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Wholesale Supplies Plus 'Learn To Make' Library includes helpful hints and step-by-step instructions for beginners to seasoned experts on making handmade goods.

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Simple Secrets: Packaging Guest-Size CP Soap Bars

Guest-Size Packaging
Small guest-size soap bars can help you expand your soap making endeavor. You could sell them so new customers can try your soap, give them away as samples to your best customers, gift them to house guests (who will hopefully spread the word about your business) or wholesale them to local inns. Whichever avenue fits your soaping venture, you'll want quality packaging. Professional packaging speaks louder than just pretty wrappings. It tells your customers and friends that you are serious about your soap making, and taking necessary steps to research the handmade industry. Here are some tips for packaging guest-size bars of cold process soap.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Simple Secrets: Creating Larger Batches

A Need For Wholesale Toiletries (Sample Size Toiletry Set)
In recent years, the number of travelers staying at B&Bs has increased, and thus the demand for sample sized toiletries has also increased. According to an Airbnb analysis from Penn State University, "Airbnb host revenue has increased significantly. The total 14-city sample shows that monthly operator revenue increased from $93.2 million in October of 2014 to $139.0 million in September of 2015, representing a 49% increase." Airbnb represents only one of the online marketplaces, but its statistics indicate a growth potential for handmade cosmetic makers. With each traveler stay, most hosts provide premium cosmetics and the appeal for local handmade toiletries aligns nicely with many bed & breakfast business models. Here are some tips for creating sample-sized toiletries with relatively inexpensive equipment.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Simple Secrets: Making Solid Castile Soap

What is Castile Soap?
True castile soap uses 100% olive oil (plus water and lye) to create a creamy lather in an ultra gentle soap bar. This type of soap is especially popular for people with sensitive skin or those prone to allergic reactions. With so few ingredients, it's tolerated well with almost everyone. Since it is generally marketed for sensitive skin, most castile soaps are also fragrance-free and color-free, but they can be fragranced and colored if you prefer. Here are some tips to help you formulate your own bars of Castile soap.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Simple Secrets Making Soap Animals

How are soap animals made?
Soap animals begin with a special cold process soap recipe that has specifically been designed to work as 'soap dough'. Once the soap reaches its dough-like consistency (usually 1-2 days after making), it is hand molded into cute soapy animals. Once the soap animals are made, the soap continues to cure for 4-6 weeks and are ready for use after this time.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Simple Secrets: Creating Custom Molds

Why Create Custom Molds?
Special occasions often call for special molds. While there are many different love and wedding mold options available for weddings, sometimes you're looking for something more personalized. Ordering a custom mold is an option (usually a pricey one), but you can also make one yourself! In this short article, we will show you how we made our own molds to create these guest-sized soaps.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Simple Secrets: Achieving White CP Soap

Reasons for White Soap
Some soap makers seek out ways to make white soap. White soap for a white wedding might be a request from a demanding bride on her large custom order, or perhaps white soap fits better with your branding. Another reason for white is the ease in coloring. When you start off with a white base, it is less challenging to predict the color when adding powders and additives. Whatever your reason for lightly colored soap, here are some tips to create a true white bar.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Simple Secrets: Anchoring Fragrances In CP Soap

Why Anchor Fragrances?
Cold process soap creates a hostile environment for fragrances including fragrance oils and essential oils. The searing temperature of raw soap coupled with the hostile chemical reaction of saponification challenges all fragrance notes to hang on until the end. Unfortunately, not all fragrance notes last the minutes, weeks or months after saponification. Some burn off almost instantly, some hibernate coming out once the smoke has cleared and some hold on like the warriors they are. Coconut fragrances, orange essential oil and light floral essential oils and fragrances are infamous for disappearing in soap whereas patchouli, ylang ylang and litsea cubeba fragrances are known to last. We can anchor problematic fragrances to help with their battle. Here are three suggestions for making the strongest smelling soap.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Simple Secrets: Enhancing Bubble Bath

Bubble Bath
While bubble bars are the new fun thing to make, did you know there is still a market for liquid bubble bath? For those of us that grew up with traditional liquid bubble bath, sometimes understanding the concept of a solid bubble bath is difficult to comprehend. 'Crumbling that beautiful scoop or intricately designed bar is really going to make bubbles?' runs through the minds of some customers. Appeal to this bubble bar ignorant market by offering liquid bubble bath. Also, having the liquid bubble bath around your solid bubble bars will help bridge that connection into understanding about bubble bars. Enjoy these tips on enhancing your liquid bubble bath.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Simple Secrets: Testing Soap's pH Level

You've researched the safety of lye, tackled the task of using a soap calculator and made what appears to be a successful batch of CP soap...but is it successful? Testing the soap's pH is a critical part of soap making to ensure your soap is safe and within an acceptable pH range. Soap can range from a pH of 7 to 10 with most soap being 9 to 10. Soaps greater than 10 are considered lye-heavy and can irritate or burn the skin. Saponification, the chemical process in which lye and oils turn into soap, usually takes between 24-48 hours. After this time, the pH can be tested and it should be within the soap range of 7 to 10. Note that the pH can lower further during the 4-6 weeks of curing. Here are three ways to test a soap's pH.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Simple Secrets: Gelling CP Soap

What Is Gelled Soap?
Most of us learn about gelling the first time we experience a partial gel. A partial gel happens when the inside of your soap heats up enough to become gelatinous and translucent while the outside retains a cooler temperature. The resulting soap has a circle throughout it where the inside circle is brighter and the outside edges are muted. The problem is purely aesthetic. Generally, soap makers try to avoid partial gel by either gelling their soap completely or preventing the soap from gelling at all. In this column, we will discuss three ways you can force gel phase.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Simple Secrets: Shrink Wrapping Products

Why Shrink-wrap?
Many of us spend countless hours designing and tweaking our recipes for the highest quality product, but are you putting time into packaging as well? Many customers are ignorant to the amount of time put into soap and cosmetic making, but what customers do notice is your product packaging. Customers have a natural knack for gravitating towards pretty things, which include pretty packaging as well as your pretty soaps! Shrink-wrapping adds an element of professionalism to handmade products, and customers are more likely to trust your brand. In this column, we will discuss tips and tricks for shrink-wrapping commonly made products to elevate your homemade product to a handmade commercial commodity.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Simple Secrets: Using Plastic Molds for CP Soap

Many soap makers love plastic molds for their beautifully detailed designs and their economical price, but they can be tricky to use with cold process soap. Plastic molds come in a variety of designs that include molds for practically every holiday or event and molds that complement a wide variety of colors, fragrances and other soap making ingredients. Some of our favorite Milky Way® molds for this issue of Handmade include the Aloe Vera Soap Mold, Bee and Honeycomb Soap Mold, Lavender Guest Soap Mold and the Oatmeal Rounded Soap Mold. We have found three tricks that make for consistently molded soap bars in plastic molds. 

Pictured: Cold process soap with Crafter's Choice® Energy Fragrance Oil and Safflower Powder. Molded with Milky Way™ Henna Teardrop Soap Mold (MW 258)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Simple Secrets: Embedding MP Soap Into CP Soap

Soap embeds allow soap makers to add fun shapes and designs to soaps. Silicone column molds are often used to create the desired shape, and then the soap column is embedded into a loaf. When the finished soap is cut, the column shape will appear in each soap slice. There are a variety of column molds available from simple shapes such as circles or hearts to more elaborate shapes such as butterflies or gingerbread men. In this article, we will share some tips for embedding melt and pour soap embeds into cold process soap loaves.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Simple Secrets: Incorporating Wine Into Cold Process Soap

The use of wine in soap adds market appeal and some believe the sugar content adds a luxurious lather. Caution must be exercised when using alcoholic beverages in soap because this is an advanced soap making technique that if done improperly can lead to a soap volcano or seized soap. We took extra care in creating these lovely bars of soap made with Merlot. In this article, we will share tips and tricks for creating Wine Soap.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Simple Secrets: Using Soap Color Bars

Soap Color Bars are color-concentrated soap bars that add appeal to finished melt and pour soaps. Many prefer using soap color bars as they are less messy than liquid colors or powdered colors which inevitably seem to leak out of bottles or become airborne and cling to hands. Soap color bars vibrantly and evenly color melt and pour soaps when used properly. Read further for three techniques for using these soap coloring products.

Pictured: Soaps made with Crafter's Choice Premium Crystal Clear Soap and Soap Color Bars, and molded in a Milky Way® Star Soap Mold.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Simple Secrets: Rebatching Soap

The Goal:
Rebatched soap is a soap making method that involves working with a previously made cold process soap batch. We typically rebatch soap when a soap batch went wrong, but we don't want to waste the ingredients. For example, maybe we realize that we forgot to add an oil and now the soap is lye heavy or maybe it is simply because we didn't like the finished design. We reuse the ingredients from the botched batch to make a new soap that people will love. Read more to learn how to rebatch soap.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Simple Secrets: Incorporating Coffee Into Cold Process Soap

The Goal: 
Many of us start our day with a rich cup of hot coffee as we ponder what the day holds. It's not surprising that this coffee drinking leads to the idea of putting coffee in soap! We love the smell, and coffee gives soap a creamy brown color. In addition coffee is thought to provide unique and beneficial properties to formulas. Here's how we ran with this idea, and how we incorporated coffee in soap.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Simple Secrets: Enhancing Bath Fizzies and Bath Bombs

The Goal: 
Only two ingredients are needed in bath bombs to create the fizzing action we love, but that doesn't mean you should only use two ingredients. Additives enhance bath bombs and bath fizzies, helping you bring the best bath time experience to your customers. Here are tricks and tips for creating the best bath bombs!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Simple Secrets: Incorporating Milk Into Cold Process Soap

The Goal: 

Old Fashioned Milk Soap has been popular for ages and continues to be preferred by soap makers and customers alike. Finished soap bars are ultra moisturizing, skin softening and can have a creaminess to them that will keep you lathering! As with most things, there are different ways to include milk in soap. In this article we will teach you three methods.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Simple Secrets: Creating the 'In The Pot Swirl' Technique

The Goal: 

The 'In The Pot Swirl' is one of the easiest swirls to accomplish, and helps bring your soap making bragging rights from hobbyist to seasoned crafter. Before swirling, make sure you are using a tried and trusted cold process soap recipe with important consideration on your fragrance. You'll want a slow moving fragrance and colors that complement the scent. If you haven't swirled before, be warned that it easily becomes an addiction, and you'll soon realize why so many soap makers consider swirling soap one of their favorite pastimes!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Dangers of DIY Sunscreen

Formulating sunscreen is complicated, challenging and expensive. In the United States, cosmetics that claim an SPF are viewed as over-the-counter drugs and highly regulated. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is a measure of a sunscreen's ability to prevent Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from damaging the skin. Here's how SPF works:  If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer, or about five hours.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Simple Secrets: Blending Custom Colors

The Goal
While soap and cosmetic suppliers carry a plethora of different colors, sometimes the exact hue you are looking for isn't an option. This is when you create your own custom colors by blending different powders together to create the perfect shade to complement your soap and fragrance. We blended neon powders to create the pictured orange and green colors for our Muddled Melon scented melt and pour soap.

Cantaloupe Orange: 3 micro scoops Neon Yellow Hello Powder + 1 micro scoop Neon Orange You Glad Powder

Cantaloupe Green: 2 micro scoops of Neon Yellow Hello Powder + 1 micro scoop of Blue Bye Your Powder 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Simple Secrets: Integrating Pureed Foods Into Cold Process Soap

The Goal
Integrating food into skincare regimens is thought to add beneficial properties and also adds label appeal. Many foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and it is thought that by adding this to cold process soap, you are also adding these benefits. Additionally, adding natural and organic produce entices customers who are eco-conscience to buy your soap.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Simple Secrets: Herbal Infusions

Herbal infusions are a great way to incorporate natural ingredients into your bath and body products. We recommend using only dried herbs and powders. Using fresh herbs can be done but requires extra preparation with acid washes to prevent the risk of botulism contamination. Dried herbs and powders do not have the risk of such disease. 
There are three basic ways to infuse oils. They include cold method, solar method and heat method. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Simple Secrets: Swirling Melt & Pour Soap

The Goal: Swirled soap is not just for cold process soap makers. In this article, we discuss one method for swirling melt and pour soap. Complement the swirled soap with you favorites colors and fragrances for your own unique design!

Ingredients Used: Crafter’s Choice® Premium Extra Clear MP Soap Base, Premium Ultra White MP Soap Base, Crafter's Choice® Azurite Sky Fragrance Oil, La Bomba Blue Mica Powder and Celestial Blue Mica Powder.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Simple Secrets: Detailing Melt & Pour Soaps

Milky Way Molds™ are known all over the world for having unsurpassed detail. Giving color to these details is not only attractive but often just enough to get customers to pay top dollars for a bar of soap. This article looks at three popular techniques used to detail soap molds.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Simple Secrets: Suspending Additives in Melt & Pour Soap

Suspending additives is gaining popularity among handmade soap buyers because it is an interesting way to show off natural additives. Using the simple techniques described in this article will help your scrubby exfoliants remain evenly distributed while helping clays and milk powders stay fully dispersed.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Troubleshooting: Making Lotion From Scratch

1. Challenge: The water and oils separate.

Lotion is made up of waters and oils. The two naturally want to separate so an emulsifying wax is used in the formulation to help them stay together. If not enough emulsifying wax is used or if water is added to a really thick lotion the marriage breaks up and the oil will float on top of the water.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Simple Secrets: Tips for Dealing With Grainy Shea Butter

There is nothing more pleasurable than using a creamy lotion on your skin that contains luxurious shea butter. One of the biggest challenges when formulating with shea butter is its natural tendency to become grainy when it cools. This happens because shea butter contains several different fatty acid profiles. When these acids are melted and slowly return to a solid state with cooling, they have a tendency to clump together causing small granules.   

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Simple Secrets: Coloring Bath Salts

Salt has been added to bath water since ancient times. It is thought by many to cleanse and detoxify the body. Regardless of why people use bath salts, it is often the role of a handmade producer to make them attractive and aromatic to a buyer. 

Coloring salts is just one way to make them appealing to a buyer. We have found that there are three tried and true ways to infuse color into handmade bath salts. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

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