I recently tried making some soap. I stuck with a simple recipe the first time around. This recipe included olive oil, palm oil, shea butter, and lemon essential oils. The oil turned the soap a sweet balmy yellow color.
Soap making is not nearly as difficult or intimidating as it seems. When I heard about the dangers of lye, I had visions of big vats of boiling liquids bubbling over and burning my hands. In fact, if one is making soap in small quantities, as I am, it's really quite easy, and the amount of lye used is less than the size of a mason jar. I still used safety precautions - my goggles stayed on my face during the lye portion of the day, and I washed my hands over and over. However, don't let the lye scare you.
I'm still working on the cutting part. Mine crumbled a bit when cut.
The soap has to cure for about six weeks. The six week curing process allows the lye to leave, and the soap becomes safe for one's skin.
Soap making can become addicting. I already have several other recipes picked out, and there will be more batches made before the summer ends.
Have you tried making soap? Any favorite recipes, or soap making books?