Dreaming up soapy designs and projects is incredibly fun…there are so many possibilities! When it’s time to make the image in your head come to life, sometimes it can be tricky. In the Soap Lab, the team and I are constantly testing new designs and recipes. Often, these projects turn out great after the first attempt…but not always. Sometimes, a project on Soap Queen has been made several times in order to get the design or recipe just right. That way, you’ll have the most success when you recreate it.
One great example of a project that required several attempts is the Layered Lilac Loofah Cold Process. A fairly simple design, it took a few tries to get the colors and layers just right. To be exact, I made this soap three times in order to feel 100% happy with the final product. The first three attempts resulted in perfectly lovely bars of soap. In fact, I gave them away to delighted friends and family for Christmas. But, they were not exactly what I pictured in my head.
Moral of this story? Not every soapy creating comes out 100% perfect the first time and that’s okay; half the fun of the creating is the process, rather than the final product. And when you create that perfect bar, it’s all that more rewarding! To give you a peek into the design evolution process that sometimes occurs, check out the first few attempts below.
The initial concept for this soap was to use the accelerating fragrance oil, Lilac Fragrance Oil, to my advantage by creating thick layers of color. The color palate was purple, pink and white to mimic lilacs. I knew I wanted white on top, with shredded loofah within the bar, as well as on top. With a general concept, I was ready to soap!
Creating layers with the Lilac Fragrance Oil was easy, and the soaping process went smoothly. Shredded loofah went into the bottom two layers and on top. Once removed from the mold and cut, the colors did not pop quite like I wanted them to. Also, the shredded loofah in the bottom two layers created substantial drag marks throughout the soap. While drag marks are perfectly fine, aesthetically I wanted to avoid them.
For the second attempt, I tried to eliminate the possibility of drag marks from the loofah by using the 9 Bar Birchwood Mold. Because this mold features dividers, there is no need to cut the soap once it is out of the mold. I also wanted to challenge myself by swirling with the accelerating Lilac Fragrance Oil. Shredded loofah was used in the base layer, with a multi-colored swirl on top.
While this soap did not contain drag marks from the loofah, the pink was a little more red than planned. While the swirl looked great, swirling with the Lilac Fragrance Oil was tricky. I wanted the Layered Lilac Loofah Tutorial to be successful for as many soapers as possible, so the swirls had to go.
For the third attempt, I went back to my original idea of layers. To prevent drag marks, shredded loofah was used only in the bottom purple layer and on top. The colors were bright, and the drag marks were minimal. But holy glycerin rivers, Batman! The soaping temperatures were higher for this soap, and the heat combined with titanium dioxide resulted in extreme glycerin rivers. If you’d like to learn more about what causes glycerin rivers, this post dives into what causes them and how to avoid them.
Shredded loofah in the bottom layer and top worked well. But, the pink layer needed to be softer, and the layers thicker. For the fourth and final attempt, I decreased the layers from five to four and adjusted my colors accordingly. I was so happy to finally see the image of this soap in my head come to life!
Has there been a soapy project that you needed to make several times to get just right? The funny thing is, several people in the office liked the previous attempts more than the final project. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, even when it comes to soap =)