I used Tescos basic soap which costs 30p for two bars. I grated one bar using a normal grater, placed in a glass jug , added 1 cup of warm water and placed in the microwave. I stirred repeatedly. This type of soap will not melt entirely but the little specs add to the handmade charm. The mass becomes gloopy. Add essential oils, lavender for the lavender soap and a drop of food colouring and dried lavender, pour into a mould and cool. When completely cool remove and slice and allow to stand to cure for at least 24 hours.
For the citrus burst I added lemon essential oil and the zest of a lemon and a drop of yellow food colouring.
For some reason you do end up with more soap than you originally had- must be the water and air. I sliced the lavender into four chunky bars and the lemon into five. You could add all manner of other oils and plants ie peppermint essential oil and mint leaves, almond essence and decorate with whole almonds, rosemary, vanilla just about anything. These wrapped imaginatively will make great presents at a ridiculously low cost. Why not give it a try?