Wednesday, January 21, 2009

snow globe soaps

snowflake snow globe soap!

i saw these adorable little snow globe soaps at secret agent josephine, where she blogged about how to make them on a family-friendly site called alpha+mom. i loved them right away, but had no idea when i'd make them or for whom. so i put them in my mental want-to-make folder and hoped i would remember them for next year before the holidays, maybe as gifts or favors. maybe for a winter shower. hahaha. get it?

well, along came tsquared, short a few classes at this mini workshop thing hosted at the university we work at. when he asked me what i could teach, i couldn't think of anything on the spot. i know that seems a little ridiculous, because while i don't have that many talents and interests, there had to be something i could teach. i mean, i do make stuff. so i pondered things i had made or done and things i knew. and then it came to me: i should totally teach those snow globe things!

note: i have never made soap. my only experience with soap + crafts comes from about 2nd grade when i carved into a bar of ivory a fresh water fish i called "LMNOP" el-oh-minnow...with a p at the end. yeah.


so i told tsquared i'd teach the soaps and another little craft (i'll show you soon!) and we decided to call the class "easy craft gifts". having not made them before, i figured i would do test run to be sure i could in fact teach other people to make them.

you can find the original instructions at the link above or you can use mine, which are basically exactly like hers, only written in my numbered manner.

snow globe soaps
ice cube tray(s)

heat-safe measuring cup
clear glcerin soap
soap scent (your choice!)
blue soap dye
soap glitter
white soap shavings (bar of ivory, grated is good)

small ornaments or toys

1. cut glycerin into cubes (i did about 8 cubes at a time in class)
2. add cubes to measuring cup and microwave for 40 seconds
3. stir and continue to microwave in 10 second intervals until melted to liquid
4. stir
in a few drops of soap dye and scent - start light and add more if needed
5. sprinkle in a bit of soap glitter and stir
6. fill ice cube tray 3/4 full of blue liquid glycerin
7. wait about 1 minute to allow glycerin to set slightly, then insert small object into each cube
(remember that the bottom of the ice cube tray is the top of the snow globe)
8. sprinkle white shavings on top of each cube - this makes the "snow"
9. melt a few more cubes of glycerin and pour over snow shavings to seal - fill to the top
10. place tray in freezer for 20 minutes
11. when set, remove from freezer and pop out as you would ice...tada!

you can clean them up a bit by snipping the ornament string (if it has one) and using a paring knife to cut away stray soap bits. in the photo above, i did neither which left a far more organic snow's really up to you.

i bought clear cello bags and ribbon for the class and put my little cube in one as a sample.

this was such a cute, fun project and with a bit more practice and patience (say, not making the test run at 11 pm) i think these would be great gifts. i ran into some trouble finding small objects because i missed the holiday sale racks, so i found random sea creatures and toys at a papermart. i bet you could find tons of things online and if planned ahead more than 2 days, this wouldn't be a problem.

and since i taught these at a class..let me give a brief run down of how that went. 5 students were signed up. at about 1 minute until the class was to begin, no one was there but three of my coworkers (tsqaured included). then, a guy walked in looking lost, so i asked him, "are you here for the easy craft gifts class?". "um," he said. ::eye shift:: "yeah, [insert annoyed, resigned tone] i got put into this class." ::stares at floor:: [insert awkward pause] i hda no idea what to say, so i suggested he come on in and see if he liked it enough to stay. off to a great start!

so the four of us (coworkers and me) and the one who didn't want to be there set out on making our soaps. i handled the heating and my group stirred, poured, and adorned. in addition to making snow globes, i bought heart shaped ice cube molds and pink dye and people made some valentine's day themed soaps as well. another student joined us halfway through and a third joined us near the i guess it was still a success. though we had so many sea turtle, squid and heart soaps in the end that the few students couldn't even take them all. anyone need a spare snow globe soap?


Thomas said...

I think honestly the sea creatures were totally part of the fun. I mean, who didn't want the dead sea turtle floating upside down because that one awkward kid, who ended up getting into it and being nice for those who weren't there and read the comments, was slow to realize that down meant up in snow globe-making land? I love that land!