HOMEMADE SOAP // A DIY GUIDE

 

Today on the blog I'm sharing another beautiful project I photographed with Rhi on melt and pour soap! These lovely bars of soap smell incredible and while this does take some time to make, it is a fairly simple process. I recommend setting aside a least an hour for the preparation and then it will need to cool of course which will take a few more hours at which time you're free to do whatever you like with the time you wait! 

This soap has a creamy cocoa butter base with a very subtle scent. Rhi also added in organic rolled olds and a little bit of this to emphasize that comforting smell of honey, oatmeal and milk. To start, cut the cocoa soap base into smaller manageable cubes and placed in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave the chunks in 30 second intervals, ‘stirring’ the chunks in between until I had somewhat of a liquid consistency. By the time you get the soap melted to a desirable consistency it will be VERY hot.

Once the entire mixture is smooth and creamy you will add in your choice of scent. 1 tablespoon is enough but you can start by dropping in a few drops, stirring the scent in, and then smelling the mixture to see if it’s strong enough for you. Unlike baking, a slight deviation of ingredients or quantities isn’t going to mess up the end result.

For the particular soap, Rhi infused some variance in the color for the final product, a technique more suited for cold process soap, but Rhi still found a way! 

Because you need 3 pounds of the cocoa base (the base comes in 1 pound blocks) to fill up the soap mold, in order to add some color variance Rhi had to make two mixtures separate of one another. So one mixture was about 2.5 pounds of the cocoa butter base with the chosen scent, and then other was the remaining half a pound of cocoa butter soap which she then added 1/4 of a block of THIS too. A very tiny bit of the color block goes a very long way! Adding just a pinch of the block gave that creamy rose taupe hue!

Below are the two bowls of two mixtures Rhi was was stirring to keep the mixture from cooling too fast which would allow the surface to start ‘filming over’.

There is probably an official perfect temperature you should wait for your mixture to get to before pouring it into the mold but truth be told we're not sure what that is. Just try to wait as long as possible before the soap starts getting too thick. The thickness of your base is called ‘trace’ and in cold process soap making the trace is what allows you to get really creative with swirls of color and fun textured soap tops. Since it’s harder to do with melt and pour soap this was a guess and when it felt right, poured it into the mold.

From there, wait a couple minutes to let the white base firm up a little before drizzling in the remaining taupe colored mixture. The intention here was to have the taupe mixture drizzled in enough so that once the soap was cut into the two colors would have a harmonious look together. Additionally, because this is a  taller soap mold (versus the standard wide one) It took the entire taupe mixture to help fill the entire mold and make a complete bar.

The heat of the mixture can make the silicone mold slightly expand, and here Rhi pushed two mixing bowls up against the side to hold the mold upright. As the mixture started to cool and harden, you can add the oatmeal to the top. Some of the oatmeal will sink deeper into the soap which is a nice exfoliating touch where as most of it stays on top for more of an aesthetic approach. 

After a few hours or a full day if you can wait that long, your soap will be ready to remove from the mold! Pull the sides and ends back away from the hardened bar and gently push the bottom to get the whole bar loose and it should pop out perfectly. Here’s what it will look like before you cut it into individualized bars. You can see how the taupe soap Rhi added in at the end really created a subtle but beautiful watercolor effect.

From there you can start cutting your soap into individual bars in whatever size you’d like. These bars of soap are great for giving to friends, family and neighbors as gifts. Alex of Prairie Letter Shop calligraphed the soap variety on the top of these sweet kraft boxes. Since melt and pour soap is very heat sensitive and a pretty creamy soap, Rhi would suggest wrapping each bar in a wax or parchment paper before placing them in the boxes.

Rhi purchased all of the supplies with the exception of the wavy soap cutter (you can find that here at Michaels), online at Bulk Apothecary. The craft boxes were purchased here.

These instructions are a modified version of Rhi's words. If you're interested in reading her post on the soap, click here. Have a great day everyone! 

 

ROB AND HANNAH // A GRAND RAPIDS WEDDING

 

I first met Rob and Hannah over coffee at Starbucks where they shared their story with me and all the plans for their 2017 summer wedding. I knew as I listened to them that I not only wanted to photograph their wedding day but I also wanted to get to know them more! We had a lot of fun during their engagement session and I was also fortunate enough to photograph pictures for Rob's family before the big day. These two seriously felt like great friends by the time their wedding day came! Everything was so beautiful and it was such a fun day. I'm so grateful for all of the incredible people I meet doing what I love. I can't wait until I get to photograph them again in the future! 

 

THE TROUVAILLE WORKSHOP

 

I'm so honored to have photographed three of the five Trouvaille Workshops and this last, farewell Trouvaille was no exception! Rhi's vision and execution of each one was so beautifully & intentionally designed. This last Trouvaille was hosted at the stunning Hotel Walloon! This was such an incredible experience and I'm truly grateful to have worked alongside so many talented women! Today you will see the fun and bright design dinner featured on the Every Last Detail Blog! I'm so excited to finally be able to share some of my favorites from Trouvaille! Grab a cup of coffee because there are so many photos it was hard to narrow it down. 

To read about Rhiannon's personal experience and her five Trouvaille takeaways you can see her post here.

Host and concept: Rhiannon Bosse

 Photography: Samantha James Photography 

Venue and catering: The Talcott at Hotel Walloon 

Linens: Nuage Designs 

Stationery and calligraphy: MM Ink 

Rentals: The Rental Company

Candles: Creative Candles

Floral supplier: Florabundance

Acrylic goods: Jenn and Jules

Ribbon: Midori Ribbon

Beauty: Onsite Bridal

Gowns and veil: Spring Sweet

 

JOSH AND SHELBY // ANNIVERSARY SESSION

 

Shelby and I have known one another for quite some time and we have watched one another grow both personally and professionally. She recently contacted me about having some photos of her and Josh taken to celebrate their 7th wedding anniversary! It's really fun to watch someone walk through the different seasons that life brings and being invited into it to capture and celebrate milestones. Of course, we had to have some fun and do something to make their session a little different while also incorporating Shelby's love and talent for florals. Scroll through this post to see what she did! 

 

WILLIAM AND FRANCIE ENGAGED

 

I had so much fun with William and Francie during their engagement session! They are such a sweet couple and I can't wait to photograph their beautiful September wedding! Also, who else is totally in love with Francie's stunning white dress with the bow? I hope everyone is having a great week so far! 

 

BASIC INVITE // WEDDING STATIONERY

 

Today I want to share a little about a stationery company that I really love! It's no secret that I love details and stationery suites are no exception. I recently collaborated with Basic Invite and I selected one of my favorite paper suites from over 200 choices. One of the features I love most about Basic Invite is they allow you to order a custom sample wedding invitation so you can see and feel exactly what you're ordering for your special occasion. How fun is that?

They have such a variety of styles, colors and various products to choose from. You can even order save the dates and place cards that match the esthetic of your invitations so you have consistency across the board.

A fun tip for brides is to ask your florist to set aside a handful of flowers and any greenery they are using for your wedding for your photographer to use when they style all of those beautiful details you spent so much time choosing for your wedding. Below I styled the same suite two different ways to show how you can use different items to make a statement with your paper products! 

 

BEN AND KASHA // A VERMONTVILLE WEDDING

 

Kasha emailed me just a few weeks before this day to see if I was available and I'm so glad I was! We spent a while chatting on the phone and she shared their story and vision for their small 3 hour wedding in the country. Their wedding at Cherry Barc Farms was so intimate and sweet and every detail about their day felt personal and intentional. Ben is from France so his family was not able to attend but they wrote him the sweetest letters and made a video for him to watch which added a special touch. It was an emotional but happy day of celebrating their love and I felt so honored to be there to witness all of it! 

Photography // Samantha James Photography

Venue // Cherry Barc Farm

Shoes // Badgley Mischka

Gown, Earrings & Headband // Becker's Bridal

Bracelet // Fantastic Finds

Groom's Suit // Calvin Klein

Florist // Lola's Flower Garden

Wedding Flutes // Anthropologie

Cake // Krista's Cakes 

Hair & Makeup // LC Makeup Artistry

Officiant // Pamela Klusack

 

TODD AND REGINA ENGAGED

 

We did Todd and Regina's engagement session on a gorgeous summer evening at the beach! From the very first time we say down for coffee at Lyon Street Cafe to talk about their wedding I just knew we were going to have so much fun together! I had a wonderful time getting to know these two more during their engagement session. I am even more excited for their wedding at Hidden Vineyard next summer!