Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
Good Clean Family Fun at Otion Soap Bar
Hilary Parker

Girls making bath bombs, Otion, downtown Bellingham, WA

A trip to Otion Soap Bar wasn’t on my kids’ radar, but it was on mine.

Otion has been a soap making supply store located in downtown Bellingham for years, but more recently introduced its Crafter’s Corner, where you can do projects in the shop with helpful instructors on hand to assist.

The Crafter’s Corner sounded like an ideal activity for a chilly February afternoon, so I called to reserve a spot the day before (reservations are recommended, but not required) and showed the kids the options for projects on the Otion website.

Boy making bath bombs, Otion, downtown Bellingham, WA

Crafters can choose from four projects: melt & pour soap, lip balm, bath bombs or nail polish. (Each project “kit” ranges in cost from $10-$20.) We decided to try our hand at making bath bombs – those things that fizz when you add them to the bath, adding color and scent to the water.

When we arrived the next afternoon, we browsed the soaping supplies – molds, colorants and fragrances with scents as varied as Sunflower to Lemongrass to Tobacco – as they set up our project for us.

Colors for crafts, Otion, downtown Bellingham, WA

We were lead to a table by the window, looking over Holly Street, with views of the Flatiron Building, Rocket Donuts and the Sentinel sculpture. And did I mention it was a chilly afternoon? Well, it was cozy warm in the Crafter’s Corner.

View of downtown from the Crafter's Corner, Otion, downtown Bellingham, WA

We chose to make bath bombs: Each kit comes with the raw ingredients, citric acid and baking soda pre-measured, plus 10 or so colors and fragrances to customize your bomb. Part of the fun was sniffing the many scents – the hard part was choosing just one!

crafting table, Otion, downtown Bellingham, WA

The bombs were super easy for the kiddos – ages 10 and 12 – to do on their own, with the help of the easy-to-follow instructions and just a few pointers from me. The final step, adding a few spritzes of witch hazel to bind the dry ingredients was the most challenging. Luckily, the instructor was close by to give us tips on how to get it just right.

Mixing the ingredients, Otion, downtown Bellingham, WA

Once the mixture was ready, we chose from a selection of fun molds – sand dollars, hearts, fish and dragonflies – to set the bath bombs. While we waited for them to dry, we popped across the street to Rocket Donuts to grab a snack. (With a number of eateries within a half block of Otion, there are plenty of options.)

The whole process, including drying time, took only a little more than an hour. And the best part for this mom? The friendly staff at Otion cleaned up the mess.

Finished bath bombs, Otion, downtown Bellingham, WA


While this outing wasn’t on my kids’ radar beforehand, it is now. We’re already talking about what we’ll make on our next visit.

Otion Soap Bar
301 W. Holly St. (downtown Bellingham)

Crafter’s Corner Hours:
Mon-Fri: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday: Call for appointment


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About the Author:

Hilary Parker is a writer and editor living in Bellingham. She is the mother of two and stepmother of three, ranging in age from 6-13. Her Brady-Bunch style family likes to explore the local trails.