Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Think Spring, Think Easter

 We've been working on Easter soaps this week. The smaller eggs were made with our plain egg and swirl egg novelty molds. The two halves were joined with clear soap base (spread the melted soap on like glue) and the two pieces joined. My assistant, Kristy drizzled colored soap over the eggs for a finishing touch.

The larger eggs were made using Mold Markets Easter Egg mold. I love this mold because the egg decorations are deep and easily facilitate multiple color pours. All the colors used are from our Neon Bright liquid gel line. As you can see, they produce outstanding color and are all non-migrating colors.

We are working on some fun and creative Easter packaging ideas. I hope to post pictures next week.

I love the golden egg nuggets. Clear soap base was colored with radiant gold liquid gel. The egg halves were joined and dusted with 24 karat gold mica powder. At the last minute, we decided to pour some little Easter bunnies. My grand kids will love them. Check out all our Easter novelty molds on our web site.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Customer Service that "Meows"

We get some pretty unusual customer requests at time. However, this one wins the prize. My staff was cracking up as they were preparing to process the order. In the comment section was a note that read, "Please draw a cat on the outside of box." I personally would have ignored the request, but one of our packers wanted to have fun with it.

This is the cat she drew on the box after packing the order. Now don't go thinking you can request animal artwork when placing an order. Our UPS driver, Jeff, would think we had all gone mad if amateur drawings of elephants, cows, pigs, dogs or goats began appearing on the outside of boxes.

It did give us all a chuckle for the day. So, accolades to the customer making this odd request. I'm certain there was some logic behind the madness. Whatever, the madness, it made us smile.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Don't Underestimate a Basic Mold

This basic peace sign from Mold Market is an ideal mold to experiment with color and dual color pours. If new to soap making, you will find this mold (and many others from the Mold Market line) a great way to learn how to pour color detail to make your soaps more interesting and colorful.

My staff played with various color combinations to get a feel for how the colorant would look in melt and pour soap base. It was a great learning experience and with the knowledge learned, equips them to assist in answering customer questions/emails about GoPlanet's  liquid gel colors.

Friday, February 24, 2012

How To: Melt & Pour Swirlz Soap Base

Here is the tutorial so many have been requesting. I hope to showcase other swirling projects, but for now, this provides the basics on how to use our Swirlz melt and pour soap base.

We would love to showcase soaps you've created with this soap base. I can't wait to try this with 6-8 different color combos. It's on the bucket list, so be patient!

Soap Projects Revisited

This morning I am working on a tutorial for using our MP Swirlz soap base. I remembered another project I did a few years back that was featured in the Handcrafted Soapmaker Journal.

The technique is somewhat different than swirling, but yields similar mixed color results. The colors flow together seamlessly due to pouring a variety of graduated colors.

These tropical colors really drew me in today as I sit in my office watching 8 inches of snow accumulate outside (we're under a winter storm watch). Oh to be sitting on a sandy beach surrounded by palm trees with a margarita in hand. Instead, I will soak in a tub filled with sea salt, surrounded by my one lone palm stalk (purchased at Ikea) and sip on sparkling water and dream of warm sunshine.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Gift Tag Packaging Kit

One of GoPlanet's newest additions is a Vintage Gift Tag Packaging Kit. It's ideal for those not wanting to purchase these items in ginormous quantities.

Includes the following:

•(10) 1 1/2" metal rim tags
•(10) 1" metal ring tag
•(10) 4.25 x 2 1/8" manila tags
•(10) 1 1/8 x 1.75" die cut tags
•(10) 2 3/4" spring clothespins
•(10) mini spring clothespins
•10 feet 3 mil Jute twine
•10 feet 4 mil cotton twine
Printed sheet of vintage clothes pin and manila tag covers

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Oh my YUM!!! Cupcakes

Look at these! Finally, cupcakes that aren't made from soap. Thanks to my assistant, Kristy. Every year she brings in Valentine cupcakes to share with staff members. Chocolate and strawberry goodness put a smile on every one's face yesterday. Those 300 calories plus were well deserved.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

St. Patrick Day Packaging Ideas: Part Two

Pin It Wowie, it's been one heck of a start to the work week. We have three grand kids staying with us until Wednesday. Mommy and Daddy are in the UP (upper peninsula of MI) on a snow mobile outing. NeeNee (that would be me) and Poppy (that would be my honey-man) have been delegated babysitting duties. We love that job, however, two kids have been sick in the middle of the night. requiring the "little green machine" to clean up the mess. The sickness has cut into my sleep time and work time. Oh well, it is what it is. I'm certain many of you have been there.

Even with the all the sickness, I managed to put together a couple of Saint Patrick Day packaging ideas. What else can you do at 2 AM in the morning when nursing sick kids? Hope you find something useful.

We have two new boxes at GoPlanetEarth. One is a window Kraft window box (recycled) that houses two soaps. It won't fit every soap from the Mold Market line, but it's a fairly generic size at 6 1/2 x 3 7/8 x 1 1/4" deep.  The other box is a white 3 1/2 x 3 1/2" box with a clear acetate lid. Both boxes are easy to assemble.

There are some really neat printable Saint Patrick Day papers at Blooming Homestead. I used one of the designs to cover the white box and then folded other papers accordion style and cut into strips. The strips were inserted into the box to help fill the void and add color. It also keeps the soap from sliding around.

Use double sided tape when wrapping the box.

Use ribbon, cord and tags to add finishing touches to the boxes. The Mold Market Shamrock #022, Shamrock #227 and Celtic Flower will fit inside the 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" white box. I poured two Mold Market Retro Bath Bar soaps for the Kraft box.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Robot Valentine Mailbox

Pin It

My grandson's class is required to create a mail box for his school Valentine party. My little buddy, Carson, was frustrated about his robot idea.  NeeNee came to the rescue with a little bit of inspiration that helped him conceptualize his idea. This was the end result of his ideas. He is very excited about taking it to school and is hoping that his classmates vote his mailbox as "most creative".

On the left side of the robot, one inch binder rings were used to attach the two shoe boxes.

On the right side, a twist tie was used to secure the box and keep the robot head from moving. My grandson can untwist the tie to retrieve his valentine cards from the bottom shoe box.

Red wrapping paper and double sided tape were used to cover the boxes. The robot arms are made from an empty paper towel roll (cut in half and cover with paper). My grandson drew and cut the shape of the robot hands on card stock paper. Black felt was cut to cover the hands. The Valentine cards are inserted in the robot's mouth and drop into the robot's body through the opening we cut.

My grandson covered chocolate coins with aluminum foil for the robot ears. I cut a Styrofoam ball in half so he could make the eyes. A black chenille stem (cut in half) and small black pom poms are the antennas. He did a great job and I'm so proud of the effort he put into his mailbox. His younger brother and sister were right there cheering him on. It was a fun family project. Another memory in my memory book.

Meet the artist, Carson.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Targeting "Educated Guess" Customers

I usually give little attention to wine labels. Most are boring and rarely scream "pick me, pick me". However, this label caught my eye and I was curious about the evolution of this marketing idea. Of course, who better to share the story than my honey-man. He's been in the wine business for 35 years and it just so happens his employer has distributorship rights for this winery.


The story behind the label

The name “Educated Guess” came about during a lively, second bottle of wine conversation about wine making styles, vineyard sites, and the progressive escalation of wine prices without comparable increases in quality. The discussion then proceeded to the “art vs. science” aspect of wine making and after a few more glasses of wine…“Educated Guess” was born!!!

So ask yourself this question: Have you ever found yourself in a wine shop or restaurant perusing the wines and wondering…how do I choose the best wine for the money? You may admire a label, recognize a name, or recall a great review…in essence you’re making an “Educated Guess.”

So what does this wine label have to do with your product(s)? More than you think. Customers making educated guesses about wine are no different than customers making educated guesses about your product.

I tend to purchase products based on packaging appeal which is why I love buying product from The majority of Etsy sellers understand the "pick me, pick me" concept. They engage the customer with creative packaging and capture the attention of the "educated guess" consumer.

If you were making an online purchase, which product would you pick?


As online presence continues to grow, so will competition. This is especially true for those in the handmade soaping business. The days of dropping a handmade soap into a cello bag with a tied ribbon are long gone.  If you want to compete in the marketplace (both on and offline) you better have a marketing plan in place and it should happen long before opening your online store.

What are you doing to stand out from the avalanche of growing homemade soaping products in the market? Do you desire a revenue generating business?  If so, you need to get obsessive about managing your marketing strategy. If you don't, I guarantee you'll be left in the dust of cyberspace.

How to start 

  • Begin to target educated guess customers with creative packaging and labels that stand out from the competition. Develop a core flagship packaging idea and branch out from there.
  • "Green" packaging sells (just a personal opinion from someone in the business). Re-purposed and bio-degradable packaging appeal to today's consumer. Recycled paper and Kraft type gift boxes are a great start point.
  • Do your homework. Research the web for "brand" packaging "ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Don't copy someone's idea, but you have every right to expand on it.

GoPlanetEarth has created a new web page on packaging ideas. The ideas presented are affordable for those on a limited budget just starting out in the business. As a supplier, our company goal is your success in turning a profit in your the soap making business. GoPlanet continues to add new ideas to the web "Packaging" web page in an effort to inspire. Think outside the box!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Mold Market Tree of Life Soap Mold

For me, this mold shouts "life quote, life quote" when assembling the packaging. I'll present some ideas in the next week. It's somewhat tedious to pour the layers, but my incredible workers did a great job. Some are just learning the tricks of the trade. I love that they are so willing to learn.

You absolutely need the injector tool for this mold. Slow and careful is the best advice I can offer. Using strips of blue painter's tape around the edges of the pouring around (base of tree) may assist in avoiding over pours.  Once color sets up, remove tape and continue pouring remaining colors. Dental wax is another option for a sealing edge of intricate pouring areas.

My daughter was all over the black and white Tree of Life. I'm thinking that incorporating mica flakes or white sparkle glitter at the base of the mold (to resemble snow) would be even more awesome.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

St. Patrick Soaps: Gift Packaging Ideas

Pin It
No one cares whether you are actually Irish. On Saint Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish! It's traditional celebration here in the States and everything is green (including the beer!).

I've been putting together gifts for the grand kids to give to their teacher on St. Paddy's Day. Here's what I have so far. Pictured above are soaps made from the new Mold Market Rounded Rectangle mold. The soap is wrapped and attached to our manila gift tags.

The soaps are wrapped and seated on a 4.25 x 2 1/8" manila tag covered with printed paper. All the tags we used are found here. You can print the St. Patrick papers for FREE from our website. We owe credit to Digital Card Fun for a number of the fun prints.

Mold Market's Layered Leaf and Rounded Rectangle molds were used for this project.

The secret is to keep the color palette compatible. It's OK to use stripes with polka dots as long as the color scheme matches. The same is true of the soap. It should blend with the packaging colors you've selected.

I was limited to the supplies on hand. I would have liked a bright yellow grosgrain ribbon to use with the layered leaf soap. Oh, well!

Use the round metal edge tags to write the fragrance of your soap or name of intended recipient.

Next on my list was preparing the special gift that the grand kids will be gifting to each teacher. My mom is a retired teacher and my daughter an educational administrator. I know how hard our teachers work to provide kids with a good education. I want them to know they are appreciated, if only in a small way.

I made a "Thank You" flip book from empty paper towel rolls. You can view the concept on a former post made on my blog site. The rolls were cut to size, folded flat and covered with St. Patrick paper designs. A 4.25 x 2 1/8" manila gift tag was inserted inside each of the five flattened rolls. The tags were decorated with paper and ribbon along with a special quote to the teacher (printed on oval stickers). If you don't have stickers, just print the quotes on plain paper and cut to size. Glue to the tag.

Quote suggestions include:

Thanks for noticing my accomplishments
I appreciate your encouraging words.

You believe in me. It gives me confidence.
Being able to help someone learn is a talent.

I added a few St. Patrick day themed stickers to the face of each flattened roll and then tied the flip book closed with ribbons. I added a green ribbon on the first tag insert which included a Starbucks gift card.