Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring is Here! Soap Tutorial

Melt and Pour is the quickest and easiest way to create some terrific soaps either for yourself or give as a gift. There are many types of bases to use, though I prefer glycerin and white. Those two are my favorites because they are versatile and you can add so many things to make it even better. The first step in making great melt and pour soaps is a good base. Some places to purchase a good base is Brambleberry, Wholesale Supplies Plus, Peaks Candle, and BitterCreek. I particularly like their bases because they do not contain Detergents, Surfactants, Sugar Solutions, or Alcohol.
The next step after selecting the bases you will be working with is your equipment. You don't need to many things but some are important.

Colorant: You won't need every single colorant just the basics, Blue, Red, Yellow, and Black. Why are only these colorants important? Because you can mix two to create more colors and even have lighter colors. Less of any color will give you a lighter shade. If you are using liquid colorants and add only one drop of lets say blue, then you will achieve a sky blue color. Colorants are more vivid in glycerin than opaque so adding more colorant to opaque will not make it darker. So if you mix one drop blue and one drop red, you will get purple. Mixing one drop red and one drop yellow you will get orange. Mixing one drop blue with one drop yellow, and you get green. See that! All from three different colorants! Now if you add black to anything it will darken any color.

Equipment: I like using a pyrex measuring cup for the microwave and a pitcher for the double boiler method. Pyrex dish is great because as your melting the base you can see just how much you've added without a scale. Double Boiler method is great for melting larger quantities without burning the soap. For larger quantities I measure with my scale and melt away. You will also need stirring spoon or something to mix the base with so everything becomes incorporated. Another important equipment is molds which you can purchase at the online suppliers listed above.
Fragrance: Make sure you select Bath & Body safe fragrances for soaps. Body safe means your skin will not itch immediately upon contact with your soap. Alternately, you can also add soap safe fragrances to lotions, bath bombs, or whatever else your heart desires. Please check with your fragrance manufacturer prior to doing this.

Additives: You can add lots of different things to your melt and pour soap like oatmeal, poppyseeds, micas, tea leaves and many more. I also like to add oils and butters to my bases but not too much. Only add about 1tbs or less per pound to any base, otherwise you will severely cut down on your lather.

Melt down your base using your preferred method, I used the microwave method. Add your desired additives or colorants and pour slowly into the mold. For a spring theme I'm using a floral mold from Life of the Party. I decided to make two different types of scented soap Lavender and Pikaki.
Now very important when your trying to adhere two different bases or layers, you need to keep a spritz bottle of alcohol near by. The alcohol takes away the bubbles created by over stirring and also adheres layers together. Don't worry the alcohol will evaporate from the soap so you won't smell a thing! To the right of the picture you can see I use cups for small pours and to mix different scents or colorants seperately. It's also cleaner that way. The first picture shows my purple glycerin coating the bottom of the mold which is a flower. Then I over poured the soap with some of the same colorant, poured in the fragrance, and poured into the mold. Now I do the same thing for the pink pikaki soap except I decided to add some mica powder to give it some shimmer. Now you need to work quickly otherwise the soap will solidify. Don't worry, if this happens then simply put the base back into the microwave and remelt again. Melt and Pour is very forgivable.

Here are your finished soaps! The purple one is Lavender scented, and the pink one is scented Pikaki. After your soaps are done you need to wrap them tightly in shrink wrap and your done.

Since I had some more base left over I make some more soapies!


Anne-Marie said...

Great tutorial. Don't you love working with melt and pour soap? It's practically impossible to get an unfortunate-looking bar of soap. =)

moonstruckmagic said...

Hey there thanks for leaving a comment!!