Vanilla Chai Shea Butter Soap

I have a bad habit of starting a hobby only to abandon it a couple years (or months) later. I love learning new skills, so I begin a project and then get distracted by some other fun venture. Eventually, I'm left in the wake of random craft supplies, half finished projects and a list of Skillshare classes I have yet to complete.

Every once in a while, though, I stumble upon the perfect creative outlet that works with my unstructured schedule and distracted brain while also leaving me with something practical. Soap making has been that hobby. While there are definitely times I've messed up a batch of soap, you don't have to be an expert to make a good bar. Even from your first beginners' batch, you've got something useful.

This is also one of those hobbies you can leave on the back burner for months, and then pick it back up again when you have time or feel the urge to experiment. There's room for creativity in recipe making, but it's also about chemistry, so you can geek out on the science of it if you want. Best of all? Soap making leaves you with a homemade staple that's so much better for your skin than many store-bought counterparts (and it also makes a great gift!).

Do you dabble in many different hobbies? Or do you stay focused on one or two at a time?

If you're new to soap making, please check out this full tutorial over at Offbeat + Inspired. You'll find all you need to know to get started, included information on supplies and safety guidelines.

Vanilla Chai Shea Butter Soap
Makes about 16 4 ounce bars of soap

*If you are new to soap making, visit this post from Offbeat + Inspired for the full instructions. 

Base Oils
15 ounces coconut oil
9 ounces olive oil
8 ounces sunflower oil
8 ounces shea butter
4 ounces jojoba oil

Lye Solution
13 ounces brewed chai tea, cooled (I used K'Tizo Tea's Bengali Chai)
6 ounces lye

Add 1.25 ounces vanilla fragrance oil and 2 teaspoons ground vanilla beans (optional) right before the mixture reaches trace.

Remember to let your soaps cure for 4-6 weeks before using or gifting!