‘Dabble’-ing in Soapmaking

I’ve had a big year so far: Besides the major stuff like marriage and kicking cancer’s ass, I was on the news in a handful of countries. I posed in a bikini. Marc Jacobs liked one of my Instagram posts. I ate alligator.

Oh, and I made my own soap. Not to be braggy, but… you guys, I think I can do anything.

Dabble Soap Making Class with Maven in St Louis Review - DY - Oh Julia Ann (2)

Remember Dabble? I took a leatherworking class when they first launched in St. Louis. Dabble lets local experts host classes on topics like crafts, fitness, organization, or meditation. St. Louis apothecary company Maven currently hosts an Introduction to Soap Making course Dabble recently sent my forever lady date Sara and I to for an afterwork girls’ night!

Dabble Soap Making Class with Maven in St Louis Review - DY - Oh Julia Ann (3)

Dabble Soap Making Class with Maven in St Louis Review - DY - Oh Julia Ann (4)

The process was much more involved — in a good way! — than I had expected. I was picturing the melt-and-pour soap projects I’d seen at the craft store, but I hadn’t thought about how that melt-and-pour product was made.

Our evening started by finding out more about the history of soap. After that, we each went to a lab station to put on protective gear — it’s more serious than getting soap in your eye, shower style, as active lye is involved, and as you recall from Fight Club, it’s no joke — and set up. There was a burner and beakers and measuring cups… as someone who managed to avoid every high school and college chemistry class, it was a little intimidating. Thankfully, my soap date Sara is a brainiac and the team from Maven was always a step away ready to help.

We were able to select our scents and exfoliants, which was a huge relief as I’m pretty wimpy around the smell of perfume. Anyone else out there get intense scent-induced headaches? I’m good with things in the ‘fall’ or ‘fruity’ realm, like apple, pumpkin, or lemon. Thankfully, many of the scent options at the class fit into these categories. I went with something tropical — mango, I believe — and added red Himalayan salt and ground apricot seed. Sara’s was a bit more floral and topped with lavender, a scent I personally can’t stand but Sara would probably swim in. (And she doesn’t around me because she’s a true bff who knows I get crabby when I have a headache. You’re the best, Sara. This is why you’re my forever lady date.)

Dabble Soap Making Class with Maven in St Louis Review - DY - Oh Julia Ann (5)

Next we heated and mixed our ingredients. Thermometers were used to guarantee products would merge together nicely at the right temperature. I wholeheartedly had no idea the process was so complex! I was also hilariously afraid of the lye and looked like a crazy person despite being protected behind gloves and glasses. Scaredy cat city over here.

After everything was mixed and poured, we were able to add more exfoliant to the top of the soap for decoration. Then we wrapped up our projects and took them home…

Dabble Soap Making Class with Maven in St Louis Review - DY - Oh Julia Ann (6)

…Where they sat smelling amazing for weeks, unable to be touched. Gah!

Turns out, that scary part of lye doesn’t stop working right away. (Insert Jaws music here.) One day after the class we were instructed to slice the soap, then leave it out to cure. I patiently waited four weeks before checking mine out, and I’ll leave most of it out for a few more just to increase the lifespan of the bars.

Aren’t they just the most perfect spa-like treat? I can’t decide if I want to keep them all for myself or give some as gifts. This amount of soap values at $30 from Maven, so you are getting a lot of product for the $59 class. I think I might have to keep it all, though… I’m a little soap selfish.

Dabble Soap Making Class with Maven in St Louis Review - DY - Oh Julia Ann (1)

Sara and I had a blast being crafty. So rarely do I DIY something as practical as soap, but it was just as fun as any jewelry or art class I’ve ever taken. Two thumbs up, Maven and Dabble! This is the perfect (squeaky clean!) girls’ night out activity.


Thank you for providing me with tickets to this class, Dabble! While the course charge was covered, all opinions about the class are my own. 

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