serendipitous reflections

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Valentine's Day Soaps

I decided this year to make hand soaps for Dean's office staff for Valentine's Day. It really turned out to very easy. I followed the directions from Martha Stewart, and they turned out very cute. The only problem I ran into was with the heart-shaped cookie cutters. They were metal and would sometimes start to bend after a couple of cuts. So some of the soaps had a little different heart shape to them, which actually turned out pretty cute.

I bought all the supplies at Hobby and Lobby, but I couldn't find the little metal letters to stamp words on them, but I'm still looking. There's always next year.


Stamped soaps, inspired by candy conversation hearts, are great gifts for friends. Put in cellophane bags tied with tags; adorn with glitter.

Nonstick 9-inch square pan
Heart-shape cookie cutter
Glass measuring cup
Glycerin soap
Bench scraper
Soap colorant or food coloring
Spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
Cutting board
Needlenose pliers
1/8-inch metal letter stamps
Masking tape

We used a 2-inch cookie cutter (1 inch high) and 2 1/2 pounds of glycerin soap-sold at crafts stores-to make 16 hearts.

1. Depending on your equipment, yields may vary. To determine how much glycerin you'll need, fill pan with water to 1/4 inch below height of cookie cutter; pour water into measuring cup. Record amount; discard water.

2. Cut soap into small pieces with bench scraper; fill measuring cup. Microwave on medium heat until melted; stir. Add soap and heat until you've reached the water amount. Add colorant; stir. Pour liquid into pan. Spray with alcohol to eliminate bubbles.

3. Let harden at room temperature, 2 hours. Freeze 10 minutes.

4. Turn upside down onto cutting board. Create soaps with cookie cutter; pull cutter out with pliers if it sticks. Tape stamps together to form words, and imprint on soap, applying light, even pressure.
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