Soap-on-a-rope is more than just a catchy rhyme. It’s a decorative way to display soap that also keeps it from getting soft or sitting in a little soap puddle in your shower or bath. These rosemary lemon soap-on-a-rope stars come straight from the garden into the holiday gift-giving season. This project is extra special because it creates two types of soap in one: stars and bars!
Stars and bars? Yes! Two kinds of soap come out of this one project. First, you will cut out soap stars and when that process is finished you’ll add another soap to fill in the holes and create decorative soap bars. Let’s get to it, shall we?
Rosemary Lemon Soap-on-a-Rope Stars and Bars
Watch this video for the quick overview for how easy this project is, then follow the step-by-step in the rest of this post so you can make these at home.
Now on to the recipe!
- 3 lbs shea butter soap base (buy 2 x 2lb boxes and use 1 and a half of them)
- 2 lbs aloe carrot cucumber glycerine soap base
- 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
- zest from one lemon
- 1 teaspoon rosemary essential oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon essential oil
- Pyrex 4-cup measuring cup
- Microwave or double boiler
- Cookie sheet (9 x 13)
- Star cookie cutter
- Spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol
- Cotton twine
Cut up the shea butter soap base into 1-inch cubes and add it to the Pyrex measuring cup.
Melt the soap base in a microwave or in a double boiler so that it is just melted. You want the soap base to melt but not cook. Remove the soap base from the microwave or off the double boiler before it starts to steam. There may be a few chunks left, but that is just fine. Those will melt if you keep stirring the soap base for a few minutes after removing it from the heat.
When the soap base has melted, add in half of your herbs, lemon zest, and essential oils to the soap mix. Reserve the other ingredients.
Pour the soap base into the cookie sheet and move the cookie sheet around quickly so that it fills up the entire space. It should be approximately 1 inch thick. Sprinkle the remaining herbs and lemon zest to the top of the soap. Leave it to set on a level surface. Spray the surface with isopropyl alcohol. Note: work quickly as the soap will dry fast.
When the soap is dry—in only about a half hour—use the cookie cutter to cut out star shapes.
Make the stars into the soap-on-a-rope by using a screw to create a hole and then tying a piece of cotton twine through the hole. The soap-on-a-rope can now be given as a gift or hung in the shower.
Now, I’ll show you how to make the bars!Melt the glycerin soap base in the microwave or double boiler as you did with the previous batch. Add the remaining essential oils and stir well.
Spray the surface of the star cutout soap with isopropyl alcohol to encourage the layers to stick. Pour the melted soap slowly and evenly over the star cut-out soap in the cookie sheet. The glycerin soap will fill in the stars and add another layer of thickness to the soap. Spray the surface with isopropyl alcohol again.
When the cookie sheet of soap has dried you can use a knife to gently lift the corner of the soap and pull the sheet up. Place the soap on a cutting board and cut out rectangles or squares of soap to create soap bars.These can be used as is, or you can punch a hole in them and hang them from rope just as you did with the stars.
I like the idea of wrapping them up and giving them as stocking stuffers or even tying them to the outside of a present. No matter how you decide to give them, this is a fun project to make any time of year.
If you are looking for more gift ideas, be sure to check out my melt and pour soap book, Good Clean Fun!
Good Clean Fun is filled with super simple techniques for crafting artisan soaps at home. You’ll learn how to use botanicals, essential oils, and even wild animals to spice up your soap, giving you finished projects that don’t look nearly as easy to make as they are.
Hey Stephanie Rose, You are a super star – your garden therapy is brilliant.
2 lbs aloe carrot cucumber glycerine soap base is listed in your recipe but the link goes to Amazon’s goat milk product. is this interchangeable?
Hi Meg, no they aren’t interchangeable. It looks like the brand sold out and then replaced the listing. I have updated it to one that is available (http://amzn.to/2hU7dQR) but the shipping costs are very high. As an alternative, you can use another clear glycerin soap base and add some yellow color to it. I haven’t tried this one but it has a bit of gold color to it http://amzn.to/2hVRnYj
Oh how wonderful is this!!!! I have to try them. Love rosemary and the look of your soaps.
All my best and happy days from Austria
Hi, I have read that kitchen materials used to make soap should never be used for making food again – is that true? Once it is used for making soap, it cannot be used for food again?
It depends on a few factors like what kind of soap you are making and what the material of the equipment is. Melt and pour soap is generally fine to use kitchen materials, although the smell of essential oils will get in to porous material like plastic and wood and could add that to food prepared afterwards (and vice versa for garlic and cooking spice smells). Metal and glass should be fine (that baking sheet and measuring cup from the video are all from my kitchen). I do not use kitchen equipment for making cold process soap though, even though I was it well, I think there is more chance of cross contamination.
The rosemary and lemon will unfortunately rot in melt and pour soap. Beautiful work though. Additives of any kind including lavender and rose petals don’t do well in this type of soap.
The lemon and rosemary lasted perfectly in this soap and I have made it many times. With rose and lavender, they can be added to the top of the soaps as well and they will last as well. Check out this post for more experiments with adding botanicals https://gardentherapy.ca/botanical-soap/ and this on my fav dried petals to use in beauty: https://gardentherapy.ca/dried-flower-petal-projects-how-to-dry-flowers/