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My daughter (13 years old) has been expressing an interest in soap making for a little while and as her birthday is coming up I've decided to get her some equipment to give it a try.

From my research I have decided I only want her doing melt and pour as am worried about the dangers of lye with her being young and inexperienced. Also I don't want to spend huge amounts on equipment in case she bores of the hobby quickly.

So with in mind I'm making a list of things she will need. So far I've got:

Pyrex jug (is one enough?)
Wooden spoon
Selection of silicone moulds
Variety of soap bases
Variety of colouring agents
Variety of fragrance oils
Maybe a selection of dried flowers, seeds etc. to include.

Is there anything I am missing that will be essential for her to get started?

Thanks for your help.
 

not_ally

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I think you're pretty much covered to start, MP is easy that way! Although I have always used Pyrex to melt and a recent thread here got me wondering about it.
 

snappyllama

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Essential: big bottle of rubbing alcohol and a good spray bottle for it. With M&P, she'll be spraying with it all the time to get air bubbles out, join up layers, etc.

Essential: Saran Wrap (or similar plastic wrap) for wrapping up her creations so they don't sweat everywhere

Nice to have: for breaking down a big chunk of base into little cubes (you would do that to make melting it much easier) is a metal dough scrapper or something with a flat, thin edge and handle on one side. I think a sheet-rocker's putty knife would work too. You could use a knife instead, but I'm a klutz and find that hanging onto M&P makes my hands a little slippery.

Nice to have: Very small whisk

Nice to Have: Small spatula

Nice to have: maybe some cosmetic glitter... but it has to be cosmetic-safe, not just stuff from the crafting store

Please remember that fragrance oils must be body & skin safe. Brambleberry.com has a great calculator that you can use a a guide for amounts. Some Essential Oils are more like medicine than just scents... some can injure you if you don't use appropriate amounts or have certain medical conditions like pregnancy.

Also, SoapQueen (Brambleberry) has some really nice tutorials for M&P. Now, she's selling stuff for her company, but there are a lot of fun ideas and techniques there.
 

Seawolfe

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I would use anything but wood for a spoon - silicone or plastic. Maybe a pack of plastic spoons for mixing up colors? And a silicone spatula for getting all the soap out of the jug.
 

not_ally

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Essential: big bottle of rubbing alcohol and a good spray bottle for it. With M&P, she'll be spraying with it all the time to get air bubbles out, join up layers, etc.
I forgot about this, definitely should go on the list, the 91% kind. I initially got the kind that came in a spray bottle and just buy the non-spray bottles on sale and refill when I run out now.
 
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Ok great so rubbing alcohol spray and plastic wrap added to the list. Will get a variety of plastic spatulas and spoons instead of the wooden one also.

I am in the UK so have been getting supplies from the soap kitchen but I will be sure to take note on the oils etc. used.

For the moment I've got her the fruit scented ones and they are all designed for soap so will be cosmetic grade. Any she adds to the collection I will check first.

If she enjoys it I am sure she will be reading all about the different properties of ingredients as she tends to read a lot. I've bookmarked loads of tutorials from soapqueen for her, some are amazing!
 

not_ally

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I have a feeling this will be a *great* present for her. If she is a reader, and likes making soap, I think she might like to join us here (and we will love to have her.)

You sound like a really good mom (or dad, as the case may be :)).
 
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Aww thank you, that's really sweet. I'm sure she is going to love the present!

I will definitely refer her to this forum as well and put up photos of her creations. I'm quite excited myself.
 
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Just a quick question about the moulds. I've bought silicone ones, like a loaf one first and watching a tutorial I've seen people sit them in like a wooden frame type thing. Do you have to do this or can you use the silicone mould alone?

Also have found that in the UK you need a licence to sell / store and use isopropyl alcohol so might struggle with that. Is there an alternative that works well?
 

Dorymae

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Test the silicone mold by filling with water. Put it in a pan first. If it holds it's shape it should be fine. If the side bow out or if the water spills out it will need support. You can build a cardboard box support for it inexpensively.

As for the alcohol, a high proof (as high as you can get) vodka will work although not as well as rubbing alcohol.
 
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Good thinking! As soon as it arrives I will check it. It's a cheap one so not expecting it to hold though.

Might have to look into the licence and how to get one as it seems like it's something that is used a lot.
 

not_ally

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Rebecca, molds which make individual soaps - like the Milky Way ones, or silicone ones that make single soaps - are really the best for making MP in the beginning unless you are doing swirls, and swirling is an additional step that you want to wait on until you have the basics down. Although that does not take long w/MP.

Making a plain loaf is not hard/bad, but it might be more fun for a young girl to use the other molds. Also, cheaper silicone loaf molds are not good for mp - you have to support them, as Dory described - b/c it is so much more fluid than CP, so the thinner/floppier ones tend to be even more floppy when you pour MP into them. If you build a support of some kind, you might want to clip the sides of the mold to the support w/binder clips to help hold it in place.

When is her birthday, ie; do you have time to order a couple of the cheap silicone molds from China from Amazon or Ebay? I have had really good experiences w/them, they generally arrived relatively fast (w/in 3 weeks or so to the US) and worked well. Also, I love Milky Way molds but am not sure if you can get them there.

The alcohol I am not sure about. There are a number of UK members here, though - Sonya and Saponista among them - and I know that I have seen posts about this. A good way to search the forum is through this link: http://sitecomber.com/search.php?domains=www.sitecomber.com&client=pub-1307489338039489&forid=1&ie=ISO-8859-1&oe=ISO-8859-1&cof=GALT%3A%23008000%3BGL%3A1%3BDIV%3A%23FFFFFF%3BVLC%3A663399%3BAH%3Acenter%3BBGC%3AFFFFFF%3BLBGC%3A150567%3BALC%3A000000%3BLC%3A000000%3BT%3A0000FF%3BGFNT%3A0000FF%3BGIMP%3A0000FF%3BLH%3A0%3BLW%3A0%3BL%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fsitecomber.com%2Flogo-490x90.jpg%3BS%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.sitecomber.com%3BFORID%3A11&hl=en&channel=5823071447&q=&sitesearch=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.soapmakingforum.com&sa=Search&safe=active
 
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cmzaha

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If you have a source deli cups in various sizes come in handy for mixing colorants. I like the 1 oz deli cups for mixing mica with alcohol, if you can get the alcohol. Alcohol for dissolving mica for use in melt and pour works fantastic. You can just leave the leftover in the little deli cup, add more alcohol and use it again. Also deli cups work well for measuring out small amount of fo and do not melt the cup, although I would not store fo in deli cups
 
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Her birthday is the 12th September. The moulds I've bought are from China and ordered a while ago so should come any day now. I got her a 1.2 litre loaf and a selection of 6 others that make individual bars / fun shapes and cake slice shapes so she should have plenty to choose from. I've just found a wooden support for sale that fits the 1.2 mould perfectly as well so going to order that if the silicone mould is quite floppy when it arrives.

Thanks for the alcohol link as well! Will get that ordered now. Can't wait for things to start arriving!!
 

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