DIY Galaxy Melt and Pour Soap

Ive been on the search for a good galaxy tutorial using melt and pour soap and haven’t really come across anything, so thought Id make my own. I also learnt a few lessons along the way, ie not to make more than 4 at a time, or even 3.

Soap making requirements:

  • 1/2 Kilo of Melt And Pour Soap Base Clear SLS FREE
  • 20 drops essential oil of your choice – I actually used coconut fragrance oil
  • 2 tablespoons Castor oil – gives a better bubble and lather
  • 5 dark mica colours, I used purple, blue, green, raspberry and black
  • Cosmetic grade glitter (optional)
  • Plastic jug (to melt your soap in)
  • Plastic cups (to mix your colours in)
  • Wood spoon (to mix your soap)
  • Plastic cups (to mix your micas in)
  • Moulds (any shape will work)
  • Rubbing alcohol

 

Galaxy

Now to make this out of this world soap:

To melt the soap, chop it up soap into smallish bits, the small the better, as it melts quicker.  Put it a microwaveable safe bowl and cover with clingfilm (this is VERY important). Melt it in 30 second intervals and stir between bursts. You dont want it to melt all the way down to boiling point. Ideally you want to have a few ‘chunks’ left and then stir until it is all fully dissolved. Once the soap is melted, castor oil and essential oil (or fragrance oil).

Whilst your soap is melting, put the different micas in their own individual cup and add a few drops of rubbing alcohol to make it a pasty liquid, you honestly do not need to add much rubbing alcohol at all. I also added in some cosmetic grade glitter to 3 of the colors. Once your soap is melted, divide it between your cups and colors. Left side picture is the mica with rubbing alcohol. Right side picture is the soap base added in with the mica.

Now is the fun part where you also have to work very quickly. This is also where I learnt that its easier to make 3 soaps rather than 6 or 8, as I ran out of melted soap and it was a bit of a disaster. Focus on making 1 to 3 really great soaps and then fo from there. The idea is that you pour in a little bit of every color as you go and because you’re doing it quickly, it doesn’t set and you get the galaxy effect. Just add in colors, pick what you like and add in different amounts, it doesn’t need to be perfect. I also realised that I had a lot of black left, so poured it on the bottom of 3 of the soaps, this didn’t give the effect that I wanted but rather just a black bottom. You dont have to use black, you can use just bright colours but I think the darkness gives it more of a realistic look.

This was my second batch, when I mixed all the colours properly and had a galaxy effect with all the colors that run all the way through, rather than just a black bottom. You can also see the specs of the glitter and the difference it makes having it. The flash didn’t catch very well and the soaps weren’t that dark. 20171120_120230

These were the finished products, Im wondering if adding in small amounts of white melt and pour will give the white specs you’d see in the galaxy? Something to consider for next time.

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The top left picture I had a black, blue and clear back and just used those colors and it still came out quite nice, different from the other bright colors but still good.

What I also realised? My plastic cups are so cheap that they melt in the microwave. I had a little bit of soap that went hard, so I wanted to melt it down and when I went to check on it 20 seconds later, it was pretty well melted completely flat. Be warned should your soap go hard and you’re using plastic cups.

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Just a side note, I do honestly prefer essential oils and they seem to be more body friendly with less possible reactions to them. I just happen to have two fragrance oils, coconut being one of them. If you do know someone who has sensitive skin, I would also avoid FO and use essential oils only.

I package my soap in cellophane and attach a small label that explains what the soap is, it adds that something special.  These are great for yourself or as gifts for friends.

Remember to share with friends! 🙂

 

DIY Dump soap

I’ve never really understood the fascination with YouTube, apart from Simons Cat and the occasional make up video (yes in my 30s I still have no real idea about make-up and get hints and tips from teens, OH the shame), I’ve never spent hours just watching random videos. I’d rather spend the hours on Pinterest, however, in my search for soap inspiration, Id thought Id give YouTube a go and WOW, just WOW. I quickly realised that anything really over eight minutes is well beyond my attention span and that honestly after the five minute mark I’m starting to lose interest and looking for glitter and shiny things to keep me interested. I came across a video that made a unique fun soap, allowed me to use the existing soap I already had and made me think it was easy – I should have learnt my life lesson by now, if it looks easy, it really isn’t! However, after a few days and LOTS of melt and pour base, Im pretty pleased with the results! What I love about the soap is that I was able to use off cuts of colours that I already had, so really I was just ‘dumping’ what I had to create a new soap, happy soap recycling! 🙂

Its that time of year where I need to stock up for the holidays, dear friends and family, please look surprised when you get these!

DIY Dump Soap

  • 2Lbs (1 Kg) white melt and pour soap base
  • Mica to match the colours you want to achieve, you really want a minimum of 3 but up to 5 colours
  • Essential Oils/Fragrance oils for your desired scent, I used cherry, vanilla and peppermint for this to keep in line with my Christmas theme
  • 4 tablespoons Castor oil (optional)

This soap isnt straight forward and requires quite a lot of prep.

I screen shot a picture of the soap that I was using for inspiration and then tried to mimic the needed shapes from there.  What you need to create in your prep stage is:

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 17.44.30

You need ‘shreds’ which are the feathery looking shapes to the right of the soap. I used unscented pieces of left over soap from my shape/embed cut outs and just cut them to quite smallish sizes. You need curls, I created these using mica powder and scents (vanilla&cherry-red and peppermint-green). Pour a thin and thicker layers into your pans, allow to set, remove and then roll into curls, as per the second picture where there is a red curls. I also created little hearts which are quite wide, as I was bored and looking for other shapes to, I wanted something different than the curls. Honestly you can use any shapes but you need them to be lengthy so that when you cut the bars you see the shapes.

Whilst you’re creating your curls, create your first layer of the bar. I used red and scented it cherry and vanilla, I added in a small bit of castor oil for a better bubble on the soap. You do not want this layer to be very thick but maybe 3cms/1in.  Allow it to set whilst you’re creating your other bits which will all stack on top of the base layer.

Once you’ve created all your curls, shreds, and hearts, now onto creating the bar! Super important note, cover EVERYTHING in alcohol as you go, every time to you go to touch something to add to the soap, spray it with alcohol! It makes such a massive difference and ensures good adhesion between the layers and pieces.

Taking your base layer, on one side, DUMP in the shreds to one side, remember to spray them all with alcohol as you go. On the opposite side to it, place some of your curls, ensuring that the majority of the length of the mould is filled.  Put in you curls in different directions so that the ‘seems’ are in different directions to each other. Remember to cover everything liberally in alcohol!

Now you are going to want to melt the rest of your white base, for me my mould was massive and it took about 3lbs/1.5 Kgs to fill!!!! I scented this with peppermint and added in 2 tablespoons of castor oil. You want the base to cool down once its melted, so that it doesn’t melt the items you’re pour it onto. Unfortunately I let mine cool just a bit too much it it was ok. I filled it roughly 2/3 full at this point, so that I could add in the last of my embeds/cut outs.

You can see the white base was setting with the pour but this was ok as I knew I was adding more over it after I out in the next layer of embeds/shapes. BE SURE to give your mould a gentle shake so that the soap gets in all the little holes and crevices and there are no air bubbles. I now added in all my little hearts I wanted to ensure there were enough so that no matter what I cut the bars there would be heart shapes, so dump them in! Once you’ve set all your embeds/shapes cover it with the last of your white soap base, remember to spray everything with alcohol, even the finished layer of white base.  Allow to set for 24 hours. This was the most difficult part for me, as I REALLY wanted to know how it had come out. However, I also realised that I needed a knife to cut the soap, so I needed to go shopping before I could. Fast forward 24 hours with a new knife in hand!

This is how the outside looked, It was obvious that I had a new air bubbled which bummed me out but I thought I needed to cut it first to see if it would just crumble into a mess or hold up. I measured it out to 1 inch bars, to be honest, they probably could have been slimmer given they are really quite wide. I used a bread load pan rather than a actual soap loaf pan, which would have given a better finish and everything would have been more compact but given I was just using what I had, Im pleased.

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Im really quite pleased with the outcome, yeah I have more white space than the original but for me, it works. It smells great and its held together, so win win. I think its a good outcome for a soap where you basically just dump stuff in!

I hope you’ve found this tutorial helpful and enjoy your adventures in soap making!

Remember to share with friends! 🙂

Making Layered Soap

Im still quite the soap novice and Pinterest seems to feed my curiosity like catnip to a one of my cats! I think the nice thing with soap is that you can literally be as imaginative as you want to be, you can go simplistic or over the top and you get great soaps either way.

Last year I made some really cute layered Christmas soaps, they were just too cute. Unfortunately, I didn’t think fo taking pictures of creating a tutorial.  Over the weekend I hopped back on the soap bus and decided to play around and see what I got.  Im pretty pleased with the results and am looking forward to making more!

These soaps are time consuming and require a large number of steps but are worth it.  These soaps are great for yourself but also make fantastic gifts!

Making Melt and Pour Layered Soaps

I know I normally put the how much, how long, how many section here BUT this isnt quite that straight forward 🙂

What you’ll need to make these super cute soaps

  • 1/2 Kg  minimum of White & Clear soap melt and pour soap based (you could technically just use clear but I dont advise it and see you’ll see why)
  • Mica Mineral Powders – several colors
  • Fondant Sugarcraft Icing Plunger Cutters in different shapes and sizes
  • Cutting/chopping board
  • Square or Silicone Cake Mold
  • essential oils
  • Oil, I used castor

These soaps take a lot of prep! I did it a few nights in advance 15-20 mins at a time or basically until I got bored.

The first step is to create your colors. I took a 2LB/1 KG block and cut it into 7 sections. I then cut up and microwaved each of the sections (remember to cover with cling film) and then added in the mica powder to get my desired color, you honestly dont need much, maybe 1 gram or so. You can also add in essential oils if you want your colors to smell (nice) but because they make LOADS of cut outs that you can use across loads of soaps, use a oil that will not effect other scents. Below are 6 colors that I made and how I create them.  Once you’ve made your color, pour it into a silicone pan (this makes it easier to get out!) As you can see here, one part was thicker and the other part was SUPER thin and unusable, so I just melted it back down and repoured. You want it to be more thin than thick, if that makes sense but not so thin that you cant work with it. Allow to harden for a minimum of a hour. 20171020_113323

Now take your plungers/cutters and start cutting our your shapes. As you can see, I get a lot of shapes out! I also NEVER throw away the excess, I put it in a plastic baggie for later and then melt it back down and make more.

I know the picture below is awful, I didnt think to take pictures of what I was doing, augh! I wanted to make cute flowers. I used 4 different sizes of flower cut outs across the different colours. Once these were all cut out, I got a VERY small amount of CLEAR base and melted it in a tiny jar for about 10 seconds (be careful here and watch it, I did manage to actually burn the soap!) until it was melted. I then worked quickly with a toothpick and stuck a small amount of the clear soap base between my layers of flowers. I found it looked best with 3 layers of flower.

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So now the prep work is done, HORRAY!

Take your clear base (I used 1lb/.5 Kg) and melt it down (remember to use cling film if using the microwave!). As its a large amount put it in for 90 secs first and then 30 sec bursts after that until its completely melted. Add in your essenital oils now (10 drops of each) and castor oil, I used roughly a tablespoon worth, I went for Lavender and Lemon to go with my flower theme and my final layer. Be careful of using a color that will mature over time, like vanilla or orange, they go darker over time. Pour into your mold roughly 3/4 to the top. Spray with alcohol, honestly this was my first time using alcohol but I am BEYOND sold now that Ive done it. It clears away the bubbles AND the will help your layers adhere. As you can see this filled 5 of my molds. I then started to toy with patterns and how I wanted it to look in the soap.  The reason you dont pour in the clear base and then shove in your cut pieces of soap is the base is hot from being melted and will actually melt your cut outs (Im speaking from experience here!). So leave it a few mins. Get out your toothpick, which is my trusty soap making tool and touch the top occasionally to see if a film has started to form. Its roughly at this point that you want to start putting in your cut out pieces. REMEMBER you want to put them in upside down.

You do have to be quick at this stage as your soap is not starting to form a film and harden, if you wait too long, you will be able to see the film in and around the cut outs that you put in. Sometimes you can hide this with the final layer but not always. Once you’ve put your cut outs in, give it another quick mist of alcohol, for good luck. Allow to sit and harden for at least another hour if not two. Remember that you’re putting on another layer of HOT soap base and it will melt the soap youre pouring it onto slightly, so the longer you leave it, the better.

How for your WHITE melt and pour base. Why am I using white? Because it highlights the bits you’ve just done. I melted the white base as I did the clear base, added in lemon and lavender essential oils (15 of lavender and 10 of lemon), castor oil, I used roughly a tablespoon worth and then added in some dried lavender and dried lemon zest for added effect. Sometimes people need a visual to remind them of what they are getting. The first pouring always get the most goodies (right middle corner). Remember to mist with alcohol! 20171021_172046

Looking at them from the side you can see LAYERS, hooray, its a success!!! You can also see the dried lavender and lemon through the top layer. You can also see if you’ve done things wonky (a bit late now) or your mistakes.  Allow your soaps to dry over night and give them AT LEAST 24 hours before you use them.  You can unmould them after a few hours. When making blocks of soap like this where you want the different elements to be clear and visible I find the clear hard plastic moulds work best. I found that silicone moulds can make the clear base cloudy and the results just simply aren’t as good.20171021_172114

The finished products! I have to say that I was pleased with some of the results, I had one where I thought, ‘Ill use that one for myself rather than gift it’ but overall I think they are cute and smell great.

Notes: Going forward I might/might not put castor oil in the clear soap base. The reason I use castor oil is it gives a better bubble/lather on the soap when used. However, it did make the clear slightly cloudy, clearly so not cloudy that you cant see through the soap (not going to lie, I did initially panic when I added it!) but its kinds of annoyed me. Now Im on the fence as to if Id do it again or not…

Also with Melt and Pour you never want the base to be rapidly boiling away, so the idea is when melting it in the microwave to do short sharp bursts of heat, then stir to melt the larger pieces. If you allow it to boil rapidly until its fully melted, it can lead to the soap sweating after its been moulded. Sweaty soap is just not nice!

Handcrafted soaps always last longer when they are kept dry when not in use.

Please let me know if you have any questions or queries if if I can offer any further advice on making these cute soaps. I will also be making Christmas soaps soon (it is THAT time of year) and will be doing a similar tutorial on making them.

I package my soap in cellophane and attach a small label that explains what the soap is, it adds that something special.  These are great for yourself or as gifts for friends.

Remember to share with friends! 🙂