DIY fruity Strawberry lip balm

A all natural tinted yummy lip balm.

I know Ive previously done two other lip balms but this weekend I had lip balm on my mind. I wanted something different and yummy, something that will leave you wanting to lick your lips whilst nourishing them at the same time. Ive come up with a fruity strawberry lip balm using freeze dried strawberries (NEVER use fresh/frozen). After seeing the sites of Amsterdam, I came home and made these at 11pm, thats just how Rock ‘N Roll I am!

The hardest part of this easy to follow tutorial is cleaning out the coffee grinder to remove all the pink dust! (you’ve been warned)  You can use any freeze dried fruit for this recipe if you’re feeling adventurous, I bought it at my local grocery story but you can can buy it online or at local health-food store.

DIY Strawberry Lip Balm

Makes: 7 lip balms Making time: 30 mins  Dry time: 24 hours minimum Overall time: 25 hours

  • 1 tablespoon (14g) grated beeswax or beeswax pellets – I used yellow beeswax because its what I had
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) shea butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet almond oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon castor oil
  • 5g Mango butter (I used a small piece from the pot)
  • 1 tsp ground freeze dried strawberries
  • 5 drops Vanilla essential oil (optional and honestly I cant tell that it makes any difference at all)

Now to make these nourishing balms

1.  Over  a ban marie or double boiler (or cheat like I do and use a milk jug in a pan with water) add the beeswax, shea butter, almond oil, castor oil and mango butter in a small heat proof bowl. Bring the water to the boil and then allow to simmer, until the mixture is just melted. You can stir the mixture but you dont need to stir it constantly.

2. Whilst your oils and butter are melting together, get your lip balm containers ready. I find it easy to put five (5) together and wrap a rubber band (loom bands work perfectly) around them, this stops them falling over when filling them. I also like to put them in a small plastic container, so that if there is any spillage, its contained. I find it easier to use my Pyrex jug making lip balm, as the spout on the jug allows for easy pouring.

3. Grind down your strawberries. (Remember you cannot use fresh/frozen strawberries, they must be freeze dried) I used a coffee grinder but a pestle and mortar also works. My coffee grinder is specifically for my hobbies but cleaning it after the strawberries was quite the mess – be sure to scrape it all out! As you can see, the strawberries didn’t entirely grind down, so you will need a small sieve for the next step.

4. Once the lip balm mixture has fully melted, turn off heat and take container out of the pan. Put your small sieve over the container and pour in the ground strawberries and sieve them, discarding any left over chunks you may have. Give it stir. Allow your mixture to slightly cool, now add in the vanilla essential oil if using.  If it you let it sit, you will notice it starts to seperate, STIR IT.

5. Pour the mixture into the lip balm tubes and allow to cool completely. Between Do NOT pour all of the mixture into the tubes (leave 1-2 teaspoons spare). As your mixture cools, A (small) depression will form in the center, use the spare balm that you didn’t use to fill this in, leaving a even finish. Simply reheat the leftover balm and top up the tubes. Allow your lip balms to set over night.

Technically now you are done with your lip balm, HORRAY.  Like last time, I decided to take it a step further and created the labels for the tubes. I have glossy adhesive sheets, which were perfect for this! Be sure to clean the outside of your tubes before applying the labels! You will have drips and this will affect the adhesion!


These are my finished all natural tinted yummy strawberry lip balm.

Remember to share with friends! 🙂

DIY Dump soap

I’ve never really understood the fascination with YouTube, apart from Simons Cat and the occasional make up video (yes in my 30s I still have no real idea about make-up and get hints and tips from teens, OH the shame), I’ve never spent hours just watching random videos. I’d rather spend the hours on Pinterest, however, in my search for soap inspiration, Id thought Id give YouTube a go and WOW, just WOW. I quickly realised that anything really over eight minutes is well beyond my attention span and that honestly after the five minute mark I’m starting to lose interest and looking for glitter and shiny things to keep me interested. I came across a video that made a unique fun soap, allowed me to use the existing soap I already had and made me think it was easy – I should have learnt my life lesson by now, if it looks easy, it really isn’t! However, after a few days and LOTS of melt and pour base, Im pretty pleased with the results! What I love about the soap is that I was able to use off cuts of colours that I already had, so really I was just ‘dumping’ what I had to create a new soap, happy soap recycling! 🙂

Its that time of year where I need to stock up for the holidays, dear friends and family, please look surprised when you get these!

DIY Dump Soap

  • 2Lbs (1 Kg) white melt and pour soap base
  • Mica to match the colours you want to achieve, you really want a minimum of 3 but up to 5 colours
  • Essential Oils/Fragrance oils for your desired scent, I used cherry, vanilla and peppermint for this to keep in line with my Christmas theme
  • 4 tablespoons Castor oil (optional)

This soap isnt straight forward and requires quite a lot of prep.

I screen shot a picture of the soap that I was using for inspiration and then tried to mimic the needed shapes from there.  What you need to create in your prep stage is:

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 17.44.30

You need ‘shreds’ which are the feathery looking shapes to the right of the soap. I used unscented pieces of left over soap from my shape/embed cut outs and just cut them to quite smallish sizes. You need curls, I created these using mica powder and scents (vanilla&cherry-red and peppermint-green). Pour a thin and thicker layers into your pans, allow to set, remove and then roll into curls, as per the second picture where there is a red curls. I also created little hearts which are quite wide, as I was bored and looking for other shapes to, I wanted something different than the curls. Honestly you can use any shapes but you need them to be lengthy so that when you cut the bars you see the shapes.

Whilst you’re creating your curls, create your first layer of the bar. I used red and scented it cherry and vanilla, I added in a small bit of castor oil for a better bubble on the soap. You do not want this layer to be very thick but maybe 3cms/1in.  Allow it to set whilst you’re creating your other bits which will all stack on top of the base layer.

Once you’ve created all your curls, shreds, and hearts, now onto creating the bar! Super important note, cover EVERYTHING in alcohol as you go, every time to you go to touch something to add to the soap, spray it with alcohol! It makes such a massive difference and ensures good adhesion between the layers and pieces.

Taking your base layer, on one side, DUMP in the shreds to one side, remember to spray them all with alcohol as you go. On the opposite side to it, place some of your curls, ensuring that the majority of the length of the mould is filled.  Put in you curls in different directions so that the ‘seems’ are in different directions to each other. Remember to cover everything liberally in alcohol!

Now you are going to want to melt the rest of your white base, for me my mould was massive and it took about 3lbs/1.5 Kgs to fill!!!! I scented this with peppermint and added in 2 tablespoons of castor oil. You want the base to cool down once its melted, so that it doesn’t melt the items you’re pour it onto. Unfortunately I let mine cool just a bit too much it it was ok. I filled it roughly 2/3 full at this point, so that I could add in the last of my embeds/cut outs.

You can see the white base was setting with the pour but this was ok as I knew I was adding more over it after I out in the next layer of embeds/shapes. BE SURE to give your mould a gentle shake so that the soap gets in all the little holes and crevices and there are no air bubbles. I now added in all my little hearts I wanted to ensure there were enough so that no matter what I cut the bars there would be heart shapes, so dump them in! Once you’ve set all your embeds/shapes cover it with the last of your white soap base, remember to spray everything with alcohol, even the finished layer of white base.  Allow to set for 24 hours. This was the most difficult part for me, as I REALLY wanted to know how it had come out. However, I also realised that I needed a knife to cut the soap, so I needed to go shopping before I could. Fast forward 24 hours with a new knife in hand!

This is how the outside looked, It was obvious that I had a new air bubbled which bummed me out but I thought I needed to cut it first to see if it would just crumble into a mess or hold up. I measured it out to 1 inch bars, to be honest, they probably could have been slimmer given they are really quite wide. I used a bread load pan rather than a actual soap loaf pan, which would have given a better finish and everything would have been more compact but given I was just using what I had, Im pleased.


Im really quite pleased with the outcome, yeah I have more white space than the original but for me, it works. It smells great and its held together, so win win. I think its a good outcome for a soap where you basically just dump stuff in!

I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful and enjoy your adventures in soap making!

Remember to share with friends! 🙂

Making Layered Soap

Im still quite the soap novice and Pinterest seems to feed my curiosity like catnip to a one of my cats! I think the nice thing with soap is that you can literally be as imaginative as you want to be, you can go simplistic or over the top and you get great soaps either way.

Last year I made some really cute layered Christmas soaps, they were just too cute. Unfortunately, I didn’t think fo taking pictures of creating a tutorial.  Over the weekend I hopped back on the soap bus and decided to play around and see what I got.  Im pretty pleased with the results and am looking forward to making more!

These soaps are time consuming and require a large number of steps but are worth it.  These soaps are great for yourself but also make fantastic gifts!

Making Melt and Pour Layered Soaps

I know I normally put the how much, how long, how many section here BUT this isnt quite that straight forward 🙂

What you’ll need to make these super cute soaps

  • 1/2 Kg  minimum of White & Clear soap melt and pour soap based (you could technically just use clear but I dont advise it and see you’ll see why)
  • Mica Mineral Powders – several colors
  • Fondant Sugarcraft Icing Plunger Cutters in different shapes and sizes
  • Cutting/chopping board
  • Square or Silicone Cake Mold
  • essential oils
  • Oil, I used castor

These soaps take a lot of prep! I did it a few nights in advance 15-20 mins at a time or basically until I got bored.

The first step is to create your colors. I took a 2LB/1 KG block and cut it into 7 sections. I then cut up and microwaved each of the sections (remember to cover with cling film) and then added in the mica powder to get my desired color, you honestly dont need much, maybe 1 gram or so. You can also add in essential oils if you want your colors to smell (nice) but because they make LOADS of cut outs that you can use across loads of soaps, use a oil that will not effect other scents. Below are 6 colors that I made and how I create them.  Once you’ve made your color, pour it into a silicone pan (this makes it easier to get out!) As you can see here, one part was thicker and the other part was SUPER thin and unusable, so I just melted it back down and repoured. You want it to be more thin than thick, if that makes sense but not so thin that you cant work with it. Allow to harden for a minimum of a hour. 20171020_113323

Now take your plungers/cutters and start cutting our your shapes. As you can see, I get a lot of shapes out! I also NEVER throw away the excess, I put it in a plastic baggie for later and then melt it back down and make more.

I know the picture below is awful, I didnt think to take pictures of what I was doing, augh! I wanted to make cute flowers. I used 4 different sizes of flower cut outs across the different colours. Once these were all cut out, I got a VERY small amount of CLEAR base and melted it in a tiny jar for about 10 seconds (be careful here and watch it, I did manage to actually burn the soap!) until it was melted. I then worked quickly with a toothpick and stuck a small amount of the clear soap base between my layers of flowers. I found it looked best with 3 layers of flower.


So now the prep work is done, HORRAY!

Take your clear base (I used 1lb/.5 Kg) and melt it down (remember to use cling film if using the microwave!). As its a large amount put it in for 90 secs first and then 30 sec bursts after that until its completely melted. Add in your essenital oils now (10 drops of each) and castor oil, I used roughly a tablespoon worth, I went for Lavender and Lemon to go with my flower theme and my final layer. Be careful of using a color that will mature over time, like vanilla or orange, they go darker over time. Pour into your mold roughly 3/4 to the top. Spray with alcohol, honestly this was my first time using alcohol but I am BEYOND sold now that Ive done it. It clears away the bubbles AND the will help your layers adhere. As you can see this filled 5 of my molds. I then started to toy with patterns and how I wanted it to look in the soap.  The reason you dont pour in the clear base and then shove in your cut pieces of soap is the base is hot from being melted and will actually melt your cut outs (Im speaking from experience here!). So leave it a few mins. Get out your toothpick, which is my trusty soap making tool and touch the top occasionally to see if a film has started to form. Its roughly at this point that you want to start putting in your cut out pieces. REMEMBER you want to put them in upside down.

You do have to be quick at this stage as your soap is not starting to form a film and harden, if you wait too long, you will be able to see the film in and around the cut outs that you put in. Sometimes you can hide this with the final layer but not always. Once you’ve put your cut outs in, give it another quick mist of alcohol, for good luck. Allow to sit and harden for at least another hour if not two. Remember that you’re putting on another layer of HOT soap base and it will melt the soap youre pouring it onto slightly, so the longer you leave it, the better.

How for your WHITE melt and pour base. Why am I using white? Because it highlights the bits you’ve just done. I melted the white base as I did the clear base, added in lemon and lavender essential oils (15 of lavender and 10 of lemon), castor oil, I used roughly a tablespoon worth and then added in some dried lavender and dried lemon zest for added effect. Sometimes people need a visual to remind them of what they are getting. The first pouring always get the most goodies (right middle corner). Remember to mist with alcohol! 20171021_172046

Looking at them from the side you can see LAYERS, hooray, its a success!!! You can also see the dried lavender and lemon through the top layer. You can also see if you’ve done things wonky (a bit late now) or your mistakes.  Allow your soaps to dry over night and give them AT LEAST 24 hours before you use them.  You can unmould them after a few hours. When making blocks of soap like this where you want the different elements to be clear and visible I find the clear hard plastic moulds work best. I found that silicone moulds can make the clear base cloudy and the results just simply aren’t as good.20171021_172114

The finished products! I have to say that I was pleased with some of the results, I had one where I thought, ‘Ill use that one for myself rather than gift it’ but overall I think they are cute and smell great.

Notes: Going forward I might/might not put castor oil in the clear soap base. The reason I use castor oil is it gives a better bubble/lather on the soap when used. However, it did make the clear slightly cloudy, clearly so not cloudy that you cant see through the soap (not going to lie, I did initially panic when I added it!) but its kinds of annoyed me. Now Im on the fence as to if Id do it again or not…

Also with Melt and Pour you never want the base to be rapidly boiling away, so the idea is when melting it in the microwave to do short sharp bursts of heat, then stir to melt the larger pieces. If you allow it to boil rapidly until its fully melted, it can lead to the soap sweating after its been moulded. Sweaty soap is just not nice!

Handcrafted soaps always last longer when they are kept dry when not in use.

Please let me know if you have any questions or queries if if I can offer any further advice on making these cute soaps. I will also be making Christmas soaps soon (it is THAT time of year) and will be doing a similar tutorial on making them.

I package my soap in cellophane and attach a small label that explains what the soap is, it adds that something special.  These are great for yourself or as gifts for friends.

Remember to share with friends! 🙂

DIY Exfoliating Coffee Sugar Soap

I truly love the smell of coffee, there are very few things that even compare to the smell of freshly brewed coffee.  Having said that, I am a weirdo (well, duh!) and only drink my coffee cold, occasionally lukewarm but NEVER hot, EUGH! Now lets mix two things that I love, showers and coffee, giddy up!

Im currently on a soap making kick, I had forgotten how nice (and fragrant) is it to make soaps. Great for a gift to others or yourself (win!). I also cheat and use melt and pour bases, why? If it weren’t for bad luck, Id honestly have no luck and there is something about using Lye to make soap that just gives me visions of horror. Its also impossible to get clear lye based soap for obvious reasons (ingredients used) and I like the effect you can get with a clear base, based on what you’re doing.

What makes this soap so good? It exfoliants whilst smelling awesome and doing great things for your skin = win win!

Coffee: Coffee grounds are soft, allowing them to naturally exfoliate dead skin, leaving skin silky smooth without irritation. Coffee is a diuretic, creams it can temporarily minimize the visibility of cellulite by drawing fluid away from fat cells. Coffee’s acidity helps to boost the skin’s protective barrier too, which keeps your skin healthier and happier.

Sugar: Its fine texture gently exfoliates the skin without leaving harmful residue that can clog the pores. It has moisturizing properties that prevents the skin from drying. It is safe to use even on children’s sensitive skin and to soothe chapped lips.  Sugar is tough on cleansing the skin while retaining its natural moisture.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon helps remove dead skin cells and helps restore shine and suppleness to the skin. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties, helping enhance the complexion. Cinnamon improves blood flow and brings the oxygen and blood to the outer surface of the skin. (which backs up my claim that ‘Life is better with cinnamon’!)

Sweet orange essential oil: Sweet orange essential oil is full of antioxidants and has known benefits that spam a wide spectrum, including but not limited to increasing circulation, decreasing wrinkles, improving complexion, and decreasing hypertension.

Castor oil: Castor oil has many amazing benefits but must be used sparingly when making soap, as it can turn it sticky quickly. Castor oil heals skin inflammation that can be caused by sunburns, acne, and dry skin. It can also treat acne, fade blemishes and scars, and can provide relief from the joint and tissue pain.

Word to the wise: This soap is a messy soap, which forms part of the exfoliating experience. Exfoliating is a fun messy experience, sugar scrubs get everywhere, this is no different. Those who use this soap will notice a dirty shower/bath afterwards of coffee grounds, THIS IS A GOOD THING, it makes its has worked! Just make sure you wash down your shower/bath after you get out. AND avoid getting your bar wet between uses, this extends its longevity.

DIY Exfoliating Coffee Sugar Soap

Makes: 10 smallish soaps  Making time: 15 minutes  Dry time: 24 hours minimum Overall time: 25 hours

  • 1lb/.5 Kg of Melt and pour base
  • 1/2C (100g) sugar
  • 1/2C (100g) coffee grounds (Ive found that flavoured worked great!)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon essential sweet orange oil
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin e oil
  • 1 teaspoons castor oil (or any other oil, oilve, almond, coconut etc)
  • 1 teaspoon essential vanilla oil (optional but smells great!)


Now to make this amazing smelling GOOD FOR YOU exfoliating soap.

1. Have your moulds ready! This soap sets quickly and you dont want to have it mixed and ready to go and then be faffing with getting yours moulds.

2. Cut your base into chunks and then melt it. I microwave mine at 30 sec intervals, when I start out. If using a large amount,  I start at 90 secs and then go with 30 secs after that. If you are microwaving your base, ALWAYS cover your own with cling film. You can also use a double boiler/ban marie method to melt your base.


3. Once your base is fully melted, now the fun starts, making all the smells and having a fantastic sensory sensation! Add in your coffee, sugar, oils, and cinnamon. I always throw in a little extra coffee for good luck. Stir and mix to fully combine, giving a thick even mixture.

4. Now to pour into your moulds. You can spray with alcohol at this stage if you have a lot of bubbles, which this recipe, Ive never really had this problem but wild if you like.

5. Leave to set for a minimum of 24 hours.  You can take them out of the moulds after a few hours but its never advised to use the soaps before 24 hours have passed.  20171021_184828

A very cute finished produce that smells amazing and does great things for your skin.

I package my soap in cellophane and attach a small label that explains what the soap it, it adds that something special.  These are great for yourself or as gifts for friends and family or heck, turn your hobby into cash and sell them (for a good cause).

Remember to share with friends! 🙂



DIY Lavender and Rosemary soap

DIY Lavender and Rosemary soap steps

What I enjoy most about making soap, apart from the cheating element (using a soap base),  and the great gift factor, is the aromas that filter through the kitchen and the house!

I decided that my life isn’t hectic enough recently and that making soap was something that I absolutely needed to do, forgetting that I still haven’t gifted/given away all the soaps I made in the run up to Christmas.

Ive been harvesting lavender for ages, if I see a bush I give it a good whack and then dry it out for a few days and then its ready for crafting.  Lavender is also getting very trendy at the moment and can be used in various things, even baking, thinking lavender shortbread cookies!

I took inspiration from Sisoo HOW TO: MAKE LAVENDER HONEY LEMON SOAP in making this soap.

Soap making requirements:

  • 1/2 Kilo of Stephenson’s Soap Melt and Pour Soap Base Shea Butter 1kg (you can use any soap base for this but a white base gives the best aesthetic)
  • 2-3 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • 2-3 tablespoons dried lavender
  • coffee grinder (optional but gives a finer texture)
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil or any fine oil will work (optional)
  • Plastic jug (to melt your soap in)
  • Wood spoon (to mix your soap)
  • Moulds (any shape will work)

Instructions for making awesome soap:

I decided I wanted delicate yet chunky soap, it seemed like a clever idea at the time! So I got my coffee grinder out and managed to successfully melt/destroy it on the first grind.  18 hours later and a new coffee grinder was delivered thanks to Prime! (Oh Prime, how I am going to miss you!)  I ground up most of the rosemary, some bits refused to grind (top bag you see).  I decided I wanted the color and the aroma of the rosemary, so I ground half of the lavender (the bottom bag).  Lavender and rosemary

Now to melt the soap, chop it up soap into smallish bits, the small the better, as it melts quicker.  Put it a microwaveable safe bowl and cover with clingfilm (this is VERY important). Officially you are meant to melt it in 30 second intervals or you can be lazy like me and whack it in for 1-2 mins at a time depending on how much soap you are melting at time (I tend to make large amounts of soap).  Stephenson's Soap Melt and Pour Soap Base

Now to bring your soap together, once the base has completed melted, chuck in the lavender and rosemary, olive oil, and essential oils.  Mixed until just combined, trying not to over mix, as this adds in air bubbles.  20170627_175310

Pour the soap into your moulds.  I use two different types of moulds. I prefer the clear plastic one, as it actually gives a better and more shiny appearance to the  finished soaps. Now for the most difficult part, waiting 24 hours for your soap to set. It is a minimum suggestion of 24 hours for your soap to set before you use it.

Making soap

The finished product, wrapped in cellophane.  I also made coffee sugar scrub soaps at the same time, hence the dark soaps.  The lavender and rosemary initially looked very light/white in color but they longer they set for, the darker they became. Think of it as maturing if you will. Please note that most of the lavender and rosemary does settle on the bottom of the soap or top where you are pouring.  homemade coffee and lavender and rosemary soap

I then made small labels to go on each soap! This small detail makes a large amount of difference.

Here are some awesome tips and hints for awesome soap making, enjoy and good luck!

Remember to share with friends and enjoy!