These handmade Christmas soap recipes are fun and festive! They make wonderful handmade gifts, and are sure to delight your holiday house guests!
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Making our own soap is one of those crafts that I honestly thought I'd do just once or twice for fun. I had no idea how addictive soap making could be!
My dear friend Heidi over at Healing Harvest Homestead was the one who first showed me how easy it is to whip up a batch of hot process soap, and once I'd made a few successful batches, my family never wanted to go back to buying store-bought soap. Since making all-natural soap without toxic ingredients is actually cheaper than buying truly natural soap in the store, I'm more than happy to keep indulging my soap making habit.
I have my usual go-to recipes that get us through the year, but for the holiday season, I've been wanting to try some more festive soap recipes. So I reached out to my soap making friends for their favorite handmade Christmas soap tutorials, and I'm really excited to put some HoHoHo in my holiday soap making by trying these!
How do you make Christmas soap from scratch?
There are three basic methods you can use for making your own Christmas soap.
I've categorized these handmade Christmas soap recipes by the way they're made: cold process, hot process, or melt & pour.
If you're not comfortable working with lye, you may want to skip right down to the melt and pour section - there are some REALLY adorable recipes that are great for making with kids!
And if working with lye doesn't phase you, then the cold and hot process holiday soaps will be a delight. I can already vouch for how amazing the Holiday Spice Hot Process Soap recipes is - I've made it, and it's just heavenly!
Cold Process Handmade Christmas Soap Recipes
I've listed the cold process Christmas soap recipes right at the top, because these are recipes you'll want to make well Christmas actually gets here. Cold process soap takes 4-6 weeks to cure, so you'll want to make these in October or November to have them ready for using and gifting during the holiday.
How gorgeous are these "Christmas Candy soaps? This may be the most complicated recipe out of the ones in this list, but the tutorial is so very well laid out, with excellent photos of every step, that it's truly not daunting at all. I also love Tracy's passion for natural soap making, and how she carefully explains all of the ingredients in her soap recipes!
These adorable little gingerbread men totally have my heart! There's no way I'm not making these this fall! I always make soaps to give out to anyone who stops by the house during the holiday season, and I think these will be my "giveaway soaps" this year.
Homemade Candy Cane Soap
One thing I really like about this recipes is that it calls for a generous percentage of tallow. Since I render my own grass-fed lard and tallow at home, that makes it a very cost effective fat for soap making, and helps bring down the cost of ingredients. (Here are more ways to keep down the cost of soap making, if you're looking for ways to keep expenses down!)
That red and white swirl is just perfect, and this tutorial walks you right through getting that luscious candy cane look!
Hot Process Handmade Christmas Soap Recipes
The nice thing about hot process soap is that it's ready to use right away. You don't need to cure it for weeks, before gifting or using it! This makes it a great handmade Christmas gift that you can actually make at the last minute...which, if you're like me, is totally a blessing.
I made 30+ bars of soap the week before Christmas last year, and was so thankful for the hot process method so I could safely gift it to all of my guests on Christmas day!
This recipe is amazing. It's one of those recipes that you'll almost certainly find yourself making even in summer, just because it smells so heavenly, and it's such a joy to wash with. I could honestly alternate between this recipe, and Heidi's "Peaceful Warrior" soap all year, because they're both just decadent and wonderful.
The warm, invigorating scent of the orange essential oil and cinnamon really come through in this one, making it perfect for those cold winter days! The coconut oil and olive oil create a wonderfully cleansing bar that lathers well, and the shea butter makes it so conditioning. Hands-down one of my go-to soap recipes!
I'm really looking forward to trying this recipe as soon as my pine essential oil comes in. This is another hot process recipe from my "soap making mentor", Heidi, by the way. She blogs over at Healing Harvest Homestead, and has a fantastic little e-book with absolutely everything you need to know about hot process soap making.
One thing I adore about Heidi's homemade soap recipes is that she calls for all-natural ingredients, and scents her soaps with herbs and essential oils, not "fragrance oils" which are full of chemicals that many of us are really sensitive to!
If you want to make soap, but feel hesitant about working with lye or messing up the process, that book is where I got my own start, and I still reference it all the time.
UPDATE: Heidi JUST came out with an amazing soap making course that is unbelievably affordable, and she walks you through every single step of making soap! 🙌 Taking this course makes me feel like I'm learning from a very patient best friend, and it's SO worth checking out!
CHECK OUT HEIDI'S SOAP MAKING COURSE HERE
Melt and Pour Christmas Soaps
Melt & pour soaps are such a gift, because they make it possible to share the joy of soap making with small children, without worrying about handling lye. If you want to skip the goggles and gloves, using a melt and pour soap base can be a great way to go.
There are so many many melt & pour options available these days, it's easy to choose ones that are more natural and have quality ingredients.
Use a regular kitchen knife to cut the base into soap cubes, microwave them in a pyrex measuring cup until melted, and you'll be off and running.
Check out all these creative ideas that can be made from melt & pour soap bases! Start with a simple base that you love (I love this goat milk soap) , then stir in some magic with one of these wonderful and easy ideas.
I just don't think it gets much more festive than these adorable little snowflakes! I think it could be really cute to hang these on the tree, and send one home with each holiday guest. I think these would also be beautiful to try, using gold mica to accent the snowflakes!
You can find the super-cute soap molds here.
I just LOVE making these adorable little gingerbread Christmas soaps. They're one of my favorite holiday crafts that I've ever made with my kids, and they're such a joy to use.
These smell exactly like gingerbread cookies. They are so yummy smelling, you really have to plan on making cookies as well as soap, because one you catch a whiff of these you're going to NEED gingerbread cookies - take my word for it!
The good news is that they're made with melt & pour soap base, so they're so quick and easy to make, you'll have more than enough time to whip up a batch of cookies too!
I can't get over how realistic this "lump of coal" soap is! My husband is a blacksmith, so I'm really tempted to fill the toe of his stocking with these. A neat thing about this recipe is that it's a wonderfully cleansing soap. The activated charcoal helps powerfully cut through grease and grime...so it's truly perfect for a blacksmith, with those filthy forge hands!
I love how clean, simple, and sleek this soap looks! It's definitely a soap I'd love to see in my bathroom all through the holiday season. And with the scents of vanilla and mint, I'm sure it smells wonderful too!
Peppermint is one of my favorite scents, year-round. It's so uplifting and invigorating. One thing I really love about this recipe is that it calls for raw cacao to provide the coloring in the base layer, rather than relying on a synthetic dye. I can tell Holly is as passionate about choosing natural soap making ingredients as I am, and I really appreciate that!
I love the gentle simplicity of these sweet little Christmas trees! While the recipe does call for "soap colorant", there are also lots of great natural ways to get good green colors in handmade soap.
Check out this post from Lovely Greens about how to naturally color handmade soap for lots of ideas.
These teensy little trees are so cute! Because of the glitter, they're not prone to sticking together, and you can actually put a supply of them in a little mint tin to keep in your purse. One tiny Christmas tree soap is perfect for a single use.
Hooray for never getting stuck in a public restroom with no soap!
I'm excited to let the kids each choose a melt and pour soap recipe to make for handmade gifts this holiday season. And I'd definitely be making some of the hot and cold process recipes after bedtime, when I can take my time and work with lye without little ones around. If you try any of these recipes, I'd LOVE to hear what you think! And if you have any favorite Christmas soap recipes, please feel free share them in the comments - I'd love to check them out!
Happy soap making!
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