Hopeful hearts soap

This soap started because I decided to buy a couple of moulds from Aussie soap supplies. I bought two moulds and this one is a heart shaped mould. While I was making a different soap, I set aside a bit of soap, coloured it and filled my mould to see how it looked.

First you gotta make a heart
First you gotta make a heart

The soap looked great when it came out of the mould.


I decided to make a loaf mould and put this in in it and place a pretty pattern, maybe of hearts on the top as well. So first to cut the mould down so it fit in my loaf, then on to making the soap.


The recipe for this is one that I have used before and I really love because of its richness, creaminess and wonderful lather. This recipe is just the right size for my loaf pan as well.

250g Tallow

250g Coconut Oil

200g Olive Oil

200g Rice Bran Oil

80g Cocoa Butter

50g Castor Oil

300ml water (distilled or Spring)

142g Lye

Please make sure if you haven’t made soap before you have a look at my beginning soaping blog and follow the safety rules. Lye is very caustic and dangerous to use unless you follow the right safety precautions. You can follow this link if you like and have a look at my beginners blog, which has lots of links to other good sites as well!Learning about soaping

I made that batch and decided I wouldn’t use a colour. I did add some fragrance though, for this batch I decided on Brambleberry’s ‘Energy’ fragrance, which I really love. I used about 30ml for this recipe.

Then I mixed my batch to light trace and poured off a little of the batch into the two plastic bottles and to those I added a little blue and a little red colour to use as decoration for the top. Then I continued mixing the batch to medium trace.

I poured about 1/2 of the mixture into the loaf and then set the heart in it. It has to be medium trace so the heart doesn’t move. Then I poured the rest of the mixture over the top.


Then I started decorating the top of the soap. I placed dots on the top


Then swirled through the dots with a chopstick.

In a perfect world, those dots would have looked like hearts! Oh well.

The mixture was a bit too set by the time I got to that and it didn’t quite work out, but I reckon it still looks ok.


The next day I cut the soap, and I’m pretty pleased with the result.

A friend suggested a layer some colours through the soap next time, and I think I will try that!


Sunset soap Using a sculpted layers technique

Hi all.

This technique is the latest from Amy Wardens Soap challenge club. This month we are learning a new technique called sculpted layers technique. The person teaching this technique is Claudia Carpenter from Omnom soap. I found this soap a real challenge to make (excuse the pun). I am actually hoping that I will have time to make another soap before I have to upload my soap as this one didn’t quite work out how I’d like.

First things first was making some cutouts of the layers I wanted to make. I made a couple of designs and first of all I decided to try making a sunset soap. I drew the design, which was pretty simple, and uploaded it onto my iPad.


Then I had to make some cardboard cutouts to match the soap. I decided to coat them in some glue to make the edges a bit harder.

Making the patterns from cardboard

I made both lots of moulds at the same time, and below are both moulds, finished drying and ready to go.


After this came the usual preparation. Please see my blog on beginning soaping if you have never soaped before – you can get to it easily from the following link – Learning about soaping.

I used the following recipe which was recommended by Claudia

42% Lard – 660g

22% Olive oil – 330g

25% Cocnut oil – 360g

11% castor oil – 160g

Claudia suggested 1 teaspoon per pound of sodium lactate and the same of fragrance, a 1.5:1 ratio of water:lye as well as a 3% lye discount

Unfortunately, I had no sodium lactate, and as it is used to make the bars of soap harder (because the lye discount and high castor oil was likely to make quite soft bars) I decided to try and substitute with beeswax, so instead of sodium lactate, I used 5% beeswax, or 80g.

This meant that I used 221g of lye and 500ml of water, but if you are going to use my recipe please check it in a lye calculator. I did toss up whether to make it 5% lye discount or not but decided to go with the 3% and see what happened.

Next came putting together the colours, so I mixed these in a cup, with water as a mix and the fragrance I used was Jasmine.


I mixed the lye and melted the oils together.

When I added the lye to the oils, I mixed them to a light trace, then poured off enough to make the top colour -the sky. I’m afraid I accidentally poured in too much blue straight away, but didn’t really feel I had enough soap mixture to start again so decided to go with it.

I added the colour and the fragrance, blended it until it was at medium trace and poured it in, waited for a little while until it started to set firmer.


And then dragged the first, and longest of the mould through the mixture, taking out the excess and adding it to another mould. I’ll use the leftover soaps to make a different sort of soap.


Unfortunately, I think the beeswax accelerated the trace, so I was rushing to get the layers mixed, poured and moulded. Seriously, I made such a mess on the way, I had to take a photo at the end. I was rushing so much I had no time to take photos of each layer as I had plans to do.  I think the beeswax was a bad idea!

However I finally got the last layer poured and put the mould away to set overnight.

What a mess
What a mess

Actually, they didn’t turn out as bad as I thought they would. One of the problems is that the mixture was too stiff by the end and this meant there are holes in between colours where the mixture didn’t go right into the next layer. Partly this is because I forgot to tamp each layer down as I went due to my panick! I’m looking forward to having a go with the sodium lactate as it arrived yesterday from Aussie soap supplies. Hopefully I’ll get another batch made before the competition closes. Oh well, it’s all a learning experience!







Salty Dog Soap

I know its been awhile since I last blogged. I’m afraid the university assignments got on top of me and I had to actually devote time to that. However, I have now finished for this semester – Yay! Which gives me a bit of time to do some soaping, and also some other creative activities.

On my first day off from University assignments I decided to try a very different recipe. This one comes from Katia Mera Soap, who has a whole heap of great recipes on thier site. If you follow the link you will see the recipe, as well as a video on how the soap was made, which was very interesting as there are a few things That we’re done a bit differently to how I usually make soap.

The story of this is that a very good old friend, who I haven’t heard from in about 25 years, contacted me out of the blue. He has a shipping company called Salty Dog Shipping, and when I was randomly googling the company later, I came across this recipe (come on people, don’t judge me, I know you all randomly Google friends sometimes), anyway, it peaked my interest and I decided to give it a go. I’m really looking forward to actually trying it out and seeing what it it’s like after its cured too, but that’s too long a time to wait to send this blog out! 🙂 – So, first the recipe.

Salty Dog Soap

750g Coconut Oil

300g Olive Oil

150g Tallow

75g Sunflower Oil

75g Avocado Oil

75g Apricot Kernel Oil

75g Castor Oil

15 0g Salt

I used a Brambleberry fragrance called Yachtclub

For this recipe the original called for 15% super fat, however, I’ve never made a soap that high in super fat (the free oils floating around the soaps. If a soap is higher in super fat it tends to be a softer soap and more moisturising because it has more oils in the soap. However it also will not last as long. I’m pretty sure the salt in the soap will make it a harder soap though too). Anyway, I decided on 10% super fat, rather than my usual 5-6%, and I guess if I’m wrong, I’ll pay later!

With that in mind, I calculated the lye at 215g

For moisture I used a half/half coconut milk and water – so 250ml coconut milk and 250ml water.

For colouring I used White Kaolin Clay, as well as Australian Pink clay.

At this point I’d like to remind anybody who hasn’t made soap before to please check out the beginning soap makers blog which has links to great beginning soap making videos and information Learning about soaping.

First off I prepared my Clays, salt and fragrance and it them aside while I prepared the lye and the oils.

I made up the lye mixture with the water and the lye component and left the coconut milk on the side as well. This means the lye was more concentrated than usual.

Oil, colours and Coconut milk

Then, I added the coconut milk to the oil and blended it in. Usually, when I’m making a milk soap, I freeze the milk and stir the lye into that over ice to keep it cool. I have never added it to the oil before, so I was interested to see how this worked out.

Adding coconut milk to the oil

Then I added the lye to the oil and milk mixture and blended until it reached a medium trace.

Adding the clays

After that I split off about 2 cups of the mixture and mixed the white Kaolin Clay to the larger amount and the Australian Pink Clay to the smaller batch. I actually think I didn’t mix up enough of the pink clay, or the White clay, but it was too late to mix any more – lesson to self – better to mix too much that too little.

I added the fragrance, and then added the salt and mixed that in right before I poured the mixture.

I poured the main mixture into the two moulds first and then poured the pink mixture over the top and then sort of folded the top of the mixture a bit to blend some of the pink with the White (so it wasn’t simply a straight layer).  I Moulder the top a little to make it look a bit interesting and then left it to set

Soap setting in trays

The next day when I cut it I could see the White salt crystals, but because the mixture was still a bit wet, I think it doesn’t look particularly nice. At least I hope it looks a bit better as it dries. The original recipe on the previous link looks fantastic. I’ll just have to leave it a bit and see what it looks like in a few days/weeks! 🙂

It seems to have worked out well, but I don’t think I used enough white Kaolin clay in this batch. I think I’ll try it again with a different colour as well as more clay. It smells delicious however. Can’t wait to see what it’s like to use as a soap.