Making your own soap is a fun and easy activity you can do with your grandkids.


When kids can use homemade soap they made themselves, washing becomes fun, even cool. With Christmas coming, homemade soap is a fun craft kids can make as presents to give away.

soaps 1 soaps 2

soaps 3

soaps 4

soaps 6

Using the melt-and-pour method with glycerin, colorant, and additives, the recipe combinations for homemade soap are limitless.


Glycerin: Glycerin is the base of melt-and-pour soap. There are many choices of bases, depending on your recipe.

There are clear and opaque bases. A base with a suspension formula will distribute your ingredients throughout the bar and keep them from sinking to the bottom.

Glycerin made with cucumbers will tighten skin. You can buy glycerin bases with other skin conditioners, such as goat milk, olive oil, aloe vera, or shea butter.

Colorants: If you buy the small colorant bottles, these are located next to the selection of glycerin bricks in craft stores. These are safe for skin. You can also use crayon shavings.

Scents: These are also sold in small bottles next to the glycerin. You can also use essential oils, or fragrance oils, as long as they are skin-safe. If you want white or clear soap, you may want to test a drop or two in a small batch to make sure the oil does not discolor the batch.

Additives: Additives are ingredients that add exfoliation to the soap. Too many to list, the most popular additives are lavender flowers, dried and chopped orange peels, oatmeal, used coffee grounds, used tea leaves, and body glitter.

Use about 1 tablespoon of additive per batch. Use suspension-formula glycerin for best results.



  • Cookie sheet with deep sides
  • Waxed paper
  • Knife
  • Spoon
  • Bowl (large, microwave-safe, ceramic or glass)
  • Cookie cutters
  • Paper lunch bags or cardboard box


Here is the easiest, most fun melt-and-pour soap recipe:

  1. Line small cookie sheet or other suitable container with waxed paper.
  2. (Adult or older grandchild) Cut glycerin into small pieces using the knife.
  3. Put the glycerin chunks in the bowl. If you are using crayon shavings as colorant, add these during this step.
  4. (Adult) Microwave the glycerin. Take it out every 30 seconds to stir. Stir slowly to avoid making bubbles.
  5. When there are no lumps, add color drops one by one, until desired color is achieved. Stir after each drop. (Do not add too many, or the lather will have color.)
  6. Stir in additives.
  7. Add scent drops, one by one, until you get the desired result.
  8. Pour the mixture slowly onto cookie sheet or into container. Pop any bubbles.
  9. Let cool for 30 minutes.
  10. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.
  11. Lay flat to dry.
  12. Store each bar separately in a paper bag, waxed paper wrapping, or cardboard box. (Plastic wrap may make the soap sweat condensation droplets.)
  13. Store in a cool, dry place.


Some crowd-pleasing soap recipes:

  • Any opaque base, vanilla scent, body glitter. Use Christmas cookie-cutter shapes to make “Christmas cookies.”
  • Goat milk base with oatmeal—wonderful for allergy-prone, sensitive skin.
  • Cucumber base, green colorant, cucumber melon scent.
  • Any base, pink colorant, rose scent. Use heart-shaped cookie cutter. Perfect for Valentine’s Day or wedding favors.
  • Clear suspension-formula base, citrus scent, orange peel additive. Cut into circles to make “oranges.”
  • Clear suspension-formula base, lavender scent, lavender flowers.
  • Any base, tea leaves or coffee grounds. Be sure to brew and dry before adding or they will “brew” in your batch.

Wrap soaps in crinkled paper or fabric. Tie with raffia ribbon. Decorate with dried flowers and embellishments.

Try this: Create small, opaque soap shapes. Position them into a silicone muffin tin. Pour clear base around them.

Or try this: Add a layer of soap to the first layer. Spray with rubbing alcohol between layers.

Gina Napoli, owner and proprietor of Soap-O-Therapy, has been making homemade soap for 18 years and counting.

Have questions?

We are just a click away!