I love making things for Christmas, it’s one of my favourite things to do. We make hampers full of things that our family and dearest friends will really appreciate, liqueurs, jams, crafts etc. Last year I made a couple of things with the kids for their godparents, an Amaretto apricot jam and a chilli chutney… The only problem was, in my excitement, I totally forgot that my darling friend Kate is intact allergic to nuts!! So no treats for her to enjoy with the cheese we put in their hamper!
This year, I’ve decided that I’m going to make more liqueurs, jams and chutneys with the kids but I’ve also decided to try my hand at homemade spa gifts too. So, our first one was our pumpkin face mask (which I’ve also discovered makes an amazing softener if you keep it by the kitchen sink and rub it in then rinse after you wash your hands!) and now, after a quick whip around pinterest to find out how to make soap, we’ve actually made some gorgeous smelling soap! It was super fun, and Edith even joined in on the learning tower for five minutes to help us out. We made two types of soap, here they are:
Zesty Lemon Soap
This was my favourite it smells wonderful and I really didn’t do that much to it! You need:
- Approx 250g melt & pour Shea butter soap, cut into cubes (mine came from eBay)
- 20-30 drops of essential oil (I used my amazing Ahh! Essential oil from The Natural Birthing Company because they smell divine, but you could easily use jut Lemon for this)
- Zest of 2 lemons finely grated
Grate your lemon zest and then set it aside. Melt your soap in a large microwaveable bowl in 1 minute intervals. Once it is completely melted, add your essential oil – it really depends on how strong you want the soap to smell as to how much you use. I used around 20-30 drops, but a more subtle smell can be achieved by using 10 drops. Add your zest and stir quickly, soap sets fast so pop back in the microwave if it starts to set. Pour into your mould (you can use any silicone mould, I just used an old Tupperware container and then cut the soap. Put in the fridge for 30mins to 1 hour.
Fresh flower soap
- Approx 250g of melt and pour Shea butter soap, cut into cubes.
- 20-30 drops of essential oil (I used Ouch! Oil from The Natural Birthing Company, but good flower oils are geranium, frangipani, gardenia, Jasmine, rose and neroli)
- 1-2tsp Red food colouring (this won’t discolour your skin when you use the soap)
- Crushed up petals
Follow the same procedure as before, melting the soap in the microwave and adding the oil and food colouring once the soap in pourable. The red food colouring will turn the mix a dark lavender colour, or it did mine. Add the crushed petals (I used Baby’s breath as the little buds look sweet and exfoliate as you wash your hands) and stir. Pour into your mould and refrigerate for 30-60 mins.
All done, and you have the sweetest gift to give at Christmas!