Posts Tagged ‘crafts as a hobby’

Soap Oil Properties

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Properties of Oils In Cold Process Soap

Many of Natures Garden’s customers make homemade cold process soap, and we are the wholesale supplier of fragrance oil for many of these soap companies.  Although we do not yet sell the soap oils mentioned in this article, we asked Kimberly Sanchez of Natures Art if she could explain the properties of soap oils to customers who desire to expand their line into cold process soap.  Some of these soap oils can be found at your local grocery store.  We hope that this information is as enlightening to you as it was to us.

This is not a complete list, Just the most commonly used oils

Apricot Kernel Oil: Apricot kernel oil is a light oil. It absorbs nicely into the skin and is a good luxury conditioning oil in soap – at about 5% -10%.

 

Almond Oil, Sweet:  A moisturizing oil that is very light and absorbs well. In soap it produces a low, stable lather, but is recommended to not use it more than about 5% – 10% in soap – as it’s not a hard oil.

 

Avocado Oil: Avocado oil is a heavy, green, rich, moisturizing oil that has a high percentage of unsaponifiables. It’s often used in soap recipes for people with sensitive skin. It’s high in vitamins A, D & E. You can use it in your recipes from 5% – 30%.

 

Babassu Oil:  Babassu oil comes from the kernels of the babassu palm. Its fatty acid makeup is very similar to palm kernel and to coconut oil. It’s high in lauric and myristic acid, which contribute to a nice, fluffy lather.

 

Canola Oil: Canola, a kind of rapeseed, is a good economical oil for soap making – you can substitute a portion of your olive for canola, or use it as part of your batch at 10-15%. It gives a nice, low, creamy lather and is moisturizing. It will slow down the rate at which your soap will get to trace, so it’s a good oil to add if you’re doing complicated swirls or colors.

 

Castor Oil:  Castor oil is a thick, clear oil that helps increase the lather in soap – a rich, creamy lather. It’s also a humectant (attracts moisture to your skin) oil. Just a little will do…5% – 8% in your recipe will work great.

 

Cocoa Butter: As it is very hard saturated fat, use with other more unsaturated oils like olive or castor. Use in conjunction with more sticky ingredients such as shea butter or lanolin. Using too much cocoa butter will result in a dry, exceptionally hard bar of soap.

 

Coconut Oil:  Coconut oil is one of the primary oils soapmakers use in their soap. Most of the coconut oil sold and used has a melt point of 76°, but there is a hydrogenated type that melts at 92°. Some soapmakers prefer this one because it’s easier to scoop – but either version works the same to give tremendous, bubbly lather to your soap. It also makes for a very hard, white bar of soap. The collective opinion is that using more than 20% coconut oil in your recipe will be drying to the skin.

 

Corn Oil: It acts like most of the other vegetable liquid oils like soybean or canola. It can be used as part of your recipe (10-15%) and will help give a moisturizing, stable lather.

 

Grape seed Oil: Grape seed oil is a lightweight, moisturizing oil that is a good additive to soap in small quantities. It doesn’t have a long shelf life, so unless you treat it with rosemary oleoresin extract, or have a very low superfat percentage, don’t use it more than about 5% in your recipe.

 

Hazelnut Oil: Hazelnut oil has a short shelf life (3-4 months). If you want to add it to soap, I wouldn’t recommend using more than about 5-10% in your recipe because of the short shelf life. A  lovely oil, but very fragile.

 

Hemp Seed Oil: Hemp seed oil is a deep, green color with a light, nutty smell. It gives a light, creamy/silky lather. Because of its fatty acid makeup, it has a very short shelf life…less than six months…so it should be refrigerated or even kept in the freezer. It can be used as a luxury healing/moisturizing oil in soap up to 10%-15%.

 

Jojoba Oil: Jojoba is actually a liquid wax. It contributes a nice stable lather, has remarkable absorption and moisturizing qualities and unlike some of the other luxury moisturizing oils, has a very long shelf life – 1-2 years. Use it at 5-10% maximum.

 

Lard: Lard makes a super-hard, very white bar of soap with a low, creamy, stable lather that is, believe it or not, nicely moisturizing. Before vegetable oils were commonly available, it was one of the main fats (along with beef tallow) that folks used to make soap. If you use animal oils in your soap, then combining lard with some of the other liquid oils like coconut and olive makes a wonderful, well balanced bar of soap – and is really economical. Make sure your lard is fresh and of high quality. Use it at any
percentage in your recipe, but I recommend not much more than 30-40% or so. Cold process laundry soap can be made with 100% lard with a 0% superfat percentage.

 

 

Olive Oil: Extra virgin and virgin olive oils come from the very first gentle pressing of the olives. The refined, or Grade A oil comes from the second pressing, and is lightly refined/filtered.  100% olive oil makes the famous “Castille soap” and “Marseille soap” must contain at least 72% olive oil. Olive oil is generally the #1 oil in most soap makers’ recipes. Olive oil soaps are very moisturizing, make hard, white bars of soap and are exceptionally mild. But the lather from Castille soap is low and a bit slimy. Most soap makers combine olive oil with other oils to improve the lather. Pomace grade olive oil is a thick, rich, green grade of olive oil that is obtained by solvent extraction of the fruit and pits of the olives – what’s left over after the first several pressings that give the
virgin and Grade A oils. It has a very high level of unsaponifiables (the portions of the oil that don’t react with the lye to form soap.) This will make your trace time quicker.

 

Macadamia Nut Oil: Macadamia nut oil is a light oil with a mild nutty odor. It is unique in its fatty acid makeup in that it contains palmitoleic acid – which makes it really easily absorbed into the skin – and is reported to be really great for older skin.

 

 

Palm Oil: Palm oil, along with olive and coconut, is one of the top oils used by soap makers today. Because of the qualities it gives soap – a hard bar with a rich creamy lather.

 

Palm Kernel Oil: Though it comes from the same plant/nut as palm oil does, palm kernel oil is almost identical in its soap making properties to coconut oil – giving a nice hard white bar of soap…with lots of luscious lather. Palm kernel oil is often available partially hydrogenated, in easy to handle/measure flakes…or just as a standard liquid oil. You can use it up to about 30% or 35% in your recipes. However, like palm oil, palm kernel oil is surrounded by the same environmental and human concerns.

 

Rice Bran Oil: Expressed from the husks of rice, most soap makers found that rice bran oil imparted nearly the same creamy, moisturizing qualities that olive oil did to their soaps. It does have a lot of the same antioxidants and vitamins that olive has, and a similar fatty acid make up. The only disadvantage of rice bran oil is its short shelf life – (6 months or so.)

 

Safflower Oil: Its fairly short shelf life. You can certainly use it in your recipes like you would soybean, canola or sunflower – at 5-15% or so. In soap, it is mild and moisturizing.

 

Shea Butter: Moisturizing and nourishing. Fairly inexpensive and easy to find. Shea butter for soap making will add a wonderful creamy lather, great conditioning properties and some hardness to your soap.

 

Soybean Oil: Soybean oil, like canola, safflower and sunflower, is often used as a portion of a soap making recipe in combination with other “core” oils like coconut, olive and palm. Use it 5-15% of your soap recipe. It is mild, moisturizing and gives a low, creamy lather.

 

Shortening: Soybean oil, in its hydrogenated form is generally called vegetable shortening & sold under generic names, or the brand Crisco. Shortening is usually a blend of soybean & cottonseed oil, and makes nice soap. Like all soap making oils, except olive, it’s not a great oil to use alone, but combining it with olive & coconut makes a good, stable, bubbly, moisturizing bar of soap. I recommend not using over 15% as it can go rancid in higher amounts.

 

Sunflower Oil: It works well with palm and olive oils to give a nice, rich, creamy lather that’s very moisturizing. Depending on the type you get, it may have a short shelf life due to its fatty acid makeup. In soap, it does well up to about 25% .

 

Tallow, Beef: Like lard, beef tallow gives you a super-hard, white bar of soap with low, creamy, stable lather that is very moisturizing. Before vegetable oils were commonly available, it was one of the main fats that folks used to make soap – and remains one of the most common oils in soap. (Check your label for sodium tallowate. That’s beef tallow.) If you are o.k. using animal oils in your soap, then combining beef tallow with some of the other liquid oils like coconut & olive makes a wonderful, well balanced bar of soap. While you can use it at any percentage in your recipe, I wouldn’t recommend much more than 40% before it starts creating a brittle bar of soap.

 

Written by:
Kimberly Sanchez of Natures Art.

www.naturesgardencandles.com

 

Scented Play Dough

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Fragrances like Natures Garden’s Reindeer Poo make really amazing scented childrens play dough!

This weekend was a chilly one.  Snow fell in many areas, and although ours did not stick, we did not go unnoticed.  With the weather not really cooperating, my girls and I were trapped in the house all weekend long.  Not fun!

Needless to say, we were already feeling the walls closing in.  We needed something entertaining to do.  Off to google I went to see if there were any projects we could do to pass the time away.

My girls are huge fans of creative things.  They love to color, draw, build castles with their building blocks, and play with craft dough.  So, at least I knew if I could find something that was hands on, we were in there.  I knew that my mom had made craft dough with the girls before and they had a blast.  I only needed to find a recipe.

After quite a few links, I stumbled upon a great recipe of unscented play dough.  Could this play dough be scented?  Yes it can!

This craft dough is pretty basic and can be colored and scented to extend the wow factor.   My girls selected all the fun Christmas scents, and I double checked to make sure that all of the fragrances were body safe.  I also let them choose the colors for the craft dough.

Here are the supplies that are needed:

8 cups flour- I used the All-purpose kind

8 cups warm water

4 cup salt- the regular table kind

1 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup Cream of Tartar

Latex gloves

5 Glass plates

5 gallon sized Ziploc bags

5 Pipettes

Natures Garden Soap Dyes:  Red,
Blue, Yellow, Green

Natures Garden Cotton Headed Ninny Muggin Fragrance oil

Natures Garden Jack Frost Fragrance oil

Natures Garden Snowman Balls Fragrance oil

Natures Garden Mrs. Claus Cookies Fragrance oil

Natures Garden Reindeer Poo Fragrance oil

 

This recipe is for a really large batch, but I wanted to make sure that both girls had a nice amount of craft dough to play with.

 

First: In a large saucepan, mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, and vegetable oil together.  Stir.  Place the saucepan on the stovetop and cook over low heat.  Stir occasionally.  You are looking for when the craft dough starts to look like mashed potatoes.  The key to when it is finished is when the dough clumps together and you can pull it from the sides of the saucepan.  You do not want the dough to be sticky though.  Keep the low heat on until the dough appears dry.  You are seeking the same texture as store
bought craft dough.

 

Second:  Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.  You want the craft dough to cool naturally.  It is done when you can touch the dough and it is cool.  While the dough is cooling, wipe down your counter space with warm soapy water.  You want to do this now so that the area is dry for the next step.

 

Third:  Carefully, dump all of the craft dough onto your work space.  Start to knead.  You will knead until the craft dough is smooth.  It will almost have a silky feel to it.

 

Four:  Divide it up.  Since we are making 5 different scents and colors, you will want to separate the dough as evenly as possible
into 5 large balls.  Please note, one of the balls will be uncolored, this will be your cream color.

 

Five:  Once you have all of the balls, using your index finger poke a hole into it.  You are going to use this hole for your soap dye coloring.  One color designated per ball.  I would suggest doing this step one ball at a time.

 

Six:  Put on your latex gloves.  Take one glass plate and place a ball on it.  Carefully, start to knead the ball on the plate.  Keep
kneading until the color is consistent throughout the entire dough portion.  If you need to go bolder on the color, just recreate the ball and hole and start over again.  The tip here is do not be afraid to knead your heart out in this step.  Repeat this step for each color until you have all colors completed.

 

Seven: Once you are happy with your new bright and beautiful dough colors, stick each one individually in a gallon Ziploc bag.  It
is time to get your scent on in the next step.

 

Pause- Here is our scent to color break down we used:

RED- Cotton Headed Ninny Muggin Fragrance oil

BLUE- Jack Frost Fragrance oil

CREAM (uncolored)- Snowman Balls Fragrance oil

GREEN- Mrs. Claus Cookies Fragrance oil

YELLOW-Reindeer Poo Fragrance oil

 

Eight: Using one pipette per dough bag, drip 2ml of the fragrance into the Ziploc bag and sealshut.  Knead again, but do it in the
Ziploc bag until all of the fragrance is absorbed.  Repeat for the remaining 4 dough bags.

 

Nine: Get crafty and have some fun!  When you are finished, store left over craft dough in Ziploc bags.

 

This was really a ton of fun to do.  My girls had a blast making it and playing with it. This is something that is fun, easy, and way cheaper than the store bought.

 

Caution:  Because the craft dough is scented with fragrance oil, make sure that any surface that is used with making or playing
with it is safe for fragrance.  Fragrance can ruin wood stained areas.  Scented play dough contains fragrance;  do not allow children to eat the play dough!

 

Fragrance & Fun For Everyone!

Nicole (Manager at Natures Garden)
www.naturesgardencandles.com

Enjoying Crafts as a New Hobby

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

aromatherapy energy

Crafts as a Hobby

This morning I made a promise to myself.  I guess you can say it is a September Resolution.  I know… I know… resolutions are typically made in January to bring in the New Year, but I can’t put this off for four more months, so I guess I am bringing in a New September.

My resolution-to ensure that I spend time every day for me working on things that I am passionate about because with passion comes happiness.

Right now, since we are heading into the cooler and colder temperatures my outside activities are quickly dwindling down and turning into indoor crafts.  Plus, with the holidays approaching, it is never too early to start creating my handmade gifts for loved ones.

Just like the age old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, “Crafting each day keeps mom happy Yay!”  I suggest you give it a try.  I have a feeling that you are totally going to love it!  It is even quite possible that you will become a craddict- this is a person who eats, breaths, and sleeps their craft of choice.  And, yes I made that word up, but that is because I go through my craddict phrases all the time.   There is nothing like making something from scratch, working each step meticulously, resulting in perfection.  It is a lovely bliss.

Creating stunning products from raw materials is very invigorating.  When combined with the passion, all of the hard work is actually really rewarding.  Plus, if you haven’t noticed yet, I love doing it so it is time well spent.

Crafting allows for you spend the amount of time you want to on it.  There are some beautiful products that take seconds to create like smelly jellies, and on the other end of the spectrum, some more time consuming projects like the famous triple layered candle (these are totally worth the work!)  Even if you only allotted yourself 20 minutes today for your me time, that is more than enough to totally whip out a few batches of Vanilla Lavender melt and pour soap embeds.  Then, you get to treat yourself to a super relaxing bath as a bonus.

Get excited for me time… if you are looking to start creating some new crafts, or maybe you just don’t know where to start at all,
check out the free recipes from Natures Garden.  All of the recipes have easy to follow step by step instructions, and they include a
picture of the finished product.

Or, if you are totally a newbie… then welcome… my suggestion is to purchase one of Natures Garden’s kits and find your crafting passion.

There is such an array of different projects that you can do, not finding one is impossible.  There is something out there for everyone, every age, every culture.

The possibilities are limitless…

free recipes

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone

Inspire, Create, and Dominate!

Sparkles!!!  Nicole

(Corporate Manager of

Natures Garden Candle Supplies)

www.naturesgardencandles.com