Melt and pour can be as easy as going to your local Michaels or JoAnn Etc. store and buying the base (clear or white), color, fragrance, additives (if desired), and molds. It's a little pricier than buying on the internet, but instant gratification. You just need a bowl or measuring cup to melt the base down in.
I just took my lunch and went to Michaels and bought some stuff. i am very excited about getting started. Maybe once I get comfortable making the soaps, I will order from the internet. Michaels and JoAnn's both have very small sections, and no books on the subject.
I made one mold (3 soaps) of melt and pour last night! HOLY CRAP that is easy and fun! I was a little afraid of the scent, so I only put a little in it. Now I will know for next time (tonight) to put more in it. My mom and girlfriend want some already! The hubby thought I was on drugs until he saw the finished product! HA I SHOWED HIM!!! now I will never buy product at Michaels, I spent $9 for 1lb of mp soap. I found a ton of deals on ebay! WATCH OUT WORLD DRAGONFLY IS MAKIN SOAP!!
Soapmakers have tried just about everything. You should wait for someone else to chime in as I am not a MP'er, but I'm pretty sure you can use food coloring. I wouldn't sell it, but just to use for friends and family, I'm sure it's fine.