There's nothing quite like taking a hot shower or a steamy bath and washing away the stresses of the day. What makes it even better is using natural soap that helps your skin stay soft. Making homemade soap is a mysterious art form. Few people take the time to make their own these days. They would rather buy it in a ready-made state. You can pick up soap-making kits at the local craft store, but that's not quite the same as making your own. If you're ready for a homespun adventure, you'll enjoy this. About Homemade SoapSoap is made from a mixture of lye, water, oil and essential oil fragrance. FYI this isn't an appropriate craft for the kiddos. If you're at all familiar with the idea of making your own soap, you've probably been warned about lye. Yes, it's a caustic substance. Make sure you use care and proper protection. Wear heavy-duty rubber gloves and safety glasses or goggles for this project. A respiratory mask is also a good idea. It's a smelly process. Try to use materials and utensils that you won't be using with food after they've come in contact with lye or soap. If you do, be sure to wash them thoroughly in hot water until the residue is gone and there's no whiff when you sniff.Soap MoldsOne of the nice things about homemade soap is that you can make it as pretty or as plain as you'd like. You don't have to use a fancy soap mold for this project. Muffin tins produce a nicely rounded cake of soap when filled halfway to the top. A rectangular pan lined with waxed paper that's about 13 inches long and roughly nine inches wide will also work. You'll need to cut the sheet into bars with a piece of wire after it has set for a day. If you prefer, you can pick up pretty molds at your local craft store for a more sophisticated design. Fill the mold about one-fourth of an inch from the top. Once your soap is completely set, create air pockets by gently pulling on the mold edges. Turn the mold upside down and push the soap out onto your work surface.Soap RecipeThis recipe was adapted from a homemade soap recipe published by Ruben Anderson of the Mother Nature Network.Ingredients33.43 ounces pomace olive oil 18 ounces grapeseed oil 13.65 ounces coconut oil 9.25 ounces lye 32 ounces purified bottled water .3 ounces cinnamon essential oilSuppliesHand-held immersion blender Cooking thermometer Wooden spoon Large and heavy pot Rubber spatula Muffin tin or soap molds Heavy towel or blanket Brown paper or parchment paper Plastic container with a lid to hold muffin tin or soap moldsDirectionsUse a scale to weigh all ingredients that aren't in a premeasured package. Warm the oils in a large pot on the stovetop until they are melted and reach 110 degrees. Meanwhile, mix the lye with the water according to manufacturer's directions using a wooden spoon. Let the solution cool down to 110 degrees. Gently pour the lye mixture into the oil mixture. Use the blender in short bursts to mix them together. Scrape down the sides with a spatula occasionally. Blend until the mixture resembles a gravy-like substance as thick as honey, called trace, when dripped from a spoon. Add the essential oil into the soap just before pouring. Mix it just enough to incorporate it evenly into the soap. Pour the soap into the molds or muffin tin cups. Wrap them in a heavy towel or blanket for about 24 hours. You can cut your soap at this point if needed. Store the soap in a covered plastic container for about two weeks until it is dry and ready to use. If you enjoy the soothing relaxation of a hot bath or shower, you can have the wonderful aroma and soft skin without the effort. Discover our apothecary products at http:\/\/cocoandduckie.com\/Apothecary\/.