There is nothing more rewarding than making your own hand made toiletries including soap, bath bombs, hand wash, shampoo, bubble bath and bath salts. All can be given away as gifts and it really does make a fantastic hobby. Please keep checking this page, new recipes will be added on a regular basis.

Making your own toiletries using natural ingredients is both rewarding and healthy. Gift baskets can be made for friends and family, hand made labels are easy to make and packaging needs only be simple. Knowing exactly what you are adding to a recipe gives you the piece of mind that your home made toiletries are made only of natural ingredients. Some of the recipes here are so simple and quick to do, some have been supplied by customers, others are recipes that i have collected from other people over the years, they are all fantastic. If anyone has a recipe that they would like adding please use the forum to do so. The ingredients and containers to make most of these recipes are available at www.summernaturals.co.uk

 Hand wash
 250ml boston squat bottle and pump dispenser
 200ml warm water
 30ml glycerine
 20ml Dr Bronner pure castile soap
 15 drops of a suitable essential oil of your choice

This recipe does not make the thick gloopy hand wash that you will be used to, nor does it come in pretty colours but the glycerine acts as a moisturiser and the pure castile soap although not bursting with bubbles does clean your hands just as well as any commercial hand wash.  The essential oils that you select are your choice, tea tree makes an antibacterial hand wash and the oils can be blended, lavender and tea tree is lovely, orange and lemon is just as nice. Place all the ingredients into the bottle, a recycled hand wash bottle will save you money or you can buy some really nice lotion pump bottles for that extra bit of decoration in the bathroom, and shake.

 Bath salts
 1 cup of coarse sea salts or dead sea salts
 6 drops of chosen essential oils
 1 tablespoonful of dried botanicals

This is a very simple bath salt recipes, there are more complex recipes but this works just as well. You can multiply the ingredients if you wish to make larger amounts for gifts. If storing for a period of time, store in a glass container as the essential oils may damage other containers, pretty jam jars with fabric lids held in place with ribbon or string look lovely. Add the salts to a large bowl, coarse sea salts look lovely and take longer to dissolve, dead sea salts are finer and far more beneficial to the skin, add one drop of your desired essential oils one drop at a time stirring well between each drop. Please make sure that the essential oils you are using are suitable for use on the skin and are suitable for you regarding essential oil cautions. Add the botanicals, rose petals are nice, as is calendula, lavender is also nice but tends to float and resemble dead flies. Stir the botanicals loosely, dried herbs can also be used for variation.

For those brave enough to make cold process soap, here is a lovely recipe supplied by Karen Dobbin.

 Cold Process Soap Recipe - Bayleys' Avacado Dream©
 2 oz beeswax
 8 3/4 oz palm oil
 8 3/4 oz coconut oil
 1lb 10 oz olive oil
 2 oz sweet almond oil
 1 lb avocado butter
 9 1/2 oz caustic soda
 32 3/4 oz water
 2 oz betonite clay
 2 oz poppy seeds
 6 ml benzoin essential oil
 5 ml tea tree essential oil
 1/2 teaspoon grapefruit seed extract

You will also need a balloon whisk, 2 thermometers, either jam or proper soap thermometers, a large non aluminium pan, wooden spoon, greaseproof paper and a soap mould. As this makes a large quantity of soap a large mould or several moulds will be needed. Goggles and gloves.

Melt all the solid oils slowly over a low heat until almost dissolved, then remove from heat until completely dissolved. Then mix in a pan with the olive oil, grapefruit seed extract and sweet almond oil.

Carefully mix the caustic soda using the instructions on the packet with the water in a glass jug, wearing goggles and gloves for this bit. Mix well.

The two mixtures now need to cool to around 55 degrees although it can be mixed at 90 degrees and work as well. Whilst you are waiting for them to cool, prepare your mould, line with greaseproof paper making sure that there are no gaps for the soap to leak through. You can use anything for a mould from special moulds to ice cream containers or loaf tins. This recipe makes approximately 12 good sized rectangular bars although you could make 24 smaller squares of soap.

When the two mixtures have reached the desired temperature start to mix together using the whisk (but don't whisk because this will form air bubbles) your mixture will start to look opaque. Keep mixing until it resembles thick gravy, and when you dribble some on top it leaves a line on the top, this is called "trace".

At this stage you should add the essential oils, clay and poppy seeds, mix thoroughly together quickly, the soap will get thicker very quickly. Pour into your prepared mould and give a gentle shake to remove any air bubbles. Cover the soap with something that won't make contact with the top of the soap and then wrap in old blankets or towels t insulate. Leave the soap to "cure" for at least 24 hours without uncovering, then you can turn it out of the mould, you need to wear gloves at this stage because the soap can still be caustic. The soap now needs to be dried for 4 weeks, it can be cut prior to drying and left at room temperature on kitchen roll, turning it every other will ensure even drying. be careful to keep out of reach of children until it is ready to use.

Try to remove as much soap from the used utensils as you can and place in the bin to avoid the mixture being washed into the water system, please remember that the mixture at this stage is still caustic so dispose of carefully.

And for those not brave enough to make cold processed soap, the easier method...

 Melt and pour soap
 1 kg SLS free melt and pour soap base
 20 drops of essential oils
 2 tablespoons of botanicals

You will also need a suitable mould, this can be a loaf tin, fancy ice cube trays or soap moulds, greaseproof paper if using a larger mould, a wooden spoon and a non metal container large enough to melt the soap base in, a microwave oven or a bain marie.

Prepare your mould, a loaf tin or larger container will need to be lined carefully using greaseproof paper, for smaller fancy mould soaps you may only need half of the above quantities of soap base and essential oils. Please make sure that the essential oils you use are safe for use on skin, lavender is always a safe oil to use.

Cut the soap base into small cubes and put into your melting pot, wash your hands. When using a microwave oven, melt at one minute intervals stirring every minute until soap base is completely melted, be careful not to allow the soap to boil and take care not to burn yourself. If using a bain marie melt on a low heat until completely dissolved. Once completely melted, add the essential oil and botanicals and carefully stir in avoiding making air bubbles. You may find that some botanicals float on the top rather than mixing throughout the base. It is better to add less fragrance and build up to the desired strength, you can always add more but you can't take it out again.

Pour carefully into the mould and allow to cool and set over night or for at least 6 hours, you can now turn out your soap and slice it if required. You may find that the top of the soap has formed bubbles, this can be sliced off if required. Any soap sliced off can be saved and melted down again at a later date.

Small heart shaped ice cube trays can be bought and make lovely mini guest soaps to give away as gifts.

 Basic Shampoo recipe
 150 ml water
 2 tablespoons of Dr Bronner pure castile soap
 1 tablespoon of glycerine
 10 drops of suitable essential oil

Suitable essential oils for shampoo include, lavender, myrtle which is good for greasy hair, ylang ylang and grapefruit, these can be blended. Please check the cautions of these essential oils and suitability before using. This is a basic recipe and can be adapted and added to with ingredients such as chamomile and various dried herbs, this would involve steeping the herbs or chamomile, tea bags being particularly useful in the water. Using boiled water, cooled to a warm temperature in a glass jug, add the glycerine and castile soap, add the essential oils a drop at a time until you reach the desired fragrance, do not exceed the 10 drops. Stir well. When cooled pour into an old shampoo bottle or any 250 ml plastic bottle and cap.