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Maker Does DIY Bath Salts & Soaps

by on Aug.06, 2010, under Crafts, Projects

Image provided by Mary

A couple of weeks ago I was looking at making my own wedding favors.  I stumbled onto two thing. 1: homemade soaps, 2: homemade bath salts.

I found some information from a few places and found that for soap making, there are 4 methods: Melt and pour-the easiest (but it’s compared to baking a cake using boxed ingredients versus cooking from scratch); cold process- mixing up your items from scratch, the lye, oils, ect; hot process- a similar variation of cold process; and rebatching- grinding up premade soap bars and adding in your own extra ingredients.   For the beginning of a new project I’d like to start with something a bit simpler, so I went with the melt and pour bases.   I found an inexpensive source for soap making supplies that had beginner kits (kits with small quantities of multiple items).  Within a week I received the supplies. I got a few different types of soap.  I got a few different oils for scent, and a few other items I thought might be a good idea.  I’ve always loved strawberry scented things, so I got some strawberry oil, seeds, and some pink soap dye to play with.

So on the next Friday, I was off work, thanks to pulling a 22 hour shift the night before. I started with making the strawberry soap.

First: I cut up a pound of Shea butter soap.  (A pound is a bit less than I thought it would be.  The mold I purchased holds exactly 2 pounds of soap and makes 8 total bars.  For my first batch I improvised with a Ziploc container lined with wax paper)

Second: I heated up my solid aluminum double boiler to melt the soap.  After the soap melted, I put a few drops of the strawberry oil in, I played with the amount until the smell was just right.  Then I used the soap dye and added it until the soap was a desirable color.  I also used strawberry seeds to add exfoliants to the soap.  Lesson learned: strawberry seeds float; they all ended up on what was to be the bottom of my soap.

Next I decided to make some lemony soap.  I used the goats milk soap and the honey soap.  Honey soap is a clear base, and goats milk is a solid base.  I melted the honey soap and used one scent on it – listea cubea. After the first layer had formed a shell on top, I melted down the milk soap and mixed a little yellow food color and verbena scent.  I am much more pleased with this attempt.

When looking online for small gifts I can use as favors at the wedding I found homemade bath salts…  To make them it’s surprisingly easy.  Pour in the salt of your choice- Epsom salt is the suggested.  Then you mix in your color- just 2-3 drops of food coloring.  Then mix in 2 tablespoons baking soda and the scent of your choice.  that’s it.  Simple.

I also accidentally found a body scrub that is only slightly more complicated.  It takes a whole 15 minutes to make a batch.  3 table spoons of: white sugar, turbinado sugar, 1 table spoon of glycerin, baking soda, and salt of your choice.  Then you add olive or almond oil to it until it’s about the consistency of a slushy. Last you add your scent, about 1-2 ml works perfect.  That’s it, and it works great!

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Makers of Mass Destruction: Recycling Edition

by on Jun.01, 2010, under News

Photo by Mary Potts

Today we have taken a step in the direction of recycling in Memphis.  Some of our makers went out and collected up scrap pipe from a deconstruction zone downtown.  After the heavy goods were relocated it was time to condense our load into much smaller, more manageable pieces.  Time for Daniel to use one of his toys, and for him to attempt setting the daisies that line our drive way on fire! Check out Flickr for more photos.

An hour and a half later and 3 metal cutting discs down, we had a pile of pipes in manageable pieces.  The discs themselves only cost about $3 for all, so I think we snagged a pretty good deal.  Also, I think Daniel had fun causing all of the mayhem, I can’t think of many things that he likes better than tearing something apart, it is a pretty good stress reliever.  As you can see from the pictures, some of the pipes were pretty massive. The largest one took down 2 discs on its way out.  Thankfully it was the last pipe that Daniel clashed with.

Midsouth Makers-1: Monster pipe-0

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