Monday, June 23, 2008

Making Guest Soaps with Flower Petals

This video explains the process of making guest soap petals by dipping flower petals (fake or real) into melted soap to create individual little hand scrubs that are both pretty and functional.

This site says making soap

... can also be done with leaves. To do it using the melt and pour method of soapmaking ... melt about a cup of glycerin soap however you prefer (microwave or double boiler). Before you begin dipping the petals spread some wax paper on your work surface. Using tongs dip the petals/leaves into the melted soap one at a time and lay them on the wax paper to dry. Once dry remove from wax paper and they are ready to use. Rose Petals look great on display in a bowl in a bathroom near sink for use during the spring and around Valentine's day.

So where do you find the glycerin soap? Well, a cheap source to obtain glycerin is to buy a Neutragena soap bar, clearish rose in color, since it is glycerin with a few additives thrown in. Just visit the cosmetic aisle of any grocery or BigBox store, and a glycerin bar of soap can be purchased for under $2. Melting that bar on top of the stove at low heat will result in enough liquid soap to cover many more petals than I had patience. In other words, one bar of soap will cover lots of leaves.

You could go whole hog and buy soap glycerin at the craft store, but you would end up paying five times as much. AND, you probably would be compelled to keep making soaps with a larger quantity of glycerin; that much concentrated effort would not be a fun experience to me.

Here is a picture of the "equipment" I used to make soap petals:

This is what I learned in this soap-making experience:

1. Real rose leaves turned greenish in color, probably because they got hot in the melted soap and become somewhat cooked;
2) Fake silk leaves work much better since they retain both their shape and the look like REAL leaves;
3) The colors on the silk flowers maintained their original dyed integrity;
4) My hands were well soaped after making the leaves, and the saucepan was thoroughly cleaned.

The finished soap leaves are shown here "setting" on waxed paper, and then they were transferred to a glass bowl shown on the far right. (The purple and white flowers are imbedded into the glass bowl container; it added a nice touch.)

Not only do the pretty individual hand soaps look nice in your guest bath, they also make a nice hostess gift.

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