What a week. I had all these plans for the blog, but I’ll just post them next December. For now, we put the tree up on Sunday, 50% of the cards are out and today I’m making a last purchase from Kimmchi at a Starbucks downtown. It’s a situation straight out of Sesame Street; Ernie buying the letter O from Lefty the Salesman.
Before the week is out I wanted to leave you with one of our recent family projects: Fossil Soaps. This is a little something you can whip up in your spare time to create a quick stocking stuffer using the white melt and pour soap you just happen to have lying around the house. (Right, Martha.) But seriously, this is what you need:
- White melt and pour glycerin soap, I ordered mine from Bramble Berry, but you can also get it at craft stores ( @4oz for two bars)
- Soap mold, again craft stores, but here is a list of alternative molds including milk cartons and pvc pipe
- Plastic toy critters, the flatter critters seem to work best; above you can see a dinosaur, a sting ray and a snake
- Bakers cocoa for coloring and the little brown specs, it’ll give the soap a light chocolaty fragrance
- Aluminum foil
- Rubber cement
- Soap Fragrance (optional)
- Lining the mold: Line the mold to give the soap that craggy texture. Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil big enough to line the mold. Crumple it up, unfold it, and then line the bottom and the sides of the mold with the foil. Soap will seep through any holes, so use one piece big enough to cover the whole thing.
- Preparing the fossil: Glue the critter to the bottom of the lining with rubber cement. If you don’t glue it down, the critter will float up.
- Melting the soap: In a glass container melt the soap either in a double boiler or the microwave until it’s completely liquid. For me, 1 minute on high in the microwave melts most of the soap. Don’t boil it.
- Coloring the soap: Add a quarter teaspoon of cocoa to the melted soap until it has the desired color. The specks in the soap are the remnants of the cocoa that didn’t dissolve in the soap. If you wish, you can add a few drops of soap fragrance at this point. Vanilla might be nice. I used chai tea.
- Pouring the soap: Just pour the mixture right on top of your critter. Small bubbles may form on top of the poured soap. This doesn’t really bother me, but if you wish you can spray some rubbing alcohol on top of the soap to break up the bubbles.
- Setting the soap: Let the soap cool and set. I usually put the mold in the fridge for about 20 minutes because I just can’t wait!
- The Dig: Once the soap has completely hardened, pop it out of the mold and remove the foil. You may have to use a small knife to carefully dig out the critter.