Soap Making

I don’t know if I’ve said it before, but I never met a craft I didn’t like (mostly). So, a few months back, I made soap. From scratch. You know: lye and fat and lots of stirring.

I’ve had a kit for years and just this year actually bought the rest of the supplies and took the plunge. I forgot the coloring and I forgot the fragrance, so its pretty plain soap. Oh, and then I must have had it sitting funny while it cured, so its lopsided.

I made two batches over the summer.  Picture 1 (on the left) is batch 1 and it was still quite liquid when I poured it into the mold.  Picture 2 is batch 2 and it was more like mashed potatoes when I poured it into the same mold.  (Note, the powder on top in pic 2 is just residue).

 soap pre-cut    precut soap

I wanted to see if I could dress these up and make them presentable for small christmas gifts.  I bought some cookie cutters and a hard plastic alphabet stamp and voila.

cut and stamped soap

This is how I did it.  I picked these cookie cutters because they seemed like a nice shape for boutique soaps.  I purchased the cutters on amazon.

cutters w package

The stamp was intended for clay embossing.  The first picture is of the label for the stamp showing its made by Walnut Hollow.  Its got a full alphabet, numbers, and a few symbols that can be fit into the holder provided.  I purchased this stamp at my local craft store (a Michaels), but its also available on amazon.

clay text stamp     text stamp set 

 text stamp w handle

I used a regular hammer and a piece of wood to protect the cutter/stamp from hammer blows.  I cut the shape out first.

soap step1   wood gobet2

If the soap is too thick (thicker than the stamp), this doesn’t work.

cut soap w scraps

If successful, the soap starts to part from the cutter.

soap too thick side view

If the soap is too thick, the cutter gets stuck

bent cutter close up

And the cutter might get bent or distorted.

I broke off the rest of the soap and it came out okay, but I did not try to cut any more of the thicker soap slabs.

I went on to use the same general method to stamp a label onto the soap.

cut soap w stamp

I was pretty confident that I could make these soaps look pretty.  I wish I had as much confidence in my ability to write.


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