School Library Journal: Sharyn Pak offers an excellent introductory lesson in the craft of melt-and-pour soapmaking, a quick and safe method for creating a variety of soaps. The step-by-step instructions for each of the 13 projects are easy to understand, and the chapters are arranged from easiest to most difficult projects. Pak includes tips and suggestions to help make the crafting experience enjoyable, safe, and productive. Oatmeal, moisturizing, scented, and decorative are some of the types of soaps made. A list of materials and tools (microwave, measuring cup, knife, plastic molds, green tea, oatmeal, shea butter, lavender, etc.) and soap recipes are included in the "Special Features" segment. This excellent, creative demonstration of soapmaking techniques would be suitable for classes, crafting clubs, or at-home use.
Midwest Book Review: Now anyone can make wonderfully smelling, beautifully configured, superbly textured decorated soaps in the comfort of their own home just by following the ‘user-friendly’ video, “Soapmaking: Easy Melt & Pour Creations.” This 112 minute, full color, full frame DVD provides step-by-step demonstrations of the ‘melt and pour’ method of making soaps that can be created from beginning to end in less than an hour. The processes taught are the easiest and safest soap making techniques ever—and the only limits to creativity are the mind’s imagination. The tools required are common to every household beginning with a microwave oven, a measuring cup, a knife, and a small kitchen scale. Host Sharyn Pak provides a running commentary replete with tips, tricks, and techniques that will result in truly impressive made-it-yourself soaps to grace any bathroom and make unique gift-giving for do-it-yourself craft and hobby enthusiasts, and would make an enduring popular addition to community DVD collections.
Video Librarian: Craft expert Sharyn Pak (whose Scrapbooking: Memories Made Simple was reviewed in VL - 1/09) is back in this instructional program on making soap. Citing the fun and economical benefits in home soapmaking, Pak provides a brief history of soap from its origins in Ancient Babylon and explains the various methods used including hot and cold press (with lye or fat), hand-milled (which combines either hot or cold press soap with other ingredients) and the approach demonstrated here, the safer and even kid-friendly melt and pour technique. Emphasizing the basics, Pak prefaces her presentation for each style of soap with a pictorial illustrating necessary add-ins, materials, and tools (such as soap-base, measuring cups, oatmeal, fragrances, Shea butter, molds and dyes). Viewers learn to make soap that look like fruit slices, hearts and confetti, a “Peace, Love and Lather” soap, soaps melded with decorative loofahs; even a “Hardworking Hands” soap with oat meal for exfoliating and vitamin E for healing. Concluding with ideas on gift wrapping, packaging for ultimate freshness and making decorative boxes out of card stock, Easy Melt & Pour Creations—which includes text materials lists and PDF-accessible resources—is definitely recommended.
About.com: There are folks who likely from the first notion of realizing “Hmmm...you mean I really could make my own homemade soap” dove right in and fearlessly learned how to make cold process soap from scratch. They picked up “melt and pour” soapmaking as a alternative...a novelty...a type of soap making reserved primarily for creative, decorative, artful, creations -- not for “real” soap that you use every day in the shower.However, many soap makers got their start making “melt and pour” soap. For them, it IS soap making regardless of what the more purist cold process soap makers might say. And there are many soap makers for whom melt and pour is just fine for them. They are able to make quality soap, in small quantities, without having to store a lot of ingredients or chemicals.
This DVD gives melt and pour soap making a healthy dose of respect! Sharyn Pak, the founder of On Air Video, is a craft expert and on-air personality who demonstrates her passion crafting, and her dedication to nurturing other crafters in this DVD.
Starting with a wonderful overview of the history of soap making, the four major methods to make soap (cold process, hot process, melt and pour and rebatching or milling), and a great overview of tools required to make these soaps, Soapmaking: Easy Melt & Pour Creations shows just how broad the scope of melt and pour soap making can be, and walks you through, step by step, how to make your own marvelous melt and pour soaps.From the most basic single color soap, to soaps with additives and exfoliants, to involved soap creations, Ms. Pak takes you step by step through 1 great melt and pour soap projects.
The DVD is nearly two hours long -- and each project lists the ingredients and tools needed, as well as guides the viewer through the project’s steps.
1.Clear Plain Hears - a very basic melt and pour project
2.Cinnamon Hears - a melt and pour “sandwich” soap
3.Green Tea Soap - with added green tea for color and interest
4.Oatmeal Soap - two different versions - both with natural exfoliation
5.Shea Butter Shaving - Sharyn’s version of melt and pour shaving soap
6.Fruit Slices - a fun, slightly advanced project that creates melt and pour fruit slices
7.Red Hot Hearts - a soap very much like my Valentine Soap that uses the Cinnamon Hearts soaps as embeds
8.Chunks and Hunks/Confetti - a soap that uses chunks and slivers of melt and pour soap to create lively, artistic soaps. This project reminded me of my Peppermint Ice project
9.Peace, Love and Lather - A really creative double embed soap with a special carved soap embed
10.Skin Soothing Scrubby - Using a nylon scrubby, this soap gives exfoliation and cleaning
11.Honeycomb Loofa - A melt and pour loofah soap for super exfoliation
12.Hard Working Hands - A wonderful gardener’s soap - with scrubby corn meal
Ms. Pak then literally wraps up the video by wrapping up some of the soaps she has made. In the last section on packaging, soap packaging in both tissue paper and custom cut boxes is demonstrated.Ms. Pak does a few things a little differently than I do...but there is certainly room in the soap making world for a variety of approaches and methods. This video is a marvelous tutorial on how to make melt and pour soaps. Anyone who follows the steps and recipes in this video carefully should have no problem creating their own wonderful melt and pour soap creations. As a bonus, the DVD has PDF’s of all of the recipes that you can print out and follow while you’re making the soaps.
Few crafts are as much fun and rewarding as soapmaking. And melt and pour soap is the easiest, quickest and most creative type of soapmaking there is. You can create unique and individual soaps in just minutes and at a fraction of the cost of fancy, store-bought soaps.
Included in this program are recipes and demonstrations for making green tea soap, oatmeal and lavender soaps, healing soaps, moisturizing soaps and much, much more.
Once you learn how, you may never buy another bar of soap again.
(P.S. Soap makes great gifts, too!)
Host: Sharyn Pak Withers
Running time: 112 minutes
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