Wood Grain Soap Technique

Howdy, soapy friends! It’s been a while since I last participated in the Soap Challenge Club (and I have a good reason, I promise!), but I couldn’t resist participating this month! The wood grain technique in soapmaking is just so cool! Soap that looks like wood!?! And multiple ways to make it look real!?! Amy shared a pretty simple technique in her tutorial this month, and she also compiled several YouTube videos of other soapmakers’ different techniques. I chose to try out Amy’s squeeze bottle technique for the challenge, but I’m looking forward to trying out several of the other techniques in the near future as well.

I recently had a friend ask me to make Sandalwood soap with activated charcoal, and this provided me with the perfect opportunity to create! I used a very sexy Sandalwood fragrance oil, along with cocoa powder and activated charcoal as colorants in a very slow-moving recipe that Amy shared a few years ago inside the club: 35% olive oil, 30% lard, 25% coconut oil, and 10% rice bran oil.  I also added silk, goat milk and colloidal oatmeal to this luxurious soap. Working at room temperature with this recipe gives me the most time; my soap batter was fluid throughout the squeezing! SCORE! (I’m a bit overly excited because I have never had much luck with squeeze bottles.) I blended the oils and lye just to emulsification, and then I divided the soap evenly into 5 squeeze bottles. I added different ratios of cocoa powder to 2 bottles, charcoal to one bottle, a combination of cocoa and charcoal to one bottle, and I left one bottle uncolored.

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Squeeze bottles shaken, not stirred. 😉

 

The Bramble Berry 9-bar slab mold was the perfect choice for this technique. I was able to squeeze lines of each color over and over again down the length of the mold to create that wood grain look.

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My squeezing got a bit messy towards the end!

When all of the soap was squeezed in, I used a skewer to follow those lines, then I swirled at least one “knot” where each bar would be.

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I might have gotten a little over-zealous with the knots… but it’s just so fun to play with soap!!

I added in the handy dividers that came with the mold and sprayed the top with 91% alcohol.

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Dividers in and ready for bed!

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I am so excited about this soap!

 

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Even the backs/bottoms and sides of the soap look cool! These bars will have a new design with every use!

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The wood grain technique is awesome!

It looks amazing and smells amazing.

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I’m certain the men in my life are going to love the looks (and smell) of this new soap.

 

I’m going to try out a few of the other techniques as well, like making soap in a log mold with a “bark” edge! How fun, especially for the upcoming winter season! I’m thinking maybe a crackling birch fragrance, or a lovely evergreen scent.

I am continually impressed and inspired by all of the fabulous, creative soap makers out there. This is such a fun craft!! Thanks, Amy, for another great tutorial, and thanks to Kenna of Modern Soapmaking and Anne-Marie of Bramble Berry for sponsoring this month’s challenge.

And because I just can’t resist, I’ll let you know what’s up in my life that’s been keeping me from posting this summer…I’m PREGNANT…AGAIN!!! We’re only days away from becoming a family of SEVEN MESSY BABIES!!! And you’ll never guess…20160520_182208

Our girls are ecstatic! God is GOOD! Have a blessed day, friends!