DIY gift idea: Garden-fresh herbal soap

Dec 11, 2014 at 3:42 p.m. ET
Image: Debbie Wolfe

Make homemade soap with your garden-fresh herbs. It's a great way to use fresh herbs and benefit from their therapeutic properties.

Does the whole process of homemade soap-making scare you? No worries. Melt-and-pour glycerin soap bases are readily available and easy to use. Create decorative glycerin soap in your spare time to use at home or give as gifts.

Soap bases

Many craft stores sell glycerin soap bases. They are inexpensive and easily customized. You can add any combination of herbs or essential oils to your liking. Glycerin is sold in solid, meltable blocks. You can get clear, olive oil or shea butter bases. They even come in different colors.

Types of herbs

You can use whatever herb combination you like. I love the smell of lavender and basil together. Other popular herbs for soap use include peppermint, sweet mint and rosemary. Mix in some citrus rind along with the herbs for an extra burst of freshness. If you do not have access to fresh herbs, then dried ones work well too!

Lavender health benefits

The fragrance is very relaxing and calming to the body and mind. The health benefits of lavender include its ability to eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance blood circulation and treat respiratory problems.

Basil's benefits

This herb prevents acne outbreaks and also speeds up the healing process of acne lesions. The oil in fresh basil leaves helps clear bacteria from the skin that contribute to clogged pores.

Additional supplies:

  • Soap mold
  • A glass bowl
  • Microwave
  • A bamboo skewer for stirring
  • A spray bottle with rubbing alcohol (optional)

DIY gift idea: Garden fresh herbal soap 1

  1. Lay the soap mold onto a level surface.
  2. Chop the herbs, and set them aside until ready to use.

DIY gift idea: Garden fresh herbal soap 2

  1. Cut off as much glycerin as you need to fill the soap molds. Slice it into small pieces that will be easier to melt. Place the glycerin pieces into the glass microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Melt the glycerin in 30-second increments until the soap has completely melted.
  3. Once the soap has melted, add in the herbs.

DIY gift idea: Garden fresh herbal soap 3

  1. Spritz some rubbing alcohol into the soap mold. This will prevent bubbles from forming in the soap as it cools and dries. I did not do this step. My soap did have some bubbles, but I am OK with it.
  2. Pour the soap into the molds. Spritz some more rubbing alcohol, if using, on the surface.
  1. Let the soap cool.
  2. Once cooled, pop the soap out of the molds, and they are ready to use.

Wrap the soap in pretty paper or tissue wrap. Tie with some twine, and you have homemade soap ready for gifting.

More homemade soaps

DIY pink peppermint glycerin soap
Natural antibacterial soaps for the germaphobe
Handmade soaps for healthy skin

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