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Snow-Globe Soap

By Brenda Ponnay

Stuff their stockings with something they can wash their hands with!
By Brenda Ponnay
tighter shot
What’s cuter than a button, small enough to fit in a stocking, won’t rot your teeth and leaves you squeaky clean? A mini snow-globe soap, of course! Here’s a super-fun craft you can whip up in an afternoon. It’s quick, it’s easy and it hardly makes any mess! I’d say it’s just about as easy as making a batch of homemade popsicles except you get to melt things in the microwave.
First you’ll need some wee little toys, small enough to fit inside an ice-cube tray. I found some tiny plastic reindeer, some snowflake-shaped buttons and a few mini ornaments that did the trick. I meant to find some of those cute little plastic snowmen that bakeries sometimes stick in holiday cupcakes but I never managed to run any of those down. Really anything that strikes your fancy and will fit into the ice cube tray will work for your mini snow-globe soap.
Next you’ll need to run to your nearest craft store for a brick of clear glycerine, some soap dye in blue, some soap scent (I chose peppermint because that’s what Christmas smells like to me) and some soap glitter. From your kitchen you’ll need the microwave, a dish to melt and pour things in (my Fiestaware gravy boat worked marvelously but a glass measuring cup would be fine too), a potato peeler, a cheese grater and a spoon for stirring. You’ll also need a bar of white soap.
supplies-mini.jpg
This is technically just “melt and pour” soap so it might be considered cheating to some hard-core soap enthusiasts but I’m not about to mess with lye or distilling vodka when I’ve got a small child acting as my personal assistant. Melt and pour is plenty homemade by our standards. Especially since I get to choose what shape the soap takes and what fun toys I put inside them.
fresh cut glycerine cubes
First you’ll cut up the glycerine into 1-inch chunks. Then microwave them on high for about 40 seconds. After that, microwave in 10 second intervals (stirring in between) until your soap is a nice gloppy liquid.
After your soap is melted you can add your blue dye, scent and glitter. I added two drops of blue to get this winter sky color. Just like food-coloring, it’s always best to err on the not-putting-enough-color-in side than the oh-no-I’ve-put-too-much side. You can always add more dye. Much harder to get it out.
melting the glycerine cubes
Don’t be fooled by the picture above. It might look like ice cubes floating in Anartica but it is actually very hot. Not as hot as you might think though. I was afraid that this project would be too dangerous for my nearly-three-year-old but the soap actually cools quite quickly and as long as I kept her away from me while I was pouring, she was perfectly fine. In fact she helped me choose which toys to put in each ice cube block and she added the snow curls that would later become the snow globe floor. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Pour your glycerin mixture into each section of the ice cube tray leaving about a quarter inch at the top. You will need this space later to add the snow floor and another layer of glycerine to seal the snow floor to the rest of the globe.
sprinking snow like white cheddar
After you’ve poured the glycerine, let it cool just enough to form a thin skin on the top. It doesn’t take long. Maybe a minute, maybe a few seconds. I didn’t time it. I was too busy grating my snow to really pay attention. Then situate your toy in each ice cube block by poking it with a toothpick or pin. As it hardens it will be easier to manipulate so your toy is standing up straight and not floating dead at the top. Just make sure they are upside down because the “top” will be the “bottom” when you are done.
topped with soap shavings
After all your toys are arranged, you can add your snow. We made our soap snow by peeling off curls from a regular bar of white bath soap. I also made some smaller snow shavings by grating it with a cheese grater. Soap is really easy to manipulate. I expect kids of all ages will get a kick out of this part.
When you sprinkle the snow on top, make sure to leave spaces that you can later fill in with a cap of glycerine. I made the mistake of packing the snow a little too tightly on a few of my cubes and they later fell apart because the snow shavings were not melted and there was nothing to hold them to the top part of the snow globe. Of course you could melt opaque white soap instead of using curls for snow but I sort of liked my shavings. They look really pretty in the end. Once you’ve added the snow shavings, top each cube off with a little more glycerine.
meanwhile at the soap factory...
Next you’ll pop it in the freezer for about twenty minutes or until the cubes are cool to touch from the underside of the ice cube tray (be sure to check the middle). Then you just up-end them like you would ice cubes and your little wee snow globes will be sitting pretty, all ready to be packaged!
like jello! but not.
I used a small paring knife to shave off some of the irregularities on the bottom but that was purely aesthetic. Once you wrap them, they look almost good enough to eat. Which reminds me, make sure your kids know that these are not candy. Unless of course you want to teach them a lesson about what happens when they say naughty words but that’s another blog post for a different website.
Snow Globe Soap!
You can wrap these any old way you want, but I chose clear cling wrap because I wanted my cool little glistening gems to show through the wrapping. I printed up some home made labels and tied them up with string. Now they will be perfect for mailing off to those distant relatives, stashing inside of stockings and saving for that bath time that needs a little something special.
sudsy

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Brenda Ponnay
About the Author

Brenda Ponnay

Brenda Ponnay is a stealthy secret agent who juggles parenthood to her adorable daughter by day and freelance graphic design/illustration by night. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, mak...

Brenda Ponnay is a stealthy secret agent who juggles parenthood to her adorable daughter by day and freelance graphic design/illustration by night. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of cardboard boxes or just doing the laundry with flair, Brenda Ponnay has learned that what really makes her happy is being creative every single day.

You can read about all her crazy adventures on her personal blog: Secret Agent Josephine.

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Comments

  • So cute and looks like fun for a kid to help with!

  • JennyL

    What a great idea! I would love to try this sometime.

  • bluejayecrafts

    I can’t wait to try this. We are having our fifth snow day leading into a long Christmas school break. Bring on the projects. This one should even keep the teen-agers busy.

  • Squeee! I love this idea! I might have to pull an all-nighter after all… (which honestly, with all this teething and nursing? I’m pretty much doing that every night. *sigh*).

  • cc

    So cool!

  • Jennie

    What a great idea. It’s great for kids gift giving and fun to do with them. I love it and would love to receive one.

  • Stephanie

    What a charming idea! & it looks like so much fun. I can’t wait to try this out, my little sister will love it!
    Thank you for sharing this with us, Brenda.
    (Stumble users, thumbs up!)

  • amy

    love me some SAJ and this project!

  • These are SO CUTE!

  • Rachel

    Oooh wow. I was going to make cookies for my friends this year but after this post I am definately making these instead!
    (thumbs up on su) 🙂

  • This is a great idea. My kids and I made soap a number of years ago but nothing this cute. Thanks for your ideas.

  • This project is a great idea! I can’t wait to try it with my family! I posted a link on my blog: Crafty Mama Living

  • Heidi

    Wow! I’m saving this idea for next year (already made this year’s homemade gifts). It’s such a neat idea. Thanks for sharing!

  • So very cute! I picked this as an editor’s pick on kirtsy. 🙂

  • sara

    maybe my ice cube trays are abnormally small, but i can’t find little toys to fit in them and have enough room for a snow floor? where did you get your little animals?

  • Jenn

    I tried these tonight. Mine didn’t come out so well. =( For some reason, all my glitter settled to the bottom (top) and they had a very cloudy look. How do you keep the glitter distributed evenly?

  • Anonymous

    I can’t wait to try this. I don’t think I will get around to it for Christmas, but I think it would make a nice take home gift for a kids birthday party. Thanks for sharing… San

  • So cuuuute! I think I’m going to make some 🙂

  • Charleen

    These are absolutely adorable!
    I love that you include your gorgeous girl in the craft! How Fun! I really enjoy any homemade, sensible craft that is kid-friendly. I am going to get an early start on handmade gifts for next year. Thanks for the inspiration!!!!!!!!

  • Found this on kirtsy–adorable!!

  • Hi Sara and Jenn, I’ve been thinking about your questions.
    Regarding the toys, I had this project on my mind for a while. I actually had seen a little tiny plastic deer at my mom’s house and that’s what inspired me. So I searched all over the internet for more small plastic toys. I bought more deer like the one my mom had on Etsy at a shop called Snew. She has all kinds of small vintage plastic toys. These days toy manufacturers are so afraid of children swallowing things they don’t make anything smaller than your elbow. But we did use some toys from a gum ball machine (small alien you can see it in my flickr feed) and some mini ornaments. I really wanted those cupcake topper snowman that you can order over the internet but I wasn’t able to track down in any stores near me.
    Regarding the glitter: I may have had beginner’s luck. I’ve never made soap before but adding the glitter didn’t give me any trouble. Did you use soap glitter? My glitter was very fine like powder (probably so it’s okay to wash your face with). I imagine if the glitter was a problem, you could probably add it later to the cubes instead of when it is still very liquid. You could add a pinch to each cube and stir it with a toothpick after it was congealed a bit and then add the toy on top. You’ll have to act fast though because you want to have your snow sealed in before the cube hardens too much.
    I hope that helps!

  • very nice… it’s looks so cute

  • Wow, these are fantastic. Would you mind if I linked to your post for a Fun Activity to do with your Child section I have on my website?
    Can’t wait to make my own,
    Stacy
    Website: http://www.kidsstuffworld.com

  • These are fantastic. Seriously the cutest thing I’ve seen so far this year. I hope it’s alright that I posted a link on my blog. Merry Christmas.

  • I love this idea. I hope that I can get out to the craft store tomorrow.
    Thanks.

  • Andrea Roberts

    SAJ,
    you rock the house with your crafty ideas. I may try to make this for a non-holiday gift…perhaps go to the dollar store and see if they have any bags of small toys or animals and use those, or make a mini-fish tank maybe by using a candy fishy? hmm, wonder if that would work or if it would just melt? I’d probably try to use a fun tropical scent like coconut or something. Thanks for the great idea. My 3 year old and I will give it a whirl this January!

  • This is a cute soap idea. There is something special about home made soap.

  • Adorable! I must must remember this for next year! Thank you so much!

  • I’m 21 but surely I would have as much fun as a 3-year-old 😀
    What an amazing idea <3

  • Sajjad Haider Jafri

    Its really nice idea for gift .. and we can add more inputs to make it more creative.. with different moulds and coulors and toys… Thank you very much for this cool idea

  • Very cool.

  • wow i realy like this its nice and when it comes down to home made i say yes help keep it alive 🙂

  • Those are so cute and creative. I will definitely give them a thumbs up on Stumbleupon.

  • amy

    Soo cute! Soap is on my handmade to do list…and this is adorable! 🙂
    thanks!

  • These are amazing! I really want to try it out with my kids but will have to get over my craft phobia first. Seriously, crafts always go wrong for me.

  • I made them! http://www.flickr.com/photos/girlwithgreencard/3127444336/in/set-72157600706719757/
    I’ll be adding more detailed photos tomorrow, when there’s more light.
    I have tiny ice cube trays and I used “Merry Minis” ornaments I found at Michael’s. Bonus: They were 70% off, so I got 4-packs for 38 cents.
    I also added essential peppermint oil instead of soap scent since I already had it on hand.
    Such a fun project! Even my husband, whom I forced to “do something with me” enjoyed it.

  • chloex314

    You should sell these on ETSY. They are awesome!

  • Boltanna

    Aww, That is so cute. I’m so gonna try to make one Hopefully I can get to a craft store.

  • I’m sure that my baby will like this. Thanks for post

  • suziwollman

    I am going to try this in my pre-school class in January… We will be studying snow and ice! TFS!

  • This is a very cool project. I can’t wait to try it myself, I am sure my kids will go crazy over it.

  • Yesi

    This is such a wonderful idea– and clearly great for the family! I’m definitely going to prepare these for new years gifts for the kids!! Thank you!

  • Very cool, I’ll have to send my wife this way. Those definitely are great stocking stuffers

  • lindsay

    I just put them in the freezer! Such a great idea. I used enough glitter to make it interesting but hopefully not too much. Also i used probably too much scent, but it should be ok. 😉 The glitter did settle to the bottom (or top if you look at it when done) but i’m not sure if all of the glitter did this or just a majority. It was soap glitter from michaels… hrm. So not sure, but hopefully it will turn out well. I found a ton of mini ornaments there so i just cut off the hanging parts and put them in there. Thanks for this idea 🙂

  • Abby

    This is such a cute idea! I’m always looking for crafty gifts for friends and family, and this is just perfect!
    You could also get those little ice cube trays that are shaped like stuff (I’ve seen guitars and fruits and veggies at Kitchen Kapers) and do this wonderful idea!
    I can’t wait for Valentines day to make soap for all my friends!!!

  • denise

    so cool” great idea, love it. thank you.

  • Cat

    Loved the soap! I took your idea and made Jello snow globes! Thanks for the inspiration! Merry Christmas!

  • Kay

    OMG! my mom loves this stuff! i should show it to her because she is always looking for new Xmas crafts!

  • Yeah, very cool project 😉

  • Gracie H.

    How cute! I wish I would’ve found this before the holidays..:) And what an adorable lil girl!

  • Anonymous

    cute

  • Deb

    These look fun. I had a student give me homemade soap and she put a peppermint candy in the middle instead of the animal.

  • Dan

    What a nice gift…a fresh flower can added to it ..I hope for Valentines!

  • Dan

    Interesting gift item for all occasions…

  • Samantha G

    I love stuff like this. I did find you through stumble upon. This is cool

  • So Simple but innovative idea must say.

  • I LOVE these. I made soaps with little toys in them for my cousin when she was younger, but these are delightful for everyone! Where in the world did you find such tiny reindeer?
    Absolutely fantastic. Thanks so much!

  • Laura in NH

    I don’t ‘do crafts’, but want to as I have a very interested 4 y.o. SO! That being said, this looks like something even I could handle. Thank you for the clear directions and warnings – and of course, awesome clear photos!

  • Awesome and so pretty! Love it!

  • These would be great as a gift for my grandchildren. I think it would make them WANT to wash their hands so they could get to the center. And it’s art….love it!

  • cool and cute pics..

  • Amie

    Not only did i give this s thumbs up from stumble upon im adding it to my favourites, definately doing this for christmas next year 😀 xx

  • May

    Oh, these are cute! I really want to try this. Melt and pour, that’s fine for me too.

  • sian

    brilliant idea !!!

  • Skye

    Found you through Stumble. This was a great Idea! <3’s and I can’t wait to try it out!

  • This is a great idea. I’m definately going to keep this in mind for Christmas. Thanks for sharing!

  • Tori

    I found you through Stumble – Love this idea!!!

  • Darbi

    I love this idea!!!! Its not christmas time, but I think it would make wonderful anytime gifts! Thank you

  • Debbie

    These are cute! I’ll have to do this next Christmas for my nieces and nephews!

  • Denise

    Even though it’s June, I’m gonna try these–maybe even with toys from an upcoming b-day party theme or something? Or maybe put a quarter or something in it? That would motivate the kids to scrub longer! Would the hot soap ruin the coin?
    As far as the snowglobe soaps, I noticed in the picture a silver ribbon/cord tied and placed in each cube, but I know these aren’t gonna be upside down ornaments, so I was wondering if I missed a step or what the ribbons were for? Thanks!
    GREAT ideas all around!
    Denise in St Louis
    Brenda says: Actually the little cord you see is from some of the miniature toys being small ornaments to begin with. I cut them off after they were positioned. I don’t think warm soap would ruin a coin but then I’m not really up on my chemical properties of soap and coins.

  • shannon

    i stumbled onto this…AWESOME im bookmarking it

  • What a lovely idea. They look so lovely when you wrap them.

  • This is brillant! I’m doing this for the soaps in my guest bathroom.

  • Nicole

    That is so awesome! Something for a christmas treat for my 4 year old daughters preschool class! She will be so proud to hand them out. Oooooh and a halloween treat, valentines, easter, spring, summer, let’s face it 4 year olds need alot of soap! Thanks for being so awesome!

  • belinda

    love this idea! so far have loved everything on your page. will use this for our 4h crafts group. be great for valentines with heart inside or mother’s day with buttons or bows inside. i could go on and on. thanks

  • Kim

    This is just the cutest stocking stuffer I have ever seen. I can just imagine my lil grandkids washing their hands like crazy so they can get to the toy inside…it’s a win, win situation! Thanks for sharing!

  • Awesome! I am going to make these as stocking stuffers for the kids this year!

  • I have to do this. It’s adorable.
    Great, one more thing to do this Christmas season!

  • wendy

    I just tried making these and they came out WAY cloudy…so that you can’t see the toy I put in the middle! Can you tell me what I did wrong? I really had to keep heat and re-heat the glycerine a lot to keep it liquidy enough to pour. Please help…because I SOOOOO want to give these as gifts to my daughter’s friends. Thanks!
    Hi Wendy,
    I’m not an expert on soap making. I might have just gotten lucky but I don’t remember re-heating my glycerine much. I wonder if that is what did it. I googled your question and found this link: http://harlequinllc.com/more_how_to_make_glycerin_soaps_free_tips.html
    It recommends not reheating the glycerine more than 4 or 5 times. I’m sorry!
    I hope that helps!
    –Brenda

  • Monica

    We’re planning on making this tonight but I’m not sure how much glycerine to use. We have a 5 lb. block of it. How much did you use?
    Hi Monica,
    Hmmm! I don’t remember! I think I bought a brick at Michael’s and used about half of it. That doesn’t really help you I bet. I’m so sorry! It’s been a year and my memories are foggy. –Brenda

  • HI – Making these with my son’s first grade class tomorrow. Think it’s okay to use a SMIDGE of blue food coloring? Or maybe liquid watercolor…couldn’t find soap dye!

  • Such a cute idea! My kids will love doing this, next year anyway ;). Thanks for sharing.

  • goodlistener

    This is a great tutorial! Your pictures and text make this project really clear and easy to understand. Thanks for posting this! (Found you on StumbleUpon and gave you a thumbs up!)

  • Oh good! I never realized that making glycerin soap could be so easy! What a wonderful tutorial. Thank you so much, my skin rejoices! Thumbs up!

  • Great gift and a fun project. They really turned out fun looking. I love the little dear.

  • Stephanie

    I just finished making these. They look adorable! I bought WAY too much glycerin. I only used about a pound. I found the soap dye and tiny ornaments on Amazon. Thanks for the tutorial! 

  • Ella Mccarthy

    Amazing! This method is perfect for Christmas. I am going to sow it to my daughter. I am sure she will love it. Thank you so much for sharing it. Greetings!

  • Those are so cool. Can’t wait to try making them with the kids!