Do you have a friend that likes to garden? If so consider making that person a delightful gift basket filled with homemade vegetable soaps and inexpensive gardening items.
What follows are instructions for making and personalizing three different vegetable soaps. The vegetable soaps are made from actual carrots, lettuce and cucumbers.
They smell wonderful, lather up nicely and make a distinctive gift that your gardener friends will absolutely adore!
To make the three different vegetable soaps you will need to assemble the following items;
- Spray vegetable oil
- 8 leaves of dark green lettuce
- 1 lg, cucumber
- 1 medium carrot
- 6 tsp. powdered benzoin
- Assorted Soap coloring
- Glycerin soap, clear and unscented
- Microwave safe glass measuring up
- Soap mold
- Chopping block and sharp knife
- Wooden toothpicks
- Paper cut outs of lettuce, carrots and cucumbers
- Paraffin Wax
- 1 inch black foam brush
- Inexpensive gardening tools
- Wire Basket
- Green or floral tea towel
- Vegetable seed packets
Note: Most of the items can be readily found either online or at a big craft store such as Michael’s or AC Moore.
For the uninitiated, powdered benzoin is actually a resin used in soap making. The resin acts as a fixative and a preservative, which essentially means that it keeps the soap smelling good and prevents it from going rancid.
Whichever mold you use, you must be sure to spray it with the vegetable oil to keep the finished product from sticking to the bottom and sides of the mold.
Vegetable Soap Making Directions
No matter which of the three gardener’s gift soaps you are making, the directions will be very similar.
- Using the knife and chopping block cut the glycerin into manageable chunks and set them aside.
- Take the lettuce, carrot or cucumber and cut them up. Be sure to de-seed the cucumber.
- Separate the vegetable slices and set them aside.
- Place one of the vegetable into a blender. You will need to do one vegetable at a time and rinse out the blender between uses.
- If you are using the carrot or lettuce add a small amount of water to the blender as well. If you are using the cucumber do not add water just yet.
- Liquefy the chosen vegetable.
- In the case of the carrot and the lettuce the next step after liquefaction is to strain the liquid through a tea strainer or sieve.
- Once it is strained, set the pulp aside and weight the vegetable juice. When you are done straining out the pulp you should have 9 ounces of vegetable juice.
- If you do not have 9 ounces of vegetable juice add more water to the juice mixture to bring it up to the proper amount.
- In the case of the cucumber there is no straining required. You may however have to add more water to the cucumber juice to make it equal 9 ounces.
- Add to each 9 ounce vegetable juice mixture 2 teaspoons of powdered benzoin and stir until well combined.
- Set the vegetable juice and benzoin mixtures aside and begin to continue work on the glycerin.
- Place the glycerin chunks into the microwavable cup and microwave on high until the chunks melt.
- Quickly add the vegetable and benzoin juice mixture into the melted glycerin. Stir until well combined.
- Spray the mold with vegetable oil and then pour the soap and vegetable mixture into it.
- Place the finished vegetable soaps into the refrigerator and allow them to harden.
- Once the soaps have hardened, remove them from the molds. Now is the time to begin placing decorative decals onto the soaps.
Soap Decorating Directions
- Cut the paraffin wax into chucks and place them into the microwave safe measuring cup. Melt the wax in the microwave.
- Take the foam brush and brush a light layer of melted paraffin onto the surface of the soap as well as the back of your chosen paper cut out.
- Affix the paper cut out to the soap and once you have it positioned onto the soap the way you want it cover the top of the paper cut out with more paraffin wax to seal it in. Later, as the soap gets used, the paper will eventually dissolve away.
- Allow the wax to cool before attempting to package the soap. Next, wrap each soap in clear saran wrap and set them aside.
Take the tea towel and use it to line the inside of the wire basket. Add the vegetable soaps, gardening tools and vegetable seed packets to the wire basket.
Wrap the entire basket with colored cellophane and decorate with a ribbon and homemade gift card.