The best part of bath time as a kid was when mom let us pick a toy we could take in the bath with us. Anyone else have the awesome Fisher Price Marina? That was a favorite.
But sometimes Mom just didn't want to deal with the inevitable mess that we made when we took toys in, so we just had to take a boring ol' bath (I don't blame her at all). So the bars of soap became boats and dolls and great objects to chuck at the siblings. We fought over who got the soap and who had to make a doll out of the wash cloth. I think one bath we ended up dissolving two entire bars of soap in the water. My poor mother, hahaha.
Well, in an attempt to create a fun and clean "toy" for her kids bath time, Becky tried making soap crayons and sent us her story. Here it is, just as she sent it to us:
(Just so you know, this is my third attempt at sending this blasted pinstrosity. First I tried Pintrosity@gmail.com, then Pinstosity@gmail.com. Sending it has become a bit of a "pinstrosity" itself. Third time's the charm...)
I can't say I've always wanted to make a pinstrosity of my own to submit to your site, as I'm usually pretty optimistic that my pinterest ventures will, well, WORK!
Unfortunately I can't say it went so well with my latest attempt at these nifty DIY bath crayons made from glycerin soap.
The Original Pin
(Pretty ain't it?)
As the directions on the pin, as well as in the blog itself simply state, melt glycerin soap, add food coloring, pour into a mold (such as ice cube trays), let cool and pop out. And VOILA! Bright and shiny bath crayons any toddler would go crazy over.
Here's the step by step of my failure...
1. I went to the store and picked up some glycerin soap. Not as easy as it sounds. Apparently the stuff is being phased out by all the super moisturizing shea buttery bars and the like. The only glycerin bar I found was Dove Cranberry Antioxident something or other.
2. I set one bar in a double boiler (I felt putting the bar over direct heat would probably not be a good idea.) But I found that the bar wasn't really melting so much as gumming up all over the bottom of the double boiler.
3.My sister suggested I try the crock pot. Slow gentle heat, but more direct heat than a double boiler. After about 2 hours in the crock pot, this is what came out...
Total lumpy sticky mess. I was confused. I didn't know exactly what I was looking for, but I figured it should be a little more... liquidy and clear.
4. I decided to go back to the post and see what the blog said about how to heat the soap... MICROWAVE! Gotcha! So off the the microwave I went. Though the directions in the blog said nothing about how long or on what power level. I figured one minute at a time should do it. Well, it was a good thing I was watching because this is what happened after about 15 seconds... (Kinda hard to see, but if you look closely, you'll notice I gigantic soap explosion)
After removing from the microwave, I gave it a quick stir and it was still very much the same lumpy sticky mess as before.
5. At this point I decided to just get through it. I was all in. Pot committed. So I portioned the melted soap out into separate dishes, mixed in red, yellow, and blue food coloring to each portion, and then spooned the goop into an ice cube tray. Still holding onto the hope that they would be all clear and shiny after they solidify.
And not-so-voila. Here's the finished product...
They did NOT write on the bathtub or walls as expected, but fortunately my kid is easily entertained and thought it was fun just having them float around him in the tub while he tried to grab onto the slippery soapy cubes. So that's that. I hope you had as much fun reading this as I had creating this Pinstrosity.
Our Take On It
First off, props to Becky for sticking with it and trying different techniques when the first didn't work.
So now...where to find glycerin soap. It can be hard to find ready made glycerin soap bars in the beauty/soap aisle. It's just not that in right now. Where do you find it then? The craft aisle or craft stores. I've seen blocks of glycerin soap in Hobby Lobby, Michaels, and even Walmart. These are just the plain soap, no additives, which is exactly what you need for this project. You can find some that are already colored or that have fun scents already mixed in, but you can find plain soap as well.
I'm thinking that maybe perhaps it was the soap itself that Becky used that made this not as big of a success as she had hoped...but I'm not positive as I don't know exactly what was in the soap she used. While you can find ready made glycerin soap bars in the soap aisle, some of them are not just pure glycerin soap...they can have additives (various creams or whatnot). It's possible that Becky's soap wasn't just pure glycerin soap and so it didn't melt and reset quite as the pin directed.
The Microwave. I love it. I hate it. One day I can nuke my leftovers and they come out perfect...the next day I can nuke more leftovers for the same amount of time and either create new life or char it to pieces. Sometimes I think my microwave hates me (I learned not to put towels in there to warm them up for vicks vapor rub...burned a hole in them). Often microwaves are set to automatically nuke at the highest temperature. For projects like this I suggest setting the heat lower and then only heating in 30 second intervals (stirring between each nuke).
So if you try this out, definitely see if you can get your hands on the craft glycerin soap. Those packages will often have directions for melting it, but if not...go the slow microwave method. I know...none of us are patient, but sometimes it just works best to slow life down.
If this seems like more work than you're wanting to do, here's another fun idea for you from a blog called "Playing to Learn". Super easy homemade Edible Finger Paints that they can use to draw on the tub and then you just wash it down the drain.
While it won't really accomplish the goal of your child getting clean in the bathtub...they sure enjoy it and it's less work than making the glycerin soap crayons.