Tyler Durden says, “Use soap”

Included with the xmas gift pictures I’ve posted is one photo of a gift we made to give others: homemade soap.

Finished soap

A while back we discovered a store called Juniper Tree here in Berkeley that sells supplies for making soap and candles: colors, scents, molds, and stuff to put in them. We wandered in here some months ago and decided to try our hands at making fancy soap. The staff was very friendly and helpful, giving us tips, answering questions, and even giving us a card as we left, telling us to call them if we ran into any problems.

Our first batch turned out pretty well, and a second even better, so we decided to make more to give out with our Xmas/Hanukkah gifts. We made around 40 bars in seven varieties: peppermint, blackberry sage, rose, lavender, apple cider, orange spice, and vanilla bean. The peppermint was topped with dried peppermint leaves, the rose with dried rosebuds, and the lavender with dried blue larkspur. The orange spice had orange zest mixed in, the vanilla bean had real vanilla bean, and the apple cider had pieces of cinnamon bark.

We aren’t starting completely from scratch, but using a soap base that we bought. Most were made with a base of goat milk and glycerin soap, but some were just glycerin. The blackberry sage was glycerin soap with pieces of goat milk soap floating in it, which results in a translucent bar with opaque pieces. The orange spice was the opposite, with glycerin soap pieces floating in an opaque bar. This looks really nice once it’s taken out of the mold and cut into individual bars. Juniper Tree sells soap molds in various shapes and designs, but they’re a little expensive. To make this quantity we bought cheap Rubbermaid containers from Target and made one large block of each type, then cut them into bars once they solidified.


Pictured above is a few of the scraps we had left over after cutting up the bars. From top to bottom, these are blackberry sage, orange spice, and vanilla bean on the left, and peppermint and lavender on the right. In the first two you can see the smaller soap bits embedded in the larger piece, although the full bars look much better than these. I don’t know why we didn’t take a picture of the completed bars, but I’ll remember to next time.


alli says:

sky and i discovered that store about 6 months ago and have been planning to check out soap making ever since. one of those things on my to do list.

looks like yours turned out great!

rachie says:

BAD ASS. seriously, good job! i’ve never made soap, but it always seems like it could/would be fun to do. i love the varieties you guys chose to do…blackberry sage in particular sounds ridiculously good. cute kitty labels too :)

KUDOS, CRAFTY PEOPLE! i also now really want to go to that store.