There were so many amazing things in this soap, I didn’t know which ingredient to highlight: Olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax, goats milk, oatmeal, almonds, basil, rosemary, thyme, lavender… sheesh! I gave these away as Christmas presents with labels that said “Ande’s Handmade Herbes De Provence Soap” though, so I guess that’ll do.
This Christmas, I decided that I wanted to hand-make my presents for 2 reasons: I could do crafty things all day and it’s cheaper. Win-win! I spent quite a bit of time researching the best sites for soap recipes, and frankly, most of the sites were terrible. The best recipe I found was from The Simple Dollar, mostly because it gave me visuals and a lot of hand-holding.
If you decide to make this, I would recommend reading through their entire explanation before you start. I’m going to show you the ways I customized their recipe to my taste though.
Real quick… for those that have never made soap before, don’t be intimidated! It was incredibly fun and rewarding. I was definitely intimidated by the chemistry and safety equipment at first since I hate following instructions, but just push on through!
Your basic soap can be made by using just 2 simple ingredients: Oil or fat and lye. Everything else is just extra. You can use just about any kinds of oil you want, but you should know that the coconut oil and the lard gives the soap a beautiful lather, which is something I wanted.
Again, before you start, make sure you read The Simple Dollar‘s safety information. You’ll need to get the following items before you start:
- Safety goggles
- Latex gloves
- Old clothes and closed toed shoes
- Kitchen scale
- Pot to melt oils
- Measuring cup
Items You CanNOT Reuse with Food
- Big bowl
- Small bowl
- Spoon to stir soap
- Bucket to mix soap
- Thermometer (DON’T reuse this)
- Soap molds (pans, containers, etc).
My Homemade Soap Recipe
This is my recipe that has been adapted from The Simple Dollar‘s recipe. Please, please, please feel free to customize to your preferences, mainly with the herbs and essential oils.
- 4.5 C. Whole Goat Milk (Got this from Earthfare)($4)
- 2000 g Olive Oil/~70 oz./~3 liters (Got a big container at Wal-Mart with leftovers)($18 for the container, and I used about $15 worth)
- 460 g/1 lb. Lard (Got this at Wal-Mart)($4)
- 382 g/14 oz. Raw Coconut Oil (Got this at Wal-Mart)($7)
- Beeswax (I used 1 votive candle from Earthfare)($3)
- 398 g Lye/Sodium Hydroxide (Got this at Lowe’s in the plumbing isle)($10 for the container, and I used about $5 worth)
- Vitamin E Oil (Got the bottle at Wal-Mart)($4)
- Handful of Oatmeal
- Handful of Almonds
- Handful of Basil flowers (Got these from a friend’s garden. You can use dried basil)
- Handful of Rosemary (Used the cheap stuff, but you can do fresh too)
- 1 T. Thyme
- Lavender/Hops Oil (Got this at Earthfare, but you can find it here)($7 for the bottle and I used about $2.00 worth)
The whole batch costs about $45.
I’m going to use the instructional photos from The Simple Dollar since I did this in the middle of the flippin’ night so my photos would’ve looked pretty bad from my iPhone. See?