13 March 2017

You're A Gem.

So this month, we are focusing on trying new things. I'll be honest, I forgot about choosing something new I wanted to try... but that is why we have Pinterest in the world! I have so many pins that are crafts or activities that I just save so I can refer to them later, so in order to pick something new to try, all I had to do was scroll through a couple of my Pinterest boards and find a pin. My first choice: gemstone soap!  I always think this looks so pretty and it seemed easy enough so I thought, "Heck, I can do that!"  Well, here is my experience with making gemstone soap, along with my own tips of what to do and what not to do. 

Before we get started, here is a little reggae-style love song titled "Gem" by Irie Souls to get you in the mood. Gotta love it!  

Okay! First thing's first - your materials. Here is what you'll need to make your own gemstone soap:

  • Clear glycerin soap (I bought a 2 lb. block from Hobby Lobby, which is about $10 without a coupon)
  • Soap Scents - I chose lavender and grapefruit
  • Soap Dye  - I bought a three-pack from Hobby Lobby for about $4 with the colors wine, gold, and orange
  • A knife
  • Mircowave-safe bowls
  • Disposable stirring utensil (I used a wooden skewer)
  • A 16oz clear plastic disposable cup (I just got the cheapest brand at Walmart  - you don't need anything fancy)
  • A large bowl with ice 

Once you have all of your materials, start by cutting your glycerin soap. For one batch of soap, I used two columns, which is a total of 8 squares. Once I got my 8 squares, I cut each of those into 4 pieces, for a total of 32 small soap cubes. 

Once you have your soap cut, divide it between your microwave-safe bowls. Use one bowl for each color or shade you would like in your gemstone. For each of mine, I ended up doing 4 shades, so I had 8 of my small cubes in 4 different bowls.

              Before I jump ahead, let me clarify a few things. When I made my soap, 
           I used like a 20 second, no word Buzzfeed video, so some of the steps 
            were not as clear as they should have been. If you want your gemstone 
         soap to not be a solid color but to blend gradually from light to dark, 
                then you cannot dump all of your soap in at once. So, the following steps 
              are based on the desire to have your colors be blended rather than solid. 

Okay. Now that you have your diced soap divided between your bowls, then heat your first bowl of soap in the microwave in 30 second intervals. The max time I needed to melt the soap was 45 seconds.  Once your soap is melted, then do the following:

  • add a few drops of your soap scent
  • add your soap coloring, if desired (if you want the gradual light to dark look, then I would recommend not adding any color to your first layer)
  • pour your soap into your clear plastic cup

Now, these next steps get a little tricky with getting the timing right. You want your soap to sit in the cup for a few minutes before you pour your next layer in. By waiting a few minutes, the soap starts to stiffen, so when you pour your next layer in, then it won't just all blend together. The tricky part is knowing when to pour in the next layer. By my third batch, I felt a little more comfortable and waited about 5 minutes in between layers, sometimes closer to 7 minutes. This worked, but be warned! I waited just a little too long, causing my soap to be distinctly layered rather than blended. Not only were they layered, but because the previous layer had dried before I poured in the new layer, the layers did not stick together once I started cutting it into gemstones later. 

I would recommend waiting about 3-4 minutes before pouring in your next layer.

So, after a couple of minutes of waiting, start preparing your next layer. Melt the soap in 30 second intervals, add your scent, then add your dye. Here is how much dye I added in each of my layers:

     For my pink soap
  • Layer 1: no dye
  • Layer 2: one drop of wine color
  • Layer 3: two drops of wine color
  • Layer 4: four drops of wine color
     For my yellow soap
  • Layer 1: no dye
  • Layer 2: one drop of gold color
  • Layer 3: one drop of gold, one drop of orange
  • Layer 4: two- three drops of orange

This photo is of all the pink shades I had; however, I would not recommend making all four shades at the same time. If you pour them all in right after the other, then they will blend together and your soap will be a solid color. If you let them sit out while you wait for each layer to stiffen, then the other layers will also stiffen while they sit in the bowls. So, I would simply recommend preparing each layer as you are ready to add it to your cup.

This is my pink and yellow batches after pouring in the second layer. See how they are layered but still have a little blending? That is what I was going for! 

Continue this process of preparing your layer, adding it to your cup, and then letting it sit for a few minutes before adding the next layer until all of your layers are added.  Once you are done adding your layers, it is time for an ice bath! Add some water to your bowl of ice and then set your cups into the ice bath for 20 minutes. 

After the bath, remove your cups, wipe off the water, and work the soap out of the cup. You might be able to do so by loosening the suction between the cup and soap. I just used some scissors and cut my cup until I reached my soap, then I could tear off the cup from around the soap without actually cutting the soap with my scissors. 

Now you have some lovely soap blocks and it's time to start cutting them into gemstones! 

To start, I cut each soap block into quarters, so I ended up with four pieces of soap from each cup. Then, with each of those pieces, just start cutting off the edges at different angles. Be careful not to cut yourself!! 

I ended up with quite a bit of shavings at the end, but I didn't want them to be wasted. So I re-melted the shavings and then poured them into some silicone molds I had lying around the house. If you do the same, just pour the melted soap into your molds and put the molds in the fridge for a while - I ended up leaving them in for a couple of hours while I did other things. When the soap is solid, just pop it out of the mold - now none of the soap is wasted! 

Once your gemstones are shaped the way you'd like them to be, you are done! Just look at these beauties! They were so fun and easy (ish) to make, and you can make them too! Now it's your turn to scroll through those never-ending pins on your Pinterest boards and find something new that you want to try.  You don't have to be a professional, just have fun and go for it!  I already have my next new craft in mind, so come back next week to see what that will be! 

I wasn't sure what to do with all of this soap, so I decided to give some of it to my friends at church. I wrapped up some gemstones and attached a little note to each one that said "You're A Gem."  While it may have just been a silly play-on-words to go with the soap, just remember that it is actually true. Each of you are as beautiful, unique, and valuable as a gemstone. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, but also, don't be afraid to embrace your individuality.  Don't let anything or anyone stop you from doing what you want to do.  This life is meant to be enjoyed, and we are meant to have joy. Embrace who you are, love who you are, and do what makes you truly happy, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone every once in a while. Because...
You are a gem. 

xo, Kate

1 comment:

  1. These are so fun. Great tutorial sister. I am excited to give it a try myself! 💎


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