Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tutorial: Pot O' Gold Presents: Money (or Message) Soap Gift Tutorial


Super easy, super fast and a fun take on the boring ol', but very appreciated money gift, money soap is the way to go for a difficult gift. A smart friend will use the soap as intended, until their reward, but there are those who might carve away at the best laid plans - just be warned. Delayed gratification isn't everyone's bag, so be it.

Every year we try to find a fun and creative way to give my nephews the same gift: money. We've done puzzles and traps, and this past Christmas we did soap. I had seen money soap before but at $12 + shippping for about $2 worth of soap and no telling how much money was within, well, it wasn't the right option for us. I knew that since the soap was clear it must be glycerin soap, which is easy enough to get and often available as a "natural" bar soap. Luckily, glycerin soap is very gentle as well, so recipients don't have to worry about skin irritations. Making our own money soap meant we were in control of how much money was within and appropriate labeling.

Perhaps you don't have anyone to give a gift to for St. Patrick's day but the pot of gold reference was too much for me to resist. Just tuck this idea in your memory for later graduations, birthdays, and the like.

What you'll need:
Glycerin Soap - clear or any color you like. My local store started carrying clear one week after this project! Gah!
Money or a waterproofed note/message (try a thin lamination on any note you like)
Drill and longer, straight drill bit. I used a 3/8" bit (tapered bits won't work for this application)
Label paper or adhesive and paper


If the soap is shrink wrapped, start by taking off any labels you can. I removed the back label only, since I would be covering up the front one anyway - this way the recipient can clearly see there is something in the soap. You can remove all the packaging if you like, but I kept it on to keep the soap "clean" in handling.

Next roll up your money or note as tightly as possible. Measure it against your bit to make sure your drill bit is long enough.

Position the rolled up money/note where you would like to go in the soap and make a small mark where it ends - this will serve as your guide when drilling and indicate where to stop drilling. I used a chalk marker, you could also use a dry erase marker, same idea.


Take your drill and drill directly into the soap (through the wrapping if it is still there). I found it easiest to drill downward. Stop at your mark.


Slide your rolled money or note into the drilled out hole as far as you can.


Your drill bit will have some soap remnant on it. Remove these and place them over the hole in the soap where you drilled. Using your fingers gently push the extra soap down into the hole - since glycerin soap is so malleable it easily melts with your body heat and will fill the hole much like a wood compound or putty.


If you have any mess just run quickly under water and scrub off - a little water may get under the label or packaging but it will dry out provided there is not a ton.

Make a fun label - joke about "good clean fun", "money laundering" or "cleaning out your bank account". Maybe make the scent "freshly laundered money", whatever you like and whatever fits your recipient best! Trace the shape of your soap onto your label and cut out that shape. Affix the label to your soap, or if you are using paper use and adhesive to attach (I used Spray 77). Done!

Have good clean fun with this project!


Lana said...

I have never heard of money soap, but it sounds like a great idea to give someone money in a creative way.
BTW, thanks for the comment on my blog, means a lot:)

Valerie said...

Is laminated money spendable?

Tricia said...

Valerie - you do not need to laminate the money, nor would I encourage you to do so. If you wanted to have a hand written note or message you might laminate it to make sure the ink doesn't run if it comes into contact with water.

katemade designs said...

Cool idea, the jokes about money laundering seem inevitable

Ashley said...

I can not find clear soap...any suggestions?

Tricia said...

Hi Ashley - You could try a more "health" oriented store. I know Whole Foods has some and The Dollar Store, in the USA, carries 'Pears' soap which is the same color as pictured. Also, a bit more pricey, but Neutrogena carries a glycerin soap with their face care line - again, same color as pictured above and available at most drugstores. Anything labeled 'glycerine soap' should work!

Unknown said...

Wow, this is a good promotional method! I wonder if we can order this online? I'm just about to check freight shipping australia if there's a possibility that I can have this. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Instead of money, you should've just gone ahead and put a certain yellow metal in the soap. It won't just make a nice giveaway, but you'll also probably attract every gold buyer in the area.

Unknown said...

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Sophie Tyler Neil said...

That would be a nice gift. But I think it will not be available in our country. Guess I have to look in classified ads manila to check if anybody is selling a similar product.

Unknown said...

The best kind of soap that can bear a message would be a natural soap. Truly, a unique gift that a special person can give.

Lauren Hixon

Anonymous said...

Haha, why not use it as promotional products for your booming online soap store? Or what if I start this online soap store? Hmm, great idea.


Anonymous said...

If that is what I'm getting for every soap that I will be using then, I will be buying that soap for as many as I like. Good idea on either giving it as a gift or marketing strategy.

-Hugh Parizeau

Unknown said...

I used glycerin in a different way. I used it for cleaning my foot but the problem is that my foot went dry from using it daily. Is glycerin concentrated? Guess I have to ask foot doctors in NYC to confirm that.

Isabel Robertson

Julia said...

What a cute project! I love it so much that I decided to feature it in our roundup of graduation crafts! Check it out here:

Have a great day!