Using the butterfly swirl soap design technique is loads of fun! It's one of those design tools that has such varied results, you never know what you're going to see when you cut into it.
While the suspense of waiting to see what wonderful creation you have made is half the fun, finding that the design isn't what you were going for can be a big disappointment.
The goal of this tutorial is to help you avoid that disappointment! Below you will find step-by-step instructions and a short video to guide you through the process of creating your own beautiful butterfly swirl soap. Have fun!
Butterfly Swirl Soap Ingredients
Shea Butter - 180 gr | 6.35 oz | 20%
Coconut Oil - 180 gr | 6.35 oz | 20%
Sweet Almond Oil - 90 gr | 3.17 oz | 10%
Canola Oil - 180 gr | 6.35 oz | 20%
Castor Oil - 45 gr | 1.59 oz | 5%
Olive Oil - 225 gr | 7.94 oz | 25%
Distilled Water - 244.34 gr | 8.62 oz
Lye - 122.17 gr | 4.31 oz
Water as % of Oils = 27.15%
Water to Lye Ratio = 2:1
Super Fat/Discount = 5%
Kaolin Clay (Cosmetic White) - 2 tsp. (10 ml)
Ylang Ylang E/O - 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml)
Patchouli E/O - 1 tsp. (5 ml)
Sweet Orange E/O - 1 Tbsp (15 ml)
Rose Geranium E/O - 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml)
Lavender E/O - 1 Tbsp (15 ml)
Soap colourants of your choosing - I used micas, oxides and ultramarines to create black, green, yellow/gold, purple and white.
Begin the process by measuring the kaolin clay, your scent and preparing your colourants. Powdered oxide/mica/ultramarine colourants work best when disbursed in a small amount of oil. Be sure to mix them really well to remove any lumps.
Weigh out your hard oils and place them in your soap bowl/pot. Weigh out your liquid oils and put them aside.
Prepare your lye solution and once the lye beads have fully dissolved, pour the lye solution over your hard oils.
Gently mix the hard oils and lye solution until the hard oils have completely melted.
Add in your liquid oils, kaolin clay and scent blend and mix everything in well...but not too well. We want the ingredients to emulsify but not to the point of trace. The soap batter should coat the back of a spoon nicely without the oil separating out.
Into 5 containers, pour 1/2 cup of soap base and mix in your colourants.
Prop up your soap mold on one side and pour half of the uncoloured soap base into the low side of the mold. See the video for details.
Alternating colours, pour the coloured soap along the low end until almost all of the coloured soap has been used up. Save a small amount to decorate the top of the soap.
Remove the prop and gently spoon the remaining uncoloured soap on top of the coloured layers.
Using a hanger tool (I use a 'gear tie' that I purchased from Home Depot. They can be found at many hardware stores and places that carry outdoor equipment for camping, etc.) and plunge it into the soap on the side you poured the layers. Again, see the video for details.
Push the tool all the way to the bottom and then start making 3 concentric circles, each a little larger than the last. Come up half way in the soap base and make three more circles. In the video, I accidentally did my upper circles in the opposite direction than I had intended but it worked out just fine.
Using the remaining coloured soap, decorate the top of the soap. I poured the soap in lines, more or less, and then ran a skewer through it. You can see in the video the simple design I did.
Now cover your soap and insulate if needed. I left the soap for 24 hours before unmolding and cutting.
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