Vintage ~ Handmade ~ Homes ~ Gardens

Friday, 5 November 2010


With all the excitement of meeting The Boss I haven't told you about the wonderful soap making workshop I attended in Tavistock down in beautiful Devon last week. The workshop was run by the lovely Jennie and Carol at Odds and Suds, a very pretty soap and interiors shop. The shop smells absolutely wonderful!

Tavistock is a small town situated on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. It was a long 5 hour drive down there but well worth it.

Lot of lovely old buildings and little windy streets to explore

There is great indoor market and lots of good independent shops like (Suds sister shop) Odds and Buds below 

I bought this lovely ribbon and selection of pastel coloured buttons in the market.


The actual process of soap making is a bit like making a big cake - except that one of the key ingredients is caustic soda so eye goggles and masks are necessary! The morning was spent making the basic soap recipe: soda, water, coconut, olive and sunflower oils. When that is all mixed together it has to be stirred  continuously for 45 minutes! This was a good opportunity to chat to the other lovely ladies on the course and get lots of soap making and business tips from Jennie and Carol. We then went for a delicious lunch at Browns Hotel (where I stayed during the trip) - the yellow building below.

After lunch it was back to the shop to add the essential oils to our soap mix. Wonderful aromas! With all the mixing done we poured into our plastic containers to take home. The soap has to be left to set and mature for 6 weeks. With the time left we had lots of fun learning how to decorate and wrap our soaps with all sorts of goodies - poppy seeds, rose buds, ribbons, raffia and string. 

My first attempts - I brought the pretty wire soap holder from the shop.

I definitely need more practice!

Back home again and the huge blocks of soap are out of the plastic moulds and ready for cutting and storing until ready to use. 

Lemongrass, honey and oats...


 Gardeners Soap...

My first enjoyable steps to becoming a soap maker. I can't wait to get making soap at home!

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