How to Make Holiday Soap and a Papier-Mache Box

Create holiday scented soap with a festive papier-mache decoupage gift box to complete the project.

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Materials and Tools:

2 stainless-steel pans
wooden spoons
mixer
fragrance
oils
sodium hydroxide (lye)
scale
measuring cup
thermometer
spring water
soap molds
plastic wrap
microwave
sharp knife or soap cutter

Steps:

1. Line soap molds with plastic wrap.

2. Mix oils together in large stainless-steel pan. Mix sodium hydroxide (lye) separately in other pan with the measured amount of water. Allow sodium hydroxide mixture to cool. You can place it in a cool bath in the sink to speed up the process.

3. After lye mixture has cooled to about 76 degrees, check temperature of oils. They should also be about 76 degrees. Once this has occurred, pour lye mixture slowly and carefully into the oil mixture.

4. With mixer on a low setting, mix for about 5 minutes and then add fragrance, mixing as you stir in fragrance to almost a pea soup consistency.

5. Carefully pour soap into prepared molds, making sure you get an even amount in each mold. Cover each mold with blankets, making sure they are free from any drafts. Allow to set in molds for 24 hours.

6. Either with a knife or soap cutter, cut each into desired size bars. Allow to cure for up to 6 weeks (on a closet shelf would be perfect!).

7. To wrap: After you have allowed your soap to cure for about 6 weeks, you are now ready to package it. We use glossy white wrapping paper to wrap it just like you would a package. We then add hemlock pine cones along with dried flowers attached with a hot glue gun. Tie with a pretty ribbon. You now have a wonderful bar of soap!

8. To make boxes: Gather desired number of papier-mache boxes you wish to make. Find copyright-free computer graphics you wish to use on the box. After you have chosen a graphic, print the graphic on regular white paper using your printer.

9. Cut the graphic from postcard format. Place graphic on top of the box lid to center design and cut off excess edges so that it fits perfectly on the lid of the box. Glue to box lid with white glue.

10. Paint bottom of the box with a coordinating color of craft paint, making sure to paint around the sides of the lid. Allow the box to dry about 20 minutes. After the box is dry, apply varnish over the entire box and allow to dry 20 minutes longer.

11. Place the wrapped bar of soap into the box.

Website: www.bittersweetsoap.com

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