1)   Start your "double boiler": I use a saucepan that I got at the dollar store with a 4-cup glass Pyrex measuring container. Fill the pan with a couple inches of water and place the Pyrex container in it. Put this on medium high until the water starts to boil a little. Keep the temperature so it "simmers". (You can also use a microwave.)
2)   Prepare colorants, scents and additives: Its good to get the additives, color and scent ready - you may want to measure them out into small bowls. This makes it easier to add them when the time comes.
3)   Weigh and cut your soap: You can use a kitchen scale and knife for this... Cut the soap into small pieces - this will help it melt more quickly. Put the soap into Pyrex container and cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This helps keep the moisture of the soap in. You can "nudge" the soap a little with a wooden spoon to break up clumps - do not over stir, or whip the soap, as this will create bubbles!
4)   Add Colorants, Additives, & Scent: After the soap is completely melted, let it cool a bit. You will want to add your scents first, because they can affect the coloring of the soap base. You don't want to add the fragrances to hot soap, because fragrances have a "flash point" where the scent can be lost. After adding the scent, you should add in your colorants. Add a little at a time - remember that you can always add more but you can't take it back out!
5)  Pour into Molds: Most plastic molds will not need to be "greased" - especially single cavity soap molds. If small bubbles appear at the top, spray the surface with rubbing alcohol. After pouring, the soaps will need to sit for 30 min - 1 1/2 hours depending on the recipe you used.
6)   Unmolding: After the soap has hardened and cooled, you can unmold it. If you have problems getting it out of the mold, you may want to place it in the freezer for a short time, then let it set so it makes condensation. This will help it pop out. Do not let the soap freeze through!
To embed soap chunks or shapes into another bar of soap, melt the main/base soap, let it cool a bit. Spray the soap chunks or soap shapes with rubbing alcohol and place in the mold. Then when the base soap is starting to get thicker or cooler, pour this over the shape or chunks in the mold. Make sure to lift up the chunks or shapes once your pour so that they are surrounded by soap.
Create layered soaps - melt/scent/color some soap, and pour one layer of it into your mold. Let that start to set - in the mean time, melt/scent/color the next layer. When the first layer has a thick skin, and when the next layer is cooled a bit, spray the first layer with rubbing alcohol, and pour the second layer. You can repeat this with as many layers as you'd like!

IDEAS:
Use cookie cutters to make neat shapes! Pour a thin layer of soap on a plate, place the cutter in it. When it hardens, you can melt, scent, & color your additional soap and pour into the cutter.
Use cosmetic glitter or mica to add a glitter or a shimmer to your soaps. You can find glitter and mica at your local craft store.

ESSENTIAL & FRAGRANCE OILS:
Rosemary Essential Oils is not recommended for individuals with high blood pressure or epilepsy.
When adding scents to melt and pour soap, make sure that it has cooled off a bit - that way your fragrance won't burn off.

MOLDS:
For those wishing to make a nice sized shower bar, @6-7 ounces, Gladware snack containers with 3/4 to 1 cup of soap poured in are perfect! They make a "family-sized" bar that lasts forever. A few packages of containers will set you up in molds for quite some time. -

OILS/BUTTER:
Shea Butter...This butter can get grainy when used in lip balms and lotion bars if heated too hot. To avoid this, do not heat it higher than 125 degrees

I add a touch of beeswax to my melt and pour for a longer lasting soap as an option for people that don't like the idea of stearic acid.

Melt & Pour Soap has a tendency to "sweat". After trying many different approaches, I finally found a solution: at the same time as I add my fragrance and colorant, I also add 1 T. Aloe Vera liquid to each pound of M&P base (clear OR opaque). In addition to its beneficial effect, Aloe Vera makes the base even softer and more "pliable" than it already is. Depending upon how hard I want the finished product to be, I then add EITHER 1/2-1 T. Jojoba Oil OR a "pinch" (approximately 1/8 tsp.) of STEARIC ACID to my base. NOTE: I can use the Jojoba Oil in either my clear or opaque bases but since the Stearic Acid has a tendency to "dull" clear M&P, I reserve its use for when I am working with opaque M&P.
Rosemary Essential Oils is not recommended for individuals with high blood pressure or epilepsy
Imogene tells her " Helpful Hints "
Melt  & Pour Soap
Crafts
By Imogene
More Information About Soap
Crafts by Imogene 2009                Webdesign by:  Build Websites Cheap.com
If you've already set foot into the crafting world and fallen in love with a particular craft, perhaps needlework or jewelry making, you'll find my website quite useful.
You may discover helpful information or tips which will continue to improve your crafting experience and make it more enjoyable.

If you have crafting ideas that you would like to share, please send them to me, so that I may use them here for others to enjoy
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