Welcome to mid July, everyone! The sun is out, the surf’s up and this week there was a collection of tutorials to get your skin looking its bronzey best. From the Bronze Lip Tint to the Magical Bronze Shimmer stick, these projects featured lots of nourishing oils and sparkling Gold Mica. Check out the round up post for a full list of projects, and don’t forget that many of the items in the tutorials are 20% off part of this month’s Web Specials!
If you’ve been dreaming of an exotic vacation, this is the soap for you. This Coconut Cream Cold Process tutorial is all the fun of a tropical beach getaway without the sand in your shoes!
Made with 100% coconut water instead of distilled water, and featuring our brand new Coconut Cream Fragrance Oil, it’s a unique soap that smells as good as it looks. The top is finished off with melt & pour soap frosting and cold process “coconut flakes” to make this a truly decadent dessert soap.
Speaking of sunshine, this week we’ve been showing you all kinds of tutorials to give your skin that radiant glow perfect for a summer get away. Check out the Beautiful Bronze Lip Tint, Bronze Goddess Nail Polish and Magical Bronze Shimmer Stick. As a bonus, a few of the ingredients in the tutorials are 20% off as part of this month’s web specials!
Today’s tutorials comes to you from one of my favorite soapmakers, Kenna from Modern Soapmaking. Her soaps always have unique designs, ingredients and colors. She is consistently pushing the soaping envelope. This recipe is particularly intriguing because it breaks a few conventional soaping “rules.”
There are a lot of “rules” of soap making that get spread around like wildfire, and for the most part, they are true…
But not always! 100% coconut oil soap defies not one, not two, but THREE of the soapmaking rules I’ve heard from other soap makers in the past:
- Single oil soaps do not perform as well as synergistic formulas with multiple oils.
- Using over 30-40% coconut oil in a soap recipe is too drying for the skin.
- Superfatting above 10% will leave too many free oils and cause the soap to spoil or develop DOS.
What’s the magic soap recipe?
I hit the workshop to make a 100% coconut oil soap with a 20% superfat, an amazingly luxurious formula that is one of my all time favorites. Plus, I power-packed it with goodies, too, like coconut flour and aloe vera juice, and pulled out a mantra swirl with an embed.
Coconut oil has great shelf life and stability, so it’s the perfect oil for extreme superfatting. This coconut oil soap formula results in a rock hard bar, with luscious lather, without drying the skin out. Ready to give it a shot? Let’s do this thing.
36 oz Coconut Oil
5.18 oz Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
10.53 oz chilled Aloe Vera Liquid
1.5 oz Fragrance Oil (optional)
2 tsp Coconut Flour (optional)
Soap balls for embeds (optional)
2 teaspoons of Mica (optional)
Silicone Loaf Mold
a 5 quart bucket
a 2-cup measuring cup with spout
three 4-cup measuring cups with spouts
a piece of cardboard cut to fit in the mold
Get Down to Business:
This tutorial assumes you are an experienced soap maker. 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.
ONE: Prepare your mold by lining it, if necessary. Cut out a piece of cardboard that fits length and height-wise into your mold snugly. Place the piece of cardboard down the center of the mold to divide the mold in half lengthwise.
TWO: Prepare your lye solution by slowly pouring the sodium hydroxide into the chilled aloe vera juice, stirring until the lye has dissolved. The aloe vera will turn a mustard yellow color, like pictured to the right. Allow to cool.
THREE: Heat your coconut oil to about 120° to 130° F. You want to soap this formula hot (I usually soap at room temperature), soaping coconut oil at too low of a temperature will increase your chances of false trace. I add my fragrance to my oils before my lye solution so I don’t forget it later on.
FOUR: Prepare two containers with mica for coloring the soap halves. I use 1 tsp of mica and 1 tsp of coconut flour per container, with 2 tsp of base oils for each container from my main soaping pot. Using a frother, I thoroughly mix the mica and coconut flour with the oils.
FIVE: Combine half of your lye solution with your coconut oil, and stick blend thoroughly. Add the remaining half of your lye solution, and stick blend only until emulsified. I always refrain from over-mixing – bringing your soap to an emulsion first, and then adding anything extra allows you more time to focus on what is happening with the soap.
SIX: Split the batch of coconut oil soap between your two containers and thoroughly mix with a spatula. If you are still at a barely emulsified or very light trace, bring the coconut oil soap in each container to a medium trace using your stick blender. A medium trace is my favorite pour viscosity for a mantra.
SEVEN: When your mica and coconut flour are thoroughly mixed into each part, begin your pour. I pour both halves at the same time so that there is equal force and weight on each side of the cardboard divider. You can also use two more pieces of cardboard on the ends of your mold with notches cutout to hold the divider in place.
EIGHT: Once both halves are poured, carefully and slowly pull your cardboard divider straight up out of the mold. If you are embedding soap balls, use a bamboo skewer to push them down into the soap. Or place them mid-way through pouring.
NINE: Using a bamboo skewer (or chopstick, or your personal weapon of choice!), swirl the mantra. Pushing the skewer down into the mold all the way to the bottom will swirl both sides of your soap. If you only put the end of the skewer into the soap, you can swirl just the top, leaving a crisp line between the two halves in the bars.
TEN: Put the pretty soap to sleep. I do not insulate coconut oil soap, but you can if you want to (same with CPOPing.) Unmold and cut the coconut oil soap as soon as it has hardened up. It sets up real hard, and real quick! You’ll want to clean up the bars of coconut oil soap straight out of the mold, such as beveling or planing – this soap will be a brick in 24 hours flat. The lather is really creamy and luscious straight out of the mold, and just gets better and better as it ages.
All photos courtesy of Amathia Soapworks.
I love the simplicity of this recipe, which made it perfect for a Soap Queen Short Video (What’s a Soap Queen Short? It’s a video that doesn’t have me talking and is only one camera view, instead of showing me talking and then doing close ups of the product demonstration. Some ideas just don’t need a lot of production!). Just combine Coconut Oil and Salt and the fragrance or essential oil of your choice and you have a luxurious scrub. You may find in the warmer months that it is very soft since the Coconut oil melts at such a low temperature. So be sure you store it in a container with a good seal like our Plastic Bail Jar.
To make this Salt Scrub you will need:
- Small Pink Sea Salt
- Fractionated Coconut Oil
- Coconut Oil (76 degrees)
- Island Coconut Fragrance Oil
- Lime Fragrance Oil
- 8 oz. Plastic Bail Jar
Click here to get everything you need to make this scrub.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is taking place this month in Washington DC! I love the Cherry Blossom fragrance oil that the S.O.A.P. Floral Edition approved, so I thought it perfect to make a great project with for March. Plus, it made for a great opportunity to soap with one of our newest silicone molds!
1.0 oz Castor Oil
6.6 oz Coconut Oil
22.1 oz Olive Oil
3.3 oz Palm Oil
4.4 oz Sodium Hydroxide Lye
10.1 oz Distilled Water
3.3 oz Cherry Blossom Fragrance Oil
½ teaspoon Merlot mica
½ teaspoon Electric Bubble Gum colorant
½ teaspoon Fizzy Lemonade colorant
2 ¼ teaspoons Super Pearly White
0.9 oz Avocado Oil
Soap Making Buddy (optional)
You might already know this, but vanilla content in some fragrance oils can really cause discoloration. Have you ever used that fact to your advantage in the design of your soap? I wanted to demonstrate how to incorporate the discoloration and wind up with a really neat bar of soap! And I used a super fun technique that I’m excited to share with you.
Yes, I know I’m always declaring that this or that is my favorite. But I really mean it this time. . . for now, anyway. I love our new 12 bar square silicone mold. It is so perfect for testing soaps but also makes 12 perfect bars of soap in a flash! We do a lot of soap testing to ensure that each fragrance we carry is safe for use in cold process soap. For every fragrance you see at Brambleberry.com, we’ve tested at least 100 more (really, I swear, that is not an exaggeration) that didn’t make the cut.
Rather than go over the basics of how to make cold process soap again, I’m just going to share my basic technique for testing fragrances. If you’ve never made cold process soap before please learn about the safety precautions and basic steps first. My series of 4 videos about how to make cold process soap would be a great place to start. Episode 1: Lye Safety, Episode 2: Basic Terms, Episode 3: Using Fragrances, and Episode 4: Using Colorants. And if I catch you making soap without goggles, may the Soap Fairies forever take away your soaping luck.
Next, I weigh out all of my fragrances. It is really important when testing fragrance oils, like I am here, that everything is accurately weighed so that you can duplicate your successes .And, when all the fragrances are weighed out, you can just do a quick ‘dump ‘n’ stir’ – you need 12 little dishes if you’re working on 12 individual fragrances.
Next I mix my lye and oil and bring it to a very light light trace, after everything is prepped. Then I weigh out 4 ounces of soap batter into each container. I fill all 12 containers before moving on to the next step. You may have noticed that this recipe makes a little more than 48 oz. This is because you can never get every last drop of soap out of the pot, and with this recipe you are sure to have 4 full ounces for each bar.
Finally, I thoroughly mix in the fragrance into one of the cups (by hand with a spoon) and pour it into the mold. Then move on and do the next one. I have 12 individual spoons waiting to go. It’s the only way to ensure no scent contamination.
For clean-up there are a couple of ways you can tackle the job. You can wipe out the wet soap with a paper towel and then immediately run very hot water into the cups to wash the oily mess down the drain. Or you can wait a couple of days and wash the fresh soap out the cups. The waiting method is easier – but it only works if you have the space and enough containers that you don’t need them for a few days!
Do you have other testing tips and techniques? I’d love to hear them!
Here is the recipe we used for the mini 9-bar-World’s-Best-Mold batch:
How much does it cost do make 36 bars of handmade soap? Assuming that you have a 36 bar soap mold already, you can make a bar of soap with luxurious ingredients, a fabulous fragrance and eye catching color for just $1.00. Hard to believe? Check out the price break down below.
All of these prices are based off of Bramble Berry’s most popular sizes. Keep in mind that you can save even more money if you buy in larger, bulk sizes! Oh and I found the olive oil at our local restaurant supply store, Cash and Carry.
Fragrance Oil– $1.57 per oz (1 lb size)
Colorant – $4.00 per oz (1 oz size)
The Coconut Milk Soap from the Coconut Soap Disaster and subsequent successful batch is almost cured. The photos above show the color progression over a series of weeks. The discoloration from the fabulous fragrance combo of Buttercream & Snickerdoodle mixed with Relaxing did take its toll and the color is now a dark dark brown (practically black). Also, the lines aren’t as distinct but they’re still showing differentiation between the brown and the black. The soap smells heavenly and will be ultra luxe to bathe with so a little blurry on the lines is a-okay with me.
Cold Process Soap is amazing and produces a better bar of soap than most store-bought soaps. It does require research before diving in. If you are not familiar with sodium hydroxide or CP soapmaking, please watch the Soap Queen TV Video on lye and how to use lye properly, or read the lye safety section in the Soap Crafting book. These are my favorite 3 Cold Process soap recipes that I tend to stick to when making soap for classes, family and friends.
The Avocado Moisturizing Bars from the Soap Crafting Book.
Lots of Lather
(my most favorite, tried and true, teach this in every class, really, really hard soap bar)
16 oz. Coconut Oil
16 oz. Palm Oil
16 oz. Olive Oil
2 oz. Castor Oil
16.5 oz. water
7.3 oz. lye
Recommend 3% superfat for best bubbles
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.
For more on Cold Process soaping, check out the following resources:
- Free Beginner’s Guide to Cold Process
- Formulating Cold Process Recipes
- Beginner’s Guide to Oils and Butters
Have a question about this blog post? Come join us at Bramble Berry’s Facebook page and we can help you out with any of your soapy questions!