Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rebatch Project Ideas

Rebatch soap is a fantastic way to make rustic, artisan soaps by hand without using lye. It gives you the freedom to incorporate whatever additives you'd like because the saponification process has already been completed. Certain ingredients that would otherwise react to the lye in cold process soapmaking, such as dried florals and herbs, can be used without fear that their colour or characteristics might be compromised. Any fragrance or essential oil can be used without potentially speeding up trace or your soap seizing, as well as any colourant! The additions of nourishing nutrients can also be incorporated such as vitamins, proteins, and specialty skincare oils for extra benefit.

Above are pictures of 3 beautiful rebatch soaps we've made: Lavender, featuring Lavender Flowers, Lavender Essential Oil, and Ultramarine Purple as a colourant; Lemongrass soap with Lemongrass Essential Oil, Calendula Petals, and Annato powder; and Green Tea soap containing Green Tea Fragrance and Green Tea Leaves.

To make these amazing soaps yourself click here for the full project sheets.

The instructions for rebatch soap are easy:

1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Place desired amount of rebatch soap in a large, heavy zip lock bag, then place inside a second zip lock bag, ensuring that both are sealed.

2. Place the grated soap bag in the water, reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and gently boil for 1 hour. During this time, prepare your molds and any other additives you may be using.

3. After an hour, using oven mitts take the bag out of the water and place on a towel on the counter. Gently knead or mush the soap around until an even consistency is reached. If you can still see grated soap chunks, place the bag back in the pot and boil for another 20-30 minutes. Carefully remove from water and repeat kneading.

4. If desired consistency cannot still be reached, add 2-4 tbsp of water per pound of soap base and put back in the hot water for another 20-30 mins.

5. Once the soap has reached the smooth consistency of thin mashed potatoes, add any essential or fragrance oil, floral, colour, or other additive and knead well to distribute.

6. Snip off the corner of the bag and pipe the soap into your mold, making sure you fill the sides and corners. Cover your mold with plastic wrap or freezer paper and let sit until hard, then remove from the mold. Depending on how much water and other liquid has been added, the soap may need to cure for up to a couple weeks to create a hard bar with great longevity.

Keep in mind that rebatch soap produces a more rustic-looking bar than cold process with lots of character. The possibilities are virtually limitless!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New Organic Peppermint Lip Balm

To fend off the cold weather we've been having lately we formulated a new lip balm with all Certified Organic ingredients, the result being a super rich balm that penetrates dry, chapped lips. We'd love to share the recipe:

16% Organic Beeswax Pastilles - 40 grams
8% Organic Refined Shea Butter - 20 grams
6% Organic Cocoa Butter - 15 grams
40% Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 100 grams
16% Organic Jojoba Oil - 40 grams
14% Organic Castor Oil - 35 grams
Organic Peppermint Essential Oil to taste

The instructions are simple: melt the ingredients in the microwave using a glass measuring cup or on the stove in a double boiler. Remove from heat and stir until all parts are dissolved. Add peppermint essential oil to the desired flavour level, for a noticeable minty tingle we would recommend using 50-60 drops or more. Pour the lip balm into lip tubes or slider tins.

This recipe makes 250 grams or over 50 lip tubes. You can keep the balm in a sealed plastic container for melting at a later date if you don't want to use all of the mixture at once. Keep in mind that many of these ingredients and packaging options are on sale right now for our Customer Appreciation Sale!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Beautiful (& Easy) Cameo Soaps

Today we are incredibly excited to show everyone about our newest project idea: these beautiful Victorian Cameo Soaps!  My mind raced with possibilities when I saw this mold and soon I knew I had to do something with it.  Here's what you’ll need to create 5 soap bars:

2 x .15 cc scoop of Heavy Metal Gold Mica
2 x .15 cc scoops of Black Iron Oxide
Denatured Alcohol for spritzing
Fragrance Oil of your choice (we used Pear Flower)


   1. Prepare your work space. You'll need at least one glass measuring cup or microwaveable container, a large clean workspace lined with paper towel or newspaper, a dry paint brush, and a small paring knife or carving tool.  

   2. Start by melting an ounce of white melt and pour soap in the microwave, starting at 10 seconds and stirring frequently. When fully melted, use a soap syringe, transfer pipette, or even a Dixie cup to pour the white soap into the recessed bottom of the mold. This will be the head of the cameo. Be careful not to pour too much soap into the mold otherwise this will overflow onto her backdrop. Spritz the white soap with denatured alcohol if you notice any bubbles. When the layer has fully hardened, take the knife or carving tool and clean up the edges of the cameo if you need to so the lady's profile is fully visible.  

   3. Place the iron oxide in a Dixie cup or small container and add about a teaspoon of water to fully dissolve the powder. Melt another ounce of white melt and pour and add the black iron oxide, stirring until the desired colour is reached. Spritz the layer of white cameo soap with denatured alcohol to help the layers adhere, then pour the black soap into the mold being careful not to over pour into the border. Let the layer fully harden and if you need to, use the knife or carving tool to trim up any over pour.

   4. Melt 2 ounces of clear melt and pour soap in the microwave, then dissolve the heavy metal gold mica in a small container with water the same way as the iron oxide. Add that to the clear melt and pour and blend in. Spritz the cameo mold with denatured alcohol then pour your gold soap in; you'll want to pour a layer that fully covers the border around the edge.

   5. When that layer has hardened, melt the rest of your white melt and pour and add your fragrance oil (about a teaspoon) and stir. Pour the final layer of melt and pour soap until it reaches the top of the mold and spritz with denatured alcohol to get rid of any bubbles.

   6. Wait 24 hours to allow your soaps to harden, then take them out of the mold. If they stick, place the mold in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before trying again. Grab your container of heavy metal gold mica. Using your dry paint brush, gently pick up some of the mica off the cap (a little goes a long way!). Gently dab the paint brush around the gilded edge of the mold to create that extra pop! of gold. You can also highlight the lady's hair and shoulders with the gold mica, this gives an effect that is stunning and inspiring!

Feel free to take creative liberty! Try using different coloured micas and iron oxides for the backdrop, or use Sparkle Gold or Vintage Grey Mica instead of the Heavy Metal Gold. I had a ton of fun making these soaps and the end results are breathtaking!!

- Tawnee and all of us at Voyageur

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