Decorating and swirling and soap box measurements

by Julie McCord
(Fairmont, MN)

I make soap but I can just not get the swirling and coloring right!! I read your decorating page, but would love a step by step layout of how to layer, swirl, and add those cool chunks. I also have a problem with coloring. How do you make those little blue chunks you added to the soap? What is the best way to color soaps? Can you give me a box measurement for making like 12-16 bars? I see there are 2 styles of boxes, the long rectangle one and the tray like one, which obviously would make it much easier to swirl the soap. Any help you can give me would be so great. Thank you!!!


That's quite a few questions Julie!!

For a little help on swirling visit this recipe - Shea Butter Coconut Milk. Swirling takes practice and it certainly is easier to do using a slab mold rather than a log mold.

When I layer soap I don't worry about the lines being completely straight...I like the slightly wavy lines. To make layers like I do, simply make a batch of soap and mix it until it reaches a very thin trace. Divide the soap into two or three containers and add the colour and scent to the first and mix until it reaches a thick trace..pour into the mold. Do the same with the other two containers of thinly traced soap. Be sure to work quickly and to pour very gently when adding a new layer.

Adding chunks is extremely easy...just cut up bits of fairly fresh soap into the size
you want them. When your soap reaches a medium to thick trace add them to the soap base and stir in with a spoon. This will give you chunks throughout the soap. For chunks on the top...just sprinkle the chunks on top just after you pour the soap.

Colouring soap
I like to use all sorts of things to colour soap...there isn't a best way at all. It's really what you become used to using. I prefer powdered soap colourants and tend to use mica alot. I usually combine the mica with pigments, spices, herbals, clays, etc.

To make blue I use ultramarine blue. I usually mix it with varying amounts of green oxide or hydrated chromium green oxide and white mica. It really depends on what shade I am looking for.

Take notes!!! Every time you mix up a colour and try it be sure to keep records of what you did. Nothing is more irritating than not being able to duplicate a colour because you forgot to write down how much you used.

Box Measurements
Deciding on what size of box to make is easy. You will have to decide on the size of bars you want to make and what type of mold you want.

If you want to make a slab mold for 12 bars of soap use a pen and paper to draw out 3 bars across and 4 bars deep. Then just add up the measurements. ex....if you want soap that is 2" x 3" the mold could be 9" long by 8" deep (these would be the inside measurements).

Hope that answers some of your questions,

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thank you
by: julie mccord

This really helps thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!

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