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Gift giving...kids are easy.  But after that it gets much harder.  So we've gone to giving homemade gifts.  One of those recently, was using melt and pour soap and making pretty bars.  

I really like SFIC Shea Butter Soap Base.  They make all kinds in addition to Shea.  In the pictures above I did a little mixing.

I used a Soap Mold Loaf that is made of silicone.  Nice for removing soap when it's hard

Then you can add colors and scents.  I like lavendar, and also rosemary/mint, but there are hundreds.  

The trick is to cut the soap into small pieces and melt it.  Some do this with a double boiler.  I used a glass bowl and my microwave and mixed it every 30 seconds or so.  Then add whatever color and scents you like, to whatever amount you like, and then pour it into the mold.  Wait for it to harden in between layers if you're going for a look like what I did in the picture above.  Then I used a hand crinkle cutter to cut the soap.  The final step was to wrap them in pretty paper cut at different widths and tie with a bow.  

I like the soap so much I no longer buy soap.  I use the Shea Butter Soap Base, add some Jojoba, and whatever scent I'm in the mood for and then use these oval soap molds that are great for large bars.  It lathers nicely and the Shea and Jojoba are easy on my skin.