Cold Process soap making is a hobby that I’ve recently dived into during quarantine. I love using bar soap and have dreamt about retiring and making deliciously smelling soap in the South of France.
You’re probably wondering why? Well let me explain. Years ago when I was taking graduate classes in Spain we went on a weekend trip to Biarritz, France. It’s a cute little seaside village near the Basque region of Spain. I remember frolicking around the boutiques and stumbling upon a small soap shop. The smell was amazing upon entering and the owner seemed content organizing her copious amounts of soap.
My assumption was that she retired, started her business, and takes delight in selling to tourist or just sitting alone with cheese and wine people watching. Three years later I visited Biarritz again with a friend and found the same shop and woman, still content and unbothered.
Visiting Biarritz, France (again)
From that moment on I decided that will be me in my retirement or before, classy and UNBOTHERED. Bar soap is always one of the easiest souvenirs to bring back from my travels. Most of that time though, soaps were saved for my research lol. The art of soap making is something I’ve always wanted to learn and have no idea what took me so long!
This year in February, I turned my tiny dining area into an office and craft space. Then I searched online for soap making kits to help kick start my cold process soap making experience. You have no idea how much I LOVE DIY hobby kits! I bought one a few years ago to learn embroidery. You can see my designs in this video. DIY hobby kits are always thoughtfully put together and saves you multiple trips to the craft store.
The quote “when the student is ready the teacher appears” is really fitting for my experience.
Pretty sure I have searched for cold process soap making kits in that past but maybe they were not sufficient? I also searched amazon and wasn’t happy with what I saw at the time.
Finally, I found the kit from a company called Brambleberry. It had EVERYTHING I needed to get started AND to continue with my own recipes. The package was delivered in about two weeks. And I loved it. Here is the soap (my FIRST ever soap) in this video.
Two weeks later I ordered another kit from this company, which was also amazing. I haven’t had to buy any new equipment since purchasing the kit. All I buy now is oils, essential oils, and other additives like clays. Once my equipment gets rusty and overworked, then I will invest in new ones.
I am totally IN LOVE with this new hobby 🙂 It is not difficult and working with sodium hydroxide is not that scary. All the soap I make now is shared with my family and friends. My focus is to create soap for skin like mine that may suffer from rashes, inflammation, or dryness. The sister to the cold soap process is the hot soap process. I have not dabbled in that yet but it utilizes a crock pot or slow cooker!
Hobbies Relieve Stress!
Cold process soap making has been very relaxing during this stressful pandemic. Ironically is was the pandemic that pushed me to start experimenting with this craft NOW instead of waiting. It just goes to show that if there is something you want to do in life just find a way to do it because tomorrow isn’t promised at all.
Hobbies are a really great way to clear your mind from feeling hopeless.
Actually, for my birthday, my little brother got my a DIY box kit for making bath bombs which was amazing. I made a video about my birthday and showed the kit. But you can get if off Amazon below:
What I did on my Birthday!
I’m trying to get better about documenting my journey on my blog. I know my hiatus to travelingnatural.com has become far too common. Baby steps. I’ve been walking a lot around D.C. so will documenting all that I find interesting. With the pandemic tourism has been super low. But most of the outdoor monument are still open and visiting with with very little crowds has been great. I’ve been documenting it on YouTube. But of had neglected to share it the blog. Here is the first video.
Hopefully you enjoyed reading about my new passion for the cold process of soap making. And also learning what I’ve been up to the past weeks! More updates to come.
I really want to interview some Returned Peace Corps Volunteers that were affected by the pandemic. Stay tuned for that! If you are a RPCV reading this, that was sent home in March and wouldn’t mind being interviewed, please reach out. I know you all have great stories to share.
What hobbies have you started in 2020? Or during the quarantine? Please share below. I am always down to learn something new!
Until next time,