Posted on Leave a comment

Easter egg bath bombs

Difficulty: Beginner
Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 5-6 eggs

img_9176

Here’s another alternative to sugary sweet treats at Easter. Don’t get me wrong, we do lots of chocolate and hot cross buns and other sweets, but sometimes it does get a bit too much, and kids love fizzy bath bombs or a fun little soap (check out these Easter treats).

The Easter egg bath bombs are quick and easy to make, even for children, and you don’t need a lot of ingredients. The baking soda and citric acid you can get from your supermarket (although it’s cheaper to buy them in bulk from Pure Nature), and you probably already have some essential oils or fragrance, and micas at home from your other projects. The only other (optional but highly recommended) ingredient is polysorbate 80, and emulsifier.

To make the Easter egg shapes, I used these plastic egg shells that I found at Look Sharp, but I’m sure craft stores probably stock these around Easter as well. I think they’re used as some kind of hanging decorations, but they work perfect as bath bomb molds. I paid $3 for 6, so they’re not very expensive either.

img_9125

The following instructions are for one lot of eggs, approximately 5 or 6. I made a different lot for each colour, 5 in total. That’s a lot of eggs. If you don’t want that many eggs, you can split the batch into two or three before you add the mica and then colour each portion a different colour.

img_9165

ONE: Add one cup of baking soda and a half cup of citric acid to a bowl. Wearing disposable gloves and using your hands, mix thoroughly and break up any clumps.

img_9128

TWO: Next, add one tablespoon of sweet almond oil (alternatively use another vegetable oil, such as rice bran oil), and half a tablespoon of polysorbate 80. And again mix thoroughly.

Polysorbate 80 is a natural vegetable sourced emulsifier, which helps disperse the oil and the mica in the bath water, instead of floating on the surface and leaving greasy colour rings on the sides of the bath tub. It’s not a necessary ingredient to make bath bombs, and if you don’t have it, you can leave it out, but I find it does make the bath bombs better.

img_9129

THREE: Add 1/2 teaspoon fragrance or essential oil blend. Because I’m making these for children, I’m using slightly less fragrance than I usually would. Make sure that the fragrance or essential oil is safe to use in bath products and for children. Safe essential oils are sweet orange, pink grapefruit and lavender essential oil. Alternatively, Candlescience fragrances has some great skin-safe fragrances that are popular with kids, such as watermelon, fruit slices, mango and tangerine, and strawberry shortcake.

img_9130

FOUR: Lastly, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of mica to the mixture and using your hand, mix it thoroughly until all the colour is evenly distributed throughout. The micas I’m using here are shimmer green, coral reef, silken violet and sweetheart rose from Pure Nature.

img_9131

FIVE: Check the mixture. The consistency of the bath bomb mixture should be so that when you squeeze the mixture in your fist it holds its shape when you open your hand. If necessary spritz a little water on it and work the moisture into the mixture with your hands. You want the mixture to be just moist enough so that the mixture sticks together and doesn’t crumble apart. But be careful  if you spritz too much, the mixture will begin to fizz prematurely and ruin your bath bombs!

SIX: Once you have the right consistency,  scoop the bath bomb mixture into the two halves of the eggs and squeeze them together. Then carefully remove one half, and even more carefully tip the bath bomb into your hand.

SEVEN: Place them on a sheet of baking paper and allow them to fully dry out overnight. Anywhere dry and out of the way. I just left mine on the kitchen counter until the next morning.

If you are making more than one colour, repeat steps 1 to 7 for each colour.

img_9175

EIGHT: The following day, place the eggs in an egg carton, or wrap them in cling foil, or package them in cellophane bags. Ideally they should be wrapped as the humid climate of New Zealand will make your bath bombs quickly lose their fizziness.

Easter egg bath bombs

  • Difficulty: beginners
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup citric acid
  • 1 tablespoon sweet almond oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon polysorbate 80
  • mica in your desired colour
  • 1/2 teaspoon essential oil or fragrance
  • spray bottle with water

Directions

  1. Add baking soda and citric acid in a large bowl and mix to combine. Wearing gloves, use your fingers to break up any clumps.
  2. Add the sweet almond oil  and polysorbate 80 and mix it into the dry ingredients.
  3. Add your chosen fragrance or essential oil.
  4. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of mica and mix well so that all the colour and fragrance is dispersed throughout the mixture.
  5. Check your mixture. If necessary, spritz the bath bombs with a little water. The bath bomb mixture should be wet enough so that when you squeeze the mixture in your fist it holds its shape when you open your hand. You want to spray enough so that the mixture sticks together and doesn’t crumble apart, but  if you spray too much, the mixture will begin to fizz prematurely and ruin your bath bombs!
  6. Once you have the right consistency,  scoop the bath bomb mixture into the two halves of the egg mold and press them together firmly.
  7. Carefully remove one half and then tip the egg gently onto your palm.
  8. Place the eggs on a sheet of baking paper, and allow them to fully dry out overnight.
  9. The following day,  place them in egg cartons or wrap them in cling foil, or package them in cellophane bags. Ideally, they should be wrapped as the humid climate of New Zealand will make your bath bombs quickly lose their fizziness.

Posted on Leave a comment

Skully’s secret bath bombs

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Yields: 12 mini bath bombs

img_3477

These bath bombs have a hidden secret. They might look plain and unscented, but place them in water and they’ll reveal a colourful surprise and release a delicious fragrance of sweet orange, pumpkin pie and spice. Check out the video at the end of this post!

I made these bath bombs as an alternative to sweets for trick-or-treaters at Halloween. I’ve noticed the last couple of years, that there are more and more parents concerned about the amount of sugar their children consume, so I wanted to offer them a sweet-free option. These are mini sized bath bombs, made with the smaller bath bomb mold from Pure Nature, and they’re just the perfect size for kids.

img_3412

ONE: Combine 2/3 baking soda and 1/2 citric acid in a bowl.

img_3413

TWO: Add a teaspoon of orange saffron mica, and wearing gloves, mix everything together with your hands, making sure you break up any clumps in the mixture.

img_3414

THREE: Add 1 teaspoon of polysorbate 80. This is an optional step,  although the mica won’t stain the bath tub, it can leave a ring of colour along the sides of the tub. Mica doesn’t easily mix with water and the polysorbate 80 helps disperse the mica in the water.

FOUR: For these bath bombs, I combined pumpkin pie fragrance from Candlescience and sweet orange essential oil to create a blend that reminded me of Halloween and trick-or-treating: warm and fruity with spice overtones. Add 1 teaspoon of each to the bath bomb mixture. And again, wearing gloves, mix everything with your hands.

FIVE: Spray with a little water, if necessary, until you reach the right consistency. I made this a little wetter than usual, because I will need to be able to form them into balls with my hands. I tried using a little meat ball former, but I found that I couldn’t remove the balls properly and they kept breaking up. So instead, I decided it would be quicker and easier to mold them by hand. Be careful, though, that you don’t over-wet the mixture!

img_3420

SIX: Form 12 little balls using up all of your bath bomb mixture. The easiest way is to grab a handful of mixture and squeeze it in your hand. Then carefully release and start firming it up in the ball of your hand. Leave them to dry for several hours or overnight.

I’m sorry I couldn’t take any pictures, because I was using both my hands and they were covered in orange bath bomb mixture.

img_3435

SEVEN: When the little orange balls are dry and hard,  you can prepare the unfragranced white bath bomb mixture. Combine 1 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of citric acid in a bowl.

EIGHT: Spritz with water until you have the right consistency. Wear gloves (unlike me), especially if you have painted nails, because the bath bomb mixture will eat your polish. I’m wearing Jamberry wraps, which can withstand the chemicals of the bath bomb mixture. (Yes, I love my colourful Jamberry wraps!)

8da16fd5-7343-4e0b-b1d9-4e63761f8945

NINE: To assemble the bath bomb, check out the image above. Add a little bit of white bath bomb mixture in one half mold, add the orange ball, and fill the sides up with more white mixture. Loosely fill a second half mold and squeeze the two filled molds together. Remove one mold (sometimes you need to tap the mold lightly to let it release the bath bomb), and carefully place it bath bomb side down and lift the other mold off.

img_3469

TEN: Form all 12 bath bombs and then place them somewhere to dry out and harden. Leave them for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.

ELEVEN: Once your bath bombs have dried and hardened, it’s time to paint them. Mix 1 teaspoon of dark violet purple mica with 1 teaspoon of 99% isopropyl alcohol. Using a paint brush, paint a skull face on your bath bombs. Leave them to dry for a couple of hours and then wrap them up in cling foil or cello bags to prevent them getting moist.

Happy trick-or-treating!

Skully's secret bath bombs

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup citric acid
  • polysorbate 80
  • orange saffron mica
  • dark violet purple mica
  • pumpkin pie fragrance from Candlescience
  • sweet orange essential oil
  • 99% isopropyl alcohol
  • set of small bath bomb molds

Directions

  1. combine 2/3 cup baking soda and 1/3 cup citric acid in a bowl
  2. add 1 teaspoon of orange saffron mica and (wearing gloves) mix thoroughly
  3. add 1 teaspoon of polysorbate 80
  4. add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie fragrance
  5. add 1 teaspoon of orange essential oil
  6. mix everything using your hands (wear gloves)
  7. spray with a little water if the bath bomb mixture is not the right consistency
  8. using your hands, form 12 small balls, carefully firming and squeezing them so they hold shape (this is the trickiest part)
  9. leave to dry overnight or for several hours
  10. in a bowl add 1 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup citric acid
  11. mix and spray with a little water until the bath bomb mixture is the right consistency
  12. add a little of the bath bomb mixture to one bath bomb half mold
  13. place one of the orange balls, which should now be dry, in the centre of the mold
  14. fill the mold around the ball with more mixture
  15. add bath bomb mixture to the other half mold and then squeeze the two halves together
  16. carefully remove the bath bomb from the mold and form the remaining 11 bath bombs
  17. leave the bath bombs to dry overnight or for at least 3 hours
  18. mix 1 teaspoon of dark purple mica with 1 teaspoon of 99% isopropyl alcohol
  19. with a thin paint brush, paint skull faces on the bath bombs and leave to dry
  20. wrap bath bombs in cling foil or cello bags to keep them from getting moist

Posted on 4 Comments

Pink clay and salt bath bombs

Difficulty: Beginners
Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 6 bath bombs

img_1485

Baths are a wonderful way to detox and rejuvenate your skin. These bath bombs contain the benefits of cleansing pink French clay and detoxifying Himalayan salt, combined with an uplifting and soothing blend of litsea cubeba, ylang ylang, bergamot and lavender to leave your skin looking radiant and feeling soft and smooth.

All ingredients are available from Pure Nature, who also stock the bath bomb molds in two sizes, the larger one is the one we used here, which is perfect for an adult sized bath.

img_1383

ONE: Using the standard 2:1 formula, add two cups of baking soda and one cup of citric acid to a bowl.

img_1385

TWO: Add 1/2 cup of pink Himalayan sea salt and 2 tablespoons of pink French clay.

Next, put on disposable gloves to protect your hands and nails (baking soda and citric acid ruin your manicure!), and using your hands, combine everything and break up any clumps.

THREE: Then measure out and add your essential oil blend. I used 2 ml of litsea cubeba (may chang), 1/2 ml of ylang ylang, 1/2 ml bergamot and 1 ml of lavender essential oils. Mix the essential oils well into the bath bomb mixture.

img_1394

FOUR: Using a spray bottle, spritz some water and start mixing it in immediately. Keep mixing and spritzing until you reach the right consistency. It should still be powdery, but when you squeeze some of the bath bomb mixture in your hand, it should hold its shape.

FIVE: Scoop the bath bomb mixture into your half molds and fill them a little bit more than it can hold. Push down with your palms to compact the mixture. Then press two halves together and twist them so that both halves will hold. Gently remove one of the half molds and then, carefully, place it on a baking sheet and remove the other half mold.

img_1411

SIX: Leave the bath bombs to harden completely overnight in a dry, warm place. I like using my hot water cupboard for this, because it’s the driest place in the house. Because of the clay, they might take a little longer to dry than usual. Once they’re solid, wrap them in cellophane or put them in a little cellophane bag, to keep them dry. Bath bombs should be used within 3-6 months, because they will lose their fizziness over time.

img_1486


Pink clay and salt bath bombs

  • Difficulty: beginners
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup citric acid
  • 1/2 cup fine pink Himalayan salt
  • 2 tablespoons pink French clay
  • 2 ml litsea cubeba (may chang) essential oil
  • 1/2 ml ylang ylang essential oil
  • 1/2 ml bergamot essential oil
  • 1 ml lavender essential oil

Directions

  1. Combine the baking soda and citric acid in a bowl.
  2. Add the pink clay and Himalayan salt.
  3. Measure out and add the essential oils, and, wearing gloves, mix well with your hands, breaking up any clumps..
  4. Spritz with water and keep mixing until you have reached the right consistency. It should be still powdery, but hold shape when you squeeze the mixture in your hand.
  5. Scoop the bath bomb mixture into the half molds and firmly press to compact. Press two halves together and twist to hold shape.
  6. Gently remove them from the mold and place on a baking sheet.
  7. Leave them to dry overnight before wrapping. Note, because of the clay, they may take a little longer to dry!

Posted on Leave a comment

School holiday ideas for kids

Trying to keep children entertained during the school holidays can be difficult, and despite google and Pinterest, it’s not easy to come up with new, fresh ideas! I’ve listed some kid-friendly tutorials and other tutorials that will keep your kids happy!

1. Jelly soap

img_9664-1

That has to be my number one. The wobbly, jiggly jelly soap is not only easy and fun to make, but will put a smile on any child’s face! Added bonus: you’ll never have to ask your kids to wash their hands again.

2. Play dough soap

img_0168

Combining play dough and bath time? What a genius idea! Will keep kids in the bath for hours PLUS cleaning up is a breeze.

3. Bath bombs

fullsizeoutput_2998

Want to keep the kids even longer in the bath? Add a bath bomb or two. Watch their delight when the bath bomb starts to fizz and the water change colour. Bigger kids can make their own bath bombs – that’s an afternoon of happy crafting!

4. Melt and pour soap

img_4031

Probably the most versatile and fun soap bases to create fun soaps with. Make coloured layers, add little toys to the soaps, or create gorgeous soaps using both clear and white soap bases, the ideas are endless. A great way for bigger kids to spend another afternoon releasing their inner creativity. The soaps also make for great gifts!

5. Fish in a bag with a jelly twist

img_9234

The kids loved these jelly soaps with a little fish inside them! I don’t think this needs further explanation.

6. Crystal soaps

img_9835-1

Made with melt and pour soap base, these crystal soaps are stunning but surprisingly easy to make. And you can make them in all colours, shapes and sizes. If you want to keep your bigger kids occupied for the whole day, this project is it. I warn you though, you’ll have the house full of crystal soaps afterwards.

7. Lip balms

img_39961

Fruity, minty, bubblegum… the flavours are endless. Ideally, you’d get a group of kids together for a fun make-your-own-lip-balms party!

8. Lip tints and lipsticks

img_8195

And for the girls, add some colour to the lip balms and turn them into lip tints or lipsticks!

Check back for some more kid-friendly tutorials during these school holidays!

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Colour guides

img_0046

The past two months, I’ve been busy testing micas, pigments and lakes in cold process soaps and bath bombs. I’ve blogged about it, but to make it easier for you to find these posts, I’ve created some colour guides for you to use and download.

Micas in cold process soap

Pigments in cold process soap

Using lakes in bath bombs

You’ll also find these at the bottom of the blog under resources.

Please don’t copy or share these documents as your own. A lot of work has gone into them!