Dave and I hosted a soap making demo at our home a couple of weeks ago for the Evansville Homesteading Co-Op. Lisa Garrett, the “Party Crasher” with the Warrick Section of the Evansville Courier & Press joined us covering our fun time. Her article and pictures were in the paper Friday. Unfortunately, there is no online article.
It was fun evening showing everyone how we make soap. Due to our small kitchen, we limited the number of attendees to 10. On that evening we made our Lavender Basic Bar, a good starter bar for soaping newbees. See recipe at the end of the post.
I started the evening talking about how we we became interested in soapmaking and then Dave talked a bit about the cold process before we moved to the kitchen.
We continued to talk until we got to mixing the lye with the oils. Once we got to trace, we made sure everyone could see what trace was and then added the Castor oil, essential oils and lavender buds which we had combined earlier.
Once they were incorporated into the mixture, Dave poured it into the mold and then I added Lavender buds to the top of the bar. I really like how the bars look with the lavender on top.
Then we wanted to show them what soap looked like when it was ready to cut. Dave retrieved the soap we had made three days earlier so we could unmold and cut it in front of them.
It was then time to clean up, so while I was doing that, Dave talked a little more. Here he is showing them the formula sheet for the soap we made that night.
Everyone got to take home a bar of the Lavender Basic Bar that we had made a month earlier.
After the demo we came back into the living room and answered questions and passed around that plate of some of the different soaps we’ve made. It was a fun evening and hopefully we inspired a few of our guests to make their own soap. Thank you goes out to Lisa for her photos and for sharing with her readers this fun event. She has many more photos in her article.
If you live in the Evansville, Indiana area and would like more information on the Evansville Homesteading Co-Op, contact Mandy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please refer to the cold process instructions here. These are those bars we made that night.
If you have never made soap, this is a great bar to begin your soaping adventure. The three base oils are available locally or you can order them online. And you don’t have to use lavender.
Our first bar was just the three base oils – no essential oils or botanicals. Or if you like another essential oil, add it at trace. Easy and so good for your skin.
That sounds like fun and it’s great that you’re educating people in your area on soapmaking! It’s pretty easy to make soap and handmade soap is so much better than the stuff you can buy, but hardly anyone knows it can be done at home. Every time I tell people I made soap a while ago they are amazed that it’s possible to do it yourself.
I still haven’t gotten around to making some, I just can’t find the time. But I’ve found some nice organic soaps locally, I couldn’t buy the liquid washing stuff any more!
Dave and Lynda,
I’ve been using the soap you gave us that night – it’s very nice and I’m surprise how well the lavender buds stay on it.
I’m still in the process of deciding which soap I want to make as my first one. I think it’s going to be the chocolate one. I might have to come smell all your’s again before I make my final decision.
Thank you again for the wonderful and informative evening!
This soap recipe looks great. Most recipes that I’ve seen add castor oil with the rest of the oil. Why do you add it at trace?
Missy, We started adding oil at trace after trying some of the soap from friends who make it and sell it since they did it based on The Everything Soapmaking Book. The idea is that if you add it at trace, it will not go through the saponification process, it’s properties will stay intact, and you will have a gentler soap. It’s a way of superfatting. But some believe that the lye is still active at trace and it will take what it needs even at that time. We’ve just gotten in the habit of making our soap like this and love our results. If you wanted to make any of our soaps you can leave out the oil (usually it’s castor oil) we add at trace. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.
Thanks for the explanation, Lynda. I’m excited to try out some of your recipes. I’ve enjoyed looking through your blog at the soap postings. Especially like your notebook idea of keeping a log/recipe of all your soaps. Sounds like college chemistry again!
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Missy, You are so welcome! Yes, it is like chemistry and it’s so important to keep a notebook. We’ve made a couple new ones that are quickly becoming our favorites. Just need time to post them. Thanks again and let me know how your soapmaking goes.