When planning a cold process soap design, fragrance oil selection plays a huge role. Some fragrance oils discolor brown (learn more about that here), making bright colors difficult. Other fragrance oils accelerate trace, which can make complicated designs like a Column Pour or a Peacock Swirl tricky to execute. Floral fragrances are known for their tendency to accelerate trace, but that doesn’t mean beautiful soap can’t be created with them! It just means you need to choose an appropriate design, and be ready to work fast. Setting up your soaping workspace beforehand helps immensely!
Inspired by the regal character from Alice in Wonderland, this Queen of Hearts Cold Process soap is full of eye-catching contrast. Created with melt and pour embeds, a cold process base and soap frosting, this sophisticated soap will make a fantastic Valentine’s gift (it will be here sooner than you think!). LoveSpell and Baby Rose fragrance oils create a rosy, warm and slightly juicy scent blend that is wonderfully feminine.
It’s another throw-back Thursday video! This one features Kristy Schemrich, an amazingly talented soapmaker and teacher at our 2011 Soap Weekend Intensive (when we filmed this video). This soap has many steps but once you break it down the technique is surprisingly easy. It’s been wonderful looking back through the archives, we clearly had so much fun filming with Kristy as you can see from this blooper reel.
Trying new soap techniques keeps the craft interesting, fresh and fun! This Misty Maritime Moon soap was created for the Negative Space Embed Challenge via Great Cakes Soapworks in August. The negative space embed technique involves cutting holes into the base of soap and later filling the holes with fresh soap.
Created with a fresh combination of Pineapple Cilantro, Orange Peel Cybilla and Ocean Rain Fragrance Oils, this soap smells crisp and bright. Orange Peel is used to give both color and texture to the embeds, while titanium dioxide provides contrast. The dual blue tones are made using the Multi-Pour Sectioning Tool, but cardboard can also be used as shown in the Mantra Swirl tutorial. Thanks for all the great name suggestions for this soap via Facebook, they were so much fun to read!
This technique is so exciting because of all the possibilities of shapes you can create. You aren’t limited by the embedding molds you own. Taking a walk through the hardware store opens up all kinds of new possibilities. Having more control over the design is another benefit. Six color rainbow faux-funnel pour coming up next!
Henna body art is a very popular tradition in India. Henna, or mendhi, is a paste of crushed leaves and twigs from the henna plant. When this paste is applied to skin, it leaves a beautiful stain behind. The tradition is often used to celebrate a happy occasion or special day. What better inspiration for a cold process soap?
The intricate detail and gorgeous designs are breathtaking to look at. To recreate the mehndi appearance, cold process soap colored with Radiant Plum Colorant is used to trace a mehndi inspired design. Brightly colored lime green and pink soap top the henna pattern. Scented with a fresh and slightly smoky mixture of Lime Fragrance Oil, Mango Mango Fragrance Oil and Patchouli Fragrance Oil, this is the perfect soap to celebrate a happy occasion.
Creating the mehndi pattern using squeeze bottles can be a little tricky, and may require some practice. The key is achieving the right trace consistency; the soap should be thin enough to flow out of the bottle, while thick enough to hold its shape. To simplify the technique, a pattern was placed under the liner to use as a guide. This mehndi template is available for download if you’d like to recreate the same pattern.
Handmade cold process soap makes a fantastic gift. Everybody loves the beautiful designs, fun colors and skin loving properties. Because many people have never experienced handmade soap before, it’s extra fun to give! This festive Christmas Tree Swirl Cold Process features a reverse hidden feather swirl, made popular by Handmade in Florida. Topped with Sparkle Gold Mica, this cold process project would be perfect under the tree.
Cold process soap requires a four to six week cure time, making now the optimal time to create soap for the holidays. If you are looking for more holiday project ideas, check out the Handmade Holiday Gift Inspiration post. From lip balm to melt and pour, there is a gift for everybody on your list.
Making cold process soap for the first time can be intimidating. With so many recipes and options it can be difficult to find a good place to start. The Beginner’s Cold Process Soap Kit was created especially for the first-time soaper. With a simple combinations of oils, a tried and true fragrance and no colorants, making your first batch of cold process soap becomes straight forward.
There is something about the color yellow that just screams, “happy!” If you are looking for a project full of cheer, this Lemon Poppy Seed Cold Process Tutorial is the soap for you. Scented with the bright Lemon Verbena Yankee Type and the bubbly Champagne Fragrance Oil, it smells as sunny as it looks.
Poppy seeds give this bar of soap gentle exfoliation, and the contrasting mica vein really makes the layers pop. Tip: when cutting into cold process soap that features a mica vein, don’t cut the soap from the top down. Lay the soap on its side and cut in the direction of the line. This will prevent the mica from dragging through the layers.
What You’ll Need:
9.9 oz. Coconut Oil
9.9 oz. Olive Oil
9.9 oz. Palm Oil
3.3 oz. Rice Bran Oil
4.6 oz. Sodium Hydroxide
10.8 oz. distilled water
1 tbs. Poppy Seeds
1 oz. Champagne Fragrance Oil
Optional: Sodium Lactate
You have done your soapy homework: the recipe is created and prepared, the design is fully thought out, and time has been scheduled in your busy day. Now, it’s time to prep your ingredients and set up the soaping work space.
Having your supplies and space fully prepared before making cold process soap is extremely important. Occasionally you need to think on your feet while soaping, and having all tools on stand-by can make all the difference!
Whether you’re taking an exotic trip this summer or tanning in your backyard, you’re covered with this series of Bronze tutorials. First up, give your lips some moisturizing shine with the Beautiful Bronze Lip Tint tutorial. Featuring a special blend of Merlot Mica, Copper Mica and Gold Sparkle Mica (which is 20% off this month!), it’s perfect for subtle color. Then, visit Soap Queen on Tumblr for the complimenting Bronze Goddess Nail Polish. This recipe makes 3 bottles of polish, so keep one for yourself and give the rest to friends!
For bronze-y skin care, take a look at the Shimmer Stick that came out in this week’s newsletter (didn’t get it? sign-up here!) It’s a super-pigmented solid bar that also imparts plenty of skin-loving moisture. It’s fragranced with Burnt Sugar Fragrance Oil, which features delicious notes of amber and vanilla. For more skin-loving goodness, take a look at the Coconut Cream Pie Cold Process tutorial. Made with 100% coconut water instead of distilled water, it’s a tropical soapy treat!
Sometimes all that glitters really is gold!
The final tutorial in our Bronze Series is the Beautiful Bronzing Lotion. Made with the Aloe Lotion Base, this is a beginner recipe that can be made in a matter of minutes.
This week, several more guest bloggers shared their take aways from this year’s Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild Conference. First, Jodi from Empire Rose Soap Co. walked us through the process of creating your own nail polish. If you’d like to learn more about customizing your own nail color, the How to Customize Nail Polish Video is here to help.
Jean from SoapArt summarized a Soap & Cosmetic Guild Conference session about how to use a wide variety of exfoliants in soapy projects. If you can’t decide on a scrubby additive, the Exfoliant Sampler pack is a great way to try a wide variety. With this pack, you’re on your way to creating everything from Gardening Cold Process Soap, to a gentle Oatmeal Facial Scrub Mask.
With summer in full swing , we were inspired to celebrate Independence Day with a soapy project. Full of red, white and blue spirit, the 4th of July Fireworks Cold Process Tutorial features a soapy swirl with Gold Sparkle Mica painting. If you are looking for more Independence Day inspiration, the Easy 4th of July Star Tutorial and the 4th of July Mashup are sure to give you some ideas!
Creating soap for holidays and events is a lot of fun, but when soap making can support a cause, that’s even better. Created by Kerry of Sensually Soaps, this beautiful cold process was created as a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research.
In addition to beautiful colors and fantastic fragrances, exfoliants can add a touch of interest to soap to make it extra special. Bramble Berry carries 19 exfoliants, from Bamboo Powder to Walnut Shells. Talk about choices! Our guest blogger Jean Horn did an excllent re-cap of a Soap & Cosmetic Guild Conference session about navigating the wide world of scrubby possibilities, as well as how to choose the best exfoliants for your bars. Scrub up! — A.M.
Here’s what I saw when I walked into this session:
We’re all about intricate swirls, lovely layers and exotic techniques, but sometimes you want something simple and elegant.
This two-layer soap features a classic black and white color scheme. The key to this technique is keeping the layers smooth and straight. The little something special in this recipe comes from the Bamboo Powder extract, which is a mild exfoliant added to the bottom white layer. This soap was finished with gold mica painting, which popped beautifully against a black background. Who says simple can’t be pretty?
Keep in mind that this soap does have a light grey lather, although it’s almost unnoticeable on your hands. If you’d like a white later, consider adding 1/2 tsp. or even 1/4 tsp. dispersed Black Oxide colorant (less than we used), but keep in mind you won’t end up with the same black color in the photos. Additionally, the gold topped mica won’t last for more than a wash or two, but we still think it’s worth it!
Our Soap Crafting Club had a little bit more of a challenge than we planned for this week. When reports of failing batches came in on the private Soap Crafting forum, we knew something was wrong. After all, the recipe that we were making (Tie Dye from the Soap Crafting Book) had been made at least 8 times and gone through 2 photo shoots and 1 video shoot. It was designed to be fail-safe. We tracked down the culprit to a mis-manufactured fragrance oil that was sent out to the entire group of soapers. Oh dear, chaos, sturm und drang.