My kids love to color! Especially, M, my four-year-old. Anytime he sees me doing something crafty he asks if he can help me or color/paint something of his own. L, my one-year-old, just recently discovered his love for crayons and markers, and while he’s pretty good at keeping it on the paper, that doesn’t stop me from finding marks on our furniture and walls!
Let me interrupt myself for a moment to say that I LOVE that both of my boys are showing an interest in crafty things! Proud Mama! Ok, back to the post…
I love it when I can let them be creative, but not have a big mess to clean up in the end. Have you seen those soap crayons in the store? They are marketed toward bath time. Talk about easy clean up since they are made of soap!
Here’s the issue I have though that really makes me go, “hmmm….” – we all know that soap is slippery when wet! Try to grab it from a bathtub full of warm water and good luck! Ask a toddler, and you might have a temper tantrum on your hands.
Lots of people are making these crayons on their own, because it saves a lot compared to the store price, but every one I’ve seen is just some shape of soap that would be hard to hold onto, let alone color with when wet.
So, I’m going to show you a VERY easy solution to this problem, with a bonus storage solution! Instead of using soap molds, muffin tins, ice cube trays, etc…. use popsicle molds with big handles!
I have these awesome molds with big, chunky handles, that make it easy for little hands to hold onto!
I’ve been wanting to make these for a while, and when Oriental Trading Company (OTC) generously gave me the chance to review some of their products, I knew their glycerin soap was going to be first on the list!
These soap crayons are so easy to make!
1. glycerin soap
2. popsicle molds with large handles
3. bright soap dye or food coloring
4. soap scents or essential oils
5. sharp knife
6. cutting board
7. plastic spoon or knife for stirring
8. wax paper
9. double boiler or microwave safe glass measuring dish with a spout (like Pyrex)
10. stove or microwave
11. vegetable cooking spray or petroleum jelly (optional)
12. rubbing alcohol in a spritzer or spray bottle (optional)
1. Decide if you’re going to make layered colors or one solid color per mold. If you’re making layers, you will make your soap in small batches. You will make the same color several times to alternate the colors so that the end of each popsicle won’t all be the same.
2. Cover your work surface in wax paper, waxy side up. This will make clean up a breeze if you accidentally drip any soap. It also works well as a place to set your used stirring utensils. They won’t stick to the wax paper. You may line your molds with cooking spray or petroleum jelly to make demolding the soap crayons easier.
3. Get your dyes, scents, stirring utensils, and molds ready before you start melting your glycerin soap. Have everything opened, lined up, and ready to go! You’ll have to work fast once the soap is melted.
4. Cut your soap into slices or cubes. Put the desired amount into your double boiler, or microwave safe bowl.
Double Boiler Method
Put the desired amount of soap in the double boiler and let it melt. You can stir it once in a while to help it along, but over stirring is not recommended.
Put the desired amount of soap in your microwave safe, glass container. Microwave on high in SHORT bursts. I recommend 10 seconds at a time unless you’re making a huge batch, then do 30 seconds. Watch it closely. It can go from unmelted, to boiling over in a matter of seconds. Lightly stir it just enough to push the unmelted parts around in between each burst. Shorten your microwave time when it gets close to being completely melted.
6. Immediately pour it into your molds. If you are layering colors, the prep time between each color is enough to let the previous layer set up.
7. Gently tap the sides of your molds to prevent bubbles. If you can’t get your bubbles to disappear, lightly spritz them with rubbing alcohol. Silly me, even with my background in making soap from scratch I completely forgot about this step in my excitement of making these! So mine have some bubbles.. err.. character!
8. Gently glide the handle part of your mold straight in so you don’t mix colors if you layered your crayons.
9. Let them sit for a minimum of 4 hours.
10. Slowly pull the soap crayons out. If they don’t budge with just a little bit of pulling, do not force them. Try these two demolding tricks:
~Freeze your popsicle molds for 30 minutes to an hour (oh the irony!). Let them sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes and try again.
~If that doesn’t work, run all sides of your molds under warm water, or dip them in a warm water bath. This method usually works, but if you get them too warm, you risk melting them some.
As a last resort, use a plastic knife to loosen the edges of the crayon from the mold. You’ll mark up your crayons this way, so try the other methods first.
A Few Tips
1. For writing on white surfaces, make sure to select really bold colors and add a lot to your melted soap.
2. Use them wet or dry.
3. Put some thought into your scent choice. I have a huge collection of soap scents since I make soap from scratch. I was all ready to match up fun scents to colors. For example: apple jack scent to a green and orange crayon. But I also have a large collection of essential oils. Since bath time usually happens before bed time in our household, I decided to put a combination of lavender and peppermint oils in each crayon. They aid in relaxation, just like those nighttime body washes you can buy for kids.
4. Clean up is easy! Just use warm water to wash the excess soap away.
5. Use the popsicle tray to hold the crayons when they aren’t in use.
6. When you get to the end of the crayon and that hard-to-use stub, just melt it off of the popsicle stick in a microwave safe glass dish and pour it into a new mold.
7. Get your kids involved in the making process! M really enjoyed helping me make these. While most of this project should be done by an adult, he had fun putting the sliced soap into the containers, picking out what color to do next, and stirring in the scents and colors. When kids are involved in making something, they will take pride in it. It will make for good conversation when it comes time to use them.
Now start coloring! Don’t limit yourself to the bathtub. These crayons work great on many other things. My favorite being the kitchen appliances! I can plop my child in front of the refrigerator and let him color while I do the dishes! And the added bonus is that when you go to wipe up their artwork, your refrigerator gets a good cleaning! Extra bonus: give your child a wet rag, and make cleanup part of the fun! You could write out reminders and grocery lists this way, too and save some paper!
Besides making awesome crayons this soap is really good for cleaning! I wanted to test these crayons out on a window (works awesome by the way!). First, I cleaned the window really well with Windex. Then I wrote my message on the window, snapped this picture, and wiped it away with a damp towel. I wish I had taken a picture of the towel. The soap cleaned up everything the Windex missed (which was a lot!) and made my window extra shiny! How fun would it be to completely color a window stained glass style, and make a sun catcher out of it?!
I really enjoyed making these crayons, and coloring with them too! Oriental Trading’s glycerin soap worked perfectly for this project. It works great just as soap, too! They have some fun molds, colors, and scents you can use! Another neat way to use this soap is to encase small plastic toys in it. Well, I KNOW OTC has no shortage of fun toys and party favors!
I’ve been a long time fan of Oriental Trading Company. I was given their products as a child when I attended Sunday School. I used their products during high school when I taught Sunday School and VBS. And now as an adult, they are my go-to place for my crafting supplies.
They offer over 30,000 products including: craft supplies, scrapbooking supplies, teaching supplies, kids’ crafts and kits, party supplies, wedding supplies, Sunday School and VBS supplies, and SO MUCH MORE! They even offer personalization for many products. You can also find craft ideas and a list of supplies needed to complete them! Everything is affordable, and they have a Lowest Price Guarantee.
If you haven’t heard of Oriental Trading Company before, they are definitely worth a visit! While you’re there, make sure to sign up for savings, request a free catalog, and sign up for their rewards program so you can earn money toward your purchases.
**This post is sponsored by Oriental Trading Company. I received a gift card to put toward products for review. No other compensation was received. All opinions and reviews are written with complete honesty. The entirety of this post is comprised of my own thoughts and words.**
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