Monday, November 24, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree!

I love Christmas. I love making things that smell like Christmas. I love decorating the tree and the house, I love the faces of the small children and the way they light up when seeing Santa at the mall or the way they squeal in delight upon opening that coveted gift! Christmas cookies and candies and spending time with those you love! It's just purely magical! 

This month, I will be making a soap that is perfect for the Christmas Holiday. Put a bar in the bathrooms and another at the kitchen sink and let all of your holiday guests enjoy the scents of the holidays too! This mold could be used year round for a manly soap or one scented in pine! This project was tons of fun and could be made by the kids this holiday too using Melt and Pour in place of the Cold Process Recipe I used today!

Supplies Needed:
Fir Tree Tray Mold
A Northwoods Christmas
Olive Oil
Palm Oil or Lard (From a local grocer)
Coconut Oil

Sodium Hydroxide
OR if you want to do melt and pour versus cold process soap use
Mango Butter Melt and Pour Soap Base

First, mix your soap oils and get your lye solution ready. I found this mold took about  30 total ounces between the soap oils and lye mix. 

My recipe was as follows:
10 oz. Pomace Oilve Oil
5 oz. Coconut OIl
5 oz. Palm Oil or Lard
For the lye solution I used 3.05 oz lye and 5 oz water

Mix lye solution per standard safe practices.
When the lye solution and the oils reach about 100* combine them. DO NOT use a stick blender. Just use a small whisk.

Blend a small amount of the soap and color it green, enough to do the trees. 

Then add a bit of the brown and do the trunk portion
it will now look like this when you turn it over
Once you are to this point split the remaining raw soap and color a few oz a bright, red and do an in the pot swirl and pour into the molds.
Your finished soap slab will look like this: 

This is a truly fun project! Make them yourself for resale or to have in your own home this holiday or use melt and pour and make it a fun for the whole family project!

Happy Soaping!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Christmas Tree Ornies!

It's nearly Christmas once again! This year, make something fun out of your Aroma Beads, make Christmas Tree Ornies! They are absolutely adorable, easy to make and best of all fun!

What you will need:
Liquid Candle Dye 
Fragrance Oils
Aroma Beads
Cookie Cutters
Optional Mica, Glitter and Puff Paint tubes.
Cello Bags

First, make your Aroma Beads following these instructions:  
  1.  Scoop out the desired amount of beads and weigh them on a digital scale.
  2. Once you know the weight of your beads, you can weigh your fragrance oil.The beads will hold up to 30%. I personally find 25% works well with most scents and absorbs fairly readily. For every ounce of beads, using 25% you will add 1/4 oz. fragrance by weight. So for example if you are using 1 weight oz of beads, you will use .25 weight oz of fragrance oil.
  3. If you wish to color your Aroma Beads, you will need to add 1 or 2 drops of liquid candle dye to your fragrance oil and swirl it around until it's mixed well. *Note: Food coloring or B&B dye will not work!
  4. Then add the beads to your colored fragrance oil.
  5. Stir the beads around with a stir stick until the liquid is dispersed evenly.
  6. Then put the lid tightly on the jar and shake! It can take anywhere from 1 day to over a week for the beads to completely absorb all of the oil, it will vary with different fragrances. So keep shaking the jar every few hours! At first it will seem soupy and look as if it will not soak up the oil... but be patient! The oil will eventually soak in! Some fragrances may take longer than others... for example, the Red Hot Cinnamon took 1 day to soak in, but the Vanilla took 2 days, and some take over a week. If you run into a fragrance oil that is not soaking in after a week, try adding more beads and shake very well. Once the beads have absorbed all of the oil they will feel dry to the touch and will not seep or bleed!
  7. Once the oil is absorbed, you are done! Try making a second color & scent, and layering them! You can also add a bit of our White Mica Powder to the clear beads too for a shimmery, pearly effect! 
Next, make the Aroma Ornies from the finished Aroma Beads with these instructions:

  1. First make your scented & colored Aroma Beads as directed. Choose metal cookie cutters in the shapes & sizes you want for your ornaments. Lay them on a metal non-stick cookie sheet. Fill each shape with the beads, completely covering the bottom with a layer about 1/4" deep. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 - 10 minutes or until you can see that the beads have melted together. Baking times will vary with different ovens.
    Watch them carefully!
    *Note: They will not be smooth like glass, they will be bumpy.
    *If you want a hole in the top for hanging, stand a flat head nail on it's head where you want the hole to be.
  2. Remove from oven with pot holders, and set on stove top to cool. A small amount of smoking is normal when they first come out. Allow tray to cool completely before touching! Next, carefully remove the cookie cutters.
    *I prefer to cool mine in the freezer for a few minutes, which helps them release from the cookie cutters easier.
  3. Once you remove the cutters, your ornament will be stuck to the pan, but it will peel off the non-stick metal fairly easily. Don't be alarmed if it feels stuck. They may feel like they won't budge at first, but once you start to pull it up it will peel off.
    *Note: I peeled this one off after setting the tray outside in the snow to cool, so the cold may help release them easier! Try putting the tray in your freezer!
  4. Peel the shapes off the sheet, and they are done! You can use a sharp tipped object like a nail to make a small hole near the top, and string some thin cord through to hang it with. Or try using a paper hole punch for thicker ribbon!

Now that you've done this, you have the most amazing Air Fresheners/Car Fresheners/Tree Ornaments! I choose themed fragrances for mine. You can add some glitter or mica or puff paint to them for more interest. This is a cute and fun project even the kids can participate in. This is an exceptionally fun idea for a Sunday School class!

Happy Crafting!