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Holiday Project: Homemade Melt and Pour Soap

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CRi (Choice. Respect. independence.)

  • A group opportunity. Invite your friends.
  • 6 people are interested

This year has been tough one for everyone, but as the year comes to a close, winter, the loneliest season, promises to be even lonelier. COVID has taken an especially hard toll CRi residents and staff. As some residents are high risk, houses are minimizing risk of contagion by only leaving the house when absolutely necessary, meaning residents can’t take a ride to the grocery store, go for walks in their neighborhoods, or even see their family in person. This holiday season is going to be especially hard as we can’t celebrate in person with friends and family.

Our goal this year is to show our appreciation to all the individuals supported by CRi and front line staff who put their safety on the line in order to continue to provide services to some of our most vulnerable community members. There are 350 people supported through CRi’s residential programs and 500 direct support staff working hard to keep them safe every day of the year.

A unique homemade soap is both a beautiful and useful gift for everyone to enjoy. Please join us this winter in bringing a small piece of joy and normalcy to those whose lives have been turned upside down.

Supplies needed:

  • Melt and pour soap base - usually comes in 2 pound blocks (Available on Amazon and craft stores such as Michaels and Joanne’s)
  • Microwavable bowl(s)
  • Spoon
  • Microwave
  • Mold of your choice - can be pre-bought from craft stores for around $3, or you can use a silicon muffin mold, or glass loaf pan. *Note - if you use a glass pan, be sure to purchase "Freezer Paper" which is different from parchment and wax paper. This will help pull up the soap from the glass pan once it cools. You can also get creative and make your own mold from yogurt containers, milk jugs, etc. Just make sure it can hold the weight and heat of the soap. https://www.cuttothetrace.com/2017/04/getting-creative-with-molds-5-dos-and-donts/
  • Spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
  • Essential oil(s)
  • Coloring - food coloring or soap coloring
  • Optional - Add-ins such as beauty glitter, dried herbs, exfoliates like Himalayan salt or ground coffee, matcha powder, oatmeal, sprinkles, etc.
  • Optional - Cookie cutters to make cool shapes!
  • Ziploc bags and sharpie

Before Getting Started Tips:

  • Don’t use fresh flowers or herbs. They’re more likely to brown and mold.
  • Avoid adding small and plastic such as beads or toys. While pretty, they are a choking hazard for some of our residents.
  • Please make sure your soaps are no smaller than 2"x2"
  • Try testing your scents and colors first by making a small sample soap. This will help you determine what your soap will look and smell like when it dries.
  • Avoid making religiously themed holiday soap to respect the diversity and beliefs of our residents and staff


The below instructions are for a very basic melt and pour soap. Feel free to get creative! Check out the links included at the bottom for some ideas and inspiration!

  1. Start by deciding what type of soap design you want to make and gather the necessary supplies.

  2. Begin by cutting the soap base into small, evenly shaped cubes.

  3. Place the desired amount of soap cubes in a microwave safe bowl and set for 10-30 seconds. Remove the bowl, stir the soap, and if not completely melted, microwave again for another 20 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir once more. Repeat this process until the cubes are completely melted.

  4. Once the soap is melted, add the color/scent/herbs/exfoliates you want to use. If you are using a powder add in, first mix it with a little bit of alcohol to create a paste. Add a little at a time to see how it mixes with the soap.
  5. Mix the ingredients really well! You do not want to have lumps from any of the additives and the oils should be distributed evenly.

  6. Grab your mold. If you are using a glass mold, make sure you line the inside with freezer paper before pouring the soap. If you are using DIY molds, make sure you have enough molds so you can quickly pour all the soap while it’s still in liquid form. Here’s a great website for mold dos and don’ts - https://www.cuttothetrace.com/2017/04/getting-creative-with-molds-5-dos-and-donts/
  7. Pour the soap into your mold and lightly spray the top with alcohol to help remove air bubbles. Leave it until it is completely cool and set.

  8. Leave the soap to cool in the mold for several hours. Removing the soap prematurely can cause the soap to wrinkle and lose shape.

  9. Once the soap is completely set and cooled, remove from your mold and place into a zip lock bag. Label the Ziploc bag with the quantity of soaps, the scent, and any ingredients used so we can avoid distributing to people who may be allergic to certain ingredients.

  10. When you have made soap to your heart’s content, the Ziploc bags can be dropped off at the following locations and times:
  • CRi Headquarters
    14160 Newbrook Dr, Chantilly, VA 20151
    Accepting donations Monday to Sunday from 10am to 2pm
    Donation boxes are located in the lobby beyond the double glass doors
  • Falls Church/Arlington Maintenance Shop
    7297A Lee Hwy, Falls Church, VA 22042
    Accepting donations Monday to Friday from 10am to 2pm
    Donation boxes are located in the lobby just inside the front door

  • Richmond Office
    808 Moorefield Park Dr., Ste. 120, Richmond, VA 23235
    Accepting donations Monday to Friday from 8am to 3:30pm

Soap can also be mailed to the following address:

Janet Davison
CRi - Philanthropy and External Affairs Dept
14160 Newbrook Dr

1 st Floor
Chantilly, VA 20151

Need some inspiration? Check out these websites:

  • Melt and pour 101 - http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/melt-and-pour-soap/free-beginners-guide-to-soapmaking-melt-and-pour/
  • Inspiration central - https://www.ruralsprout.com/melt-pour-soap-recipes/
  • Cookie cutter soap shapes - https://www.stephensonpersonalcare.com/recipes/2013-08-14-how-to-make-a-beautiful-soap-gift
  • Layering - https://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/5-tips-layering-melt-pour/
  • Swirl Designs - https://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/tips-and-tricks/tips-for-swirling-melt-pour-soap/

5 More opportunities with CRi (Choice. Respect. independence.)

About CRi (Choice. Respect. independence.)


14160 Newbrook Dr, 1st Floor, Chantilly, VA 20151, US

Mission Statement

CRi is dedicated to providing personalized resources to youth and adults with mental health needs and developmental disabilities.


CRi, Choice. Respect. independence. (formally Community Residences), is a community-based organization with a focused effort on providing people with developmental disabilities and/or mental health needs the resources, supports and services they need to live their lives with purpose, actively engaged in communities of their choosing. We believe in serving individuals within the communities in which they live & supporting the individual's choices and independence.

CRi - Choice. Respect. independence. offers individuals with disabilities supportive housing and the physical, mental and emotional services needed to facilitate independent and dignified living within the community.

We are one of the largest providers of supports to individuals with disabilities in Virginia, with services in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and in the Richmond area. In Maryland, CRi serves individuals in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties and in Baltimore City.

CRi provides medical, therapeutic, educational, vocational, residential and integrative recreational services to the formation of vital relational communities through which each individual may experience greater independence, dignity, fulfillment and happiness.

Arts & Culture
People with Disabilities


Fri Sep 11, 2020 - Mon Nov 30, 2020
08:00 AM - 11:45 PM  


This is a Virtual Opportunity, with no fixed address.


  • Mental Health
  • Aromatherapy
  • Counseling / Mental Health
  • Patient Care
  • Healthcare


  • Kids
  • Teens
  • People 55+
  • Group


  • Must be at least 8

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