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Cute Reindeer Packaging 2013 Update!

So, last year I saw these cute little reindeer on Pinterest and was completely inspired to make them for our Reindeer Poo soap (and in case you’re wondering, despite its name the soap actually smells fantastic and not at all like it’s namesake.). It’s a year later, and I thought I would do an update and a slightly improved tutorial on how to make these.

Supplies:
Brown Bath cloths
Piper Cleaners
Pom Pom Balls
Wiggly Eyes
Rubber Bands
Ribbon, optional
Hot Glue Gun
Scissors
Reindeer Poo poem, optional
Cardstock, optional
Hole Puncher, optional

1) Spread a bath cloth out flat in front of you, positioned catty-cornered so that it looks like a diamond and place your bar of soap in the middle. Tip: if you’re using a large, rectangular shaped bar like mine, instead of placing the bar in the middle put it closer to the corner that is nearest to you (you’ll see why in a minute).

2) Bring the two corners in front of you together to form a triangle.

3) Very tightly roll those two corners towards the bar of soap.

4) Now, bring the other two ends together above the bar of soap and secure with a rubber band to form the reindeer ears.

5) Bend one pipe cleaner in half to form a V and insert it down in the middle of the rubber band. Cut two small pieces from another pipe cleaner. Bend and shape those two pieces around the first piper cleaner to form antlers. 

6) Glue on a pom pom for the nose and the wiggly eyes.

7) Tie a ribbon around the rubber band and attach the printed out Reindeer Poo poem (totally optional but the poem really is super cute).

Want one but don’t want to go to the trouble of making it yourself? You can purchase our Reindeer Poo soap packaged in the bath cloth reindeer here.

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Foot Salve

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. If you have a medical problem, please consult someone who actually is a doctor 😉

There’s nothing worse than dry, cracked feet. And it must run in our family – my granddad’s were always like that, the same with my mom’s, and well, mine aren’t that bad (much better since I no longer live in flip flops anymore 🙂 ), but they do need the occasional help. Which is why I was so excited to make this foot salve; Mom was even more excited, lol.

It’s easy, and perfect for feet. Rub a little on your feet before bedtime and cover them in cotton socks and it works like a dream. [Want to try our foot salve? You can purchase a 2 oz container of it from our Etsy shop, here.]

Ingredients:
114 grams Lanolin Oil
88 grams infused Olive Oil
84 grams Beeswax Pastilles
48 grams Shea Butter
24 grams Grapeseed Oil
22 grams Cocoa Butter
4 grams Vitamin E Oil
2 grams Peppermint Essential Oil
2 grams Tea Tree Essential Oil
2 grams Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Equipment I Used:
Heat Safe Large Glass Measuring Cup
Medium Sized Saucepan
Digital Scale
Spoon
Microwave
Disposable Pipettes (for the essential oils)
2 ounce Metal Tins

Before I even start, I make sure all of my equipment is clean, and I spray the inside of the metal tins with a little rubbing alcohol.

1) First off, infuse the olive oil with rosemary and chamomile. There are two ways you can do this: 1) By adding rosemary and chamomile to a jar of olive oil and allowing it to set for several weeks or 2) By gently heating the olive oil with the rosemary and chamomile in it on top of the stove on medium-low heat. Allow the oil to lightly simmer for five or so minutes, then remove it from the heat and set aside so it can cool completely.

No matter which method you chose, make sure to strain the olive oil well (I used cheesecloth folded in two, but a coffee filter would work, too).

2) Measure out and melt the lanolin oil, olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, grapeseed oil, and cocoa butter by using a double boiler on top of the stove.

3) Once all those ingredients are completely melted, remove from heat and add the vitamin E oil, peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus essential oils. Stir very well to make sure it’s all combined.

4) Now, pour the mixture into each of the metal tins, leaving the lids off until the mixture becomes solid.
This recipe yields almost seven full 2 ounce containers of salve. 

Why these ingredients? 
All of the ingredients in this foot salve are known for certain, special benefits that they impart. Here are a few of those benefits:

Rosemary: Known for having antiseptic and antioxidant properties, and for helping soothe arthritis pain, strains, and bruises, as well as, being great for skin.

Chamomile: Wonderful for relaxation and stress relief, plus it’s great for flaky skin.

Lanolin Oil: Lanolin is extremely moisturizing and is easily absorbed into skin where it both hydrates and provides a protective barrier. Also known for being an anti-fungal and antibacterial agent.

Olive Oil: Easily absorbed and wonderfully moisturizing, hence it’s one of the main oils we use in soap making. High in oleic acid and is a good skin cell regenerator.

Beeswax: Excellent emollient and provides protection for the skin. Also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Shea Butter: A quick absorbing, ultra moisturizing butter that is wonderful for dry skin and great for providing a protective barrier.

Grapeseed Oil: A light, easily absorbed oil that is known for having mild astringent properties.

Cocoa Butter: Wonderful at moisturizing and providing a protective barrier for skin.

Vitamin E: Helps to prevent oils from oxidizing, plus it’s great for skin.

Peppermint Essential Oil: Has antiseptic and astringent properties and produces a cooling effect. 

Tea Tree Oil: Known for its antiseptic properties.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Has antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-fungal properties. Beneficial for treating skin conditions and helping relax muscles. 

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Soap Pencil Lines.

I love trolling the net looking at pictures of hand crafted soaps. In fact, it’s become an extension of my soap obsession. But I guess it’s time well spent as I do use it for research for designing upcoming soaps. Or at least, that’s the story I’m going with 😉

 
One of the things I’ve noticed a lot of soapers doing is pencil lines. What is a pencil line? Notice in the pictures below, the dark line running through each bar. It’s such a simplistic and modern look, and while I don’t usually like simple (or modern), I love the look of pencil lines. I’ve done it three times, now, and each time has presented its own challenges. And while all three times, the soap hasn’t turned out exactly as I’d hoped, they’re still nice looking. And I’ve learned with soap making that the soaps that don’t turn out perfectly like I want them to are usually the first ones to sell out 😉

These are the most recent two soaps made this past weekend:

Japanese Cherry Blossom (the pink was colored with Cosmetic Fluorescent Strong Pink, the white with Titanium Dioxide, and the pencil line was made with Activated Charcoal).

Bay Rum (uncolored – this fragrance oil has a .3% vanilla content, so it should darken somewhat- and the pencil line was made with Black Walnut Hulls Powder).

Pencil lines are essentially a thin layer of powder (such as micas, activated charcoal, cocoa powder, ground coffee, etc) sandwiched between two layers of soap. To achieve this effect, you can use a tea infuser or a small mesh sifter (which is what I used).

Once the first layer of soap is poured into the mold, simply dust a small spoonful of your chosen powder on top of it. The fun part is that you can make the pencil line straight or jagged just by smoothing out the first layer soap or leaving it more texturized. After you’ve added the pencil line carefully wipe the sides of the mold to clean up the excess powder. Now, it’s time to add the second layer of soap. So that the second layer of soap doesn’t break through and disrupt the line, pour it over a spoon or spatula.

Tip: When you cut the soap, turn the whole loaf on it’s side. This keeps the pencil line from being dragged through the whole bar of soap. This also works great when you slice soap that is topped with oatmeal, jojoba beads, calendula, chamomile, etc. Also, wipe the blade of your cutter clean after each time. 

My soap cutter is unfortunately not tall enough to cut soap on its side, so I had to use a knife. And I am horrible at cutting straight, even bars using a knife. So, before I do any more pencil line soaps, I’m going to have to purchase a different cutter – maybe a good cheese slicer like this one here.


 

Updated on February 14, 2015:

Two years later, and this is still one of my favorite soap making techniques. In fact, browse our Etsy shop and you’ll almost always see at least one pencil line soap (check out our shop here).

 A couple of recent pencil line soaps:

Japanese Cherry Blossom. . . . same scent and same design from above.

IMG_3114

 

Indian Sandalwood with a very thin line of gold mica (brown swirls were colored using cocoa powder). . . .

Fallen Leaves with a thin line of gold mica (colored with titanium dioxide, red oxide, and Moroccan Clay).

Tips I’ve learned over the last couple of years. . . . 

A cheese slicer is a fantastic cutter for pencil line soaps.

Always turn the soap loaf on its side while cutting to avoid smearing the pencil line.

Use the smallest sifter possible to avoid getting your pencil line colorant on the sides of the soap mold. I now use one even smaller than the one pictured above.

It’s a fine balance between too much and too little. . . . Too little and the pencil line doesn’t show up as well. Too much and the soap might split in half right at the pencil line.

Use a vegetable peeler to clean up the sides of the bars and make them neater.