Sunday, September 20, 2009

DIY soap making

When I first started making soap seven (eight?) years ago, my soap mold was a shoe box.  I'd line it with plastic grocery store bags that I'd cut down both sides and try to make fit into the box so the loaf of soap would have nice edges and corners.  It never really worked.  The bottom edges were always rounded and the corners were even more so.  And the bottom of the soap loaf was always wrinkled and crinkly.

In time I got more particular about it and made a form out of styrofoam planks that I cut to fit snugly inside the shoe box.  I wrapped the form with duct tape so the edges wouldn't crumble off.  Then I folded freezer paper around the form and taped it into shape so I could just slip it into the shoe box to make bars with sharper edges and corners.  It worked pretty well.

The shoe box, along with all the things with which I experimented and the many lessons I learned along the way, is part of my soapmakng roots.

And it's a good thing I still have it. 

Just the other day a customer told me she really loved my Luxury Bar soap, and wondered if I could make it for her in a larger size.  I said, "Yes, of course!" not having any idea how I would actually do that.  When I got home and started to think about it, however, I remembered the shoe box.  I got it out, dusted it off, took measurements and made calculations, and figured out that it would work perfectly.  Voila! 

I just think there's something charming about the idea that my old beat-up DIY shoe box mold is being brought back into service.  Thinking about it even as I write this is already bringing back many fond memories!

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