Here are three fun spring projects you can make to keep or give away, listed in order of difficulty.
Preheat oven to 350’. Gather a bunch of broken or unwanted crayons together and remove the paper. Break them into pieces. Fill your molds about halfway up. Melt them in the oven. You have to observe them closely while they melt so that you take them out while they are melted and swirled together but not melted into brown mush.
Reynolds sells egg shaped foil cups at this time of year so I used those. You may also use cookie cutters, candy molds, ice cube trays and cupcake liners. After you take them out of the oven let them cool for 30 minutes before you remove them from the molds.
Melt and Pour soap is good for little novelty soaps. It is a loaf of soap, either clear or opaque, that you can easily cut and melt. You can find melt and pour soap at craft stores or online. Your soap will come with instructions but you barely need them. Chop up the soap into chunks and put in either a microwave-safe container or a saucepan, depending on how you will be melting it. Melt it in a microwave or over a double boiler.
Pour it into molds. You can use the same assortment of molds that work with rainbow crayons. You also can hide a tiny toy or charm inside the soap. I colored mine with food coloring. I was aiming for a “tie dye” effect but might have had more attractive results stirring the colors more thoroughly. After the soap is totally hard you can turn it out of the molds.
Bath bombs are hard packed balls which fizz when they are dropped into the bathtub. The main bath bomb ingredients are baking soda and citric acid, which react when they get wet in the tub to form a “volcano” effect. (You may have memories of mixing baking soda and vinegar with similar results.) They also may contain salt, scent or color or other ingredients. They are a little bit harder to make then the previous projects. One difficulty occurs in finding the citric acid. You can locate it online pretty easily but if you need it immediately I recommend trying a health food store or a home brew supply store. The other difficulty I sometimes encounter with bath bombs is that they do not always unmold nicely. Despite my best efforts, most bath bombs I make usually crumble when I turn them out of their molds. These egg shaped molds resulted in my most successful bath bombs ever. No special talent or delicacy is required, they just work. So, I encourage you to use the plastic eggs if you have any. You are also welcome to use cookie cutters, candy molds and other shapes, or just roll them into freehand balls.
- 1 cup citric acid
- 2 cups baking soda
- 2/3 cup Epsom salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoon water
- Optional scent or food coloring, added to the water
Crush the Epsom salts if they are not already finely ground. Use a spice mill or a mortar and pestle. Mix the dry ingredients very well in a bowl. Create a well in the middle where you will add the wet ingredients. Once the citric acid and baking soda get wet they will start to react so your goal is to quickly mix the wet materials in as quickly as possible so that everything is moist enough to stick together in a mold. When everything is slightly moist you can start to pack the mixture into your molds. Compress it as much as possible so that it is really packed in tightly. Stuff both halves of the eggs then snap them together.
Wait several hours and they should unmold very nicely, you an leave them out to dry further and then wrap them in something for presentation like a cellophane baggie or tissue paper. Or you can present them in the plastic egg covers to keep them protected.