Soap Crafting Club Adventure #3: Tie-Dye Soap

I’ve finally finished my Soap Crafting Club Winter Session! (On an 80-degree sunny day, just as school’s getting out…) 🙂 This club has been so much fun! You can check out my first club Funnel Pour adventure here and my Avocado soap adventure here.

This is the kit that arrived for the third month’s Tie-Dye soap:


Premixed lye solution, premixed oils, Black Cherry Fragrance Oil, and 5 different diluted LabColors.

I was really anxious to make this soap when my kit arrived back in March, but it’s a good thing that I didn’t make it right away! As other members of the club soon found out, there was a manufacturing problem with the Black Cherry fragrance oil that made the soaps seize! OH NO! The Bramble Berry staff let us all know right away not to use the fragrance, and Anne-Marie gave a great tutorial on Hot Process Hero rebatching so those who had already tried the technique could at least salvage their soaps. Then they quickly got to work to correct the problem with the fragrance oil. I received a generous stipend to order a new fragrance of my choice, but I was a bit slow at ordering! When I finally got around to it, I decided on Yuzu for this project as it’s known to keep soap very workable.

Once again, I studied my Soap Crafting book and watched the club tutorial videos as well as a live demonstration that Anne-Marie gave online. The resources have all been so handy. And the kit makes everything so easy, too! It’s amazing how little time it actually takes to make soap when the oils have already been measured out for you, the lye solution has been made, and you don’t have to line your mold! Can I get a soap fairy who would do those things for me every time?

After barely emulsifying my oils and lye, I divided up the soap into my *new* extra-long pour spout measuring cups. Then I added in the premeasured LabColors as well as the fragrance oil, stick blended just a touch more, and began pouring.

IMG_2977 (2)

Awesome colors, right?!

These new cups really make it easier to pour precisely. I started by alternating light and dark colors in one straight line pour down the length of the mold, then I began pouring in a U shape. The soap displacement was really cool to watch!

IMG_2979 (2)

Tie-dye soap half-poured is already living up to its name!

IMG_2981 (2)

Last pour complete!


Final swirls all done!

After pouring all the soap, I swirled the top in a tight Taiwan swirl pattern, sprayed the soap with alcohol, then put it in a slightly warm oven to ensure full gel. The colors are awesomely bright! I watched the soap closely and took it out of the oven once full gel was reached. I didn’t want it to bubble up and out of the mold!

And the reveal…


Whoa! Lots of interesting swirls and drops!

Isn’t it so bright and fun!? Every bar is totally different, and the Yuzu fragrance is just as energizing as the colors. Totally psychedelic, dude! (I couldn’t help it. This soap screams out so many cheesy phrases.)

IMG_2997 (2)

Freshly sliced Tie-Dye soap

It does have some royal blue spots throughout. I noticed that the royal blue LabColor kind of plopped out of the bottle. Oops. I should have shaken it up well before I put it into the soap, but it was too late at that point! I just stick blended it more than the other colors, but it obviously still didn’t get fully incorporated. Over time, I anticipate that the colors will blend together and the dots will dissipate a bit due to the nature of LabColors. Either way, it’s no matter to me. I like the dots! Like dye splatters on a tie-dye shirt. 🙂

I’m so glad to have participated in the Winter Session of Soap Crafting Club! And did I mention? For Mother’s Day, this lucky mama received a membership to the Summer Session from my five messy babies and their daddy!!! I can’t wait to get my soap on! Though I won’t receive my next kit until July, I’ve already read through the recipes for my upcoming session. I’ll be getting a new 9-bar slab mold with dividers, and the soaps look like they’ll be fun and challenging to make. I can’t wait!


Sometimes simple is the most beautiful.

IMG_2515 (2)

Milky Baby Mild raw soap


Milky Baby Mild loaf of soap, fresh out of the mold

The mildest, creamiest soap, Milky Baby Mild is made mostly with nourishing olive oil, as well as a bit of coconut oil and castor oil to add some luxurious bubbles. And we couldn’t forget the milk! Lots of skin-soothing milk in the mix. No scent. No color. Just simple, milky goodness.

IMG_2969 (2)

Milky Baby Mild Soap

Oil & Glycerin Swirls

I’m back in the saddle, the Soap Challenge Club saddle that is! This month’s challenge (put on by Amy Warden at Great Cakes Soapworks) was to add colored oil and/or glycerin swirls to the top of soap, and…Wait for it…Big surprise coming…

I’ve never done this before!

I know. You’re shocked, right?! Ok, not so much? 😀

I say that nearly every single month! That’s why I love these challenges so much. I’m introduced to or reminded of techniques that I’d like to try, and I learn something (or LOTS of things) every time.

This time around, I needed to restock on Satsuma soap, so that was the scent du jour. It’s an awesome sweet tangerine scent that doesn’t accelerate trace, perfect for any type of design I want to create (which is why I make something different with it every time I use it)! This was also the perfect opportunity to practice some previous skills learned in the club and use my awesome slab mold.

I created a column swirl soap by alternating pours of uncolored soap, neon tangerine soap, and neon mango mixed with a bit of neon pink. Those colors just seem to be the perfect fit for this lovely citrus scent. Since my mold is so big, I used 2 columns, effectively dividing the soap and giving me 2 different areas to play with when it came time to make my swirls on top!

Satsuma Soap column pours

Satsuma Soap being poured over 2 columns

On one half of the poured soap, I created what looked like the spokes of a wagon wheel by alternating stripes of gold mica dispersed in oil and pink mica in oil. Then using a bamboo skewer, I started in the middle and spun around the circle in an outward motion, expanding until I reached the outer edges. Then, I wound my way back toward the center between the lines created in the first round.

IMG_2457 (2)

Mica in oil drizzles and dots!

On the other half of the soap, I placed drops of gold and pink randomly about, then I drug my bamboo skewer through the middle of the drops randomly as well.

IMG_2463 (2)

Complete with swirls!

I went ahead and oven processed this soap, and I cut it just 24 hours after making it. It was a bit soft, but the oil swirls on top had already completely absorbed into the soap. My only mistake was leaving the soap on the counter to find my camera and get my cutting utensils out. One of the triplets got up on a stool and couldn’t resist touching the beautiful sparkles on top! She smudged it around in a few places before I caught her, and she was oh-so-happy with the beautiful pink and gold glitter sparkles on her finger! NEVER a dull moment around here.

IMG_2527 (2)

Satsuma Soap

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how this soap turned out. I would have been perfectly happy to leave the beautiful column swirled soap alone, but adding the mica/oil swirls on top gives it extra interest (which obviously greatly appealed to my three-year-old). The column pour made some really cool stripes throughout each bar of soap, and the scent is amazing! AND, it’s my mom’s favorite fragrance, made just before Mother’s Day (though she’ll have to wait a bit for curing). 😉

IMG_2532 (2)

Lots of interesting things to look at here from the stripes running throughout each bar to the glittery mica swirls on top!

IMG_2524 (2)

These Taiwan-esque swirls are curvy and fun thanks to the circular pattern.

Because this was so fun, I just had to make a second soap as well! I wanted to make glycerin swirls, too, and I wanted to try my hand at another Taiwan Swirl soap (also a previous challenge technique). My slab mold was already out, and I was feeling inspired.

This Green Clover & Aloe soap was made using uncolored soap as the base with pours of light green and dark green (made by mixing yellow and blue oxides). After pouring the greens from on high, I used a dropper to add gold mica stripes and white stripes of titanium dioxide in glycerin. The glycerin stripes started to separate and bead up almost immediately, which turned into some really pretty swirls. Here’s what the process looked like.

IMG_2506 (2)

I was a bit messy with my pours. Oops!

IMG_2507 (2)

The glycerin started beading up immediately!

IMG_2508 (2)

Vertical swirls being added now.

IMG_2512 (3)

The final raw soap just before putting it to bed. Ooooh! So sparkly!

And the result?


Green Clover & Aloe Soap with oil and glycerin swirls

So fantastic! I love the way this turned out! AND, it’s my dad’s favorite scent! So, one for mom and one for dad in the same week. 🙂 Though I’m not too sure how my dad is going to respond to the sparkly tops. Hmmm.

I left this soap in the mold for 2 days as it took longer for the glycerin to absorb into the soap. The oil and glycerin swirls left behind some really cool texture on the soap tops, and the swirls are really feathery and beautiful.

IMG_2872 (2)

Here you can really see the textured tops. Deep crevices were left behind when the glycerin absorbed into the soap.

Now I’m left wondering which soap to enter into the challenge! I think I’ll go for the first soap since it’s so bright and cheery. Which would you choose?

As always, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s awesome creations! Thanks so much, Amy, for putting together such great info and connecting all of us together under the banner of learning more about this artistic and fun craft!

Soap Crafting Club Adventure #2: Avocado Soap

In my last post, I explained how my awesome hubby got me a membership in the winter session of the Soap Crafting Club for my birthday. It’s been so much fun so far! And I’m still obsessed with that Blackberry Sage funnel pour soap made in my first adventure. I. LOVE. THAT. SCENT!

Whereas my first soap came off without a hitch, my second adventure was an entirely different experience!

February’s soap was one that I was really looking forward to creating: an avocado moisturizing bar. Here’s what came in my kit:


Premixed oils, lye solution, Wasabi fragrance oil, Green Chrome oxide, Yellow oxide, and a bit of sunflower oil for mixing the colorants.

Looks simple enough based on the supplies in the kit, right? Wrong. Keep reading. You’ll see…

Just as before, I armed myself with information galore, watched the videos a few times, and read and reread the recipe in the book. On soaping day, I set up my Soap Crafting book and computer beside my soaping station, pureed my avocado with a bit of distilled water, and prepped my colorants.


I especially love the darkest green chrome oxide color. So pretty.

As it was still snowing outside, I had to heat up my cold oils to get them nice and fluid. Since my lye solution was also pretty cold, I decided to add it to the 126 degree oils, thinking it would even out in the end. It did bring the overall temp down, but I didn’t realize how big of a deal this was until I really got into making the soap. Holy moly, did it trace fast!!!


Adding avocado puree to the soap batter.

I’m not sure if it was the combination of oils and avocado, the heat, or the Wasabi fragrance oil (which is very floral), but this soap sure did set up quickly.

By the time I added the colors, the soap was nearly unworkable. I had to squash the bottom dark green layer of soap into the mold, then I pushed the next lighter green layer in, and finally I scooped the yellow soap on top. Yes, I said scooped. The soap was already soap! I tried desperately to mix it with my whisk, then with my spatula, but it wasn’t budging.


See how thick it was?

I had to peel that yellow soap out of the mixing bowl like I would scoop ice cream, and then I used my gloved fingers to push it off the spoon and mound it up. In fact, I wished it would melt like ice cream. It would have been easier to work with! There was most certainly no making this pretty with swirls on top. I can’t believe I was actually able to salvage it at all!


And here it is, smashed into the mold.

Since I knew this soap was so hot already and risked having a partial gel, I didn’t even attempt to put it in the freezer like Anne-Marie suggests in her book. I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl, so I went for FULL gel! I put the soap in my oven, but I didn’t turn the oven on; I just let it hang out in there, doing it’s thing.

About 12 hours later, it was already hardened enough to unmold and cut! It was really interesting peeling the silicone mold away from the sides of this one. I expected to find lots of air pockets, but I found even more than that! Check it out!


What do you call that?

IMG_1529 (2)

I found a few of those funky pockets down each side of the loaf, along with some air pockets (though fewer than I expected!).

Cutting this soap was fascinating! Once opened up, I found glycerin rivers everywhere. Apparently the soap got hot enough for the glycerin to begin separating, and it made some really cool effects.

IMG_1530 (2)

See the rivers all over? Pretty cool. And I can’t believe the layers turned out so even after all that smashing and pushing!

Just a few weeks later, Anne-Marie wrote up this post on her blog about this very subject! The heat of the soap and the oxide colorants were the culprits.


Here’s a shot of the soap in natural lighting, showing the transparency of the glycerin rivers.

Though this was completely unintentional, I’m glad these rivers happened! This soap is so unique and pretty.


I know this is far from perfect, but I just love the interesting details, from the weird alien brain bubbles on the sides to the rivers running everywhere.

This is a really fascinating soap. I’d like to try making it again to see if I can replicate the original soap design, the one without gel phase or glycerin rivers! I’ll definitely soap at lower temperatures next time! And I’m also anxious to try my hand at using other real foods in soaps.

Want to see my final adventure from Winter Session of Soap Crafting Club? It’s here!

Thanks for stopping by!