My favorite gifts to receive are those made by hand, and they are also my favorite to give to others. These pretty homemade glycerin soaps are the perfect little gift for a friend, co-worker—or anyone, really. All you really need is a soap mold and a good glycerin soap recipe.
They look stunning in a soap dish by the side of the bathroom sink or stored in a decorative jar on a shelf. Plus, you can customize them with nearly anything you like: herbs, dried flowers, even mini gifts for the kids in your life.
DIY Herb + Spice Homemade Glycerin Soap for the Holidays
The trick is to use glycerin melt-and-pour soap and dress it up with scents, colors, and herbs you have on hand. As for molds, you don't need anything fancy.
We love silicone molds of all shapes and sizes because you can simply peel the soap out once they've cooled—and not think twice about sticking! But you can also use plastic cups, empty milk cartons, and tupperware containers.
Herb + Spice Homemade Glycerin Soap
- Block of glycerin soap base
- Essential oils
- Dried flowers, herbs, spices, and leaves
- Soap molds - small cups or trays in various sizes (silicone works best)
I have used dried hibiscus flowers and rose petals (mostly because I wanted a pink/red color), loose leaf green tea, and dried rosemary, eucalyptus, juniper berries, and lemon slices. (Note: some dried flowers will change color. The hibiscus turns blue!)
Chop the glycerin into cubes for easier melting.
Melt the soap base. This can be done using a double boiler, a small saucepan, or a glass measuring cup in the microwave. (I like the measuring cup because it's easier to pour.)
Melt over medium-low heat or on 50% power in the microwave. Start with 30-second intervals and stir in between each one. Be careful—it will be very hot!
Remove the measuring cup from the microwave when the soap is almost melted, and stir it gently. Let it cool for a minute, and then add the essential oils to the base.
Use about 5–10 drops per ounce of soap. Stir slowly to prevent bubble formation. (There will still probably be a few bubbles.)
Arrange the desired petals, herbs, and leaves into the silicone or soap molds. Carefully fill the molds with the melted soap base. Let them sit for about an hour to solidify. Then pop them out and package them or store in a jar. Super easy!
Tips for Working with Glycerin Soap
Glycerin soap base is as easy as it comes. But there are still a few things you can do to get gift-worthy soaps without the fuss. Here are some of our tips for working with glycerin melt-and-pour soap.
Use powdered colorant
We didn't add colors to our soaps, but you can if you want to! Liquid colorants don't mix too well with glycerin soap, but dry colorants do. Simply take a small amount of melted soap base and pour it into a separate cup.
Add your colorant (beetroot powder, turmeric, cinnamon, or other colored herb powders work well for this), and stir well until completely blended. Then pour this small bit of soap into your larger batch of soap and mix well.
Prevent bubbles with rubbing alcohol
If you have a hard time keeping bubbles from forming on the walls of your molds, spritz each mold with a bit of rubbing alcohol. Then pour in your soap. This helps dilute the soap for a few seconds, so it dries smooth and clear.
Let the soap cool before adding your herbs
Hot soap can't suspend your herbal add-ins very well, so they sink to the bottom. To prevent this, melt your soap and let it cool for about 5–10 minutes before pouring it into your molds. Then add your herbs. If done at the right time, they should float in the center of the soap rather than sink to the bottom.
Glycerin Soap FAQ
Can you make glycerin soap from liquid glycerin?
You certainly can make your own glycerin soap from scratch at home, but it's a lot more complicated than just adding liquid glycerin to the soap base. You need oils, lye, and glycerin to start, plus a whole bunch of equipment to prevent chemical burns. We still believe that melt-and-pour soap is the easier, more enjoyable option.
Where can I buy clear soap base?
Local craft stores usually have it. You can also find it on Amazon or in online soap-making stores.
Is glycerin soap good for skin?
Yes! Because glycerin soap is loaded with skin-soothing oils and super-emollient glycerin, it helps lock in moisture and prevents drying.
Can I use glycerin soap on my face?
Sure, go for it!
Can I use glycerin soap to wash my hair?
Just like with your skin, glycerin soap helps restore your hair's moisture content and hydrates parched locks.
Ready for more soap recipes? Here are 20 ideas to try!
Homemade Glycerin Soaps
- Double boiler, saucepan or glass measuring cup
- Silicon mold or small plastic cups
- Dried flowers and/or leaves Dried rosemary, eucalyptus, hibiscus, juniper berries, or dried citrus peels
- Glycerin melt-and-pour soap
- Essential oils Eucalyptus, lemon, rosemary, orange, etc.
- Molds - cups or trays in various sizes Silicone works best
- Cut the glycerin soap into pieces.
- Melt according to package directions. Then carefully and slowly add the essential oils, about 5 drops per ounce of soap used. Stir gently and slowly to prevent bubbles from forming. Gently rap the jar or container on the countertop to release any larger trapped air bubbles.
- Place your molds (I used plastic cups) on a flat surface and drop dried flowers or herbs into into the bottom of each mold. Then carefully fill each one with the melted soap base.
- Let cool completely, about 1 hour. Pop soap out of the molds and let cool completely.
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Gina Jansheski, a licensed, board-certified physician who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Learn more about Hello Glow's medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.540