Lisa's Soapmaking Corner

Did you know you can buy soap at Dead Tree Books? 

Right now, we carry four different scents regularly, all made with a shea butter base:

  • Signature Lavender Scent -- this is the first one we carried.  It is made with lavender 40/42 essential oil and lavender buds.
  • Wake Up and Smell the Books -- a special request from Kenny to Lisa after the lavender turned out so well.  He wanted a coffee-scented soap.  This one is made with espresso fragrance oil and a bit of coffee grounds for color and a small amount of exfoliating. 
  • Books and Blue Skies -- a particular customer favorite.  This soap features a fresh, clean, floral scent and a light blue color.
  • Reading by Candlelight -- the newest addition to the Dead Tree Books soap family.  This one has a mixture of lavender 40/42 essential oil and sandalwood fragrance oil, a light golden color, and a hint of glitter.  The bars currently available at the store are from the first batch of this soap, and the next one will likely be a bit different, as the scent came out stronger on the lavender side.  The next batch will have more sandalwood scent.

We also, from time to time, carry another soap called Do Fish Read in the Bathtub?  This special soap is done in a plastic bag with a clear base tinted blue with a bit of glitter, and one or two plastic fish embeded within.  It resembles a bag of fish you might get at a pet store.  It has a bright, fresh scent that is similar to cut grass.

The normal bars are $4.00 for a small bar and $5.00 for a larger one.  The fish soap bags are $8.00 each.

Right now, all of these soaps are made with melt and pour base.  Melt and pour is a base that you add your own colorants and scents to.  It is not the same as making soap from scratch, with lye and fats.  There are things that are possible with melt and pour that cannot be done with making soap from scratch (like the fish bag soap).  Melt and pour is like a blank canvas to play with, or a boxed cake mix that you add your own frosting and decorations to.  It isn't from scratch, but it comes out lovely and very fast, and and is far easier to work with when it comes to fragrance and color.  It is very forgiving of mistakes, and is a great place to start if you are interested in soapmaking!

However, made from scratch soaps will be coming to Dead Tree Books soon, as well.  Sometime this month (May 2019), Lisa will be be making her first ever cold-process soap.  Making soap from scratch takes much longer to prepare for sale.  Even if the first batches come out perfectly (not terribly likely, but possible), it will still take weeks to cure.  Hopefully, sometime this summer or fall, we will be carrying the first batches of homemade soap in the store.  Right now, Lisa is planning on a recipe that will likely be a combination of lard, coconut oil, and olive oil to start with.

So stay tuned for new and exciting soap products!