Happy Valentine’s Day! There are so many ways to show people you care and they don’t have to be big and expensive. Sometimes the most meaningful gestures are small and handmade. We asked members of the soap making community how they show their love. Find their answers below.
Kristina, Happy Penguin Soap
I love celebrating love! While a dozen roses, jewelry, and chocolates are wonderful, I find the most delight in sweet and simple. When my husband and I first started dating we would leave handwritten notes for the other to find. I would leave a Post-it on his computer screen letting him know that I was proud of his hard work or he would tuck an index card under my car’s windshield wipers saying “Have a great day, my love!” I think putting pen to paper has become a rarity in the age of text messaging and social media, so taking a moment to physically write down a few sweet and thoughtful words really speaks volumes to my heart, whether it’s a scribble on the back of a napkin or a four page love letter professing one’s devotion. I also really love that I have a physical keepsake to reminisce over whenever I’m feeling nostalgic. And yes, I have an entire box filled with 5 years worth of handwritten love notes from my dearest
Kristina’s beautiful heart bars scented with Red Apple Fragrance Oil
Carolina, Mountain Ridge Farm
My family and I enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day, but without all the expensive commercial gifts. I personally choose to see Valentine’s Day as a day to really celebrate love and the blessing of our family. I have very young kids so I cannot really do fancy crafts with them, instead I print their hands on a Valentine card for their grandparents and relatives. I make a heart or a flower bouquet with their hand prints and it looks really cute.
I usually bake a cake to celebrate that day. Nothing better than a sweet to enjoy this sweet day, right? For close friends and relatives I put together boxes with my soaps, lotions, and lip balms. Most of them live in PA so they really appreciate the lotion and lip balms at this freezing time of the year!
Belinda, Love Your Suds
Making homemade treats is my favourite approach to gift giving. Creating something special that is tailored to a person’s likes or taste adds an extra layer of meaningfulness to the gesture. For Valentine’s Day, self-care and/or culinary treats make great gifts – something that people enjoy, but don’t always do or prepare for themselves. Creating homemade gifts need not be a costly undertaking either. Just use your imagination, and set aside the time – that’s what makes it so special.
- Simple Pleasures: What is your partner’s favourite morning ritual? Make a point of getting up early and surprising them with fresh tea/coffee/juice and/or breakfast in bed. Tip: grind coffee and do any other preparations in secret the night before to make your endeavours quicker and quieter the next morning.
- Sweet Treats: Chocolate dipped strawberries are so simple, yet so delicious. Pair them with home baked cookies or tiger butter (or better yet, both!) For Valentine’s Day, use a heart-shaped cutter to shape your cookies and to slice your tiger butter.
- Bath Fizzies: What I love about bath fizzies is that most (if not all) of the base ingredients can be found in your pantry. Adding a floral scent to the mix is the perfect touch for Valentine’s Day. You can even use some dried lavender buds or rose petals for some added colour, texture and romance.
Personalized Gem Soaps: Cold process soap is where my heart is, but let’s face it, not everyone plans 4 to 6 weeks ahead to allow for the required cure time. When time is of the essence, melt and pour soap is the way to go; it is easy to use and your gifts are ready almost immediately after you pop them out of the mold. For Valentine’s Day start with the recipient’s favourite scent and choose a gem to match, or vice versa (e.g. lavender/amethyst/purple, rose/rose quartz/pink, peppermint/emerald/green, and so on). Another nice thing about melt and pour soap is that you can work with smaller batches, or make just one soap if you choose.
Beautiful gem soaps by Belinda
Tanya, Rough Cut Soap Co.
My sweet nothing is ‘love’ notes. They’re fun to give and receive! Nothing extraordinary… simply just sweet words left on a sticky note in obvious places will do (extra points if you add a hand drawn heart). Left in the lunch box, dashboard or coffee pot; it’s a sweet and surprising way to tell your loved ones that you’re thinking about them! Discovering a love note is a surprise in itself! A feel good moment. A kind word in the middle of the day can do wonders sometimes.
Vicki, The Soap Mine
I love to bake nearly as much as I love making soap, and making cakes and other treats for my family is a totally love-filled process. It’s also nice to surprise others with something delicious – for example I gave Viennese Fingers to my children’s teachers at the end of the Christmas term, as a little thank you for all their hard work.
Vicki’s delicious baked goods
Sue, Cranberry Station
Sometimes, small, unexpected gifts are the most meaningful and make wonderful memories that last forever. When I started making soap to help my husband, I didn’t realize what an amazing and inexpensive gift handmade soap could be. We often have customers stop by the shop on their way home from work to surprise someone they love with a little something. A nice soap and matching bath bomb tucked in a pretty box is always a fabulous gift.
After talking with my customers, these are a few of the things they do for their special someone:
- One couple tries to have lunch every day together. Even if it is only for 30 minutes, it gives them time to reconnect during the day.
- One gentleman comes in every week to buy his love bath bombs. It’s her “me time” and it makes her happy.
- A small gesture that tells someone you are thinking about them doesn’t need to wait for a special occasion, a big holiday or be expensive. Pick out something they love and make an ordinary day an extra special day.
- A mom comes in once a month and treats her daughter, who is away at college, with her favorite soap. It’s something she loves and it reminds her of home.
- Every day, after I open my shop, my husband usually pops in with a coffee for me. This is just my favorite thing and makes me super happy.
Sue’s adorable Soapy Valentine’s Cupcakes