Elle (theroadtoelle) wrote,

Soap making

When we got together in January for our failed attempt at making cheddar cheese, Mum and Sue decided they wanted to have a creative day once a month.  We plotted out some ideas.  We could make soaps, candles, chocolates, waxed fabric food wraps, and other things.  We decided to do the chocolates in March, because that would coincide nicely with Easter (no religious connection, just a chocolate connection!).  So we planned to do soap in February and candles in April.

On Saturday, Caitie and I went to Sue’s house, and we met up with Mum and Andrea there.  We made soaps.  It was much easier than I had expected (although admittedly we were using melt and pour kits) and much more fun.  I think I might buy another kit and make more for gifts.  I really enjoyed it.

The first soap Caitie made was a rose-scented soap.  She used a white soap base and added a little red colouring to make it pink.  Then she added rose petals to the base of the mould before she added the soap.  The rose petals immediately floated to the top of the soap, so there hadn’t been much point carefully placing them at the bottom of the mould.  Then the colours leached out of the petals and into the soap.  It looked like mouldy cheese on the top, so gross.  Most of the bar was pale pink, but the top was disgusting. Sue said she liked it, so we gave that one to her, and Caitie made another one.


Caitie wanted to make a soap for her friend Lydia's birthday, and Lydia's favourite colour is yellow.  The closest colour we had was gold, so she used a white base and added the gold colouring.  She used a citron and mandarin scent, as we thought that would go with the colour.  The  gold colour mixed through the soap base, turning it a pale coffee colour.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t quite what she was after.  It did end up having a beautiful shimmery gold layer on the top.

She wanted to make another gold soap for her friend, since the first one had turned out coffee coloured, so she tried again with a clear soap base instead of a white one.  Perfect!


Sue wanted to make some small shapes and suspend them in clear soap, so we tried that.  Caitie used a red glitter colour in a clear soap base, and made small hearts using a heart-shaped mould.  After the hearts were set, she made some more clear soap and added the hearts.  The hearts melted and she ended up with a red glittery bar of soap.  She liked it though.

I made two using a blood orange scent.  I used the plastic from chocolate orange segments to make segments with orange colouring in a white soap base, and suspended them in clear soap.  They look really cool.

I wanted to try and make a layered soap, so Caitie and I tried that.  Caitie made a purple layer using purple and white colouring in a clear soap base, then an opalescent layer using white colouring in a clear soap base, then a gold layer, using gold colouring in a clear soap base.  It’s blood orange-scented, and it looks amazing.  It was one of my favourites of the day.  Then we made another one that was similar but had three different shades of purple layered to make an ombre effect.


Mum made soaps in some moulds that were originally meant to be used to make Chinese moon cakes.  Sue smeared a little gold on the top of the pattern when it was set, and it looks good.


Andrea made two where she just kind of dumped the colour in once the clear soap base was in the mould, rather than mixing the colour right through.  It turned out that the colour pretty much blended right through the base anyway, although she did have a few spots that were clear.

Sue made a huge soap using a loaf tin, and made it with a purple ombre effect.  It looked pretty cool.  She carved it up and used it for a few different things.


She tried to carve it into crystal shapes so it looked like amethyst crystals.  I liked the look, but it needed something more.  She put them into a white base, following a guide she found online, but it looked stupid.  She also tried carving curls off it and suspending them in clear soap base.  The first lot, the clear soap base was too hot and melted the curls, turning the clear soap base a pretty purple colour.  The second one worked though.  And she also used a cookie cutter to cut pretty purple hearts out, to suspend in clear soap base.

Caitie liked the idea of doing the curls, so she took the coffee coloured soap she’d made and carved that up into curls.  Then we suspended them in clear soap base.  We had the same problem as Sue, with the first one melting and going an even paler coffee colour.  The second one, we waited a little too long, and the clear soap base was setting when we tried to pour it over the curls.  It kinda worked, but the clear soap is cloudy with bubbles, and it doesn’t have smooth edges like it would if it had been poured into the mould as a liquid.

Caitie kept some shavings, some of the hearts she’d made, some of the orange segments I had made, and some of the purple hearts Sue had made.  She wants to use them to decorate a gift basket to give her friend when she gives her the gold soap she made.

One of the great things about the day is that it was so easy to clean up.  Any spilled soap just washed away, and all the equipment was super easy to clean because it was just soap.

It was great fun, and I enjoyed it.  We have a bunch of soaps to use now!  Next month we’re going to make chocolates for Easter.  Yum!

Tags: andrea, caitie, mum, sue
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