You can create your own homemade wooden soap dish in just a few steps. Read this informative article and find out what materials and tools you will need!
Note: This is NOT a project for children. Young adults should not attempt this project without proper adult supervision.
The definition of “carve” can be said to be “form by carving” or “shape”, “mold”, or “sculpt” by “whittling” away at. Carving is how you are going to create your own homemade wooden soap dish by following the instructions in this article.
The first step in making your soap dish is to choose a suitable type of wood to create your soap dish out of. Conifers, such as pine, spruce, cedar, or redwood, are light and soft woods that are easy to carve. They do break easily, though, and, because they are porous, they tend to soak up wood stains unevenly.
Hardwoods are known for their durability, but unless your wooden soap dish is going to be taking a lot of abuse, oak, maple, walnut, and the rest of the hardwoods are usually reserved for making cabinets and furniture. However, American Oak is durable, but rather easy to carve out, so that might be a good wood choice for you.
You will need a piece of wood that measures approximately six inches long by four inches wide, and is about four inches thick. A wooden soap dish is usually a rectangular shape with a scooped out oval or rectangular divot in the middle. The divot needs to be wide enough, long enough, and deep enough to hold an average-sized bar of soap.
The next step is to make a pattern of your soap dish. Use a black magic marker to draw out a divot in the top of the piece of wood.
Now you will need to use a small carver’s knife, a vise, and fine and coarse sandpaper. You need to carve or cut out the pattern of the divot that you drew on the wood. You will need to start cutting slightly inside of the divot lines so you won’t lose your guidelines right away. Place the piece of wood in a vise so it will be held securely. Start by using the carver’s knife to carefully carve out the inside of the divot. The wood will come out in small chunks, so you will need to be patient and keep working slowly. The easiest way to carve the wood is to work with the grain, not against it.
After you have carved out the divot, check to make sure that it is large enough and deep enough to hold a bar of soap. If it suits you, proceed on to the next step. If you are not pleased with the size of the divot yet, then continue to carve the wood out carefully until you are.
The next step is to use some coarse sandpaper to sand your homemade wooden soap dish down. You will want to sand the inside of the divot down a lot in order to make it smooth and shapely.
The outside of your wooden soap dish also needs to be sanded down, though probably not as much.
Start with the inside of the divot and sand the deep gouges out of the wood. Then, you can use a finer sandpaper to finish sanding the divot until it is either fairly smooth or perfectly smooth- the choice will be up to you. You can give it a “woodsy, rough” look by leaving some small gouges in the wood. Or, you may choose to sand it down smooth for a nicer, smoother look.
Finally, you will need to finish your homemade wooden soap dish. Do this by wiping the soap dish off with a brush to remove the debris, and then use a soft, clean cloth to wipe off the dust particles. You can then leave it as natural wood, varnish it, paint it, stain it, or decorate it with small decals- the choices are endless and are completely up to you!