Have you checked out Bramble Berry’s brand new Brazilian clays yet? These natural colorants work excellently in cold process soap and are available in an amazing range of colors. They’re even available in a sample pack so you can test them out before purchasing a larger size! To keep with the natural elements of the clays, I used a delightfully herbal essential oil blend for fragrance.
To create a two-color tiger stripe effect, I modified Bramble Berry’s 2 pound Wood Loaf mold. If you have some cardboard lying around from holiday packaging, here’s your chance to reuse it for some soapy goodness. We’re keeping it green on Soap Queen!
1.1 oz. Avocado Oil
6.6 oz. Canola Oil
1.1 oz. Castor Oil
4.4 oz. Coconut Oil
3.3 oz. Olive Oil
4.4 oz. Palm Oil
1.1 oz. Palm Kernel Flakes
3.06 oz. Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
7.7 oz. Distilled Water
0.4 oz Basil Essential Oil
0.3 oz Patchouli Essential Oil
Click here to add everything you need for this recipe to your Bramble Berry shopping cart!
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.
SUIT UP: Get on your goggles and gloves, and make sure you’re wearing long sleeves. Keep kids, pets and other tripping hazards and distractions away from your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.
COLOR PREP: Disperse those clays in some water using a mini-mixer. You’ll want to use a ratio of 2 teaspoons of clay to 2 Tablespoons of water per color. Make sure that the clay is saturated by the water before turning on the mini-mixer, or you may end up with a messy cloud of clay! Why water? Clays are very absorbent, and tend to accelerate trace when added dry or cause the soap to crack as it cures if used not-dispersed. Dispersing them in water before adding them to soap not only helps them mix in better, but also keeps them from accelerating trace.
ESSENTIAL OIL PREP: Create the herbal natural scent blend for this project by mixing the Lavender, Patchouli and Basil Essential Oils.
MOLD PREP: Line the Wood Mold with freezer paper shiny side up. This technique requires a bit of a mold modification in order to work, but it’s fairly quick and easy (and worth the results)! In this tutorial, I used an early-release exclusive-to-Bramble Berry silicone liner for the 2 pound molds.
PREPPING THE MOLD:
1. Gather supplies for the modification. Scissors, an exacto knife, tape, cardboard, and a lightweight dowel or reed.
2. Cut two pieces of cardboard the width of the mold. Tape the pieces to either end of the mold, with just a little bit (less than an inch) hanging over the cavity.
3. Cut a slit the thickness of a piece of cardboard in the middle of the pieces from step two. Make sure the slit goes all the way to the edge of the mold.
4. Fit a third piece of cardboard into the slits, perpendicular to the short sides of the mold, to create a divider. Make sure that it touches the sides and bottom of the mold and the fit is snug.
5. Cut a second slit the width of your dowel or reed in the pieces from step two. The second slit should be as close to the wide edge of the cavity as possible.
6. Crack the dowel or reed in two places, with the length between the breaks fitting the width of the mold cavity and the lengths after the breaks fitting the height of the mold cavity plus about an inch. Leave a bit of fiber still connected at the breaks, or if the pieces fully separated, reconnect with a bit of tape. A thin wire hanger can also work for this step.
7. Fit the dowel or reed into the second set of slits. Now you’re all set to go!
ONE: Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water and stir until clear. Set aside to cool.
TWO: Melt and combine the Coconut and Palm Oils and Palm Kernel Flakes. Add the Avocado, Canola, Castor, and Olive oils and mix well.
THREE: Once your oils and lye water have cooled to 130 degrees or below, slowly add the lye water to the oils. To prevent air bubbles, I like to pour the lye water down a spatula or the shaft of my stick blender. Blend the mixture until light trace.
FOUR: Split the batch into two equal parts, about 2 cups each. Fragrance each of the batches with the essential oil blend, using a whisk to mix so not to accelerate trace.
FIVE: Color each of the batches with the dispersed clay. Add all of the dispersed Purple Clay to one, and all of the dispersed Natural Clay to the other. Keep using with the whisk until the clays are well mixed.
SIX: Grab each of the containers of soap, and pour into the modified mold at the same time (each color going on either side of the cardboard divider). Reserve a little bit of each of the soaps for step nine!
SEVEN: Slowly remove the cardboard divider from the soap, pausing just after it’s fully out of the soap so the excess can dribble off. Remove the two smaller pieces of cardboard from the sides of the mold.
EIGHT: Drag the reed or dowel vertically across the mold, gaining height with each pass, until the reed or dowel is just below the surface of the soap. Repeat the back and forth motion going down, and then back up again. Remove the dowel or reed entirely from the soap.
Optional Decorative Top: Pour a thin stream of reserved purple soap over the surface of the soap, creating S-curves parallel to the length of the mold. Follow the lines created with the purple soap with the natural soap, pouring just next to the purple lines. Using a chopstick or skewer dipped into the first 1/8″ or so of the surface of the soap, drag the tool perpendicularly to the long edge of the mold, creating S-curves down the length of the mold. Next, use the swirl tool in a curly swirly motion parallel to the length of the mold to create a psychedelic swirl.
TEN: Allow the soap to sit in the mold for 1-2 days. Unmold, cut, and allow to cure for 4-6 weeks. Enjoy!
Click here for a printable PDF of this tutorial.