Soap Challenge: Leopard Spots Tutorial

Take a walk on the wild side with this trendy Leopard Spot Soap. This was yet another dramatic entry to the Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge series. It involves a unique frosting bag technique to achieve the fierce, big cat-inspired spots. For those of you looking to expand your soaping skill set, this is the tutorial for you!

What You’ll Need:

38 oz. Basic Quick Mix

12.5 oz. distilled water

5.4 oz. Sodium Hydroxide

Two Disposable Frosting Bags

2.2 oz. Pikake Flower Fragrance Oil

Aqua Pearl Mica

Ultramarine Blue

Tangerine Wow

Brown Oxide

10″ Silicone Loaf Mold

Click here to add everything you need for this project to your Bramble Berry shopping cart!

Want to make a recipe up from scratch?It needs to give you plenty of time to work with it so I’d recommend at least 60% liquid oils and no more than 40% (total) of solid oils and butters.

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.

COLOR PREP: Disperse 1 teaspoon of the Tangerine Wow into 1 tablespoon of Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil, 1 teaspoon Brown Oxide Pigment into 1 tablespoon of Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil, and 1 teaspoon of Aqua Pearl plus 1 mini-scoop of Ultramarine Blue into into 1 tablespoon of Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil. Use a mini mixer to get clumps worked out smoothly.

SAFETY FIRST: Suit up for safe handling practices! That means goggles, gloves and long sleeves. Make sure kids, pets, and other distractions and tripping hazards are out of the house or don’t have access to your soaping space. Always soap in a well-ventilated area.

ONE: Slowly and carefully add the lye to the water, and stir until clear. Set aside to cool. If you’d like a harder bar of soap that lasts longer in the shower and releases faster from the mold, you can add Sodium Lactate to the cooled lye water. Use 1 teaspoon of Sodium Lactate per pound of oils in the recipe.

TWO: Pour approximately 1.5 cups of soap batter each into two separate containers. These containers will hold the colors for the spots.

THREE: In the large container, add about 1.5 teaspoons of the Aqua Pearl/Ultramarine Blue colorant. Using a whisk or spatula, mix the colorant into the batter.

FOUR: In the first 1.5 cup container, add .5 teaspoon of Brown Oxide Pigment. Using a whisk or spatula, mix the colorant into the batter.

FIVE: In the second 1.5 cup container, add 2 teaspoons of Tangerine Wow pigment. Using a whisk or spatula, mix the colorant into the batter.

SIX: In the green soap, add about 1.2 oz. of Pikake Flower Fragrance Oil. Be sure to use a whisk or spatula to mix the fragrance into the soap. You don’t want to accelerate trace! Then, pour about 1/4 of the soap into the mold.

SEVEN: Using a whisk or spatula, pour .5 oz. of fragrance oil into the brown soap.

EIGHT: Cut the tip off one of the frosting bags and set it inside a container to minimize messiness. Then, slowly pour about three-fourths of the brown soap into the bag.

NINE: Starting in the lower left corner of the mold, squirt a line of brown soap diagonal across the mold until you reach the other side. Make another diagonal line starting about 2 – 3 inches away from the first. Draw it up to the other end of the mold, parallel with the first line. Make a final line another 2 – 3 inches away from the second, and draw it across the mold, parallel to the second line, until you reach the other side. Each line should between .5 – 1 inch wide.

TEN: Cut the tip off the second frosting bag and set it inside a container to minimize messiness. Then, slowly pour about three-fourths of the orange soap into the bag. Make slightly smaller lines of orange soap over the original brown lines.

ELEVEN: Pour a final layer of brown soap over the orange soap, making sure to fully cover any visible orange soap.

TWELVE: Using a large spoon or spatula, gently plop the remaining green soap over the stripes. Be careful because you do not want the green soap the destroy the carefully layered lines of orange and brown soap. Tamp the mold gently on the table to ensure even coverage and disperse any trapped air bubbles.

TWELVE: Using a spoon or spatula, plop three spoonfuls of the remaining orange soap across the length of the mold, about one inch apart from one another.

THIRTEEN: Using the same technique, fill in the gaps with spoonfuls of the remaining brown soap.

FOURTEEN: Using the tip of a spoon, gently spread the soap from the edge into the middle of the mold, forming a ridge down the center. This will create the “whipped” peak you see in the final result.

Spray the entire top with 91% – 99% Isopropyl Alcohol to reduce soda ash. Cover and insulate for 24 hours and unmold after 3-4 days. Allow to cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy!

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  1. Katy says

    I have a question. I am an advanced soap-maker, however when doing swirls, I don’t get my raw soap with the consistency you are showing here. How do you get it ‘gloppy’ without it starting to get too solid in the pot? Thanks! I have been trying to layer soap without it mixing in the mold but I can’t seem to get the right consistency.

    • says

      Hi Katy!

      You really have to let your soap get to a heavier trace to get this ‘gloopy’ look. If you haven’t done a recipe where you got it to a super high trace, I would definitely suggest doing a couple small test batches and experimenting so you know what it looks like! We can’t wait for you to try this tutorial out and see how your leopard spot tutorial soap turns out. :)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry

  2. Melissa says

    Whoa! I think you’re psychic Ann-Marie! This looks almost exactly like my leopard spot entry for the leopard spot challenge. Is this a case of great minds? 😉 looks fantastic,
    and I admire your bravery in taking on this technique. It’s a doozy!

    • says

      Good morning, Melissa!

      Great minds do think alike and we are super happy that you had a chance to participate in the soap challenge as well! Thanks for you comments and we can’t wait to hear more about your soaps. =)

      -Becky with Bramble Berry