Soap Making – #4

Thought I would share some more of my soap making pictures. All these soaps were apple scented and were made up of 2 colours.

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For the above ones I first made 3 round blue soaps. I then cut them up like segments of a cake and split the segments between 6 round moulds. I then filled the gaps with the other colour to get this effect. The only problem was in some places the blue was covered completely so I had to cut away a little bit in places to reveal the blue underneath.

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For these ones I filled a small flower, heart and star shaped mould with the blue and let it set. At the same time I filled round moulds almost full with the other colour. When all was set I placed the blue shapes in the top of the round moulds and filled the rest of the space left full in order to hold them in place.

Handmade Soap Experiemnt – #3

So for my next lot of handmade soap I wanted to try making something more complicated, so decided to make my boyfriend a soap with his name in it. The fragrance I used for this lot of soaps was orange and cinnamon. You can see the final result in the image below.

I first made a white soap and then cut this up to try and make the lettering. My cutting skills need a bit of improvement but you can still see what the letters are. I think I could of tried to make the B look a bit better though. The pieces were then placed into the mould, which was a bit fiddly because they kept falling over. There was a bit of space left in the mould so I also made some thin slices of the white that was left over to make some curls. Any waste was melted back down and used to make some orange soap which was used to fill the gaps in the mould. After it had set I popped it out of the mould and attempted to cut along each side so that the the lettering could be neatly seen. However as I fail at cutting straight I accidentally ended up making the soap a little thinner than I wanted it to be. Therefore I had to cut off a bit more than I wanted to even it out a little. Despite the soap being a bit thin, I am still fairly pleased with the result, as this is my first attempt anyways. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of attempts in the future to improve.

The above image shows 2 little soaps I made at the same time from the spare space in the mould where the curls were placed. After cutting out the soaps,  and because of my little mess up with cutting. There was quite a lot of waste soap left over. I decided to make use of this by making a whole block of curly soap to cut into bars. Therefore I melted this back down and put into the mould to set. Afterwards the whole bar was cut into thin strips which were curled up and put back into the mould. I then made some soap in blue and used this to fill up the rest of the space in the mould. After it was set I cut it into various sized bars, the results of which you can see below.

Now although the result looks quite funky in my opinion, it didn’t turn out very curly. I guess this was because I just threw the curls into the mould and gave it a little shake. This must have made the majority of them land in the opposite position to how I needed them. If I were to try a similar soap again, then I would take more time to arrange and place them better.

However, at the end of the day I am quite new to this whole thing and so I am still learning what works and what doesn’t. I feel my main improvement to make is to learn how to cut straight lol! I am quite pleased with the soaps I have made and love getting my friends and family to test them out as much as I love using them myself. What do you thin of them? Do any other more experienced soap makers out there have any ideas/tips for me to try out that they would like to share?

Soap Making Experimentation – #2

So it has actually been a few weeks since I made this soap, but I have had quite a lot of things I’ve wanted to post about recently. Instead of posting them all at once and then risk having nothing to post for ages, I have decided to schedule them in advance and spread them out to no more than 2 blogs per week.

Anyways for my second lot of soap making I got an opaque base, even though I actually ordered transparent, but never mind. My aim was to create a stripy block and then slice it up.

However, first I made a blue layer. I decided to use cherry fragrance for these batch of soaps. I used a box that we had cotton buds in for the mould and added the mixture. This soap base seems to take longer to set than the one I bought previous, or maybe it was just my impatience lol. Anyways I was waiting and waiting and it seemed to be taking ages. By the time it got a ‘film’ on the top where it was starting to set I decided to get the next layer ready. This time I used the red colouring which turned out a dark greyish blue instead lol. I poured this into the mould but the heat and the weight made it pierce through the bottom layer and it ended up mixing together slightly. Therefore I made sure that for the final layer I went and watched TV for a bit to let it set properly and stop me being impatient. The final layer was the lime green coloured layer. Once this was completely set I popped it out the mould and you can see how it looked in the image above. At this stage it felt like a bit of a disaster, so I decided to have another attempt and used a round tub I had as a mould.

The result of the second soap can be seen in the image above. As I waited properly between layers this time the soap actually came out stripy lol. This one is also cherry scented and I used green, blue and orange for the layers. It was then time to slice them up into smaller manageable pieces of soap. The tools I used are in the picture below, and are basically some of my mom’s knives I found in the kitchen.

I first decided to cut up the ‘disaster’ soap. But it was at this point that I realised it wasn’t as much of a disaster as I first thought. The pattern where the two colours had mixed looked quite cool in my opinion. This made me wish I had been impatient with the green layer as well though lol as I think it would look quite cool to of had it all swirled together.

The below image shows a close up of one of the slices. I love the fragrances I bought. They smell so good to use and the soap feels pleasing when lathered on the skin.

This next image shows the ‘success’ soap, where the stripes worked as they were supposed to. As I used a round mould for this soap I decided to cut it up like a cake.

I think the colours I used go well together. This soap reminds me of a round cheese for some reason lol. I guess its because of the shape and smooth look to it, as I’ve never seen cheese this colour lol.

I hope you like the pictures of my soap and I am eager to experiment more with this. I find it quite fun to make them, and just as fun to use them.

Handmade Soap Experiment

A few weeks ago, I came across some images of handmade soap that looked lovely. It really made me feel like I wanted to try it myself. However after my first lot of online research into the subject it seemed like it would be a long and risky thing which involved the use of lye. Then last week I came across a tutorial describing ‘melt and pour’ soap base. In a way this method seems like a bit of a cheat because you simply melt down the base, add colour and fragrance and leave it for an hour or so to set and your’e done. This means that it is a lot less risky as no lye is involved and you don’t have to leave it for weeks and weeks to cure. I immediately got onto Ebay and purchased the items I required to give this a go. As soon as it arrived a few days later you can see my first attempt in the picture below.

I didn’t have anything to use for a colourant at this stage so this one was left plain. My mom was interested to try this out so we experimented together. We simply put some of the soap base cubes into a microwaveable tub and heated it on high for about 30 seconds. We then gave it a stir and added some fragrance. In this case it was coconut. It was stirred again before being poured into the mould and we then put it in the fridge to set. We felt the fridge might speed up the process. After about an hour we popped it out the mould and it was ready for use.

Since then I have now got some colouring and we have made soaps in other scents and various colours. From left to right in the above picture they are as follows: Orange and Cinnamon, Cherry, Green Apple and Coconut.

The above picture is of the green apple scented soap. The colouring used was green but it didn’t quite keep to the same colour when mixed in. I love how quick and easy it is to make these cute little soaps. It also means you can make any fragrance that would normally be hard to find in a soap at the shops.

The above one is orange and cinnamon scented. This one is my favourite out of all of them. These soaps would make great little gifts/stocking fillers. This orange and cinnamon scented one would be especially good for at Christmas time in my opinion.

This one is cherry scented. Believe it or not I added red colouring, which somehow turned to black when it was added to the soap mixture. After setting it ended up in the above brownish/dark blueish colour depending on how the light goes through it. I think next time I’ll try pink colouring in this one. This one is my second favourite. I feel an activity like this is good for people who are not normally crafty but want something easy to try. Or maybe it would be a good activity to do with kids, especially as this method involves no lye,  which is very corrosive to flesh and such.

This last one is the coconut scent again but with a bit of blue colour added to it as clear was a bit boring for me. This scent is quite a subtle but a nice one, which would be a nice gift for someone who doesn’t like overpowering scents. One thing I also noticed about this soap base, which may just be a property of the particular base I purchased, was that it seemed a lot better quality than the soap my mom buys from the shops. It lathers up really nice and creamy and leaves your skin feeling quite moisturised. This factor coupled with the cute shape and the fact you can have any scent you like equals perfection to someone like me, who has a bit of an addiction for nice fruity smelling shower gels. Now that I have experimented with this a little there are endless shapes, scents and designs that I can try out using some of the handmade soaps I have seen on the internet as my inspiration.