Gift for Grandma — by Guest Mom Rebecca Rather

November 21, 2006



For the first few Christmases when I had kids, I agonized over what gift they should give their grandparents and great-grandparents. I wanted it to be homemade by the kids and thoughtful, but not totally useless. Then a few years ago, I came across the perfect solution — and now, every Christmas our Grandparents get a stack of homemade glycerin soap.

The boys can help with every step, and the process from beginning to end (excluding letting it set) takes less than 30 minutes. It really could take 10 minutes, but with four extra sets of hands helping (helping?)…. It’s seriously the easiest project ever.



Glycerin soap and scented oils are available online or at crafts stores like Michaels. I have been happy with the soap, oil, and molds (I like very simple shapes– squares, rectangles, and rounds) that I have purchased here.

All you do is melt the soap in the microwave, add the scented oil, and pour into the molds. We’ve never tried any additional ingredients, but it would be fun to add something like oatmeal or exfoliating beads. You can find all sorts of recipes and instructions on the internet. I recently found some simple instructions on Martha Stewart’s website here. She recommends even using the bottom of a milk carton or an ice cube tray for the mold.

They turn out really great when you wrap them individually in pretty paper, clear cellophane, or even parchment. A stack of wrapped soaps can be tied together with a nice ribbon or string.



I may even wrap in little gift boxes this year found at Papermart. (FYI: Papermart.com is actually a fabulous resource for all your wrapping accessories.)
Martha put a collection of smaller soaps in a glass container — very nice.



The best thing is that it doesn’t clutter Grandma’s desk and it’s completely useful and practical. And it’s the kind of gift that you could really give anyone — teachers, neighbors, hostesses, etc.

Any other solutions for the grandparent gift dilemma?

For a list of helpful soap-making websites, see here.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Namona November 21, 2006 at 8:42 am

Thanks for this idea. 4 year old dd and I are always on the hunt for new projects. This is a fun one, and we can actually give it to someone as a gift when we’re finished.

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2 compulsive writer November 21, 2006 at 8:52 am

Those look great! I love to make glycerin soaps, but got stuck in the a rut with the same old molds–thanks for the new ideas.

I like to buy a box of See’s chocolates for my grandparent. It’s not something they would splurge on for themselves, but they really do enjoy them.

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3 Girl con Queso November 21, 2006 at 9:46 am

I’ve been wanting to try this, but I always thought it was harder. Excellent. I’ll try your version.

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4 Brooke November 21, 2006 at 1:37 pm

I’m definitely going to make this a tradition. Simple, practical, lovely, and my boys can help. Thanks for the great idea!

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5 Jessie November 21, 2006 at 2:05 pm

This is a fun idea. You might consider putting Christmas embellishments into the soap, i.e., little sleigh bells, pine needs, holly berries. They might not feel to soft on your hands, but I think they would look cute.

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6 liliv November 21, 2006 at 2:13 pm

I LOVE this idea – I am going to do this with my four kids for Christmas presents. I have been trying to come up with something fun, easy and useful and you have supplied it!

Thanks!

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7 liz November 21, 2006 at 2:30 pm

Great idea!!!

I usually order a special box of chocolate for my grandma that isn’t available in her state (FannyMay Candies).

Also- Origins is great for us less craft-ability people. ;-) Somehow I am certain I would burn the soap!

Magazine sub is always nice..

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8 Anonymous November 21, 2006 at 3:47 pm

Rebecca it is so great to see your posts – we miss you out here!

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9 Factotum November 21, 2006 at 6:45 pm

what a great idea! I always struggle with grandparent gifts and this is perfect–thanks!

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10 Mo November 21, 2006 at 6:45 pm

Socks or underwear maybe… My grandma always used to give my Dad underwear. I always thought that was so funny and such a gip.

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11 Anonymous November 21, 2006 at 7:12 pm

We do these for baby shower gifts. Another great place to check out for recipies and soap products, scents and add ins (like lavender….etc) is Majestic Mountian Sage…… They are located in Logan, UT–so any Utah folks reading this can avoid shipping.

They also have fun recipies for bath bombs…like the ones you can get at LUSH. We make them in the shape of cupcakes and in cupcake tins…… it is fun for the kids to do.

Time to dig out the molds……

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12 Rebecca November 21, 2006 at 7:20 pm

Liz:
I think it would be impossible to burn it!
MO:
I (or I mean Santa) puts underwear in my boys’ stockings… is that still a jip?
Jessie:
Adding other embellishments is a great idea!
Suzi:
I read about Sage in Martha Stewart recently. It sounds like a great resource… thanks!

Hope you all have a great time making soap and being clean!

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13 Design Mom November 21, 2006 at 7:49 pm

I’ve always wanted to try handmade soap. Thanks for making it sound so easy.

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14 Emily November 22, 2006 at 1:05 am

Thanks for the very un-intimidating instructions. We made soap tonight and my kids said, “This is the most fun we’ve had in a long time.” Success!

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15 paisleesmommy December 19, 2006 at 12:29 am

What a great idea! I have a 3 yo daughter (soon to be 4) who is starting to enjoy simple crafts as well as cooking – this is an idea solution, as we can give away what we make and learn lots of things in the process! Great idea!

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