22 Best Handmade Soap Recipes for Beginners

Young woman pouring liquid lavender soap into moulds in handmade soap workshop

 RUSS ROHDE / Getty Images

Are you looking for some easy homemade soap recipes? We've collected a ton of clever tutorials that will teach beginners how to make homemade soap bars and bath products.


Watch Now: 3 Ways to Make Your Own Soap

  • 01 of 22

    First, Learn the Basics of Soapmaking

    how to make soap at home

    The Spruce / Catherine Song

    Before you get started, take a moment to familiarize yourself with the most common methods of soapmaking. Some of these processes are easier than others. Knowing how each one works will help you decide which tutorials you want to tackle.

    Make sure to read all the instructions for each soap and take any necessary precautions.


    Some of these examples use lye, which can burn the skin and eyes if you're not careful.

  • 02 of 22

    Create Swirls of Color and Layer Multiple Fragrances

    diy round soap

    Tweak and Tinker

    Cold process soap can be made by beginners, but only after learning about how to work with lye safely. Once you get the basics down, coming up with different cold process soap recipes can be really rewarding. This example is eye-catching and smells heavenly

    You'll Need:

    • Lye
    • Water
    • Coconut, canola, castor, and sesame oil
    • Shea and kokum butter
    • Lime, vetiver, and cedarwood essential oil
    • Kaolin clay
    • Activated charcoal
  • 03 of 22

    Cut Up Thin Orange Slices for a Citrusy Soap

    orange diy soap

    Hello, Wonderful

    This soap recipe is simple because it uses a melt and pour base that is pre-mixed and ready to go. No need to work with messy chemicals! The citrus slices are something you'd only find in handmade soap.

    You'll Need:

    • Goat’s milk melt and pour base
    • Silicone soap molds
    • Citrus essential oil
    • Dried citrus slices
  • 04 of 22

    Pair Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter Together

    homemade soap with grooves

    Mindy Schiller 

    The best homemade soap recipes pair quality ingredients with creativity. Aside from being nourishing for the skin, try to set your soap apart from bars you'd find in the store by adding texture and color.

    You'll Need:

    • Lard
    • Coconut, olive, and castor oil
    • Cocoa and shea butter
    • Lye
    • Water
    • Essential oil
    • Gold and brown mica
    Continue to 5 of 22 below.
  • 05 of 22

    Exfoliate Your Skin With a Loofah Soap

    diy loofah soap

    A Pumpkin and a Princess

    Loofah soaps are extremely easy to make when you purchase a melt and pour soap base. All you need to do is melt the base and add any extras, cut the loofahs so they fit in the mold, then pour the soap on top of the loofah.

    You'll Need:

    • Melt and pour base
    • Loofah
    • Rose essential oil
    • Rose mica
    • Soap mold
  • 06 of 22

    Make Soap Inspired by Your Favorite Tea

    homemade soap

    komargallery / Getty Images 

    When making soap from scratch, try to find a simple soap recipe that utilizes oils you might already have in your kitchen. You can also examine your pantry for other ingredients that would work well in a bar of soap. In this case, green tea is used alongside eucalyptus and lemongrass essential oil.

    You'll Need:

    • Palm oil and palm kernel oil
    • Coconut, olive, castor, soybean, and sunflower oil
    • Cocoa butter
    • Lye
    • Green tea
    • Steeped green tea leaves
    • Eucalyptus and lemongrass essential oil
  • 07 of 22

    Relax With a Lavender Essential Oil Blend

    homemade white soap with flowers

    Turner Forte / Getty Images 

    We love this soap recipe because it is perfect for a relaxing spa day. If you find yourself stressed out and tense, consider adding lavender essential oil to your soap blend for instant relief.

    You'll Need:

    • Palm oil
    • Coconut, olive, castor, and sunflower oil
    • Cocoa butter
    • Lye
    • Water
    • Lavender buds
    • Orange, patchouli, and lavender essential oil
  • 08 of 22

    Sprinkle Some Poppy Seeds Into Your Soap Recipe

    handmade soap

    Humbebee and Me

    Some DIY soap recipes call for color additives like mica or food coloring. This blend is much simpler because the color comes from the essential oil mixture instead of a dye.

    You'll Need:

    • Coconut, canola, and castor oil
    • Tallow
    • Litsea cubeba and orange essential oil
    • Poppy seeds
    Continue to 9 of 22 below.
  • 09 of 22

    Upgrade Melt and Pour Soap With Cinnamon and Cocoa

    melt and pour handmade soap

    Soap Queen 

    Easy homemade soap doesn't have to be boring. This particular soap recipe saves time by using premixed soap bases but does require some patience in order to create even layers.

    You'll Need:

    • Silicone mold
    • White and honey melt and pour base
    • Cinnamon cocoa fragrance oil
    • Vanilla color stabilizer
    • Brown oxide color block
    • Cocoa powder
    • Isopropyl alcohol
  • 10 of 22

    Roll Up a Handful of Fizzy Bath Bombs

    handmade soap

    Lovely Indeed

    Not all homemade soap needs to be in bar form. Consider tackling a handful of fizzy bath bombs instead. Aside from the bath bomb molds, you might find all the ingredients inside your kitchen pantry.

    You'll Need:

    • Baking soda
    • Citric acid
    • Cornstarch
    • Food coloring
    • Essential oil
    • Water
    • Bath bomb molds
  • 11 of 22

    Shape Your Soap Into Crystals

    diy crystal soap

    A Beautiful Mess

    This recipe for homemade soap utilizes a glycerin base in order to easily mold and shape the final product. Once a basic soap base is formed, the soap is then cut and carved into small crystals that are used to create a larger crystal specimen.

    You'll Need:

    • Clear melt and pour base
    • Colored mica
    • Cosmetic glitter
    • Soap mold
    • Essential oils
  • 12 of 22

    Wash Your Hands With a Soap Gummy

    diy soap gummies

    Gluestick Blog 

    Homemade soap can make simple tasks like washing your hands easier and more fun for kids. If your child is using way too much liquid soap after using the bathroom, consider transforming that liquid soap into a gummy instead.

    You'll Need:

    • Unflavored gelatin
    • Salt
    • Water
    • Liquid soap
    • Soap coloring
    • Cosmetic glitter
    • Soap mold
    Continue to 13 of 22 below.
  • 13 of 22

    Use a Bee Mold for Milk and Honey Soap

    milk and honey homemade soap

    Happiness Is Homemade

    This soap recipe is so simple that it only requires four main ingredients. Milk and honey is a classic soap combination that is great for the skin, but the soap is infinitely more charming when you use a honeycomb mold like this one.

    You'll Need:

    • Goat's milk melt and pour base
    • Silicone honeycomb mold
    • Raw honey
    • Yellow and red soap colorant
  • 14 of 22

    Learn How to Make Basic Bath Salts

    bath salts

    Mindy Schiller 

    Bath salts make a great gift because they are easy to make and customize. Experiment with different essential oil blends and soap colorings. However, keep the color consistent with the scent. For instance, you wouldn't want to color your salts a mint green if the fragrance is lavender.

    You'll Need:

    • Epsom salt
    • Sea salt
    • Baking soda
    • Lavender and orange essential oil
    • Soap coloring
    • Mason jars
  • 15 of 22

    Add an Unexpected Ingredient Like Walnuts

    soap with nuts and honey

    Offbeat and Inspired

    Many soap making recipes use common ingredients like milk, honey, and essential oils. However, many food products will work so long as the soap is used within a reasonable amount of time. Got some spare walnuts? Throw them into the mix!

    You'll Need:

    • Canola, coconut, olive, safflower, and sunflower oil
    • Lye
    • Milk
    • Honey
    • Walnuts
  • 16 of 22

    Keep the Soap Recipe Simple

    homemade soap with lemon

    Simply Stacie

    It's tempting to want to add a ton of ingredients to your soap recipe, but sometimes simple is the way to go. If you're giving soap as a gift, consider keeping the fragrance something most people would enjoy.

    You'll Need:

    • Shea butter melt and pour base
    • Yellow soap coloring
    • Lemon essential oil
    • Soap mold
    Continue to 17 of 22 below.
  • 17 of 22

    Cube Off Some Simple Sugar Scrubs

    sugar scrub cube soap with lime

    A Cultivated Nest 

    Sugar scrubs are a luxurious exfoliant that can help revitalize your skin. While you can buy these in the store, they are extremely simple to make. It's possible you'll have most of the ingredients already on hand.

    You'll Need:

    • Coconut oil
    • Shredded soap
    • Shea butter
    • Lime soap coloring
    • Lime essential oil
    • Sugar
  • 18 of 22

    Add Clay to Your Soap for Acne Prone Skin

    clay soap

    One Good Thing

    An important benefit to making your own soap is that you can tailor the recipe to your skin's needs. If your skin is dry, try a moisturizing milk base. On the other hand, if your skin is acne-prone, consider adding clay to help remove impurities.

    You'll Need:

    • Melt and pour base
    • Bentonite clay
    • Soap mold
  • 19 of 22

    Combine Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey to Soothe Sensitive Skin

    oatmeal soap

    Mom Makes Joy

    Oatmeal is used to soothe sensitive skin and is a great addition to any soap recipe. If you find that the oatmeal falls a little flat, the ingredient pairs really well with an almond scent.

    You'll Need:

    • Goat's milk melt and pour base
    • Oats
    • Honey
    • Almonds
    • Vitamin E
    • Sweet almond fragrance
  • 20 of 22

    Relieve Sore Muscles With Epsom Salt

    diy soap with epsom salt

    Dream a Little Bigger

    One of the most effective ingredients for helping with sore muscles is Epsom salt, and it's easily added to melt and pour soap bases.

    You'll Need:

    • Epsom salt
    • Melt and pour base
    • Soap colorant
    • Essential oil
    • Spray alcohol
    • Soap mold
    Continue to 21 of 22 below.
  • 21 of 22

    Use Aloe Vera for a Face-Friendly Bar of Soap

    aloe vera soap

    The Nerdy Farm Wife

    This cold process soap has been designed to be gentle enough to use on your face. If you have extra sensitive skin, substitute the coconut oil for babassu oil instead.

    You'll Need:

    • Water
    • Lye
    • Aloe gel
    • Olive, coconut, sunflower, and castor oil
    • Tallow
  • 22 of 22

    Use Liquid Bubble Bath to Make Bath Bars

    diy soap

    A Beautiful Mess

    These pretty little soap bars make the perfect addition to any bathtime routine. They work so well in adding bubbles to the tub because the main ingredient is a liquid bubble bath.

    You'll Need:

    • Baking soda
    • Cornstarch
    • Arrowroot powder
    • Cream of tartar
    • Liquid bubble bath
    • Coconut oil