In my head, this was going to be really fabulous....
If I were a different sort of person, I'd make the adjustments I'm going to say I'm going to make next time I try this project (which could be next week...or never) before I posted about it. I'm not that 'kind of person,' so I'm just going to post what really happened, which is less than I wanted, but still acceptable in my imperfect, perfectly fine world.
I like to wallow in my imperfection, it just leaves so much room to live real life! It also leaves room and time for more crafting.
BUT for the sake of my sanity, I would appreciate if you would grab onto my vision, and imagine this a little better.
To begin with, several years ago my friend Nicole posted a blog entry about how she had tried out a project her husband told her his Grandmother (?) used to do. I can't find the post anymore b/c I'm not smart enough to navigate Nicole's website. I try Nicole, I really try! It was cute. It stuck with me. I knew I'd try it someday.
Basically, for quite awhile she collected the pieces of soap left over towards the end of each bar. When she got enough of them, she melted them down, and poured them into muffin tins to make 'new soap' bars. I think it's a fun idea for a family who uses the same soap, and therefor is fine...well, using the same soap again.
I don't have left over bars of soap b/c I don't really believe in soap...kidding....it's mostly b/c my dog (Max) eats soap....really, and at some point in the life of every bar of soap, he eats it. He prefers soap to dog biscuits. His breath always smells fresh. I chased him around the house this evening as he ate the paper the soaps (below) came out of that I had tossed in the garbage. Anyway, the other day I was cleaning out my closets, and I found a box filled with (never used) hotel soaps. I need to say three things.
#1 Has anyone else noticed that a lot of hotels are going to just leaving soap in the rooms? No more little shampoos and sewing kits?
#2 I also have to say (before you look below), I travel a lot, and usually leave these goodies behind b/c...I travel a lot and it could get ridiculous. After this project, it may be about to 'get ridiculous' in my world of soap collection....
#3 I don't really have anything to say for #3, I just wanted to leave my options open, and I was hoping *you'd* keep reading to see what #3 was...even though I just showed you my soap collection and maybe sent a shiver down your spine....
Anyway, I guess I could have just dropped these soaps into a basket for guest to use because who wants to use the same soap 342 other people have used sitting on my soap dish? BUT I decided to try out Nicole's idea with a mini muffin tin. I like mini. This will provide me with some guest soaps to be easily used and tossed. I think guest (assuming I ever have any) will appreciate they haven't been used before, though I love the idea for 'family soaps' with the recycled soap. And by melting, and reforming it goes a little better in the theme that WOULD be my guest bath if I ever got my act together than the hodge podge I had before this project. :O)
I chopped the soaps into small pieces to help with the melting.
I did a little research, and found some recycled soap ideas, so I took their advice and I poured water over the soap until it covered the soap and let is soak for awhile (I'd let it soak overnight next time to soften the soap up a little more).
I then heated the pan on medium heat, and stirred...and stirred....and I might have even pulled out a potato masher b/c it did NOT want to blend. It took awhile. I acquired a little more patience in the process, just a little b/c I did pull out that potato masher after it didn't meet my allotted time projection.
I read about people who made soap and added oils, scents etc. I've made soap before and done this, but I was feeling particularly lazy, and most of these soaps had scents 'built in' already. The excess water evaporated over time, and I added more (not too much, or it won't harden). I soon realized that my blend of cream, and white soaps wasn't merging well. In my mind the soaps were going to blend and become....ummm....pure white? It was just a weird mixed color, so I added some blue food coloring (my guest bathroom is blue and white). Next time, I'd make sure I only used white soaps, or beige soaps. I would have liked the outcome better with white mini soaps. The blue is where this went south. I then filled each (greased) mini muffin tin.
I stuck them in the freezer, and then pulled out the pan after 30 minutes. After running warm water across the back of the pan, and banging the pan to see if they would fall out like ice cubes, and then bending my pan :O( in the attempt....I finally ran a butter knife along the edge. They slid right out. I was able to smooth down some of the 'weird' knife marks when necessary.
My plan was to do some fun things with the apothecary jar as well, but I was a little disappointed in the blue soaps...so it may have to wait until I get over my vision-gone-wrong. I still like the IDEA of repurposing all those hotel soaps, and was excited when I thought of it. I can now say I won't be leaving any soaps behind on trips with the anticipation of trying this out again someday. I will also add that this is definitely the CLEANEST my hands have been during, and after a project, which is a plus consider the amount of glue, glitter, and paint I usually wear after crafting!