Everyone has his or her own approach to starting a project. I tend to approach it from the perspective of "dive in and hope you can swim". I can't say that's always been the best way to begin anything, but it always makes things interesting. That being said, the first pages I'll be sharing with you are purely informational. They outline and summarize the basic supplies you'll be needing, providing a little insight on what and why.
This is not the most exciting section, but it will assist you in making choices BEFORE you do your shopping thus, saving you money.
If you are an experienced soap maker, you may want to go straight to the online store to purchase downloads of the more advanced techniques and designs. It is important to note, however, that success with the more complicated techniques is predicated on having a really good grasp of the basics.
Let's get started!
© 2011 NORMA W. THOMAS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Basic Supplies & Information
For basic melt-and-pour (MAP) soap making, and for most of the more advanced projects, you will need the following:
 melt-and-pour soap base
 molds and/or cookie cutters
 microwave-safe, glass measuring cup
 craft sticks (for stirring melted soap)
 freezer space & microwave oven
 spritz/spray bottle of rubbing alcohol
 timer or clock
 sharp knife
 cutting board or cut-safe work surface
 glass eyedroppers
 measuring spoons (from 1/8 tsp on up)
 sturdy ice cube trays
 zippered plastic storage bags
 MELT-AND-POUR (MAP) SOAP BASE
HOW MUCH TO USE:
To determine the amount of melted soap base it will take to fill your mold, fill your one-cup measuring cup to the one-cup mark, then pour water into the mold until filled. Now, look at the measuring cup: one cup = 8 ounces. Subtract the amount of water still in the measuring cup from 8 ounces. The volume of the MISSING water is equivalent to the amount of MAP soap base you will need. Most measuring cups have ounce-level markings.
CUTTING THE SOAP:
Many MAP soap bases are sold in scored blocks. To determine the volume of each scored cube, take the total number of cubes and divide it into the total number of ounces in the block. A two-pound block (as shown in the photograph above) has 32 cube sections: 32 cubes and 32 ounces (16 ounces per pound) means each cube is approximately one ounce of MAP soap.