As a new parent, I’ve reached a new part of the holidays I haven’t really had to deal with in the past. And that’s the part where you give a gift to the people who care for your child all day. Yes, the parents at the big girls’ school organize to give gifts to the teachers there, but since the girls have both a mother and father who are actively involved, I’m sort of off the hook for worrying about that. But this year – this year little B is in daycare, and she has some ladies who have done amazing work for her.
As in – our daycare uses a system where you can look in through a camera at what’s going on in the classroom during the day, and more than once I have looked in and seen my child being loved fiercely. These ladies spend as much time with my baby girl over the course of a week as I do, and so it’s only appropriate (and appropriate etiquette) to give them a gift this holiday season.
But guys – I’m terrible at gifts. If it’s the kind of thing where you can just tip them, then that’s cool, and I can do that. But I feel like with a teacher/childcare provider, it needs to be a little more thoughtful. And I also feel like consumable is good, because nobody needs stuff cluttering up their home. So when in my newsfeed I saw this DIY soap come up, I knew I had a winner. A little bit of pumpkin-spice soap, and then maybe a gift card to Starbucks, and I feel like it shows that I cared enough to make something (while still giving a partly practical gift, because who doesn’t enjoy getting a hot beverage on someone else’s dime?).
Plus, the process was so easy that I’m inspired to do more. I’ve ordered more supplies, and started collected mix-ins for future styles. I have a feeling if I get my act together this week, I might be able to make a few special stocking stuffers. And the good news is, that because this is a fairly easy DIY, with items that are either in your home, or are quickly available through Amazon, you could potentially knock out some cute homemade gifts soon too. But if for any reason any of the other moms from my daycare are reading: don’t do it. I don’t want you stealing my good ideas.
Pumpkin Spice Soap
Yields: 4 bars of soap
1 pound of melt and pour soap (I used shea butter soap here)
15-20 drops of cinnamon leaf essential oil (don’t use cinnamon bark oil on your skin—make sure it’s cinnamon leaf; I used this oil, but there are lots available on Amazon)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
soap mold (I used this one, but if you want one that will arrive before Xmas, this one looks similar)
microwave safe container with a spout (do you have one of these guys?)
Rubbing alcohol (in a small sprayer)
Chop your soap block so that you have pieces that are 1″ square or smaller. I did not quite do this (see pictures above), and while it’s not a huge deal, it does take longer for the soap to melt this way.
Put the soap pieces in the microwave-safe container, and then melt in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring between intervals to distribute the heat evenly.
Once soap is completely melted, add in spices and the essential oil. Stir to combine.
Spray the bottom of the mold with rubbing alcohol – this prevents bubbles on the bottom. Then pour the soap mixture into four cavities of the mold – you should have enough soap to fill four of those cavities completely. Spritz the top of the soap with the rubbing alcohol mixture to prevent bubbles on the top.
Allow the soap to cool and harden before removing from the mold (which will be easy since it’s silicon). I waited about 90 minutes, and while by that time the soap was solid, it could have been even firmer. Mine bulges out slightly at the middle. I would recommend leaving it at least 3-4 hours, or potentially even overnight so you get a perfect looking soap.