Introduction: Handmade Memory Soaps

Spending summers at the family cabin by the lake makes for some of the best memories and fun. When the summer comes to an end, we all stuff beautiful shells and perfect pine cones into our bags with hopes of creating a special memento to remember happy times. That’s why we came up with Vacation Memory Soaps, a simple project to help capture some of your favorite summertime tokens to take home with you, in a form you can actually use or gift to a special someone at home. This is a great activity for the entire family, or for camp counselors to do with their campers. This project isn’t just for the summer, and can be used to preserve just about any treasure you find along your adventures.

Materials for Memory Soaps

  • Clear glycerine soap ($10 A.C. Moore)
  • Soap fragrances (we used lavender!) ($4 A.C. Moore)
  • Memory 'treasures'
  • Soap molds ($2 A.C. Moore)
  • Heat-safe container
  • Microwave

Step 1: Collect Your Treasures

Picture of Collect Your Treasures

Collect ‘treasures’ that remind you of your summer experience. This can be things like: flowers, shells, little pine cones, rocks, favorite legos, tree bark, acorns, ferns, and so on. The kids may request to put in things like food or bugs (our little cousins did!) It is up to your judgment what to allow in the soaps, but we would recommend sticking to things that are nice to handle, don’t have a strong odor, and aren’t altered by water. Now just wash all of the treasures with water if needed and you're ready to get started!

Step 2: Arrange Your Treasures in Soap Molds

Picture of Arrange Your Treasures in Soap Molds

Arrange treasures in the soap molds. Keep in mind that the clearest side of the soap with the least bubbles will be the bottom of the mold, so be sure to frame your design facing downwards. We found that it worked best to weigh down lighter items like flowers or ferns with rocks and heavier things so that they would be displayed on the smooth bottom of the soap rather than floating up when the glycerin is added.

This is where you can get creative! Add as many colorful items as you can find, choose a theme for your soap (shells from a special beach walk or petals from the bouquet on your wedding day...) or write your initials in beautiful rocks!

Step 3: Scent and Melt the Clear Glycerine Soap

Picture of Scent and Melt the Clear Glycerine Soap

Fill a heat-safe container with a handful of clear glycerine soap cubes and mix in some fragrance. Use about 4-5 drops of fragrance per ounce of clear glycerine soap or whatever smells best to you -- one of our little cousins preferred no scent at all. Next, heat the clear glycerine soap in the microwave for about 45 seconds until it is fully melted.

Step 4: Pour the Clear Glycerine Into the Soap Molds

Picture of Pour the Clear Glycerine Into the Soap Molds

Slowly pour the liquid glycerine into the molds, trying your best to keep things in place. When the pour is finished you have a few minutes to use a stick to carefully push your treasures back into place if they moved around too much. Then find a safe place for it to solidify in room temperature for about 45 to 60 minutes without being disturbed.

Step 5: Wrap 'em As Gifts or Put 'em to Use!

Picture of Wrap 'em As Gifts or Put 'em to Use!

Pop the soaps out of the mold and they are ready for use! You can also choose to package them up with some brown paper and twine as gifts. Try not to leave them out in the sun for too long or they may melt on you!

The best part about Memory Soaps is that they allow kids to get creative in choosing the memories that are personal to them. It also helps get them outside running around collecting and trading treasures with one another.

We hope you enjoyed our video, and we would love to see photos of your own memory soaps below! What memories would you keep? Comment below! Learn more about us at http://www.craft-curious.com/

Comments

mrsmerwin (author)2017-04-15

If you put flower petals I in them, does the soap preserve them or do they get moldy over time?

alikada (author)2016-07-10

it is veryy good

WUVIE (author)2016-07-07

What a neat Instructable! Love the addition of the well-edited videos. Indeed, this is a great project for kids in the summer. You've got my vote. Good luck!

Craft Curious (author)WUVIE2016-07-08

Thanks Wuvie!!

TomH24 (author)2016-07-07

My thought too. This would be very uncomfortable to use with sticks, stones and needles in them!

Craft Curious (author)TomH242016-07-08

TomH24 - definitely a good point, see our response to ossum below. : )

ossum (author)2016-07-06

These look really cool, and I like the use of GIFs! Isn't it uncomfortable to wash with soap that has pine needles and things in it though?

Craft Curious (author)ossum2016-07-08

Thanks ossum! Yea, personally we preferred putting one or two treasures into our soaps, which you can see with the single fern soap in the video, but our little cousins liked jam-packing them with treasures. They started using them and they think its fun when the rocks fall out when washing their hands. The fun with this activity is to let kids do whatever they want with it and express themselves - but we do agree, there is a line to cross between art/creativity and functionality/comfort.

Also, definitely to be used as hand-soap, and not recommended as body soap.

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