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Thursday, November 6, 2008

fish-in-a-bag soap

These fish-in-a-bag glycerin soaps are sure to fool your kids--at least for a minute. And they're easier than you think to make. We made up a batch to sell at our upcoming craft fairs (more info to come for you local folks!). Here's our tutorial.

Fish-In-A-Bag Soap Tutorial



What you'll need:
*Block of clear glycerin soap. We found this 2 lb. block at JoAnn for about $10 (but you can use your 40% off coupon on it!)

*Plastic fish. We found ours at Oriental Trading.

*Microwaveable plastic bowl. Ours has a pour spout on it which helped a ton.

*Large kitchen knife

*Funnel

*Wooden skewers or chopsticks

*Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle

*Plastic bags


Okay, let's get started!

1. Cut off a chunk of your glycerin block. Ours was about 3 inches.



2. Cut that block into smaller pieces. We cut ours into thirds.


3. Place blocks in a microwaveable plastic bowl. In this bowl we did about three batches, but we recommend you start with one batch your first time.


4. Prepare an ice-water bath in a bowl.


5. Microwave the soap until it melts (about 45 seconds for a small batch). Make sure all the blocks are melted. If not, stir and put it back in the microwave for 20-30 seconds more.



6. Using a funnel, carefully pour the soap into a plastic bag. The funnel helps the soap run straight down to the bottom and not all over the sides of your bag. If it gets on the sides, it hardens that way and doesn't look realistic when you're done. Fill it about 1/4 to 1/3 full so the soap will end up being a good size for little hands to hold.


7. The soap will be full of little bubbles at this point, so quickly spray it with the alcohol. That will take care of them.


8. Take your bag to the ice bath and hold it in the ice water for a moment. Using your skewers like chopsticks, grab a fish and lower it into the soap, keeping it upright and somewhat in the middle. (Unless you're the morbid type--you could make it floating upside down or laying on the bottom. Just don't blame us when your child bursts into tears over her dead "fish.") Once the soap has started to harden a little and the fish isn't moving around in it anymore, you can remove it from the ice bath and put leave it upright to harden completely.



9. Tie the bag closed with a cute ribbon or even a twist tie and you're done! This would make a great gift for kids paired with yesterday's hooded towel!

85 comments:

  1. this is a great idea! I am just loving this completely!

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  2. You've done it again! Bravo to another clever project!

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  3. oh my gosh. how cute are these????

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  4. This is adorable! I've seen things like this done before, and I've always stopped myself from making it, because..how do you use the soap?

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  5. Thank you for the tutorial! This looks super fun! You guys have the best, most easy-to-follow ideas. Thanks and keep them coming.

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  6. Those are adorable and make me actually want to make soap, who knew!

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  7. another great idea and very easy to follow tutorial, thanks!

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  8. Oh how cute! I'll be linking to this in my Handmade Gift Guide.

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  9. love it!!! How cute would that be for goodie bags at a childs birthday. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  10. What a fabulous collection! All the pieces are soooo stylish!

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  11. An adorable idea! Thanks for sharing it (I can't wait to try this)!

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  12. WOW! My mom just sent me a link to your site and everything is amazing! Thanks for the great ideas:)

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  13. adorable!
    Where DO you get your ideas!
    so creative

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  14. I LOVE this! You never cease to amaze me!

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  15. I just found your blog and I love it!!! What a cute project. I can't wait to try it.

    Thank you

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  16. Oh me oh my!! I love your blog!!! You've got amazing ideas!! And for craft-challenged people like me it's perfect!!! Thank you so much!

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  17. I LOVE THIS!
    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I hope to see you again:)
    I will be back here for sure. This is great!

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  18. OMG that is seriously one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Great, something else I must try. Thanks!!! Love it!

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  19. tweet tweet little birdies........I have featured you today on Today's Creative Blog!

    Please email me for your button.
    krjdemmon@comcast.net

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  20. I just saw these at Bath and Body Works and thought they were so great. Now I'm making my own! Thanks for all the great ideas!

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  21. What a cute project!! Thanks so much for stopping by my saucy blog & hope to see you again!

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  22. Found you from Todays Creative Blog! And OMG, I love your blog!!! I scrolled down and read everything from the first page {that's all I have time for right now} but I'll definitely be back!

    You girlies are awesome! :o)

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  23. you had said these are for a craft fair? Will you be putting any on etsy?

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  24. this may well be the cutest thing I've ever seen.

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  25. wonderful idea! i would like to try to make some to sell at my daughter's school parent teacher organization fundraiser. can you tell me how many fish in a bag soaps you can get out of the 2 lb. block of glycerin soap?

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  26. ♥ your blog! you gals are amazing!!!! Will visit often!
    ♥Jen

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  27. This is my first visit to your blog, I caught the link from Today's Creative Blog... oh how I wish I lived close to you little birdies! I want to take classes from you!

    I've already book-marked three projects that I want to make for Christmas. Thanks for helping me keep my Christmas "mostly handmade"!

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  28. Love the fish in a bag soap!!!! CUTE.

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  29. What a very cute idea!And thank you so much for the award! I am very flattered!

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  30. that is so cute, what a fun idea. good luck at your craft fair, I'd love to see your booth!!!

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  31. I am doing this at my next swim party very clever!!!

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  32. Hi Ana Lilia,

    I got approximately 15 out of a 2 lb block. Probably could get a few more. I was looking at the soap and some of the bags were pretty full.

    Have fun!

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  33. This is one of the most awesome tutorials I've ever seen. Great job! I'm totally going to Joanns on my lunch break lol... 40% off coupon in hand! Now... I wonder where I could find those little fish without ordering from Oriental Trading (too impatient!), maybe party city?

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  34. these are so cute. what type of bags did you use? i don't want to use the wrong type and have the bags melt when i pour in the hot soap.

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  35. I bought the bags at the local Packaging Specialties store. There wasn't a name brand or anything. They are not cellophane. They are a good sturdy plastic bag. They have the feel of a glad ziploc freezer bag.

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  36. What a great gift idea! I am going to make the hooded towel and fish-in-a-bag for all of my son's friends. Wondering if you could give more information about the bags you used. I can't find anything like them. I checked the Packaging Specialties online store (as mentioned above) and don't see them.

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  37. Hi Jinx,

    The package I bought did not have any labels on it or anything. Bummer. I can't tell you the brand. I think you would be okay using the plastic bags found at the craft store. The soap is hot but shouldn't melt the plastic bag. I found some in the baking section of Michaels. Good luck!

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  38. LBS, thank you so much for the info. Thought I'd post again and let you know what I ended up using in case anyone else has trouble finding bags.

    After quite a search I couldn't find anything similar to what you mentioned that was not sold in quantities of 1000 (I only needed 12).

    In the end I used Wilton's "Clear Shaped Treat Bags" found at Michael's: http://tinyurl.com/6hf539

    The web site says they are made of cellophane. I do not believe they are (the packaging does not say cellophane), though they are a very *thin* plastic (not the sturdy plastic you mentioned in your bags). But I had no problems using them and, most importantly, they did not melt when I added the soap.

    They turned out really cute!

    All gifts (towels and soaps) are finished and just waiting to be handed out. I lovelovelove your site! Thank you for sharing your inspirational ideas.

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  39. I just came over here from Elbows on Our Table. This is the cutest project ever! Thank you for sharing it.

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  40. My son is a swimmer and we're going to use this cute idea for party favors at this year's Swim/Sport's Banquet for all of the swimmers! Thanks for sharing it! They are adorable!

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  41. It's nice that you posted the tutorial with pics but I saw these on Martha Stewart last year. Give credit where it is due.

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  42. Oh, ouch Amy! Thanks for letting us know Martha Stewart had this idea a year ago. We honestly did not know that especially since we didn't get the idea from her. Really. Drat. We thought we were so clever too making this up. Love it if you sent us the link so we can be sure to have it on our comment section. We love Martha and her staff and she is such a clever lady and she inspires so many people out there. I am sure she is the genius behind so many things you see out there in crafty blogland :)

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  43. Jut to clarify. We posted this blog post on November 6, 2008. Martha Stewart did her fish in a bag soap airing on December 11, 2008.

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  44. I'll have to try this one! Very cute and clever!

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  45. This is such a wonderful idea! My son's name is Fisher and we are always looking for fishy ideas. This will be perfect for his upcoming party! Thanks!

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  46. Thanks to your super tutorial I just finished favors for my son's pirate themed birthday party. I put a little poem on each one and made it "piratey". I also put a link to your blog on mine I hope you don't mind.
    http://princesswithahalfpricetiara.blogspot.com/2009/04/fish-in-bag-soap.html

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  47. Thank you so much for sharing this! You totally 100% inspired me to create this and a tutorial for my blog too! They came out perfect! See here http://favorswithlove.blogspot.com/2009/06/diy-fish-in-bag-soap.html

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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  48. I love this idea! I've always wanted to try some soap making crafts...I might have to try this. Thanks for sharing!

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  49. A friend of mine just referred me to your site based on an idea I posted for a "fishy birthday party". You did an adorable job!! I love the creativity. I also thought your photos turned out great! Good job!

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  50. Your blog is absolutely one of my favorites. Love all the templates you find and all your own fabulous ideas!! Thanks so much for sharing your creativity.



    Term papers

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  51. I saw this on Tip Junkie. I think it is one of the cutest crafts ever! I'm going to put it on my list of items to try.

    http://tanya-alittlebitofeverything.blogspot.com/

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  52. Love it! And it's so nice to have something to hand out at a party that's not just candy or cheap toys. Thanks for the idea!

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  53. Oh Gosh these are so adorable! We plan to have a County Fair Bday party for our DD this year. I was going to get real Goldfish to pass out at her party but I think the parents will appreciate these much more!! ;o) Thanks for sharing!

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  54. these are awesome!!! I would love to make these a party favors for my little ones b-day party!

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  55. Great blog, this could be the best blog I ever visited this month. Never stop to write something useful dude! Thanks for interesting points as your post is just awesome.

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  56. This setting will provide your with a comfort zone, allowing them to feel safe in their refuge areas.

    Regards!
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  57. i love it!! i am having a priate party for my four year old in march. would these make good taek home favors for the matey's? does this go with the theme? next question. can these be made ahead and stored...like this weekend until March? will they still be pretty in a month? is this for the first time soap maker? my email address is: christygriner@yahoo.com thanks!

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  58. I love this idea, but can you get the soap out of the bag once it hardens? Is it easy or is there a trick to it? Thanks!

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  59. That is the cutest idea ever!!

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  60. That is an adorable idea! I just added to you to my favorites on http://www.sweetpeasandbb.blogspot.com You have such clever ideas!

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  61. HA!! I'd be the one to have it floating at the top upside down!! I can't keep the real thing alive so why not just strive for consistency and "kill" these too?

    This are super cute!! Will have to remember this the next time I need to make "goodie" bags :)

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  62. Super cute idea. A friend recently did an Elmo themed party for her daughter and gave away real fish. Wish we had known about this prior to the party. Would have saved us from getting, and killing, three poor gold fish.

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  63. That is unbelievably creative awesomeness!!!

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  64. I love it! I have seen a tutorial before but never tried it becasue it was hard to understand. Yours makes it look like a snap. Thanks for sharing!

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  65. how many does the 2 lb block make?

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  66. You are pinned here http://pinterest.com/KittyKnits/things-that-make-you-go-wtf/

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  67. I am using the alcohol for bubbles but am wondering does the alcohol smell go away?

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  68. Thank you for your inspiration. I had pinned this on Pinterest. My kids LOVED this craft and we are giving them as gifts to young friends.

    http://aidenandmaya.blogspot.com/2011/11/soap-fish-in-baggie-soap.html

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  69. Oh, so evocative! I'm going bookmark your blog for future reference. Keep sharing such ideas in the future as well.

    dOUBLETREE hOTEL sACRAMENTO

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  70. Glycerin has many applications. Some common applications are arts & crafts, e-cig, tobacco flavorings, commercial sprinkler systems antifreeze, peristaltic pump lubricant, bubble making, worm farm food, synthetic ice making, cosmetic, antifreeze, and sweetener substitute.

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  71. I love this! Can't wait to try it with my next Sensory Fish Play Class :-)

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  72. Love this idea...but how do you get the soap out of the bag so you can use it?

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  73. Just rip the bag open ladies!!

    I saw this tutorial, and I've figured out that they would cost approx £1.44 to make each (with a bit of labour cost on top for me), buying materials enough for 6 bags off ebay, selling for £3, making nearly £10 profit for charity. I'm only going to make 6 to make sure they sell.

    Thanks so much for this!

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  74. This is a clever idea and I'm sure the kids will love them. Thank you for sharing.

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  75. I shared this post on my blog www.muffinsandmocha.com . I of course linked the post to your blog! Such a cute idea. I'm so tempted to make one for myself.

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  76. I love this recipe. I duplicated it using a kit from www.Wholesalesuppliesplus.com for my son’s birthday favor. The kids loved it and I loved the free shipping. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea!

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  77. Its so cute. I want to do this but how long did this take?

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  78. Thank you for sharing. I've been trying for days to make some but I couldn't figure out how to get rid of the creases in the bags! Now I know !

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