One of our favourite events of the College Green year is holding a workshop teaching young people to make pampering bath products as part of a Creative Sustainability CIC camp.
Every year the lovely folks at Stroud-based CSCI hold a number of camps with the purpose of breaking down the social barriers between disabled young people and their non-disabled peers, and to provide exciting, confidence and self-esteem building activities for disabled young people that are not ordinarily available to them.
The first camp of each year is held at the rather magical Hawkwood College. As it's early in the year, the participants stay indoors rather than take their chances with the weather, and take part in a range of classes and workshops, including ours.
This is the fourth year we've taken part, and we have to admit, we're always thrilled to be invited back. We see many of the same faces returning, as well as some new ones which works really well as there's a lot of co-operation involved in the workshops - everyone passes ingredients around, lends a hand to anyone nearby who needs it, and of course takes home what they've made.
In previous years we've made bath bombs, face masks, bath teas and hand scrubs, so we kept in some old favourites and added something new, including adopting a 'plastic free' theme.
Each of the products is super-easy to make, and easy to recreate at home.
cupcake bath bombs - packaged in paper cupcake cases
Bath bombs are simply a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and citric acid. We added essential oils, spritzed the mixture with witch hazel until it resembled damp sand then packed them carefully into cupcake cases. What really makes them special is the final decorations of Himalayan pink salt, lavender, rose and calendula petals.
We made the bath bombs first, and by the end of the session they had 'set' and were hard enough to easily pick up and carry home.
We shared our bath bomb recipe just before Mother's Day, which you can read again here
bath tea bags - using unbleached paper tea bags
Bath tea is one of the simplest bath products to make. We mixed Epsom salts with Himalayan pink salt, then added dried oats. The oats release polyphenols into the bath water which help to calm dry, itchy or sensitive skin. Then came dried flowers - lavender and rose petals, followed by essential oils - lavender or may chang.
We carefully spooned the mixture into paper tea bags - they are delicate! - and pulled the string so that the oats and dried flowers would stay in the bag when they are added to a bath, while allowing the salts and essential oils to dissolve through the tea bag into the bath water.
soaps - in paper cupcake cases
Making soap from scratch is a complicated process, but it's possible to create individual soaps which can be personalised with different scents and ingredients quite easily. We used natural buttermilk College Green soap as the base for our soaps which had been grated then chopped up finely in a food processor.
To our soap shavings we added a tiny amount of spring water from the Hawkwood spring and essential oils. Optional ingredients included oats and used coffee grounds, then we squished and squeezed the mixture until it all melded together.
Some people didn't enjoy getting their hands sticky so mixed it with a spoon - this was a bit harder, but still do-able. The soaps were shaped then some rolled in dried flower petals.
We put the soaps in paper cupcake cases where they were left to dry out, and could be used the next day.
That just left the clearing up to do (thanks Tabby!) and we left Studio 1 smelling amazing for the next class.
Want to join us next time? You can find out more about Creative Sustainability's camps here.