Aquarium Soap (the easy way!) 

Day 2 of easy homemade gifts, the perfect accompaniment to yesterday’s tea cup candles!

Homemade soap? Wellll….sort of. This is melt and pour soap so you’re not going to have to muck about getting the mixture right, you’re just providing the design and the scent, the rest is done for you. Perfect for a beautiful and simple gift!

You will need:

The basics

  • Melt and pour soap (cheaply bought from eBay) clear and opaque, (clear for the blue layer only)
  • Small plastic fish
  • Glitter (fine)
  • Fragrance
  • Blue soap colourant or food dye
  • Silicone loaf style mold
  • Isopropanol spray
  • A microwave
  • A bowl and spoon

Method

  1. Cut half your opaque soap into cubes.

    Cut your soap into cubes

  2. Place into the microwave for around 3 minutes until all the soap has melted.

    Microwave for 3 minutes

  3. Now you can add your fragrance, colour and a little glitter. Stir in gently so you don’t get bubbles but not too slowly in case it starts to set!

    Add fragrance, colour and glitter!

  4. Pour slowly (to avoid bubbles) into your mold.

    Pour slowly

  5. Leave to cool for around three hours then spray with Isopropanol . This will stop colour leaking from one layer to another.

    Spray between layers to avoid colour leaching

  6. Once the first layer is hard you can add the other layers in the same way, just make sure you leave enough time for the layers to harden before adding the next one. You can now add your fish. 
  7. As you add the next layer (using the clear soap with blue colourant this time), just remember the fish are going to float so pour gently. Leave for three hours then add the final layer (the opaque soap with glitter in, as before).
  8. Once it has all set you are ready to remove it from the mold and slice into beautiful soap! Easy peasy and very rewarding!

Teacup Candles

Over the next week I’m going to show you some cheap ideas for gifts which are pretty easy and enjoyable to make.

First, tea cup candles, which are always beautiful and when put together with the soap I’m going to show you tomorrow look very vintage and good quality.

First, the basics you are going to need:

  • Wax (can be bought cheaply from eBay)
  • Tea cups (hit your local House Clearance shop, they’ll be very cheap – I got a full set of six with saucers for £3)

    Trawl the house clearance shop for pretty little bargains

  • Wicks
  • Wax dye or crayons (don’t use food dye, the oil and water won’t mix)
  • Hair dryer or embossing gun
  • Bowl, saucepan and wooden spoon

Basic equipment

  1. First, put your wax into a bowl.

    Fill your bowl with wax

  2. Fill the saucepan with boiling water and place the bowl of wax in the water.
  3. Heat until all the wax is melted. Be careful not to let it boil because you don’t want water in your wax!
  4. In the meantime, you can get your cups ready. Wait until the wax has nearly all melted then use your hairdryer or embossing gun to heat the cups. This is an important step as it reduces the chance of the wax sinking in the middle, (one of mine still sunk this time, it’s quite tricky to get it bang on, in this situation I usually cheat – wait until it has cooled and add a sneaky bit on top to cover the hole, shhhh!).

    Heat the cups to avoid sinking

  5. Place your wick into the cup and secure in place with two pencils to stop it moving around when you pour.

    Use pencils to keep your wick in place

  6. Now the wax is completely melted you can add your frangrance, make sure you use a good quality fragrance and lots of it or you won’t be able to smell it!

    Add lots of scent to make sure you can smell it!

  7. To add your colour either scrape off a little of your dye or use your crayon. Be sparing, these candles look best when the colours are delicate.

    Be sparing with colour for a delicate effect

  8. Once the scent and colour are stirred in you can pour into your cups. Pour slowly to avoid bubbles.

    Pour slowly to avoid bubbles

  9. Leave to cool. Ta-da!