Tag Archives: handmade

Hot Process Tallow Soap Recipe with Citrus Oil

I’ve been promising this recipe for awhile! Well, here it is! Basically, all I’ve done is taken my usual recipe and swapped out the palm oil for the tallow I rendered and adjusted the lye. As you will have noticed if you’ve browsed my blog at all, almost all my soap recipes feature citrus oils. That’s because those oils are fabulous for cutting grease and grime. I rarely make a soap without at least one of them!

I planned to take a picture, but of course my camera battery decided to die. This picture is from my lemon hot process, but I promise you it looks identical. I hope you enjoy it!


You must use caution when working with lye. Wear goggles and long gloves, don’t breath in the fumes, and make absolutely sure there are no children or pets in your work area. If you’ve never made cold process soap before, please read up on it before attempting this or any project. 

Hot Process Tallow Soap with Citrus Oil

9 oz coconut oil

8 oz olive oil

7 oz deer tallow

1 oz castor oil

3.58 sodium hydroxide (lye)

8.25 oz water

1.2 oz citrus essential oil – I used orange

2 pound mold or individual molds

Stick Blender

Crock Pot

Safety Gear–Goggles & Gloves

Though this recipe has been calculated carefully, it’s always a good idea to double check any recipe with a lye calculator. 

To Make the Soap:

1. Heat the oils and tallow in the crock pot until melted. Turn off the crock pot.

2. In a heat safe bowl (not aluminum), carefully sprinkle your lye into your chilled tea. Do this in a well ventilated area, and be very careful not to breath in the fumes. Stir the mixture until it is clear, and then set it in a safe place to cool.

3. Very carefully add your cooled lye mixture to your oils, and blend with a stick blender until it reaches light trace. This will look like thin pudding.

4. Turn the crock pot to low, and then cover with the lid. In fifteen minutes, stir the soap. It should be starting to thicken up.

5. In another 10-15 minutes stir the soap again.  Continue to stir and wait until the soap is the texture of mashed potatoes. It will be somewhat translucent and waxy.

6. At this point it’s a good idea to test the soap’s ph. If the soap is finished (below a 10) then transfer it to a heat safe bowl to cool for a few minutes. You don’t want to wait too long, just a few minutes so it isn’t quite as hot when you add the essential oil.

7. After a few minutes, stir in the essential oil, and then transfer the soap to your mold. Press it down firmly with your fingers (since the soap is still hot, I keep my gloves on the entire time). Wait 24 hours, or until set, and then cut your bars.

The soap is ready right away, but the longer you let them cure, the harder they will be–and the longer they will last.


December Candle Fragrance and Jar Testing

I’ve been busy testing the new jars and fragrances I purchased. I have a love/hate relationship with testing. On one hand, it’s really fun to try new fragrances and jars. On the other hand, it makes you want to pull your hair out when things don’t go as planned.

I bought Candle Science’s Tumber Jars, and they are absolutely gorgeous. They are 3 1/4 in diameter at the top. Since I’m using GW 464, a wax I am very comfortable with, I was pretty sure an Eco 14 wick would be perfect. I was wrong. For some unknown reason, the melt pool the wick is creating isn’t reaching the edge of the glass. Or even close. I replaced the Eco for an RRD wick and then an LX wick. Nope. Not working.

I ended up double wicking the jar with Eco 8. That’s crazy–it seems like overwicking on a major scale–but it is burning so nicely now. I have about a 1/2 inch melt pool after about 3 – 4 hours of burning, the flame is a good height, and though it does flicker a little more than I would like, it looks good. I might try a couple Eco sixes later. We will see.

Moving on to fragrances. All tested in GW 464 with Eco wick at 7% fragrance load. I make little votives for my fragrance testers. They don’t require a lot of wax or fragrance, and it gives me a good idea if the scent will throw at all. All of the fragrances are Candle Science Brand except for the Pumpkin Souffle which is Peak’s.


Here are my results from this batch:

Red Velvet Cake  –  Excellent hot/cold throw. Very strong to the point of almost overwhelming (and a little nauseating out of the bottle). My husband swears it’s a true red velvet cake smell–vanilla with a hint of chocolate. I smell carrot cake. Whatever. It’s definitely a bakery scent, and my son was really bummed when he found out it was a candle on the counter and not a cake in the oven. It’s much yummier burning than it is as a straight oil.

Black Raspberry Vanilla Type – Excellent hot throw, decent cold throw. After about an hour and a half, the little votive completely filled my bathroom with scent. Very pleasant, and it smells much nicer burning than it did straight from the bottle. I detect very little vanilla fragrance, but the raspberry is pretty true.

Peach  – Good hot/cold throw. This is a pleasant peach scent. Maybe a little sugary, but my husband really likes it that way. Not much to say. I like it; I’m happy.

Apple Harvest  – Excellent hot/cold throw. I’ve made dozens of candles in this fragrance, so there was no reason to test it. It’s awesome. Beyond awesome. After pouring the candles, my kitchen was filled with this fragrance for a good day and a half. They are boxed up now, but I can still smell them. This isn’t a traditional cinnamon apple. It’s a little brighter, a little more complex.

Blueberry Cheesecake – Excellent hot/cold throw. This is the free sample I received, and I’m very happy with it. Honestly, I don’t think it smells much different than the Blueberry Cobbler (which is also really yummy). I get a faint cheesecake note, but really it’s the blueberry that shines through. Everyone seems to like this one.

Rosemary – Haven’t tested yet. I’m the only one who seems to like this scent, so I think I’m going to save it and make myself a few Rosemary/Orange/Spruce candles after Christmas.

Pumpkin Souffle (Peak Candle) – Excellent cold throw, weak hot throw. This was the free sample that came with my wax. As I mentioned a few days ago, I haven’t had much luck with Peak fragrances in GW 464. I’m not going to give up on this one yet. I have a bag of EcoSoya Advanced, and I have noticed that many fragrances that don’t do well in 464 work great in it. The scent itself is different. I don’t smell much pumpkin. It’s a very sweet spicy smell. I’m not sure I like it, but both my mother-in-law and Jake say it’s not bad. I don’t want to judge it until I really smell how it burns.

If you have any questions, please let me know. I’ll be posting the tutorials soon!

Soy Christmas Candle Tutorial and Deck the Halls Fragrance Recipe

Christmas will be here before you know it. Make these candles now, and your house will smell amazing all through the holidays!

These are the candles I used to sell in my Etsy store before I decided to turn my business back into a hobby 

What you need (everything not labeled can be found at Candle Science):

3 ll.5 oz candle jars – I used these – but you can find some similar at Candle Science if you want to order everything from one place. Be warned – you might have to change the wick size and pour temperature if you use a different jar.

1.5 lbs Ecosoya Advanced Wax

3 LX-22 Wicks

Liquid Candle Dye (Optional)

1.5 oz Deck the Hall Fragrance Blend (Recipe Below)

Glue Gun

Candle Making Supplies – check out my post here for more info


Deck the Halls Fragrance Blend Recipe:

.8 oz Candle Science Blue Spruce Fragrance Oil

.4 oz Candle Science Cranberry Marmalade Fragrance Oil

.3 oz Orange Essential Oil (you can get this at most local health food stores)



1. Glue your wicks into each jar. Set them in a place where they can sit for at least 12 hours undisturbed.

2. Place your wax in your candle pot or bowl and place over boiling water. Once the wax is starting to melt, add 6 – 10 drops of blue liquid candle dye, and then add 4 – 6 drops yellow dye. Add more if you would like it darker. Stir often.

3. Once your wax has melted, insert your thermometer and gently stir your wax until it reaches 185 degrees F. Remove from heat.

4. Immediately add your fragrance oil blend. Stir gently for two minutes.

5. Once your wax has reached 125 degrees, slowly pour it into your prepared jars, reserving some to top them off later if needed. Set your reserved wax aside for now.

6. Let the candles sit for twelve hours. If you notice frosting (swirling on the top of the candle), or if the top has cratered in, reheat the remaining wax and top off the candles with a thin layer of remelted wax. This almost always takes care of both problems.

7. Trim your wicks, and wait at least another 12 hours before you burn your candles. Enjoy!


Easy Orange Cold Process Soap Recipe

My friend, Brittany, is quite awesome. She’s my soap-making buddy, and though we each make soap on our own, I think its more fun to make soap together!


We got together about a month ago to make an easy batch with another friend of ours, and we ended up with this lovely, luscious, cold process soap that just makes me so happy I had to share it with you all.

We started with the basic formula from www.soapqueen.com, and then we tweaked it a bit, checking our recipe with Brambleberry’s lye calculator. This is a pretty nifty tool, by the way.

Make sure you have your safety gear!
Make sure you have your safety gear!

So here’s what you need for a 2 lb batch:

7.5 oz coconut oil

7.5 oz palm oil

7.5 oz olive oil

2.5 oz avocado oil

3.5 oz sodium hydroxide (lye)

8.25 oz prepared calendula tea (room temperature) – you can also use water

1.5 oz orange essential oil

2 tsp paprika

2 lb loaf mold (or whatever mold you would like)

Stick Blender

Safety Gear – Gloves & Goggles

Orange Essential Oil
Orange Essential Oil
Paprika is a natural way to give your soap a great, earthy orange color!
Paprika is a natural way to give your soap a great, earthy orange color!

If you have never made cold process soap before, I suggest you watch this quick video on lye safety.

To make your soap:

1. Line your molds with freezer paper (you don’t need to do this if you’re using silicone)

2. Put on your gloves and goggles.

3. In a heat safe bowl (not aluminum), carefully sprinkle your lye into your cooled calendula tea. Do this in a well ventilated area, and be very careful not to breath in the fumes. Stir the mixture until it is clear, and then set it in a safe place to cool.

4. In a separate, large, non-aluminum bowl, melt the coconut and palm oil to combine them. Stir in the olive and avocado oil.

5. Very carefully add your cooled lye mixture to your oils, and blend with a stick blender until it reaches light trace. This will look like thin pudding.

6. Sprinkle the paprika over your soap, and then blend well. Once your paprika is blended in, add your orange essential oil and blend again.

7. Carefully pour into your mold.

8. Wait 24 hours, and then you may slice your soap.

9. Set your soap in a well ventilated area and cure for 4 – 6 weeks, turning your soap every so often to ensure even drying.