Making soap was another activity that I added to my Day Zero Project list. When a new Hobbycraft opened around the corner I used a 25% off voucher to stock up on things that I needed to complete some of the tasks, and this soap making kit was one of the things that I bought. There were several different kits to choose from, and I went for the House of Crafts Handmade Soap Kit (affiliate link) which cost me just under £10 with the discount.
I didn't realise when I was putting together my list that making real soap is a rather complicated process and involves dangerous chemicals, but this kit uses the melt and pour method which is very easy and doesn't require much equipment. This is what is inside the box:
The mould is only large enough to make three soaps at a time, so you can't make the entire kit at once unless you find something else to use for moulds. This means that you need to cut the soap compound up in order to melt it, making it a bit difficult to guess the quantities. However if you do end up melting too much you can always let it set and then re-use it.
I melted the soap compound in the microwave in short bursts, which probably took about a minute in total. Then you just stir in some fragrance and petals, pour into the moulds and leave it to set, which takes about two hours. These are the first soaps that I made:
This kit made me 9 bars of soap, and I have plenty of petals and fragrance left over. You can buy the Melt and Pour Soap Base (affiliate link) separately, so now I've worked my way through this batch (or distributed them as gifts amongst friends and family...) I might have a go at making some more.
While I was building up the courage to have a go at using the set (I don't know why, when it was so easy!) I asked for advice on-line and Maggy at Red Ted Art directed me to her post on Dinosaur Egg Soap. By pure co-incidence a couple of days later I was shopping in Asda and spotted a small plastic egg full of tiny dinosaur erasers, and I knew that they would be perfect for some dinosaur soap.
So I decided that I would freestyle it a bit and have a go at my own dinosaur soap. I used some green and brown twiggy bits from the kit for leaves, and as I was impatient and having only three moulds was limiting my creativity, I also used some silicon cupcake cases (not pictured) which turned out well too. Harry helped me with some of these and loved it, he's a reluctant bather but after his bath that night I think he was the cleanest he's ever been!
I've never been sure about buying these type of craft kits, perhaps thinking that they are cheating a little bit, but I had a lot of fun making these soaps. On the same shopping trip I also purchased a candle making kit which was also really good and something I've used several times since.