Fall Sweater Stripes (Tutorial)

I’ve just added a new board to my Pinterest page: Color Inspiration! How did I go so long without this board? And have you seen the array of color palettes that are out there? Whoa. Inspiration overload. One of my favorite go-to sites for all things color is Design Seeds, and recently there was a color story posted that reminded me of a comfy and cozy fall sweater. Of course, my next train of thought was to turn it into soap, and what better way to use Bramble Berry’s newest fragrance, Cranberry Chutney?


12.0 oz Canola Oil

1.2 oz Castor Oil

8.0 oz Coconut Oil

6.8 oz Olive Oil

8.0 oz Palm Oil

4.0 oz Rice Bran Oil

5.46 oz Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)

13.2 oz Distilled Water

1 teaspoon Electric Bubblegum Colorant

1 teaspoon Brown Oxide

1 teaspoon Brick Red Oxide

1/2 teaspoon Bronze Mica

3 tablespoons Sweet Almond Oil (or any liquid oil)

3 oz Cranberry Chutney Fragrance Oil

4 pound Wood Mold with Wingnuts


Buy everything you need for this project with the click of a button!

If you have never made cold process soap before, I highly recommend you get a couple of basic recipes under your belt. Check out this (free!) 4-part series on cold process soap making, especially the episode on lye safety. Bramble Berry carries quite a few books on the topic as well, including this downloadable book on making cold process soap.

SAFETY FIRST: Goggles, gloves, and long sleeves should be on at all times while prepping for and making soap. Ensure that kids, pets, and other distractions/tripping hazards don’t have access to your soap making space, and be sure that whatever space you are making soap in is well-ventilated.

COLOR PREP: Disperse the Electric Bubblegum Colorant, Brick Red Oxide, and Brown Oxide in Sweet Almond Oil at a rate of 1 teaspoon colorant to 1 tablespoon oil. Use a mini-mixer to make quick work of the mixing and to eliminate any clumps, but be sure to saturate the powders in the oil before you turn on the mini-mixer or you’ll get a messy poof of pigment!

MOLD PREP: Line the wood mold with freezer paper, shiny side up.

ONE: Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water, taking care to not breath in any fumes. Stir until clear and set aside to cool.

TWO: Melt and combine Palm and Coconut Oils. Add Canola, Castor, Olive and Rice Bran Oil and stir until well mixed.

THREE: When both the lye water and the oils have cooled to 130 degrees or below, carefully add the lye water to the oils and stick blend until a light trace is achieved. Split the soap batter into 5 equal parts (about 1 1/3 cups each). Keep an eye on the emulsion and stir with a whisk if it appears to be getting grainy.

FOUR: Add 1 teaspoon dispersed Brick Red Oxide to one batch, 1 teaspoon dispersed Electric Bubblegum colorant to the second, 1/2 teaspoon dispersed Brown Oxide to the third and 1/2 teaspoon Bronze Mica to the fourth. Leave the fifth batch uncolored. Mix in all of the colorants using a whisk so not to accelerate trace.

FIVE: Add .6 ounces of Cranberry Chutney Fragrance Oil to the soap batch colored with Brick Red Oxide. Mix in using a stick blender until a thick trace is achieved, then pour the first layer into the mold. Tamp the mold on the table to evenly distribute the soap and eliminate any air bubbles.

SIX: Add .6 ounces of Cranberry Chutney Fragrance Oil to the soap batch colored with Electric Bubblegum colorant. Mix in using a stick blender until a thick trace is achieved  then pour into the mold over a spatula so not to break through the first layer. Tamp the mold on the table to evenly distribute the soap and eliminate any air bubbles. Repeat this step with the uncolored batch going in next, then the Bronze Mica colored batch, and finally the Brown Oxide colored batch. Don’t forget to fragrance each batch as you go!

SEVEN: For added interest, take advantage of the thick trace of the soap try a single-color swirl design in the soap! Drag a spatula or chopstick through just the top 1/4″ or so of soap to manipulate it and add texture. Then spray the top with 91% percent alcohol to prevent soda ash, insulate, and allow to sit for 1-2 days. Unmold, cut, and allow to cure for 4-6 weeks. Enjoy!

Psst: For you tactile learners, this soap will be in the Etsy shop next week. We need just a skosh more curing time.

UPDATE: Soaps are now available in the Etsy shop! Check out the listing here to score your very own bar and printed instructions.

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  1. Ann says

    I made this recipe and everything seemed to go well while making it. I used the 5 lb mold with silicone liner (resized the recipe, of course) and waited 48 hours before unmolding. However, the bottom layer is very soft…too soft to cut. What do you think went wrong, and how would you proceed? Should I give it more time in the liner? Out of the liner? Will it harden up?

    Thanks for the help!


    • says

      Hi Ann! You can definitely leave it in the liner and it will get harder over time as the water evaporates out. Some soap recipes are softer than others, especially with those that have Olive Oil in them. =)
      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  2. Marla says

    Using the stick blender for 4 colors? How do you keep the colors from bleeding into the next bowl? There isn’t time to stop and wash it for each bowl and no body has 4 stick blenders that I know. So how did you do this? I can see bringing the batch to trace, separating it out and hand mixing the colors in with spoons and pouring but I don’t see how you used the stick blender for so many colors!

    • Anne-Marie says

      The instructions mention using a whisk to mix in the colors (they’re per-dispersed so they don’t need a stick blender) ” Mix in all of the colorants using a whisk so not to accelerate trace.”

      But, in theory, you could easily just use 4 spoons. =)

      Hope this helps! I’m not a fan of too many dishes either =)

  3. Kelly says

    This recipe looks so creamy! I have never used canola and did some searching around about it and found that it is prone to DOS. Should I add anything to this recipe to help with that? I noticed that you have quite a few recipes that include it so what is your experience when working with it? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Kelly!

      Thanks for the great question! We find that using canola oil in our soaps doesn’t cause too many problems with DOS as long as we are using brand new canola oil. The closer it gets to the shelf life, the more often you will find your soaps getting DOS because the oil has gone rancid. I hope this helps! :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  4. Debby Becker says

    Dear Bramble Berry,
    My 11 year old granddaughter and I are doing some serious soaping and are wanting to make our next batch the Fall Sweater, can’t wait!!! There is one question I have concerning the Electric Bubblegum colorant. Do you melt it,(and if so how???), and then mix it into the tablespoon of oil. Thanks so much for your time and consideration.


    • says

      Hi Debby!

      It looks like Anne-Marie has already contacted you and figured out what was going on with your colorant. If you haven’t already contacted customer service, you can call them, toll-free at 1.877.627.7883 to help get you that correct colorant! Let us know if there is anything else we can do for you. :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry