Homemade Soap Drying Racks

bars of soap image by Jale Evsen Duran from Fotolia.com

Homemade soap, whether it is lye soap, glycerine or melt-and-pour, is on the rise as more and more people move toward green and holistic crafts. Before the 1900s, folks would often make soap from household materials, like wood ash and leftover lard or animal fat. Homemade soap needs to cure over time to harden. Time also mellows lye in cold-process soaps. Drying racks allow soap makers to store soap in large batches to cure and dry the soap while it hardens or to display the soap at craft fairs or in shops.

Lay 12 square dowels side by side about 1/2 inch apart.

Lay the two remaining dowels perpendicular across the 12 dowels about 2 inches in from either end.

Nail the perpendicular dowels to each individual dowel from step 1 using 1 1/2-inch finishing nails.

Flip the rack over so the two perpendicular dowels are now functioning as the legs of a large trivet. Varnish or paint your rack to your taste.

Wedge a lump of self-hardening clay (about 0.454kg.) to remove air pockets. Slap the clay onto a tabletop to create a 3-inch square clay dowel about 12 inches long. Repeat with a second lump of clay. If you would prefer something quicker, you may substitute clay for two blocks of styrofoam about the same size.

Push skewers into the long side of one square clay dowel (or styrofoam) about 1/4 inch apart. Press the other clay dowel against the opposite end of skewers to finish the rack.

Allow the clay to dry according to the directions on the clay package. Paint the clay or styrofoam.

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