Mica Paint & Glitter Pumpkins (3 Different Ways!)

One of my favorite things about Halloween is the decorating. Yes, candy and costumes are fun, but Halloween decorations means crafting! If you are throwing a Halloween party (or even if you aren’t) these pumpkins covered in metallic glitter and mica really bring the wow factor. While they are not suitable for the outdoor elements, they make fantastic centerpieces and indoor flair.
Making these pumpkins is a ton of fun, and does not involve any sharp and dangerous tools. In fact, you probably have a large majority of the necessary supplies already! The mica painted pumpkins are a great rainy day project. If you are making the glitter pumpkin you may consider crafting outside or covering your work surface. The glitter can get a little messy =)
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Pumpkin Soap on a Rope Tutorial

Isn’t this soap striking? It’s created using Pumpkin Souffle Fragrance Oil, plenty of orange colorant and a hint of black shimmer. The Spooky Pumpkin and Spooked Pumpkin 3D Molds create unique shapes that work incredibly well with soap rope. The rope allows the melt and pour to hang and avoid contact with excess water which helps the soap last longer.

The 3D molds  are made up of two pieces, a white opaque back and a clear (or white) front. The molds also include two thick rubber bands to ensure the front and back pieces stay together while pouring the soap. In the instructions below, the front half of the mold is filled first, and the two mold pieces are put together. If you prefer, you may also put the pieces together and pour all at once, as seen here. For more 3D mold tips and techniques, check out this Soap Queen TV 3D Mold Episode.

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Halloween Project Roundup

With Halloween a few short weeks away, now is the time be inspired by ghosts, ghouls, witches and yes, soap! Keep your eyes on the blog for a festive Halloween melt and pour project tomorrow. To whet your appetite, here are several fun and spooky Halloween projects to get your creative juices flowing.

If you are a cold process soaper, the Cold Process Spider Webs project is created by utilizing squeeze bottles and a simple chopstick-tool technique. Made with contrasting black and white hues, this project also looks great with eerie greens, purple or orange tones.

Cold Process Spider Webs
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Happy Brambleween!

Happy Halloween! What is everyone dressed up like today? I’m dressed up as a soapmaker and have been testing recipes like a mad scientist all morning long. Jamisen’s is going to be a dinosaur again this year and Lily is going to be a baby pumpkin, which is the cutest darn thing you’ve ever seen. Onto the main event for today!  Our customer experience manager Kevin, took a quick trip to one of our favorite fruit and vegetable stands here in Bellingham with his boys to get the pumpkins for Team Bramble Berry (office and warehouse included!)

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Spooky Eyeball Cold Process Soap Tutorial

Sure it’s August, but with a 4-6 week cure time, it’s not too early to start prepping for the holiday season. If the holiday of ghouls, ghosts and things that go bump in the night is your thing, this whimsically creepy eyeball-inspired soap may be right up your (dark) alley. This soap incorporates a simple swirl technique, as well as the use of condiment bottles to create the cutely creepy “eyes” on top. We fragranced this soap with the Tart Apple Fragrance Oil, which was chosen by our 2013 S.O.A.P. Panel for its distinctive tart, fruity notes. In this soap, it brightened up the darker Fall color scheme, which is one more reason this soap is perfectly festive for Fall!

What You’ll Need:

 2.2 oz. Avocado Oil

1.1 oz. Castor Oil

5.5 oz. Coconut Oil

5.5 oz. Palm Oil

7.7 oz. Rice Bran Oil

3 oz. Sodium Hydroxide

7.2 oz. distilled water

1.4 oz. Tart Apple Fragrance Oil

Brown Oxide Pigment

Black Oxide

Green Chrome Oxide

Titanium Dioxide

2 lb. Wood Log Mold with Silicone Liner

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

Extra equipment that you need: empty (clean!) condiment bottles plus all the normal things like bowls, spoons, spatulas, stick blenders and a whisk.

If you’ve never made Cold Process soap before, stop here! I highly recommend checking out our FREE four part SoapQueen.tv series on Cold Process Soapmaking, especially the episode on lye safety. And if you’d rather do some reading, Bramble Berry carries a wide range of books on the topic, including my newest book, Soap Crafting. You can also checkout the digital downloads for that instant gratification factor.

COLOR PREP: Disperse 1 teaspoon of Brown Oxide into 1 tablespoon of Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil (or any other liquid oil), 1 teaspoon Black Oxide into 1 tablespoon of liquid oil, 1 teaspoon Titanium Dioxide into 1 tablespoon of liquid oil and 1 teaspoon Green Chrome Oxide in 1 tablespoon of liquid 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 gently stir until the lye has fully dissolved and the liquid is clear. Set aside to cool.

TWO: Combine the Avocado, Castor, Coconut, Rice Bran and Palm Oils (remember to fully melt then mix your entire container of Palm Oil before portioning). Once the lye water and the oils have cooled to 130 degrees or below (and are ideally within 10 degrees of each other), add the lye water to the oils and stick blend until thin trace. 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.

THREE: Reserve some soap to make the “eyes” by pouring off about 1 oz. of batter each into three condiment containers.

FOUR: Add 1/4 teaspoon of dispersed colorant to a single bottle. Only add one colorant per bottle. With gloved hands, screw the cap on and plug the hole with your finger and shake the bottle to fully disperse the colorant into the batter. Release your finger with the tip **pointing away from your face.** Set the bottles aside for now.

FIVE: Pour off about 1 cup of batter from the main batch.

SIX: In your newly poured container, whisk in 1 teaspoon of dispersed green colorant. In the original container, whisk in 2 teaspoons of dispersed white colorant. The white helps to provide fantastic contrast to the deep green.

SEVEN: Add roughly half the fragrance oil (.7 oz.) to the green batter and the remaining fragrance oil to the white batter. To avoid accelerating trace, use a whisk or a spoon to combine the fragrance oil and batter. Do NOT fragrance the condiment bottle soap. You want this soap to be as fluid as long as possible.

EIGHT: Pour roughly 3/4 of the white soap into the mold. Tamp the mold on the table several times to disperse air bubbles. 

NINE: From a high point, pour about 1/3 of the green soap into the center of the  mold. Pouring from high up will create the streaks of green color you see in the final soap.

TEN: Use a spatula to scrape the last remaining white soap from the container into the mold. (Bonus tip: We’re using one of our brand new Bramble Berry exclusive silicone tools. Pick one up for yourself here.)

ELEVEN: Pour the remaining green soap over a spatula (or the nifty amazing square spoon spatula thing pictured below) so as not to disturb the white soap below. Smooth the green soap in the mold to get a nice, even layer.

TWELVE: Take your colored condiment bottles and make small, dime-sized dots of color on the surface of the soap. We layered the colors on top of each other in a random order to get a fun assortment of “eyes.”

THIRTEEN: Spray the entire top with 91% 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 this spooky soapy delight.


#Halloween Winners

Happy Halloween! 

What is everyone dressed up like today? I’m dressed up as a soapmaker and have been testing recipes like a mad scientist all morning. Jamisen’s outfit is way cuter than Mom’s. He’s going to be a dinosaur, which is the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. Babies + Halloween costumes = cute overload. Stand by for pictures!

And now for the main event: Halloween-themed fun on the Bramble Berry’s Facebook page. We have Jack-o-Lantern’s, eyeball cupcakes, mummies, candy corn and fingers (’tis the season for soapy severed fingers). Thanks for going the extra mile in the creativity department! Now, please give a hauntingly happy drum roll for the winners of our Make it Monday: #Halloween Challenge


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Top Row: 

Miranda from Wildflower Avenue Bath and Body – Pumpkin Babies

Kymberlee Ricke – Eyeball Bath Bombs

Sayab Soaps – Melt and Pour Mummy Bears

Middle Row:

Sherry from Sherry’s Suds & “Scent”sationals

Alissa from Just Bath & Body Stuff

Lori from Nemesis Productions/Spooky Grrrl Bath and Body – Undead Pumpkin

Bottom Row:

Dawn Moore – Single Use Soaps using Water Soluble Paper

Char from Little Body Treats – Zombies Loves Brains

Suzanne from Suzy’s Soaps

Thank you to everyone who entered this spooky contest and for more eerily fun inspiration, check out our #Halloween Album on our Facebook page. And look forward to next week when we resume our Make It Monday challenges.