Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Packaging: Don't Under Estimate a Clothespin

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Goplanet is adding mini clothespins to their packaging line-up. These little guys measure 1-inch x 1/4 inch inch. Clip them to gift tags and packaging containers to create your own unique marketing concept. If you're a Martha wannabe, here's your chance to strut your packaging stuff.

We will have the entire scoop posted later this week, including FREE printable St. Patrick Day paper assortment.

I'm also putting together a seek and find Valentine and St. Patrick's Day game for the little peeps. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

How To Make Caramel Apple Soaps

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Mold Market's new 3-D apple mold has already proven to be a big seller. This blog post shares how to join  the apple and make the caramel colored soap dip.

The first step is to pour the 3-D apple halves. This mold has a top and bottom piece. Melt 20% white soap base and 80% clear soap base. Add neon red colorant. To soften the color intensity tomato red color was added. My assistant, Kristy, swears that a VERY small amount of brown oxide or chocolate colorant gives a more true apple color. It's your call.  There are no exact measurements on the color content. Experiment until you find a caramel color that rocks for you (and be sure to take notes!)

Here is our final caramel color.

Release the apple halves from the mold. Using GoPlanet's smoothing tool, make an cut into the top apple half. Dip a wooden Popsicle stick into clear melted soap base and insert the stick into apple top. Allow the soap stick to set up and then join the top and bottom of the apple with clear melted soap base. Your 3-D apple should look like the picture shown below.

Time to dip the apple.

The caramel color soap should be thoroughly melted, but NOT hot.
Carefully lift the dunked apple from the caramel soap.

Allow apple to cool on a plate or sheet of wax paper. While the caramel coating is still warm, embellish with sea salt or sprinkles. Drop the finished soap into a cello bag and close bag with colorful ribbon.

Melt & Pour Soap: Suspension Base

Suspending glitter and botanical product in soap has never been easier. GoPlanet's suspension soap base does it for you. Pictured above is a bar of soap made with Mold Market's Rounded Rectangle mold (which BTW, is an awesome mold). The soap has two layers. The first layer was poured with suspension base and cosmetic glitter added. The secret to successfully using this base type is letting it cool down slightly before adding your ingredient. Once the glitter layer set up, a second layer of colored soap was poured that did not include the glitter.

As you can see, the glitter has remained evenly suspended throughout the first pour.

GoPlanet is giving away a $22 gift packet that includes:
  • 2-pounds suspension melt & pour soap base (clear)
  • (1) Mold Market Rounded Rectangle mold
  • 1 ounce cosmetic glitter
  • 1 ounce fragrance oil
One lucky recipient will receive the above gift. You must live within the continental USA for us to pay shipping, otherwise shipping is your expense.

Email name and shipping address to info@goplanetearth.com. Email MUST INCLUDE a brief comment about your favorite GoPlanetEarth product.

Entry deadline is February 5, 2012, 11:59 PM EST. Each entry is assigned a number. The winning number is selected from a random drawing conducted by an outside source.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

St. Patrick Soaps: May Luck Be Your Companion

Here are a couple of fun mold designs from the Mold Market brand. This four leaf clover was cut-out using the molding smoother tool. The shamrock mold can be purchased here.

We used the molding tool to trim away the soap between the leaves.

Cosmetic glitter mixed in suspension soap base lends to the sparkles. Just be sure you allow the suspension base to cool down before mixing in the glitter and pouring into the shamrock mold.

The Celtic Flower is easily poured in two colors using the injection tool. So many color combinations and shades of green can be used for St. Paddy's Day. Kelly Green and Neon Bright Green are two of our top color choices.

I'll be posting some fun St. Patrick's day packaging ideas in the next couple of weeks.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Standard "Before Work" Thursday...

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Every Wednesday the grand kids stay the night to attend Awana Club. They've been doing this since toddlers. On Thursday mornings it's my job to get the kids dressed for school while Poppy (my honey-man) makes everyone's breakfast of choice. All three kids pick something different and Poppy is willing to oblige.

My grand daughter, Olivia, better known as "Miss O" or "Peanut", is obsessed with all things pink. Every Thursday, she picks special ribbons from my craft cupboard to put in her hair. And, if she's the special helper that morning, she gets to cut the ribbon with "big people" scissors which is a big deal for a six-year old.

This morning, Miss O picked a light and dark pink ribbon. She also selected the location for the above photograph. As I guessed, it was next to the Valentine ornament arrangement. It's her favoite because it is pink and purple. Imagine that?

This is the same centerpiece made at Christmas using repurposed wine bottles. Post-Christmas bulbs are replaced with Valentine ornaments purchased from Lillan Vernon catalog. The kids love the arrangement. On Valentine's day, paper hearts dress the the base of the arrangement with notes on where the kids can find special treats.

I will use this same wine bottle arrangement for Easter. You'll have to wait and see what ideas are jumping around in my head :))

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Clear Cupcake Boxes & FREE Valentine Printables

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GoPlanet's clear cupcake box is a perfect way to package your finished cupcake soaps. This clear 4 x 4 x 4 cupcake box with insert ships flat and easy to assemble.

The Mold Market cupcake soap molds fit this box: Item #276 (pictured above) and Item #211 (pictured below).

There are so many ways to embellish the box to fit your occasion. Below we threaded/glued felt/paper hearts onto twine and tied around the box. Ribbon, threaded buttons, ric-rac, imprinted paper bands...are just a few ideas.

Get your FREE printable Valentine Heart paper from the GoPlanetEarth web site. Print the PDF file onto card stock. Cut around heart shapes and apply to your packaging. A small hand held paper punch and double-sided tape is useful.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Packaging: Peacock Feather Gift Wrap

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Packaging ideas are like a river that empties into a spacious sea and spills over to land... I think you get my drift. Packaging ideas are endless and the creation process is oh so fun. I studied interior design in my younger years, so color, texture and shapes are always dancing around in my head. I can't say what triggers a particular color concept, it just happens. This was one of those mind dancing moments.

I love natural peacock feathers. Every year the male peacock sheds his feathers (yep, he's a little naked man running around without clothes). I am all about re-purposing things, so peacock feathers were a great choice for snazzin-up (is that even a word?) my gift wrap. You can purchase peacock feathers here at a reasonable price. You may even find them at a craft stores in your area and forego any shipping costs.

I happened to have some turquoise grosgrain ribbon and paper cording hanging out in one of my craft drawers, so that was my color choice. Lime green would be another color option. The banded flower design can be printed from the GoPlanetEarth web site. I've included a turquoise paper ribbon in the template (in case you don't have any ribbon on hand). This printable design fits soap box BO-16.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Packaging: FREE Printables for Mother's Day

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I am always seeking inspiration for inexpensive, creative packaging. If you are a regular GoPlanetEarth customer, you know I recently added a web page to showcase low cost packaging ideas.

Earlier this week the grand kids were here for dinner. I brought home sheets of white packing paper so the kids could color their own place mat. Watching my six-year old grand daughter draw and scribble on her placement, I realized how her simple drawing would make great gift wrap.

Don't dismiss the creative powers of a child. Little peeps draw, think, feel, believe and create from the heart and I based the above packaging ideas on that "heartfelt" attitude. I will be using this idea for Mother's Day packaging (May 13) this year.

This is the PDF link for the FREE printable wraps as pictured. The banded wraps fit our BO-16 Soap Boxes. You can purchase the gift tags from our web site or create your own.

Spiderman Alphabet Cards: Great Toddler Gift

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I know the Christmas holidays are "over" and most have moved their creative thoughts to Valentine's Day. However, today, I am celebrating Christmas with my second daughter, Kristen, She has been my daughter's best friend since grade school. Both girls married their high school sweethearts which makes the friendship even closer.

I was brainstorming about what to gift Kristen's 3 year old son. I wanted to do something handmade. I remembered how much he loves Spiderman. My inspirational "ah-hah" moment was making the following Spiderman Alphabet Cards.

I have a 3 year old grand son who is enthralled with super heroes so I was confident the picture cards would score points with Spencer, and they did!

I used 28 blank playing cards and resized various Spiderman posters to fit the face of the cards. Double sided tape has become my best friend and at the rate I've been using it, I should be buying stock with the 3M company. Sure wish they would send me a lifetime supply.

The first card is shown above, and the last card is a picture of Spencer in his Spiderman costume. The remaining 26 cards have an alphabet letter secured to the back side of the card.

I printed Spiderman paper from the web and cut to fit the gift box from GoPlanetEarth. This gift box is perfectly sized for a deck of cards. Evenly align and punch two holes to the left of each card. One-inch notebook binder rings keep cards in place.

Vintage Packaging Ideas for Soap Makers

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If you manufacture bath product, you know the importance of packaging to sell. Keeping the cost to a minimum to turn a profit is often a difficult task.

Here is an idea that may work for you. If you have a printer, you can make this happen. Ribbon, gift tags and twine will help embellish the gift wrap.

Cut and wrap the printed paper as a "band" around the box. This allows you to display the soap product and then easily slide it into one end of the box once purchased.

Our GoPlanet soap boxes are ideal for this gift wrap idea.

Print the FREE "vintage" paper here. Check out our other gift packaging ideas on our web site, including the gift tags, twine, mini clothespins and cotton string shown above.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Valentine Packaging: Lip Stick and Newsprint

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Packaging can't get any easier or inexpensive as this. This Valentine packaging is courtesy of my grand daughter and her lovely lips....

Miss Olivia was quite excited about applying lip stick for this Valentine packaging idea. She is pictured above at the onset of the project and below after several lip stick applications.

I kid you not, this was what she looked like.
She was so proud of her kissable work.

She will tell you that a hand-held mirror is essential for lip stick application.
And, of course, more is better.

Here she is kissing the newsprint.
Trust me, she was all about the kissing part.

There you go... imprinted kisses for Valentine's Day.
Below is the final packaging results.

You can print-out the newsprint here, but you're on your own for the lip stick kisses! They fit our white window soap boxes. Just trim the paper to fit the front and back side of the box. The newsprint is cut as a band around the box. The sides of the box are not covered.

I'll have a blog post soon about the mini clothespins used to attached the gift tags. GoPlanet offers a gift tag set here.

No One Said We Were Neat!

Woooooowwww.... is all I can. On Friday afternoon, this was the outcome of one of our pouring work stations. TOTAL CHAOS!

Just wanted to let you know we're just as messy as most. Thank you, Kristy, for taking care of the clean-up so we can do it all over again next week. Some things will never change. Clean-up is one of them!

Making 3-D Caramel Apple Soaps

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Pouring apple soap has never been so much fun. My staff was super excited about this soaping project and rightfully so. Geez, there are so many variations on using this new two-part "Mold Market" 3-D soap mold. The apple and stem were hand-cut and secured with clear soap base. A wooden skewer was used to make the leaf veins.

Tomato red soap colorant (in clear MP soap base) was used to color the apple. Pour each half in mold and allow to cool. Remove from mold and using the smoother tool, make a slit to insert the popsicle stick. Once the stick is secure, join the two halves with clear soap base that has been melted to a comfortable "pinkie finger" temperature. The smoother tool is ideal to shave off any extra soap at the joint seam.

We'll get the recipe for the caramel colored soap within the next week. Once the soap is melted and colored, dip the joined apple into the colored soap.

Immediately sprinkle on desired embellishments. We used sea salt, ground nuts and sprinkles. So many possibilities!

Keep checking the blog for easy packaging ideas for these apples. I have to tell you, the grand kids were all over these dipped apples. An ideal soap mold to use for birthday parties, Halloween parties, or just for the heck of it! Consider red colored apples dipped in both pink and white.The popsicle sticks are sold at GoPlanet in 50 count packages.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Soap Making: It's all about Cupcakes & Hearts

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We recently showcased Mold Market's most recent cupcake mold design. Here's another design from the past.

Checkout the tutorial here.

The "Soap of Many Colors" is a customer favorite.
Soap of many colors.