Handmade soap with a personal touch


By Caitlin Murray Giles


Start with a basic melt-and-pour soap base and add in your choice of natural ingredients to customize your concoction. Good add-in options include essential oils, exfoliators or dried flowers. If you want to make this project a bit more playful, hide a small toy (such as a rubber ball or plastic animal) inside your homemade soap as a "reward" for kids who really wash up.


  • 8 ounces melted clear or white soap base (You can find a good selection of melt-and-pour bases from the online retailer Bramble Berry).
  • About 1/2 tsp. lavender essential oil
  • 1 Tbsp. dried lavender flowers (available from a florist or natural food store)
  • Soap/candy molds or cupcake tins
  • Small plastic bags, ribbon and gift cards (optional)


  1. Work together with your child to cut about 8 ounces of the soap base into small pieces. Melt the pieces in a double boiler over low heat or in the microwave in a heat-proof bowl. If you are using a microwave, heat the base on a medium power in 30-second time intervals. Stir frequently. Supervise children closely because the base will get very hot.
  2. Allow the melted soap to cool slightly.
  3. Then add in the extra ingredients (lavendar oil, flowers, etc.) and pour the mixture into the mold of your choice. Silicon baking or candy molds are ideal. You can also use a regular or mini cupcake pan.
  4. Allow the soap to sit overnight and set in the molds. Carefully remove the soaps from the molds.
  5. If you are giving the homemade soaps as a gift, package them in small plastic bags tied with a pretty ribbon and include a note identifying the ingredients.
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