Use Your Microwave to Make Handcrafted Soaps

Making soap can be a hot, involved and even dangerous craft.  Try working with lye and bubbling cauldrons of the white stuff and you’ll be running to the nearest Target for some bars of Ivory.  However, handcrafted soap is a different story utterly and completely.  You can craft soaps into various shapes with multiple “add-ons” to suit what is in season and your personal taste.  Much better than working with lye!

First things first, you need the actual soap base.  Lucky for you, they can be shipped straight to your front door in these thick, heavy grids.  Choose from Goat’s Milk, Shea Butter,  Aloe Vera, Oatmeal and Glycerin.  I went with the classic Shea Butter and delicious looking Goat’s Milk.

Ingredients needed to make your own handcrafted soap:

The real twist in this process are the “add-ons.” I felt like a Cold Stone ice cream maker as I chopped up ingredients, mixed in oils and swirled them all into the hot soap mix.  First on the list?  Lemon Balm is growing in mass amounts in the garden, so I harvested some fresh, along with basil and lavender.  To spike the fragrance even further, I added in synthetic oils for a punch.

My mixes?

Fresh Basil with Green Tea and Peony Oil with Shea Butter Base

Fresh Lemon Balm with Lemon Extract, Green Tea and Peony Oil and Shea Butter Base

Grapefruit Extract and Pomegranate Plum Oil with Goat’s Milk Base

Dried Lavender Flowers and Relaxation Oil with Goat’s Milk Base

The next step towards crafting those bars of soap into real bars of useable soap is buying a mold.  You can buy soap molds for this very purpose, but I wanted to get a little more creative with my soaps and save a few pennies by using molds around the house.  Non-stick pans are a great choice for soap molds and you probably have a few in the cabinet.  I chose this mini-custard pan.

My second choice of mold is a silicon brownie pan.  The non-stick pan worked well, but the silicon pan worked AMAZINGLY well for soap molding.

The pan can literally be folded and flopped and the soap pops right out perfectly.  You might have a cupcake mold or mini-cake mold at home or you can find a similar brownie mold right HERE.

Directions for making your own handcrafted soap:

1.  Clean, dry and chop all fresh herbs

2.  Clean, dry and spray all molds with a little cooking spray

3.  Break the soap into chunks and heat 30 seconds at a time in the microwave

4.  Place fresh ingredients into molds

5.  Pour hot, melted soap into molds (carefully!)

6.  Be patient and wait 20-60 minutes until the soaps are fully hardened

7.  Pop soap out of molds and enjoy!

Use Your Microwave to Make Handcrafted SoapYou might have noticed in my soap descriptions that I included a few extracts in addition to the oils and fresh ingredients.

Those extracts are simply made by pouring vodka over lemon and grapefruit peels and allowing them to sit for several months.

Use Your Microwave to Make Handcrafted SoapSo fresh from the garden and straight from the Consumer Crafts box…

Use Your Microwave to Make Handcrafted SoapNow we have soap!

Use Your Microwave to Make Handcrafted Soap-Crafts-Unleashed

Use Your Microwave to Make Handcrafted SoapSo take a look outside your backdoor today and see what is growing!

Check around your house for items that could be used for molds!  Could you make rosewater to add to a glycerin soap?  Would those silicon cupcake molds work for pretty Aloe Vera Soaps?  Perhaps you too, have some lavender ripe for picking!  It goes great with Goat’s Milk Base!

Whatever ingredients you choose to mix and match, it is a fun process for adults and kids alike and the result is a hand crafted treat!

Use Your Microwave to Make Handcrafted Soap

About Amy Renea

Hey y'all! I'm Amy Renea, a freelance photographer and writer based out of Hershey, PA. I spend my days chasing children and chickens around the back yard, sipping on dandelion tea and munching on sweet potato chips. Come visit the Nest for All Seasons to learn more about my food, photography, DIY designs and modern garden living!


  1. says

    I have never tried tea before, but I don’t see why not! It will definitely turn a white soap brownish and will add a texture to the soap, but I think it could be really nice :). Consumer crafts does carry a green tea fragrance that you can use in oops as well if you are going for the smell!

  2. says

    Hi robin, yes it can turn brown even when dry, but maintains purple color for a few weeks. Another option is to melt the lavender soap twice to make a brownish soap that is actually quite pretty. Just make your soap normally, let it sit until it starts to brown, then melt the whole thing and remold (sounds like a lot of work, but is really very easy)

  3. Robin says

    Hello, thank you so much for the silicone mold soap ideas. My daughter got married in May and we had so much dried lavendar leftover we are making lavendar spray for pillows and now these little goat based lavendar soaps for Christmas gifts! My one question and concern is the lavendar. If it is dry, is there still a risk of the soaps turning brown ? We pls on using some of the essential oil we made for the spray as well but thought the dried lavendar would look pretty at the bottom.

    Thank you for any help you can offer and Merry Christmas to you all!

  4. says

    I made these soaps for years but didn’t know until now that goat’s milk is available. (Only had two types WAY BACK WHEN). They look beautiful when wrapped with tissue paper or waxed paper and tied with Baker’s twine or raffia. Keep it simple and it looks very Victorian.

  5. says

    I used the bases separately, but have used them together as well. I don’t know about combining other bases with the glycerin soap — it might separate?

    As far as the fresh ingredients — yes they eventually start to brown. I used some soap right away so it wasn’t a problem. After several months, when the basil soaps had turned a bit, I melted them all down together (about 2 min.) and simply remolded them as a brown soap.

    Hope that helps!!

  6. knittingnana says

    Great post – thanks. I haven’t done the melt and pour method is a long time but it now looks like there are much better options for base – even more fun

  7. Donna says

    Since I am a true beginner…did you use both the goat and Shea bases together? Also , how much of the 2 lb block would I use to make, say one brownie pan of soaps?

  8. Kiye says

    do the soaps have a use by date/shelf life because of the fresh ingredients? any help would be good i want to make them for christmas presents but dont want them to rot :)x

  9. says

    Thanks for the tip Rebecca! It’s true! With the no stir method, the lavender is on the top of the soap only and washes out after a few uses. The oils and extracts are responsible for the scent of the soap from there on out.

  10. Rebecca says

    Just an FYI, many herbs will turn your whole bar of melt and pour soap brown within a few days to a week or so in. Lavender especially. When I first started making soap many years ago I made lavender melt and pour soap only discover it was completely brown several days later.

  11. Shaunte says

    Those are just beautiful, and look like they came from a high-end boutique, not a KITCHEN!
    You had me at “I felt like a Cold-Stone worker!” HAHA!

  12. KimM says

    Why have I not handcrafted soap before?! These look beautiful–and fairly easy, too. I think that I’m going to give these a try as handmade Christmas gifts…


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