Soap can be crafted using just what's inside your pantry. Look for natural ingredients like citrus peels, berries, and herbs, then add them to the glycerin base using an easy melt-and-pour technique.

Updated May 24, 2021
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Read step by step instructions after the video.

Learn how to make soap bars with this fun DIY project. We used a plain, unscented glycerin soap base for these projects (available at most crafts stores). Soap bases with natural additions—such as aloe vera, goat's milk, or olive oil—are great, too. For containers, look for items such as milk cartons, drink boxes, juice-concentrate cans, or yogurt cups.

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What you need

Materials
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How to do it

Part 1

Step 1

Wash and dry all fruits and herbs; use whole berries, herb leaves, or citrus rinds with pith removed. Purée separately in a food processor. To make the herb purées, you may need to add one to two tablespoons water; place pureed herbs on a coffee filter, and wring out excess liquid before mixing into soap. Set purées aside.

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Step 2

To determine how much glycerin soap base you need, fill the mold with water, then pour the water into a measuring cup or bowl. Note the amount, pour out the water, then dry the mold completely. Evenly coat the interior of mold with cooking spray or petroleum jelly; wipe out excess.

Step 3

Use the dough scraper to chop the soap base into 1/2-inch pieces. Microwave the soap in a glass measuring cup or bowl covered with a paper towel on medium in 30-second intervals until it's melted but not boiling. (A double boiler can be used instead.) Add more soap pieces as needed, and continue melting. Remove from microwave, and stir until smooth.

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Step 4

Start with 1 teaspoon purée per cup of soap. Add more as desired. The color will intensify as the purées steep in the warm soap; stir frequently to keep the soap from setting. Heavy additives may settle at the bottom, while light ones float to the top. For consistent distribution, let the soap cool (but not solidify); then stir in the purée, and pour into the mold.

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Step 5

Fill small containers 3/4-inch full with soap; for cartons, fill partially to form one bar at the bottom, or completely to make a block for slicing into bars. Spray the surface with alcohol to eliminate bubbles. Let soaps set, 20 to 60 minutes, depending on size. Transfer molds to freezer for about two hours (this will help the soaps release from the molds).

Step 6

Tear away cartons to unmold bars. For hard containers, pry soap away from the sides, and press the bottom of the container to release. Neaten soap edges with a paring knife. Slice large bars into smaller ones. Use soaps within three to four months.

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