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How to make pressed flower soaps

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 14 Sep 2009 at 11:49 AM

Pressed flower soaps

For anyone who has followed my sunflower growing this summer, it will come as no surprise when I admit that I'm, well, just a little bit.... competitive.  What can I say?  It's in my genes. I come from one of those families where Monopoly eventually had to be banned because it resulted in too much bloodshed.

Nowhere is my desire to win more apparent than in the arena of birthday parties.  Yes, I did say, birthday parties and anyone who doesn't recognise this as a competitive sport is sadly out of touch with the modern world.

This weekend I felt I was on gold-medal territory.  For my daughter's sixth birthday she wanted a make-up party and I went into overdrive.  The kitchen counter became a hair salon, the living room a walk-in-wardrobe and the kitchen table a powder room and make-up lab.

My piece de resistance?  Homemade pressed flower soaps.  Remarkably simple, yet great show-off potential in the style of 'what, this old thing?'. 

For eight small soaps, all you need is two 100g bars of pure glycerine soap which you cut into three and then melt in a plastic jug in the microwave on full power for 1.5 minutes.

After it has melted you can let the children add scent.  We used a few drops of lavender oil.  I would have loved to have made my own scent from flowers but having read Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, I have, unfortunately, begun to associate such activities with homicide...

The children place their pressed garden flowers in the bottom of the soap moulds - small blossoms work well so we chose Alchemilla mollis, geranium petals and Aster 'Little Carlow'.

For the soap moulds we used an ice cube tray (anything which is pliable enough to pop out the soaps when they're set will do).  You can also add soap dyes at this point but I was on a budget so they had to make do with the au naturel look.

An adult then pours the melted soap into the moulds and afterwards more pressed flowers can be added to the top.  The soaps then go into the fridge for half an hour until they've set enough to be popped out.

The finished product should be used quite quickly as the pressed flowers will start to brown a little, but for a quick 'wow, you're the best mother in the world' fix, this works wonders.

We also created homemade chocolate lip gloss - but now I'm just showing off....

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