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Rainy Day Fix: Wildflower Soap Making

Northern Michigan cabin: check.
Rainy day: check.
Lots of coffee: check.
Wildflowers we saved and dried from last week: check.

“You want to make soap?” I asked my cousin this morning as the sky turned gray.
“Sure,” she answered, putting her coffee cup down, as if “let’s make soap” is an everyday occurrence.

Truth is, knowing we were coming to hide away in the woods for a few weeks, I researched a  little soap making and brought a soap tray and a big block of shea butter even though I’ve never actually made soap before. It seemed fitting. And after the extremely satisfying sensory ritual this morning, I’m thinking there will be more of this in the future. The textures, the smells, the pouring, the waiting and the finished canvases, their milky white surface speckled with nature–I’m sold.

We bought our dried lavender from a lavender shop in Glen Arbor. They let us walk through their gardens last week.

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The rest of the wildflowers, we collected from walks around the cabin.

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We made Lavender Eucalyptus soaps and used the following (links provided):

Shea Butter Suspension Soap Base (we used half of this block for 4 bars of soap)
Soap Mold Tray (used an inexpensive plastic tray from Hobby Lobby, but similar to this one)
Eucalyptus oil
Lavender oil
Dried Lavender
Assorted colorful wildflowers

Place a few dried flowers in the bottom of soap mold tray.

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Melt shea butter in microwave. It melts pretty quickly. We used half of the two-pound block and broke it in a few pieces in a microwave-safe bowl–added 30 seconds, checked it, added 30 more, etc. until it was melted thoroughly. Add essential oils. We added 30 drops of each lavender and eucalyptus for 4 bars of soap. Sprinkle in several dried flowers but save some to “garnish” the tops of soaps. Carefully pour melted soap mix into molds.

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Arrange more dried flowers on the top of soap, pressing lightly to “set” them into the soap. Let dry. Soap will set in 20-40 minutes. To remove, press mold upside down and apply constant pressure on each bar of soap until it releases.

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We tested the product, and it’s marvelous–smells wonderful, suds lightly, and it’s very moisturizing but not greasy or waxy.

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Dear friends at home…so much soap coming your way.

And if you give a mouse a rainy day and new bar of soap…he might as well go get dirty in some mud puddles.

Comments

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  1. There is something so calming about a good bar of soap! I love being handmade soaps at craft fairs and always have one in the shower . . . so soothing compared to the cloying scents of so many body washes these days. These look beautiful, and I’m sure they smell fantastic! Lavender is my favorite.

  2. I want to hide away in the woods for a few weeks. Looks divine.

  3. Well, you know I love this post! It looks lovely and what a fun project for the kiddos. xo

  4. Katherine says:

    I made my first melt and pour essential oil soy candles on the weekend, having scoured thrift and antique shops for old teacups and crystal sugar bowls for sweet containers. I wonder if i could similarly add wildflowers to the candles? Hmm. Going to venture out to soap now. Handmade scented gifts for everyone!! Yours are so lovely, the mauve and yellow so perfect!! Getting right on this, thanks :) Loving your make stuff posts btw. Nice, natural but easy projects.

  5. you should totally get an etsy shop and sell them! i’m not a crafty person and no matter how closely i follow the directions, i can never seem to get things right but i would totally buy soap from you!

  6. Ahhh! Where did you get Nella’s cute Michigan hair clip?

  7. Gail Okeson says:

    I have never made soap before. I always thought it would be so “complicated” but, now, thanks to you, I am going to make some very soon. It looks beautiful; I just have to get my “supplies” ready. Very excited. Thank you Kelle.

  8. Meagan Alvarado says:

    I absolutely love that you came to our hometown in Northern Michigan! :)

  9. Jen Lenhart says:

    I *thought* I recognized Sleeping Bear Dunes in the photographs! Fell head over heels in love with this area in a few years ago. Like heaven on earth. Enjoy your trip – we are headed to MI ourselves in a few weeks.

  10. Lisa Chavez says:

    I would love it I you recommended some cabins and other places to visit in Michigan. My husband is also from there and we would like to save up for a vacation for us and our little ones to somewhere cozy and fun in Michigan.
    Thanks!

  11. Now I really want to make soap! I always thought it would be hard; this makes it look not intimidating at all!

  12. Love making soap. We would make home made gifts for Christmas; always fun.

    I put the trays in the freezer to help them set. I also would spray the trays with Pam or another non-stick spray so the soap pops out easier. Michaels (a craft store here in CA), has some great kits/molds.

    Thanks for the great reminder about soap. I have to make these with my girl.

    Cheers,
    Caryl

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