Monday, April 26, 2010

Hotel Soap Remix


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!
UndertheTableandDreaming


Linking To:
The Girl CreativeNight Owl Crafting”>>The Trendy Treehouse
UndertheTableandDreaming

21 comments:

Laurie said...

I think they're very pretty in the apothecary jar and I am suitably impressed - great job!

maggieann04 said...

Now all you have to do is allow people in your house so they can see and use the new soaps :)

TOSHeidi said...

I absolutely love reading your posts - they always make me smile! I think the soaps look great!

Jenni R. said...

I appreciate your honesty and love what you've done! They look amazing in the glass jar! I clicked over right away since I have that hotel stash too!

Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

I think they're cute! But if you're really disappointed, you should join us at http://craftfail.com and post about them!

Mary Beth @ Live. Laugh. Make Something said...

Well... aren't you the clever one?! I love keeping my hotel soaps and this is just the perfect little project to do with them! Thank you so very much for your sweet comment at my place! until later...

Eos Mom said...

I think they turned out great, I love the blue tint and they look great in the jar. Nice job!

Msheepers said...

You're funny! It looks like they came out well.

I've actually been using a soap muffin-only full-sized muffin tin, but the mini soap muffins look really cute! Your recipe may be better than the one I found, too.


You'll have to log into LJ to view them (limited to just friends), but here's my first attempt and the second one.

Pati @ A Crafty Escape said...

I love that blue color!!! I think they are super cute and really appreciate your honesty.

Leslie said...

I was laughing so hard when I read this post about your dog loving soap! That is hilarious! I think this was a great idea and it turned out just fine. Don't bw so hard on yourself. Also thanks for linking up to Hoo's got Talent! I hope to see more of your projects in the future!

Marianne@Songbird said...

LOL A project that leaves your hands clean. Now that is a novelty!

Stephanie Lynn said...

What a clever idea Christy! Super cool! They look great in the apothecary jar! Hope to see you tonight at the SSParty! Fabulous idea!!

the thrifty ba said...

i think they look cool...and im glad im not the only one who does things that dont work out according to plan!

Suzanne said...

I LOVE these! They are beautiful and I love them in the glass canister.

Stephanie Lynn said...

I just love this idea! Who would have thought to recycle the soaps! Now I'll be collecting them! Super cool! Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase Party! I greatly apprecaite it! Hope you are enjoying your weekend! ~ Stephanie Lynn

Stephanie Lynn said...

Hi Christy, Just wanted to let you know I’ll be featuring this today! Stop by and grab a featured button if you like! Thanks so much for linking up to the Sunday Showcase. ~ Stephanie Lynn

Laura PARING DOWN said...

I love them! They look great and they look wonderful in the apothecary jar, too!

Amy said...

I too have TONS of hotel soap. This is very cute. I like the blue soap...even if you don't use it...it looks very cute in the jar!

Mike said...

I found your blog on OnePrettyThing. We travel a lot too, but usually I leave the extra soaps. I may start collecting them. What I do with the left over slivers from a bar of soap is "glue" them to the next new bar of soap. When both are wet, I carefully press the sliver to the new bar. Every time it's used, it gets glued on a little more until it's finally a part of the new bar. No waste at all!

Kimber never Kim! said...

Such a great idea! I have a bunch of dove soap that I am trying to turn into bath crayons for my nieces & nephews. I wonder if your "cooking" method might be better than the shaving down & adding hot water method I've been doing. When your soaps were done were they hard? If so that might be something for me to try.

Crowder7 said...

I too have been saving unused hotel soaps. I am disappointed because they are never scented, and not very nice to use because they are so plain. When I started I thought all soap was meltable and pourable. Not so. After nuking and nuking, my soap chunks were...rubbery. I cooked a bit on the stove and got instant and probably toxic smoke. So THEN I googled. Not all soaps melt. Clearly hotel soaps are among these. But I crushed them and grated them and sifted (with an actual sifter) until I had powder (and chunks because I am lazy). I put it in a glass bowl, added some green tea with chamomile and echinecea and other yummy stuff plus a bit of oatmeal. Then I poured water until the mixture was the consistency of thick oatmeal. It is very slimy and sticky (just like oatmeal) Then I threw it in the microwave to warm it. I then added some soap scent and blue food coloring. My soaps ended up speckled avacado green because they were all shades of white and beige to begin with. But I dig avacado. I poured it over my cutting board, got my hands wet which kept them from sticking and spread it out to about 3/4 in thick. Then I used a rectangular cookie cutter (dipped in water to keep it from sticking) to cut bars. Had I known from the beginning about powdering the soap and adding water, it would have been easy and fun. But the soaps never truly melt. That is why powder is best. But you can use the big chunks for a texture effect.