My latest Crafting from Your Stockpile project involves using bar soap. Since I got so much for free from deals like this one, I decided to come up with a way to turn it into a fun and frugal gift idea.
I’m going to show you how to re-mold bar soap, and add a surprise inside for personalized touch!
Did you know that you can’t just heat up and melt non-glycerin based bar soap like the Dial I have pictured above?
There are chemical hardeners (which I don’t know specifially what they are) that keep the soap from melting so that it holds its shape in various temperatures, especially while transporting it. It also is less likely to get gooey on the side of a wet sink. Because it doesn’t easily melt, what I thought was going to be an easy melt & pour project, turned into a longer ordeal.
It is also true that if you put bar soap in the microwave, it just expands and burns, but doesn’t melt. I wanted to see this for myself – so in the microwave it went!
I did microwave it until most of it was expanded before it started burning. Turns out that doing so gave the soap more surface area which made the next step much easier.
Since you can’t melt the bar soap, you have to just dissolve it in water to get it back into liquid form.
After the microwaved soap cooled down a bit, I crumbled it into a sauce pan and covered it with water. How much water? I don’t know – I just guessed and poured enough to cover it.
I can’t give you a specific amount – just use trial/error method I guess. I added about a tablespoon of olive oil (per the suggestions of where I read how to re-constitute bar soap). I’m not so sure the oil is an absolutely necessary step, but I added it, so I’ll just tell you what I did.
I let this water/soap/oil mixture sit for 24 hours, mixing it and squishing it in my hand a few times during that time period.
After a day, it got almost 100% homogoneized, but there were still some harder clumps that needed to be broken down. I squeezed and mixed it the best I could to get the liquidized bar soap completely smooth.
I poured in the liquified soap into some soap molds I purchased at Michaels. (it was cheap – maybe like $3?)
It is recommended that you then let the soap “cure” for a couple of weeks before you try and use it, or it will crumble too easily.
Before the soap hardens though, place in a small object that will mean something between you and the recipient of this personalized gift.
I headed over to one of my favorite online stores where you can find something that for everyone – Cafepress.com. I found a circular magnet, one with a geeky, engineering phrase on it for my geeky, engineering (and wonderful) husband.
I plopped it into the soap before it hardened. (I’d show you the magnet, but I forgot to take a picture of it before my hubby took it to work – oops!)
You too can find an item that represents an inside joke and add it to your liquefied soap. Or find something with some sentimental value. Either way, it will create some emotion when the “second” secret gift that is to be discovered.
If anyone else makes this, or tries this, I’d love to hear about your results and see some pics! Let me know the results of trying different brands of soaps, or natural ones that easily melt.
Calling all crafters and couponers: If you also have an idea or craft you’ve completed using an item you’ve gotten dirt cheap/free using coupons, send them my way for possible publication!! Especially if you have another creative use for bar soap!