DIY Boutique Soap Gifts

DIY Projects

We are sharing another teaser of what our DIY Contest is bringing to you next month. If you’re just hearing about the contest now, let me give you a briefing on the sweet little details – such as first place price of $500, second place prize of $300 gift card to ModCloth and third place will receive a Silhouette Machine, a $299 value. I made these boutique soaps with vintage illustrations that would make great bridal shower gifts or an addition to your bridesmaid gift totes. What girl doesn’t like being pampered with nifty handmade soap? It literally takes you 5 minutes to do it all.

 handmade transparent soap favor packaging idea

What you’ll need:

– Clear glycerin
– Transparency sheets (can be purchased by the sheet at stores such as Kinko’s) or water soluble paper (can be found at Amazon)
– Soap molds
– Essential Oil

 diy chic transparent glycerin wedding soaps

 Soap favor wedding idea

To make the designs shown in the soap, print anything of your choosing (monograms, illustrations, etc) on transparency sheets. The engraved illustrations are from this site, which is a goldmine for beautiful vintage illustrations and maps – all free to download. After printed, trace your soap mold onto the sheets and cut your designs slightly smaller than the mold size so the edges of the sheet don’t stick out.

1. To make the soap, cut the bar of clear glycerin in smaller cubes. Add water in a large pot, and in a smaller one, add the glycerin. Place the smaller pot in the larger one, to make the glycerin melt without burning. Add the scented oils of your choice and mix it with a wooden spoon until all chunks are melted.
2. With your designs in hand, pour a little bit of the melted glycerin into soap molds (I used old Ikea plastic containers – the small square ones) and then place the design facing the bottom of the mold. Immediately after, pour the other half of the soap. Let it cool for a few hours.

For the packaging, I used handmade wrapping paper and printed “Thank You” and the scent name on each end of a belly band and cut one edge with pinking shears. I designated one design per scent.

 Vintage Hot air balloon soap wedding idea
DIY Transparent soap favors

Feeling inspired to enter our DIY Contest? Submit your do-it-yourself project(s).

  1. Maureen Anders of Anders Ruff Custom Designs

    SOOO beautiful! What a great idea. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Mikelle

    These are so amazing! When I find time, I am totally doing this!

  3. Jennie B

    Absolutely phenomenal – thanks so much for sharing – can’t wait to try it out!

  4. Erika @ The Indie Bride

    Fabulous idea! I hope I can find the time to try this out! The end results look wonderful.

  5. Anna

    Do you have the measurements for how much water v glycerin?

  6. Amanda

    hi Anna,

    Actually you don’t need to mix water and glyceerin – I updated the wording so it’s not confusing. All you need is a large pot to boil water and a smaller pot to melt the glycerin without burning.

    Add the small pot with the glycerin cubes in the large water pot to melt slowly.

    Hope this helps!

  7. Kate Mefford

    That is the cutest idea I have seen in a long time!!! Can u say stocking stuffers?!

  8. Kara

    Soo cute! Can you give us any tips on how to make the diy wrapping paper?

  9. Amanda

    Kara, I bought the wrapping paper at Kate’s Paperie. It has an amazing texture and it looks luxe!

  10. Renee Anderson

    This may be a silly question, but I swear it is genuine – Is this really a soap? As in, does this clean and how does it feel as a soap from your experience. I totally love the idea, but I would want the soap itself to be a joyful experience too, rather than just pretty – or at least a bit soapish! Love your blog xx

  11. Amanda

    Yes it is real and useful, it doesn’t just look pretty! The soap is made from glycerin, an ingredient used in virtually all soaps (including liquid), so yes, it does clean.

  12. Jen

    The bar soap contains the transparency sheet inside? Or do you transfer the design somehow?

  13. Amanda


    Yes, the transparency sheet goes inside.

  14. Kelly

    thanks for sharing, amanda. i love it! in fact, i’ve already tried it, but found that the ink doesn’t dry on the transparency sheet. i wonder if this requires a laser printer? i have an inkjet. thanks, kelly

  15. Amanda

    I purchased sheets for my laser printer, but I remember the person who was helping me asking if I needed it for laser or inkjet printer (they have dif. transparency sheets for both types of printers).

  16. Michael and Anna Costa

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  17. Frosted

    You can also purchase water soluble paper to print the designs. It works well because it dissolves and won’t leave a potentially rough piece of plastic sticking out of the soap.

  18. Zoe Galvani

    That’s a really great idea. And the clip art site was worth linking to. Thanks for posting.

  19. Andrea Leland

    These are amazing! I am going to make them as favors for a baby shower (found some cute vintage baby carriages and drawings on that site). Question for you – can I use scented oil instead of essential oil? I have several wonderful smelling scented oils from the body shop that I use in lamp rings. What do you think?
    How many drops do you recommend using/per lb of glyercin?
    thanks so much!

  20. Amanda


    I never really made soaps before, so I just eyeballed the amount of essential oil :) I think scented oil should work too, but my hubby was worried about getting an allergy/rash/etc for using something that is not necessarily made for soaps.

    Hope this helps!

  21. Britney

    I am trying to make these soaps for my sister’s bridal shower, This is my second attempted and both times I have had problems with the ink smearing once I placed the transparency paper inside the soap. I tried it first with cheaper paper then when back and bought the more expensive kind when it didn’t work. Any tips on how to keep this from happening?

  22. Sopa Quema Grasa

    Muy buen artículo. Este blog es genial, nos vemos!

  23. geek+nerd

    These are utterly stunning – the designs, the packaging, everything!

  24. erin

    these are so so so great! A question: can you link to suitable water soluble paper on that would work for these? Also, have you tried the water soluble paper, or only used transparencies? thank you!!

  25. sam

    Hey, I’m not a very experienced artist, can anyone tell me if drawing a design on the water soluble paper with ink is a good idea rather than printing? By the way the soap is a tremendous idea.

  26. Belinda

    Does the ink from the printer bother or color your skin? does the water soluable paper compelety disovle? I love this idea they are so pretty it makes me want to be in Paris!
    Thank you so much!

  27. Jaclyn Parsons

    I love this idea so much…I have made the transition to store bought glycerin soaps a while back, but i would like to do some myself with coconut oil and I think this is by far the cheaper way to go and will make LOVELY christmas gifts for my minimal budget. Thanks so much for the beautiful share!

  28. Jennifer

    I have made these and added jojoba oil and essential oil then decorated with fake flowers. Very adorable!!

  29. Heidi

    How much glycerin do I need to make 20 bars of standard size soap?

  30. Marina

    Do you have any links (Which ship to Ireland) so amazon preferably which have the soap moulds, clear glycerine and oils? Thank you.

  31. Nancy

    Gorgeous tiny soaps! Love the old fashioned “feel.”

  32. Janet

    hi, love your idea about using the transparency sheets but am not clear on how to do it. Did you purchase the paper and them run the copies on your own printer?

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