Feature Friday- Hand-made Decorative Soaps

Create unique decorative soaps using dollar store items!  This give looks amazing in person and is surprisingly easy to make!

easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I needed to come up with a fabulous craft idea.  You see, my sister and I have a silent competition that has been going on since we were little.  We try our best to one-up each other every year.  This year, she is taking Mom to Disney World.  How can I compete with that?  What about homemade decorative soaps?

For the decorative soap I used:

Unscented white soaps from the Dollar Store
Printed fabric
Mod Podge
Wax
easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps
I first found a fabric with motifs on it that are small enough for the front of the soaps.  I located a fabric that had birds all over it.  Mom loves birds.  So this one was kinda obvious.  I cut each individual bird from the fabric, one for each soap that I was going to make.  Options for this project include using scrap book paper designs or even stickers for the decorations on the soaps.
easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps
Take the wrappers off the soaps.  I happened to buy Jergens brand, which unfortunately has the brand name embedded in each soap.  I found that was common with every soap in the Dollar Store.  No problem.  I simply took a paring knife and sliced a thin layer off the front of the soap, creating a smooth surface for my fabric print.
easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps
easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps
Brush a bit of Mod Podge on the back of each print and smooth onto the front of the soap.  The Mod Podge is simply there to hold the fabric in place until the next step.  You do not need to coat the top of the fabric with Mod Podge.
easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps
Now create a double boiler with one pan inside another.  The bottom pan has boiling water.  The pan on top is one that I use only for crafting purposes.  Since clean up of wax can be difficult, I recommend having a pan that is assigned for this type of craft.  I used one small piece of paraffin and melted it fully in the pan.
easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps
Now take each soap, held by tongs and dip the front of the soap into the melted wax.  Lift out and allow it to dry.  Then dip it again.  You may want to dip it as many as three times for a good even protective coating.
easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps
Since you are only dipping the front of the soap in wax, the soap can still be used and the design will stay intact.  Pretty, huh?
easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps
So I went back to the dollar store and bought some washcloths, a basket, some bath salts, emery boards and some cute little birdies.
easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps
I added some bubble wrap to the bottom of the basket and covered it with one of the washcloths.
easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps
I then tied up the other washcloths with pretty ribbon and added the rest of the dollar store items, finishing it off with the decorative soaps and a pretty ribbon around the basket.  The little birdies are hot glued onto the basket.
easy craft idea -handmade decorative soaps
Certainly not a good as Disney World, but I’m betting Mom will appreciate the thought.
If you enjoyed this tutorial, you might like my Doodle Frame tutorial.  Another easy gift that you can make with very few supplies.
Or check out my Faux Stained Glass tutorial.  Making stained glass using acrylic paints and school glue.
For over 150 more tutorials for all ages, be sure to visit my Tutorial Page!

{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Carolyn ricks February 7, 2014, 7:48 am

    Love the soaps.cant wait to make them. I remember seeing Christmas ones years ago but I love the birds. As I said before you are so talented and share your talent with others.God Bless you Suzy .. Carolyn

    • Susan Myers February 11, 2014, 6:57 pm

      Thank you so much Carolyn! Would love to see what you make!

      suzy

  • Leslie December 22, 2012, 10:25 pm

    Could you use clear melted soap instead of wax?

  • Smallgood July 11, 2011, 2:10 am

    I've never seen this. Very cool!

  • Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma May 5, 2011, 12:36 am

    Love those vintage bird images, Suzy. You truly have some of the most original ideas in the blog world…

    Thanks for linking up at Creative Juice. Hope to see you back tonight!

  • Krafty Kat May 3, 2011, 3:05 am

    I cannot wait to try this! Such a great gift idea! Thanks for linking up!

  • Christina @ The Tattered Tag May 2, 2011, 1:20 am

    Hi Suzy~

    Glad to see you pulled this great idea from the craft vault! LOL!! It's actually a wonderfully timeless idea. Thanks for linking to my K.I.S.S. blog bash last week, looking forward to seeing what you share this week.

    Drop By The Tattered Tag

  • DaikerDiva May 1, 2011, 3:15 am

    awesome! back in about 1983 or so, when I was in elementary school, my friend had a birthday party and we made these! With Strawberry Shortcake on them. I still have that bar of soap in my sock drawer….

  • Anna M. April 30, 2011, 7:13 pm

    What a cool idea, and so versatile.

  • {nifty thrifty things} April 30, 2011, 11:06 am

    Thank you so much for stopping by and linking up to {nifty thrifty sunday}!
    I hope to see you again tomorrow!
    xoxo,
    Vanessa

  • creativejewishmom/sara April 28, 2011, 5:50 am

    love it, I'm sure your mom will too! Thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling Sunday!

  • Meri April 27, 2011, 7:00 pm

    Very good idea! And looks easy enough to do with kiddos for teachers or grandparents. 🙂

    Found you via Free Pretty Things' link party 🙂
    ~meri

  • Lindsay(PACountryCrafts) April 27, 2011, 11:20 am

    That makes a beautiful gift set! I have always wondered, though… what happens if you try to use the soap? I can't imagine using something that pretty anway! Great job!

  • Lindsay April 27, 2011, 12:54 am

    WOW! Totally creative! They turned out great.

    Delighted Momma

  • Nook & Cranny April 26, 2011, 5:46 pm

    This is such a good idea. One can make soaps of many different themes, holidays, etc.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Michele

  • Yvonne@StyleBurb April 26, 2011, 1:55 pm

    The soaps are so pretty- I love the vintage bird images you chose! Your mom is lucky to have a talented daughter to make her such a lovely gift!

  • Steph @ Crafting in the Rain April 26, 2011, 4:08 am

    Pretty–I'm sure she'll love them!

  • april@gingerbread girl April 25, 2011, 11:07 pm

    that is cool…love those vintage birds!!

    april
    xoxo

  • Kassi @ Truly Lovely April 25, 2011, 10:39 pm

    So pretty!!! The bird pictures really make them look vintage!!! I'm sure your mom will love it! Thanks for linking to Fancy This Fridays!

  • Jane @ Jane's Junk and Treasures April 25, 2011, 8:59 pm

    My Gram use to do this!!
    I still have some soaps she made!!
    I'm going to have to try it!!!

  • Kelly April 25, 2011, 6:26 pm

    I'd love it and would love it if you linked up to this weeks Glitter link party! http://runwithglitter.blogspot.com/2011/04/running-with-glitter-6-link-party.html

  • Jenna @ Copy Cat Corner April 25, 2011, 2:40 pm

    Those turned out great!

  • Jill April 25, 2011, 6:43 am

    Wow Suzy! That basket looks fantastic! Great idea with the soaps – Totally different to Disneyworld!! but just as special 🙂

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

  • Andrea . Charcoal and crayons April 25, 2011, 6:08 am

    What a neat craft and a lovely gift. The soap and the basket look great!

  • bev April 25, 2011, 3:33 am

    I'm a new Follower…love your site:)

    I would rather have something as lovely as these are and handmade with love any day.

  • Carla April 24, 2011, 9:02 am

    This is a wonderful idea. Great job! I'm a new follower, won't you follow me back? http://www.carla-writes.blogspot.com

  • Jessica @ O. Alouette April 24, 2011, 3:07 am

    This is such a cool idea!! Very cute – I love the birds.

  • Garden Lily April 24, 2011, 3:06 am

    Those are pretty. I remember making ones like that when I was younger. It's funny, but I haven't used a bar of soap for years. I guess I'm a liquid soap girl now.

  • Miss Charming April 24, 2011, 2:24 am

    What a clever idea! They look wonderful. I really like the fact that you can make them with any design or maybe even a photo. Great job!

  • Crescent Moon April 23, 2011, 2:19 am

    I remember doing this project at school when I was a child, as Christmas gifts. We used paper cut-outs of Christmasy things to decorate the soap. Your gift basket looks fantastic!

  • Christine April 22, 2011, 10:46 pm

    These are so cute!! I was wondering how the little birds stayed on until I read the wax part…..

  • Screaming Sardine April 22, 2011, 6:27 pm

    What a GREAT idea! I'm definitely going to be trying this.

    Cheers,
    Tracy All Thumbs Crafts

  • Slightly Askew Studios April 22, 2011, 5:51 pm

    I make soap so when I first saw the picture I was staring in amazement of you soaping abilities. When I read how easy it is I was jealous that I didn't think of it, lol! I can't wait to try it on some of my own bars, thanks for posting this. Shannon

  • Ira April 22, 2011, 3:26 pm

    Oh my, your soaps are just the coolest!! Aren't they fabulous? TFS!

  • Lynne April 22, 2011, 3:05 pm

    I'm thinking the dollar store needs to hire you. The could have the whole crafting section in their advertising with all the treasures. The things you come up are amazing!

  • Norene April 22, 2011, 1:36 pm

    They are beautiful. I want some!!!

  • Lynda April 22, 2011, 12:52 pm

    Wow! Moms gonna love it! Actually, she's paying her own way to Disney, hahahaha I haven't even figured out what I'm getting her for mothers day, AAAHHHHHH!!!!!

  • chillin with Quillin April 22, 2011, 12:48 pm

    WHat a fantastic gift,very nice, love the soaps!
    Paula

  • Kathy in FW TX April 22, 2011, 12:28 pm

    oh suzy, you are so cool.

  • Whimsy-ma-blog April 22, 2011, 12:11 pm

    love your tutorials! great idea!

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