Check your calendars. Upcoming holidays, birthdays, weddings, and showers are filling dates every month of the year. Gifts will be given and received. If you are like me, you might be looking for something that is a bit more creative than a card, flowers, or candy. I particularly love the idea of giving handmade soap gift baskets. These baskets can be very fun as well as very professional.
AT THE OFFICE
There was a time in my life that I worked in a professional environment. Not like now, where I sit at my home computer in a corner of my kitchen and write my blog! In this professional environment, there was always some kind of event that required a little more than just the traditional greeting card. Birthdays, retirements, promotions, customer Thank Yous… well you get the picture.
I worked in the Human Resources Department and so this task of finding the perfect gift fell onto my desk. I never complained. I love shopping! However, finding the right gift for each particular event did take some planning. That is when I turned to handmade soaps. Seems everyone loves the look, smell, and luxury of getting very special soap in their gift basket.
The great thing about giving soap as a gift in the office is that there are so many options to select from. I love smelling all the different scents. These fragrant delights range from flora to musky ceder. There is something to find for every personality and believe me, there are many different personalities in an office environment.
THE BRIDE AND GROOM
When I received an invitation for a wedding, I realized they would be getting gifts to start their new home and their new life. Of course, they registered at the nicest stores for their tableware, bedding, etc. I however, began thinking of other niceties that they might enjoy. Yes, you know I did it. I gave a beautiful basket of handmade soap along with the other dressings such as soap dish and towels. It made up a wonderful basket and they loved it. At least, they said they did!
Since I knew this young couple, I also knew that she had some allergies to fragrance, so I was able to select lightly scented and unscented soaps. One of my favorites is made with Olive Oil. It is called Castile Soap. So very mild and lathers nicely while leaving your skin feeling soft and clean.
For the Groom, I made sure he had a nice selection of deodorant/antibacterial soap with activated charcoal in it. Great for the guys. It is black and looks very masculine! He also got some really nice soap for his working man hands. No bride looks forward to rough, calloused hands.
When it was time for their wedding shower and the actual wedding, I helped the Bride make fun favors for the guests. The handmade soap hearts were definitely a positive for this activity. Everyone invited walked away with a soap delight.
Twelve months and ever so many holidays! What do you give your childs teacher for Christmas? The mailman and UPS guys love to be remembered during the Christmas Holidays. Something as simple as a gift wrapped box filled with a bar of soap that is crafted by an artist at your local Farmers Market is a surprise they won’t be expecting.
Easter is a great time to switch out eggs and candy for holiday soaps. I have a mold that I used to make the cutest little bunny faces and baby chicks.
The nice thing about being a soap maker is that I can custom make the soaps for the people. Keeping in mind if there are allergies or other sensitivities, I can adjust the recipe to fit the need. If you are not a soap maker, there are many natural and gentle handmade soaps to choose from.
I have a friend who suffers from eczema. My first concern in gift giving is how can I help this friend. And so I have found a wonderful, handmade bar that is made with goats milk. Very soothing to the skin and can be found without scent.
JUST FOR KIDS
I’ve just discovered all these wonderful cute molds that allow me to make up different kinds of animals and cars. You will truly enjoy watching their faces when they open their gift basket to find all the colors and shapes. Makes bath time a much more appealing event in every household with children.
If you enjoy making your own gifts, these soap molds are easy to work with. Of course, you may choose to work with a cold process when making your soaps, but for those who have kids, time and simplicity is a big factor. I recommend that you use the melt and pour products that you can buy in most craft stores or order online from places like Amazon.
Since so many kids are still adjusting to growing up, I recommend that you go with a goats milk glycerin melt and pour base. It is very easy to use. Just cut the glycerin base into small chunks, place in a microwave safe container for 10 seconds at a time. You will use a spatula to stir the glycerin base every 10 seconds till it is ready to pour into the molds. Then let the soap set up.
One tip I would give you, make sure you place the mold on a cookie sheet before filling with soap. These molds are made of silicone and once the soap base is poured into them they are difficult to move about. The cookie sheet will provide stability and you won’t spill. I even put my soaps into the fridge to speed the set up process.
When the soaps have set up and cooled down, they are ready to pop out of the molds and fill your gift basket.
Soap making to me is a very relaxing activity. I enjoy the entire process. I started years ago making soap from scratch much like many of us did when making a cake. Gather, measure, weigh, mix, and viola, you have created something new and wonderful with your own hands. Making soap is not much different from cooking in the kitchen. So, when it comes to giving gifts, handmade soap gift baskets are a cinch.
Give it a try and tell me about your results. I’d love to hear how you choose your soaps and other related products to fill your gift baskets. Please tell me your stories in the comment section below. I will read everyone of them and I will be excited to visit with you about your experiences with soap.
Happy In Bubbles