Five weeks today in fact! Please don’t hate me. I’m just passing on the news. 😉
Yes, that time of year is once again upon us. Shops are bedecked in tinsel, gift ideas are being thrown at us every which way and I am sure that ads on TV tell you just what to buy for the people in your life (I wouldn’t know about that last one – we don’t own a TV 🙂 ). But for those of us who are trying to protect the planet by avoiding mass consumerism, Christmas can be a balancing act.
I love to give homemade gifts so I’ve been busy with hook and yarn as well as brewing in the kitchen. This year, like last year, soap is the order of the day. 🙂
For those that haven’t made soap before, you are missing out! It’s easy, surprisingly quick to make and can be tailored to the recipient easily with both colour and fragrance choice. And there is just enough time to get it ready to use for Christmas as soap requires 4-6 weeks curing (the longer the better but it can be used at 4 weeks) before use. But if you haven’t made it before, where do you start?
Good friends of mine and indeed one of the 2 main inspirations for my hippy-i-sation, Gav and his lovely wife Kim, make soap, not only for themselves but to sell. They also sell soap making kits that are free from palm oil. Gav and Kim have been making soap for years but recently started an online business to go with their courses, teaching people the skills to add to a sustainable life. They teach soap making, candle making, cheese making and more, using the best ingredients they can source that protect our beautiful planet.
Check out Little Green Workshops. 😀
Now if you do fancy having a go at making soap for gifts, get in quick. I highly recommend purchasing a soap making kit which will have everything you need to get started making soap. There’s the option to start with a basic soap making kit that allows you to make 1 block of soap which is 10-12 bars or 10-12 gifts. But I know that once you’ve made 1 block you will want to make more so there is a 3kg basic soap making kit available too. For those who have made soap before there are the also the options to make soaps including botanicals (flower petals and the like). These kits include colour and fragrance. Check out the options here. 🙂
I learned to make soap from Gav a couple of years ago and I haven’t used commercially made soap since. I’ve played around and made my own tallow soap as well as following the recipe for Gav’s soap and I can say there is nothing that supermarket soap can offer that is better than homemade. I can choose the colour, the fragrance and even the size of the bar. 😀
For those who don’t want to make soap, Gav and Kim also sell individual bars of soap. With many colours and scents, botanicals or not, there is sure to be something that appeals. I’ve seen and smelled many of these soaps and I can highly recommend them. I’ve used them too and I love the creamy lather they make. 🙂 Check them out here and here. The pictures are just a few of their stunning creations. Little Green Workshops also offer gift wrapping using locally produced, recycled wrapping paper. Does it get any better?! 😀
Now I wasn’t asked to write this and nor have I been offered anything to do so, although I have told my friends this post is in the making. Kim and Gav make sure their products and packaging have as small an environmental impact as possible and I stand behind learning new skills that promote and increase self-sufficiency. With kits to learn how to make for yourself, you just can’t go wrong!
If you want to make soap for Christmas, get your orders in now. Even if your soap hasn’t cured as long as it needs to, just let the recipients know to put it aside until the 4-6 week period has passed. If you want to buy ready-made soap or a soap kit to gift, order now before Christmas is really upon us.
I have also made a Lemon Zest soap. I’ve got Shave and a Haircut and Orange Blossom to make as yet, plus fragrances from last year including the divine Egyptian Amber. I’ve nearly used my entire soap supply from last year. Now, if you will excuse me, I’m off to make a bar or 2 of soap. 🙂