April’s soap challenge sounded really hard to me: rustic packaging. Why? Because rustic packaging has been done to death over the past few years. So I had to really rack my brain to come up with something unique. It was also a challenge because I chose to make a hot process soap, which innately has a more rustic look. I’ve only made hot process soap twice before, and those were in a crock pot. This one was in the microwave!
In order to get my inspiration for this challenge, I decided to look around my own property. As we were told in the soap challenge description, rustic can be defined as “having a simplicity and charm that is considered typical of the countryside.” Ding, ding ding! I live on 20 acres of some of the prettiest countryside you can imagine. Surely I could come up with something from my place.
My first thought was making use of the tiny, delicate spring flowers that are out now. Gather a bouquet, tie them on front with a pretty ribbon… Then I remembered that flowers die. And these tiny flowers don’t dry well. Whoopsie. At least I realized that before I actually packaged the soap!
But then I was reminded that there is another natural resource all around our place that I absolutely love. Rocks! My 20-month-old son basically lives outside, so I have a lot of time for ground-gazing. I’ve been sort of collecting cool rocks since we moved here. They can be found randomly strewn about my house, and I may try to blame it on my son, but nope, it was me! (And now I totally want a rock polisher again - I never got one as a kid, maybe it's time to get one for myself!)
My favorites are the chunks of quartz. In fact, we’ve even found arrowheads made of this quartz! I don’t know which tribe of Native Americans lived here first, but I wish I did! These rocks are pretty easy to find since we had to clear out some land in the middle of the woods for our home site.
So I decided to make a soap that mimics the look of the quartz that I find. I made a hot process with gold sparkle mica pencil lines running through it. Then I chose a neat rock to wrap around it with twine. And of course, I can’t do ANYTHING without some color involved, so I included a piece of purple tissue paper underneath the twine. Oh, and it’s scented with White Tea & Berries. Smells DIVINE!
P.S. I apologize for the abysmal photography. I couldn't make soap until later in the day, and then the storm rolled in and took all my last remaining natural light.
P.P.S. If you click on the gallery, the captions should pop up. They explain a little bit more about the process.
If you didn't see it on Facebook or Instagram, here's what hot process soap looks like after it's been heated. This part requires vigilance, or you could end up with a dangerous mess!