Soap! In the crockpot! woo-hoo!
The kids and I made soap yesterday with some glycerin soap-making stuff I bought at Michael's. I didn't have anything on hand, so ended up buying a 4-in-1 mold, fragrance, color, and the glycerin cubes.
I spent $25.21, and we ended up with 12 bars of soap. I have enough of the color and scent to last for quite a while, and the mold will supposedly last forever. Each new set of glycerin cubes costs $9.99.
We really enjoyed making this soap. The kids had fun picking out the colors, and are excited to use their creations. I pushed a holiday-themed foam sticker (minus the backing) into the soap while it was setting for some extra oomph.
--glycerin blocks (I used Life of the Party brand)
--fragrance (I did try peppermint extract and almond extract also, and so far they have a scent)
--soap mold (I think silicone cupcake holders will work well, too)
--oven-safe dish(es) to put in the crockpot (ramekins)
--a few wooden skewers for stirring
Do not put the soap mold into your crockpot and add the glycerin cubes, and turn it on. The mold will melt. And you will be annoyed when your husband says something along the lines of "I thought that might happen."
What you should do instead is put an oven-safe dish (or 2) into your crockpot and add the blocks. You're going to have to use a big knife to separate the blocks.
Cover and cook on high for about an hour, or until the glycerin is all liquidy.
Using oven mitts (trust me), carefully pour the liquid glycerin into each mold. Add fragrance and color. A bit of fragrance goes a long way, but you do need quite a few drops of color. Stir with a skewer.
After the top of the soap starts to set, you can insert the foamie or other object into the soap. The foamie floats, so I held it in place with the skewer a minute or so until the soap set around it.
Let the soap cure for about an hour before removing from the form. If you wait until it's fully cool, it pops out of the mold MUCH easier than if you try to rush it (trust me again on this one).
Repeat steps until you run out of glycerin.
I had more fun making these than I thought I would, and now that I know the steps, I'm excited to try again. I'd like to pick up some silicone molds after the holidays when they are deeply discounted and try to make larger soaps in fun shapes.
The kids are quite impressed by me. It only took 336 days.
updated 12/06: Glycerin soap sweats. It surprised me, but evidently this is normal. Wrap your homemade soap in cellophane bags for gift-giving, not tissue paper. :-)