DIY Christmas Teacher Gift
At this time last year I was pondering teacher gifts and ended up making a range of food gifts. This year, I have become a little addicted to soap making. This Spiced Orange Christmas Soap will be this year’s teacher gift. If you would like to make this soap I suggest that you do it this weekend or early next week as soap takes a few weeks (or more) to cure and be suitable to gift at the end of term. Soap making is not difficult if you follow the correct process and use appropriate safety precautions.
Let your creativity loose, the combinations are endless. You get to select the quality of ingredients that you use. Inhale the fresh wonderful fragrance that engulfs you in the shower in the morning. See my introductory soap making post here to help you to get started on your soap making journey.
- 215 grams Cocoa Butter
- 100 grams Coconut Oil
- 125 grams Almond Oil
- 25 grams Avocado Oil
- 35 grams Shea Butter
- 175 grams chilled water
- 65 grams lye
- zest of two oranges
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 6 star anise
- 8 cloves
- 5 ml pure Orange Essential Oil
- 2 ml pure Geranium Essential Oil
- Place a saucepan filled ¼ full of water to heat to a simmer
- Measure out and place the cocoa butter, coconut oil, almond, avocado, shea butter, to a bowl that can be placed on top of the saucepan without the bottom of it touching the water in the saucepan. Set it aside for now and wait until the water in the saucepan comes to a simmer
- Line a plastic container/Tupperware with baking paper. This will be the soap mould.
- Line your work area with a plastic sheet or newspaper to protect the surface from any spills.
- Put on your gloves and mask
- Measure your chilled water into a high edged tub or bucket
- (I complete this step outside on the deck) Pour the lye into the water (DO NOT pour the water into the lye) Keep your face away from the mixture and avoid breathing in the fumes that will immediately start to be released. The mixture will immediately begin to heat up. Give the mixture a stir to allow the lye to dissolve and leave the container to sit outside
- The water in the saucepan should be coming to a low boil, place the bowl with the other ingredients on top and stir once in while until the solid ingredients melt. *DO NOT do this step over high heat, it is a gentle heating process.
- Once the ingredients are almost melted remove the bowl from the top of the saucepan and continue to stir until they are fully dissolved.
- Allow the ingredients temperature to drop to 40 or 45 degrees
- Check the temperature of the chilled water and lye, at this stage it should also be around 40-45 degrees C
- Slowly pour the caustic and water mixture into the melted oils. Use a stick blender to combine. Continue to use the blender until the mixture has thickened and when raised slightly above the mixture can make a line across the mixture that stays sitting on top. If the drizzle of the mixture sinks quickly into the bowl you need to keep going with the blender until it sits on top.
- Add the orange zest and blend again for a minute of two it will also color the soap
- Once the mixture reaches the correct thickness add the essential oils
- Mix again with the stick blender for a minute to mix the oils through.
- Add the cinnamon sticks, star anise and cloves to the bottom of the lined plastic container that will hold the soap
- Pour the soap mixture into the lined plastic container on top of the spices
- Cover the container with cling wrap and set it aside in a location that will not be disturbed and then cover with an old towel
- After a day the soap can turned out and sliced into bars of the desired size
- Allow the sliced soap to cure and dry on a rack. A cake rack is perfect for this.
- Allow to dry for approximately 3-4 weeks. The longer the soap dries the harder it will be and the longer it will last.
*Ensure that all safety recommendations have been followed when making soap. Refer to this post for further instruction.
Total recipe time is calculated up until the point of pouring the soap into the mould
I covered safety, measurements and equipment used in soap making in this Beginner Soap Making post.
I will repeat this section of the information about safety:
Safety is critical when making soap:
- Protect feet, skin, eyes and benches/work surfaces
- Wear gloves, long sleeves, a mask and shoes and safety goggles
- Cover your work area with plastic sheet or newspaper
- No children or pets should be in the vicinity when using lye
- Mix lye outside if possible – if not possible, then it must be in a very well ventilated room
- Do not walk around with newly mixed lye, mix it in the location it will sit to cool
- Seek immediate medical advice if you get lye in or near your eyes. If you get lye on your skin it will burn. Rinse under water immediately and if relief is not gained seek medical attention
Do you make teacher gifts? If you do what are you making this year??
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