I looooove these little tea soaps, and I can’t wait to offer them as hostess gifts.
I found the tutorial through cucumbersome.com, and I suddenly knew that there was a reason I obsessively save even the tissue paper that comes in gift bags.
I used a glycerin-based melt-and-pour soap base, which is easily available in any craft store; you melt it down, add your colors and scents, and pour it into any mold you’d like. What I did was chop up about a pound of the stuff and tossed it into my double-boiler (I have this awesome canary-yellow one from the 70’s that I found at a flea market and am super proud of). Then, once it started to get hot, I ripped open three bags of Earl Grey tea and stirred the leaves directly into the soap. The soap steeped while it was melting, rendering it a honey-brown color. I also tossed in a few drops of sandalwood essential oil, to give it a bit of an earthy scent (the tea smell doesn’t really stick).Then, in lieu of a real mold, I poured it all into a small, shallow box I’d lined with wax paper, and popped it in the fridge for an hour or two to cool; when it slid out and held solid, I cut the block into little bars, a bit bigger than hotel soaps.
The downside (?) of the steeping process is that obviously, then your soap is studded with tea leaves. I wasn’t sure if I could steep the soap as evenly with the leaves still in the bag, so I didn’t try, but if you’re more adventurous than me, you could give it a shot.
Anyway, all you need to wrap the soaps to look like tea bags is white tissue paper, string, cardstock, tape, and a stapler. I recommend turning to the tutorial for details rather than having me hash them out here, but it’s so easy and satisfying (I did it while I watched Real Housewives yesterday). I handmade those tags by myself, drawing the teapots freehand with a Sharpie; but if you’re not so inclined, the tutorial also has a printable template for your tags.
P.S. This is just a wrapping technique! Don’t dip these in your bath whole. You’ll end up with a mess of soggy tissue paper.