Last week the kiddos and I made a batch of soap that we are giving as Christmas gifts. We didn't do anything fancy with it like we might have done for our own soap, every time we do, we do something like calendula infused oil, honey, oatmeal, etc. We added nature to our wrapping, this is a seed pod from a Sweetgum tree, I love these and have them scattered around the house along with pinecones.
We make hot-processed soap or crock-pot soap. I spent a long time researching, and this process works for me better than the cold-process.
Here is where I first learned about hot-process there are great pictures.
Here I found great explanations for all the processes of soap making
This recipe we used olive oil, coconut oil, and beeswax. But you can use all kinds which really surprised me. Here is the lye calculator I use and it has a big list of oils, and there are also a fragrance calculator and measurement converter.
When I first starting looking into soap making I thought I had to use a set recipe, but have learned since you do not and we have had fun coming up with our own recipes.
Lye was also a consideration, where to get it? You can't just buy it in the store anymore, but I found this wonderful place AAA-Chemicals, that also sells the lye for making liquid soap. When I ordered I ordered both lyes and have made both soaps since and have had success with both.
Ashley and Wyatt help me, though when doing the lye I get to do it. Neither one of them want to and I feel better doing it myself. We had most of the supplies here at the house though not the plastic pitchers those I found at a yard sale for a quarter each and the crockpot at a yard sale to. But I am looking for a large one. The only new things I bought were the gloves, digital scale, thermometers but I don't use them with this process, and silicon baking pans for the molds which work great and were inexpensive.
We use two pitchers one to measure the water or herbal tea and one to measure the lye in. They are only used for this purpose and have written on them not for food everything we use is only for the soap except the crockpot that is cleaned well and we use that in the kitchen. I retired my stick blender to use just for soap since it is very handy for this.
I am looking next into making my own, chap stick(I have the almond oil soaking up calendula flowers), lotion bars, lotion this I have done but want to try different recipes.
I hope you give this a try someday if you have not and want to it isn't nearly as hard as I thought and as long as you keep in mind safety when working with lye take precautions it is actually fun.
Have a wonderfully blessed day.