Saturday, December 18, 2010

Soap Balls

For the past couple of years, we have been going to a Craft Fair on Thanksgiving weekend.  They have demonstrations on all sorts of crafts: woodworking, blacksmithing, pottery, cheese making, weaving, basketry, old time farming techniques, and much more!  They also have a lot of stations where kids
can do little crafts: paddle boat making, mug rugs, candles, bronze spoons, jump ropes, pottery, baskets, soap balls...the list goes on.

Chance loves going to the fair.  He is a really hands-on type of kid, and he loves to be able to make things.  Some of the things they do at the fair, we have made at home later.  One of the easiest things to make is a soap ball.  They are great fun for kids to make, and they also make a nice gift!

You will need:   bar soap, grated      
          warm water
                            food coloring (optional)
               plastic zip bags
                           festive fabric (optional)
                          tissue paper (optional)
                  ribbon (optional)

Start by grating your soap with a cheese grater.  You can use any type of bar soap you like.  This time, I used a lavender scented white soap.  Measure 1/2 cup of grated soap into a plastic zip bag.  Add 1 tablespoon warm water plus 3-4 drops of food coloring.  It works best if you add the food coloring to the water before you add it to the bag.  Seal the bag.  Now your child (or you) can squish the soap all around in the bag.  There should be just enough water to get all the soap damp and sticky.  If you add too much water, you will get suds and the soap ball will not stick together.

When the soap is all sticky, open the bag and remove as much of the soap as you can.  Now roll it around in your hands while gently squeezing to form a ball.  This makes a bit of a mess, but it's a good clean mess! :)  When the ball is formed, set it aside to dry a little bit.

To give these as a gift, I like to wrap them up with a bit of pretty cloth and some tissue paper.  Cut a 10 inch diameter circle of fabric.  Cut a 10-11 inch square of tissue paper.  Place the tissue paper on top of the fabric.  Place the soap ball in the center.  Gather the fabric around the soap ball, and tie with a ribbon.

Chance loves to have a gift to give that he made himself!  I'm sure your kids will too!  Have fun with this project! :)

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