I love making soap, especially soap with little toys embedded in it. But this year I thought my nieces and nephews could use a little more motivation to make it through my homemade soaps than little plastic toys they were getting too old for: Cold. Hard. Cash.
This project is inspired from a product listed in one of the many catalogs I receive for holiday gift giving: a real U.S. issued currency inside a soap, all yours for $15 dollars or so. A gamble of sorts, because you could end up with $1, $5, $10, $20, or even a $50 bill (yeah right), for that mere $15 dollars they wanted to sell it. I wanted it for stocking gifts to give my nieces and nephews, but without the hefty price tag.
For this project, you will need:
Melt and pour soap, sold at most craft stores (or you can use pre-colored and scented 100% glycerin soap at the grocery store)
Scent and/or color for soap
Paper currency in the denominations you want
Plastic soap mold (also common at craft stores)
Step 1: Wrap Yo' Money Up
For my bills of choice, I decided not to bother with the $1 or $50 (sorry nieces and nephews, I didn’t have any $50 bills in my wallet at the time), and I tightly rolled up $5, $10, and $20 bills.
I believe that U.S. currency is made out of more of a fabric than a type of paper, and therefore would be waterproof enough to handle embedding in soap, but I still decided to cover each rolled-up bill with contact paper. Plus, the sticky paper kept the bill tightly rolled while the soap was poured over it. I also rolled the bill in such a way to keep the value of the bill from showing on the outside by folding the bill in half first and rolling from the outside open sides in towards the folded edge of the bill.
Step 2: Cover Your Money in Soap
You can pick any color or flavor you wish for your soap, but I would recommend using the clear melt and pour soap rather than the opaque white. You want to be able to tease your recipient with the rolled cash in sight. I chose a nice light greenish color that complemented the color of cash, and scented it with a nice apple floral scent as well.
I placed each rolled up bill in the soap mold container and covered each with the "Melt and Pour” soap melted in a pyrex glass by the microwave. I was careful to only fill the molds halfway with the melted soap because the rolled bill will float in it. Filling the molds all the way to the top would result in the nieces and nephews being able to remove said money only after one time of washing, and I needed to make them work for it.
After the first soap pour has cooled for a bit and formed a thick enough skin on it, you can pour the other half of the soap on top and completely cover the rolled bill without having it float to the top of the mold.
Wait until your soap is completely cooled and solid-to-the-touch before flipping it over and unmolding it from the plastic with slow and steady pressure from your fingers pushing down from above.
Step 3: Put a Label on It
Packaging was simple. A small film of plastic wrap around each soap and a label printed out on plain paper, taped ends together.
All wrapped up and ready to tease the nieces and nephews with the chance of a $5, $10, or even a $20 bill inside.