Soap Making Demo

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.

Lavender Basic Bar
Lavender Basic Bar

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.

Adding essential oil, castor oil and lavender buds
Adding essential oil, Castor oil and lavender buds

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.

I sprinkled Lavender buds on top of the newly poured soap
I sprinkled Lavender buds on top of the newly poured soap

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.

Unmolding and cutting our soap
Unmolding our soap

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.

Dave talking a little about the formula sheet.
Dave talking a little about the formula sheet.

Everyone got to take home a bar of the Lavender Basic Bar that we had made a month earlier.

Lavender Basic Bar Soap and others
Lavender Basic Bar Soap wrapped up for the guests

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

Lavender Basic Soap [print_link]

Olive Oil (40%) 360 grams

Palm Oil (30%) 270 grams

Coconut Oil (30%) 270 grams

water – 342 grams (We used distilled, but you could use rain or filtered water)

lye – 128 grams

1.5 tablespoons of ground lavender buds soaked in 2 tablespoons Lavender Essential Oil at trace

Additional lavender buds sprinkled on top of finished block of soap.

This makes 2 lbs of soap or 10 bars. As with any recipe you get off of the Internet, please run this through one of the calculators. This one is my favorite.

Please refer to the cold process instructions here. These are those bars we made that night.

Lavender Basic Bar
Lavender Basic Bar

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.