I warned you: making melt and pour soap is addictive. It's the perfect craft for stress relief because it's fun and foolproof - nothing vexes me more than a DIY project that refuses to cooperate. But making soap is easy! Plus it gets bonus points for being a useful, consumable thing. I have so many crafty ideas pinned to Pinterest but I am really picky about what I make because I just don't want more clutter. Really, I can only use so many decorated vases and clay trinket dishes, but that mindset really put a damper on my creativity so I've been on the hunt for fun DIY projects that are useful, too.
Perhaps the best part of this is that the soap base I buy is organic and it lathers so beautifully, so I enjoy it more than the humdrum white bars we were buying.
Today I'm sharing my latest melt and pour soap creation: "Lake Superior soap". I wanted to create a bar that looked like the swirling depths of choppy water and it turned out so pretty.
- Glycerine soap base (clear)
- Mica soap colorants in blues/teals (this mica dye lot looks promising too)
- Soap fragrance (optional - I chose coconut)
- Bar silicone molds
- Loaf silicone mold
- Pyrex measuring cup
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Cheese grater
- Old spoon
- Small spray bottle
- Rubbing alcohol
Some Notes on Supplies:
I purchased this exact soap base on Amazon in both clear and white, but I do prefer the clear glycerine base because the translucent base really highlights the shimmery mica so well. I started with five pounds, three clear and two white, and that was a great amount for getting started with melt and pour soap making. Definitely spring for at least 5 lbs!
I have bought the mica colorants a few different times (including this exact teal as well as this teal shimmer plus this earthy color lot) and I'm not sure which ones I used here (plus I mix them). If you're starting out, buy a mixed lot with color options - I guarantee you'll use them because you'll dream up different ideas while you experiment.
Because this project cleans up really easily, feel free to use a cutting board, measuring cup, knife and cheese grater from your kitchen cabinets. While I was busy making soap, my white cutting board got a teeny tiny spot of discoloration from one of the mica colorants but everything cleaned up beautifully in the dishwasher - it's soap, after all.
How to Make Swirling Melt and Pour Soap:
Add a pinch of mica colorant and stir with a spoon until the color is uniform. Pour into the bar soap mold and spritz with rubbing alcohol. Repeat for different colors, using varying shades of blues and teals.
Set the bar soap molds aside, undisturbed, overnight.
Place the loaf silicone mold on a cutting board for stability. Pop the bar soap out of their molds and grate them into the loaf mold using the cheese grater. The soap is slippery so be careful - this is where a set of thin, cut-proof gloves would come in handy. Grate the soap right into the loaf mold, alternating colors, until it is almost filled to the top. Layer the lightest blues on top.
Melt about four cups of clear glycerine soap base in the microwave and add just a neutral white or pale gold mica colorant - just something for a bit of shimmer. This is where you can add the fragrance - I used 20 or so drops of coconut essential oil. Pour the melted soap into the loaf mold while it's still really hot. The heat will make the top layer of grated soap melt somewhat and the resultant soap will have a pale turquoise background color with subtle swirls and movement. By the time the melted soap reaches the bottom of the grated soap, it's cooler and the bottom layers stay much more intact. Working with the hot melted glycerine is how I kept the grated soap design from just looking speckled (which also looks good). Let it harden overnight and then pop out of the mold and slice, using a large sharp knife.
I don't know what scent best says "Lake Superior," so I just went with coconut because I like it. I'm open to suggestions for my next lake inspired batch...
It is really difficult to photograph this soap because it's translucent and shimmering with different layers and a depth that I just cannot capture in a picture. You'll have to take my word that this soap is staggeringly pretty. I have literally stood in the shower for way too long, admiring it. Just like my DIY gem stone soap, this soap doesn't dye or discolor any surfaces once it's finished.
Have you tried making melt and pour soap? I loved hearing about your experiments when I shared my last batch. Tell me what you've been up to!