Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mini Valentine Soaps and Massage Bars

As February quickly approaches, it's hard not to notice that love is in the air! Storefronts everywhere are reminding us that Valentine's Day is drawing nearer and though chocolates are delicious and jewelry is beautiful - we have thought of a few gifts ideas that are far less expensive and are handmade with love (and have less calories, too!).

You may have noticed on our Facebook or Pinterest page, that we recently brought in our first ever flexible plastic mold! Not only does the Small Heart Flexible Mold's bendable nature make is incredibly easy to work with, but this mold in particular features the cutest little heart shapes you've ever seen.

See? Adorable.

Since last Friday when we first received the mold, and made a test batch of soaps for our storefront, the feedback has been overwhelming. Since we know how much our customers love step-by-step guides for handmade bath and body products, we thought we would really break it down and show you exactly how you, too, can make these little soaps!

 To make these soaps you will need:

Fragrance of your choice (optional)

 For starters, it's great to have everything laid out on your clean work surface. The first step is to cut up your melt and pour soap into small cubes, so that they are easier to melt down. For this recipe, we chose Aloe Vera melt and pour soap, for it's gentle, soothing benefits. But you can use any M&P soap you like best!

 This mold holds about 140 grams of soap, so you will want to measure out that weight on your scale.

Since we wanted to make an even variety of seven red and seven pink hearts, we then divided up the batch of 140 grams into two batches containing 70 grams each.

Next, you will want to melt one of the two cups containing 70 grams of soap in either a double boiler or in the microwave. If using the microwave, melt the soap in 15 second bursts, stirring it in between each blast of heat.

Next, add your fragrance. A good scent level would be somewhere between 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon.

For these soaps, we used "Love Spell" for it's sweetness which is reminiscent of a Valentine's candy conversation heart.

Now, add your first colour.

Drama Queen and Cotton Candy Mica

To achieve a nice colour in the soap, true to it's appearance in it's mica form, I used 4 heaping 0.15 cc scoops, and stirred them vigorously in to the soap right after adding fragrance. Try to work quickly, as you want the soap to remain liquid.

Next, pour the red soap in to half of the hearts on the mold

Now, follow the same steps, and mix in your cotton candy mica!

Pour the pink soap into the remaining heart cavities. You may find that the soap has a froth or bubbly appearance on the surface from heating and stirring. If you want to avoid this, spray each batch of soap with denatured alcohol immediately after pouring the soap while it's still quite warm.

Let your soaps sit in a cool area for a few hours. Or, to expedite your setting time, you can stick them in the fridge or freezer for an hour or so.

When you pop them out, they will look like this!

As you can see, they have an eye catching appearance and can be packaged nicely in cellophane, or in a basket as you see above.

One of our favorite things about the Flexible Heart Mold is that it is so versatile. We are so excited about the possibilities that we even made some single-use mini massage bars with the mold as well. To make these, follow the same instructions as you would for making melt and pour soap, but substitute the soap for our Massage Bar Base. We made ours with Chocolate Fudge Fragrance oil, making them rich, indulgent and perfect for a romantic massage. Please note that we have not successfully added colour to the Massage Bar Base. So far we have not found an appropriate colourant which disperses well.

The possibilities of the mold don't end with bath and body products. It could certainly be used to make homemade chocolate, or fun Valentine's ice cubes!

If you have ever received a gift that a friend or loved one has made by hand, just for you, you'll know how special it feels to know that someone has really put time and thought into their creation. While our busy lives can sometimes put restraints on how much creative time we have to really get crafty, here at Voyageur Soap and Candle we love to help and inspire our customers with ideas that are as simple as this!

All the best as always,

The Staff of Voyageur

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