Holiday Makings: Remember Those Luffa Gourds?

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The ones we grew in the garden last summer?  

With the assistance of Sweet Husband and Sweet Sister, last weekend they were transformed into soap.  I say "transformed" not "made" because we used the melt and pour variety of soap.  (Specifically, this honey melt and pour base.)  The plain round ones were made using a piece of PVC pipe as a mold, and the snowflakes (which doubled as my ornament for this year's swap) were done in this snowflake mold

I followed these directions, and it was stupid easy except for one little thing--if you use PVC pipe as a mold, make sure the bottom of your pipe is perfectly flat.  Due to limited stock at our hardware store, we had to buy a big piece of pipe and cut it into thirds.  The two end pieces worked beautifully, but the middle piece leaked because the edges weren't completely straight.  (Also, keeping everything on an old cookie sheet with raised edges will save you a heck of a lot of clean-up!)   

We added 10-20 drops of lavender essential oil to each batch--about 2 cups, melted--of soap as we pulled it out of the microwave, but otherwise just left the soap plain.  Just the light honey scent was nice to me, and I was a little scared to add color, although you certainly could.

While my main goal was to have soap to give away as little gifts, I've been using the odd nubbins and pieces for myself this week, and I'm definitely a fan.  Between the cold, dry air and the being pregnant thing, my normally oily skin feels like a sand dune.  Adding the luffas (mucho exfoliation) to the honey soap (super-duper moisturizing) turned out to be a yummy combination!