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Fish-in-a-Bag Soap

This easy-to-make soap is a wonderful Handmade Holiday gift.




  • Clear plastic bag: 4 inches wide by 8 inches tall, and at least 1.5 millimeters thick
  • Clear glycerin soap
  • Heat-resistant measuring cup
  • Double-boiler or microwave
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Small spray bottle
  • Plastic fish
  • Clothespin
  • Ribbon
  • Gift tag


  1. Step 1

    Open the plastic bag and cuff the top enough so that the bag will stand on its own.

  2. Step 2

    Place 4 ounces of solid clear glycerin soap in a heat-resistant measuring cup, and melt in a double-boiler or microwave.

  3. Step 3

    Pour half the melted soap into the bag. Spray with alcohol until bubbles disappear. Allow to cool and harden for about 1 hour.

  4. Step 4

    Re-melt remaining soap. Pour a small amount of melted soap on top of cooled soap in bag. Spray with alcohol. Position fish in melted soap, and let set 15 minutes to lock into place.

  5. Step 5

    Pour the remaining soap over fish. Spray with alcohol. Gather bag above soap and pinch with clothespin. Allow soap to cool for 15 minutes.

  6. Step 6

    Remove clothespin, and tie with a ribbon threaded with a gift tag.

The Martha Stewart Show, December 2008



Reviews (14)

  • samantha527 2 Dec, 2013

    i have decided to make these for christmas party favors this year, but instead of a fish put in a carrot and black beads and a mini pipe/top hat and it will be a melted snowman soap....if they turn out nice i will make for teacher gifts with a handtowel

  • soappurr 15 May, 2013

    I love this recipe. I duplicated it using a kit from for my son’s birthday favor. The kids loved it and I loved the free shipping. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea!

  • Martha Honig 17 May, 2012

    I got my fish in a bag soap at the Oriental Soap Co as well and it was such a hit at my house I think I'm going to try to make it for gifts and things this summer. I wonder if they have antibacterial soap in the clear that I could use that.
    Great idea again Martha!

  • TatooedCraftGirl 24 Aug, 2010 has the fish too :) in many fun colors!

  • kareng27 20 Jan, 2010

    I found the fish at oriental trading co. and you get a lot.

  • kittiselly28 15 Dec, 2009

    I bought my soap and plastic fish at Michaels

  • barkingdog 15 Nov, 2009

    The shipping charges at are pretty outrageous for the few materials needed for this project. Does anyone know if the materials can be purchased elsewhere?

  • karlakrafts 9 Jan, 2009

    I finally finished my soaps and got them delivered to the neighbors' kids before the Epiphany. I attached a tag which explained the holiday on one side and how the fish had been trapped in the waters of the Soapy River on the other. I'll post photos if I can figure out how.

  • karlakrafts 4 Jan, 2009

    Use the ultraclear soap melt if you can find it. My fish came out murky. I used the regular clear soap I had on hand. I found the toy fish on eBay.

  • StaciaDawn 31 Dec, 2008

    hey TalknRobin online you can find the goldfish through www.Orient catalog they sale things like treasure chest prizes and novelties.

  • TalknRobin 24 Dec, 2008

    I LOVE this gift idea! Ventured out to buy the items needed for this craft but COULD NOT find any goldfish or the 1.5 mm thick bags. Can anyone help me?

  • Lann53 17 Dec, 2008

    My favorite author, Carol Shields has a collection of short stories in
    THE ORANGE FISH so I was glad to be in studio audience
    the day Jeff Goldblum talked about his new movie while
    Martha showed him how to craft lovely gifts.

  • jes2 12 Dec, 2008

    My great neice will be here for a few days, what a wonderful craft for us to do, cutiest soap I've seen! She can easily take these home for her friends!

  • karlakrafts 11 Dec, 2008

    I make glycerin soap and this is the cutest idea I've seen in a while! All I need is the fish. Guess what the neighborhood children are getting for Christmas!