. You can press these into a cupcake pan lined with a cute cupcake liner for a cupcake look, or use a silicone ice cube tray. Press very well. (If you don't have a mold, try using your hands to make a ball!) Let sit over night. Package in a cute bag or box. You're done!

Heart Shaped Bath Bombs at Soap Queen. As a variation: Put the rose petals into the mold first, then press your bath bomb mixture on top of it, so the petals are showing on top. And try using smaller molds. I did the hearts above with a chocolate mold, and they only weigh about 10 to 20 grams each. If you make some small ones, you can make a variety of colours and scents that complement each other; put them into a cute bag so the giftee can make their own blends. (Hello Sweet Thang and Cream Cheese Frosting, or chocolate and orange, or wedding cake and just about anything else!)

What's the difference between Anne Marie's bath bombs and mine? I like to add more oil to mine. But you can make them either way!

For colouring bath bombs, powdered chocolate colouring works really well. And consider using your micas. I am not sure about iron oxides...I haven't tried those yet. Stay away from ultramarines as I understand those can smell very unpleasant when they hit the water.


For melt & pour soap you'll need...
  • melt & pour soap of any type. If you use glycerin or clear soap, you'll get a clear soap with very vibrant colours. If you use a white soap, you'll get something like the picture here, where the colours aren't as vibrant, but very cool.
  • a colourant -- you can use a variety of colourants colouring, icing colours, or colours specifically used for the bath and body things (LabColours are fantastic, but only invest in these if you are going to make a ton of things!) As a note, if you've been making mineral make-up, try some micas. (Look to the right...this soap was done with gold and copper mica. You can see the shine and it looks gorgeous! This soap, by the way, made by Wanda!)
  • a scent (fragrance or essential oils)
  • a mold (silicone ice cube trays are fun, as are chocolate molds)
  • a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol in it.
Melt your melt & pour soap in a double boiler. Don't have the water temperature too high -- don't let it boil -- and let it melt slowly. You can mix it as you wait -- it feels like you're actually doing something instead of just sitting around waiting!

Add colour and scent (about 7.5 grams per 454 grams or 1 gram for every 60 grams of soap), mix together until the colour is nice, then pour into your molds.

Spray the back of the soap with rubbing alcohol -- it takes out the bubbles.

Now wait until the soaps are set. Maybe 30 minutes, maybe 2 hours -- it depends on how much you used!

Package in a cute box or cellophane bag and gift away!

Try doing a layered soap - this is even cooler if you do the first layer in glycerin (clear) soap, then the second layer in a coloured opaque soap. Pour in your first layer, spray with alcohol, and let set for a while. Wait until there is a skin on the soap and it doesn't jiggle a lot when you shake it. Pour in the second layer, spray the back with rubbing alcohol, and leave until set.

Visit Anne-Marie's site for more information.
And you have to try the soap cupcakes! Too cute for words! They have some great tips & tricks for melt & pour soap making.
If you aren't into hearts, check out have to see Anne-Marie's birthday cake idea!

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