Friday, February 24, 2012

Felted Soaps

I am linking up to Leighann's Pinterest Party over at Living With Three Hobbits and a Giant. I often spend a good bit of my free time searching Pinterest and Etsy for peacock related things. When I came across these felted soaps on Etsy, I knew I had to make some.

Felted soaps can be used to clean pots, wash hands, or as your shower soap, depending on what soap you use, of course. The felted outside acts as a built in wash cloth, and also helps conserve soap. When they soap is all used up, you can use the pouch to make something else. I was thinking a coin purse would be a natural upcycle. You could make them color coded for kids, coordinated to your bathroom colors, or in an array of choices to give as gifts.

I have seen many variations in how they are made, and what the final result can look like. This video highlights a process to make them look like smoothed river rocks. Very cool, oui? I felt that video was the most helpful in explaining the wrapping and felting technique. The soaps I made after watching are much nicer, with a better felt. Thin wispy layers of roving is the key. As well as a gentle start to felting.

I chose to felt some round soap with bright colors, much like the first ones I saw on Etsy. As a sidenote, do you ever feel bad looking at Etsy as a way to get the creative juices flowing? Back to the point. I bought some round soaps from Whole Foods, in two scents, almond, and oatmeal. I bought the wool roving at Michael's, but in the future, I would be more likely to buy from the local yarn shop in the next town.

It took about 20 minutes for each soap from beginning to end, and I am so pleased with the result.

Round soaps
Fancy round soaps from Whole Foods

Little hotel soaps
Some little hotel soaps Kim has brought home from travel

Julia's soap
A bar of Lever2000 with Julia's favorite colors.

I can see myself making these for teacher gifts, and I think I will make a bunch to have on hand for other random gift occasions. Here is my problem now: I am obsessed with bar soap. Every store I go to, I check out the bar soaps to see what they offer. Big Lots has a surprisingly diverse selection from Cashmere Bouquet to Palmolive bar soap. Also, I kind of can't wait for the farmer's market to open so I can get some handmade soap to felt.