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LET’S GET SOAPY A quarterly publication from Soapylove ® for melt & pour soap crafting.


FROM THE SOAP LAB JUNE 2009 Create Custom Texture Sheets . Inspiration Board Naiad Soap Arts . Engraved Wood Grain Soap Tutorial Packaging Designs . Color Formulations Complete Resource Directory . Soapylove Class Schedule

to The Soap Lab Welcome to this special edition of Let’s Get Soapy, dedicated to the style of The Soap Lab. When I started Soapylove I struggled with my love of color and sweets versus my attraction to modern design. The two didn’t look right in the same shop so I put my sophisticated soaps away and focused on soapsicles and soap tarts (which I love passionately!). My notebook of more “serious” styles still grew, so I opened The Soap Lab in 2008. It is where I can push the limits with technique and complexity, and invest the time in equally special packaging. Now I am also happy to share many of the techniques I am most proud of. With lots of photos and tips, you will be able to recreate several of the styles from The Lab, and with loads of inspirational images and resources, you’ll be making up your own experiments, too. I hope you enjoy this special issue of Let’s Get Soapy, and make sure to keep checking into to see what’s new! Happy soaping!

Debbie, Soapylove® 2


How to Make Your Own Texture Sheets


How to Use Texture Sheets


Texture Inspiration Board


Resources for Ready-Made Texture Sheets


Cold Process Soaps from Naiad Soap Arts


Eye Catching Soap Packaging Designs


Color Formulations


Wood Grain Soap Tutorial


Soapylove Workshop Schedule


More Soapylove Publications


Resource Directory


Community Cork Board


Wood Grain Printable Template

All content of Let’s Get Soapy is copyright protected. None of the tutorials or written content can be duplicated or sold without permission. However, all soap designs are free for you to make and sell. Enjoy! 3

How to Make Your Own Texture Sheets The assortment of manufactured soap molds is seemingly endless, yet nothing compares to creating a shape all your own. Here is a way to create beautiful texture sheets which you can use again and again, and will make your soaps truly unique.

Supplies: Amazing Mold Putty (see resource directory) • Flat bottom plastic container or silicone brownie pan • Timer • Rolling pin • Scissors Textured items such as lace, doilies, stamps, baskets, chipboard letters, drawer pulls, chunky jewelry, sticks, smooth stones, burlap...see Inspiration Board for even more ideas. •

Directions: With Amazing Mold Putty, you have only 3 minutes to mix, roll, and imprint before it starts to set up. So have all of your supplies ready.

Take both colors of putty out of the containers. I used all of it to cover the bottom of my 9" square silicone pan (which will act as my soap mold later). For a smaller


container, use less accordingly. Set your timer to 3 minutes and press start, or have your watch handy.

Minute 1: Vigorously mix your white and

yellow parts together until no yellow or white streaks remain. •

Minute 2: Put putty on your table and roll out

to pie crust thickness - do this in one minute or less. •

Minute 3: Quickly imprint your putty either

by stamping or laying your item on top of the putty. I put my doily on top and used my rolling pin to press it in. Once the 3 minutes are up, stop working. I find that anything done after this point doesn't imprint anyway.

If you used fabric or something large, leave it on your putty for 1/2 hour. Otherwise, just leave your stamped putty to cure (25-30 minutes).

When it's cured, remove your fabric and use a scissor to trim it down to fit flat in your mold. You're now ready to pour in melted soap! If you'd rather have more time to make your sheet, check out my new book for another method with a much longer work time (see resource directory).


How to Use Your Texture Sheets You have your fun, floppy silicone sheet, so now what?

Melt 2 cups of white glycerin soap. Add fragrance (1/2—1 teaspoon of most fragrance oils should be enough). With texture sheet design-side-up in pan, pour in soap. Spray surface with alcohol to pop any bubbles. Allow to harden at room temperature and move to the freezer or refrigerator to make sure it’s completely cold. Peel pan away or invert mold to remove soap. Using a butter knife if necessary, find a corner of your texture sheet and pull away from surface of soap. With a sharp knife, trim off edges and cut into bars.

Tips for great results: •

Choose pans or molds with very flat bottoms to minimize the amount of soap that may creep under the sheet. For deep textures use a smaller mold and thicker putty. Stick with solid soap colors—additives such as seeds or tea distract from the surface texture. To enhance the design, brush soap surface lightly with powdered mica. 6

Finding Texture It may seem hard at first to find materials for your texture sheet, but once you start looking you’ll find great ideas all around you. The beauty of this project is that you won’t even need to leave your house to find interesting odds and ends that will make striking designs.


Resources for Ready Made Texture Sheets Since texture sheets are used in other crafts such as baking, ceramics, and polymer clay, there are many options available. Before you buy any, make sure that they're large enough to fit (or be cut down to) the size of your mold and are made of a flexible, heat resistant material like silicone. Here are two shops that have some really interesting designs. You can copy and paste these links from this pdf page into your browser window: Country Kitchen USA CatId=527&SubCatId=1327 •

Chinese Clay Art - very unusual designs, featured on Martha Stewart Show.. Great selection - scroll all the way down to bottom of page to see.

More Options! Other materials that make good textures sheets as is. Just cut these to fit your mold and you’re all set! •

• • • • •

Fabrics. This will take some trial and error since not all kinds work. Synthetics are best since they absorb less and don't shed. Avoid fuzzy fabrics or those with holes in them like lace or eyelet. Bubble wrap. Textured vinyl placemats or tablecloths. Vinyl shelf liners—these come in lots of really interesting textures. Faux animal skins such as crocodile, ostrich, and wrinkled leather. Materials to avoid: paper, cardboard, tiles, metal, aluminum, glass... basically anything brittle, rigid, or absorbent.


By guest writer Erin Pikor of Naiad Soap Arts

Textured Bamboo Soap Making beautiful, one-of-a-kind cold process soap is easy using custom texture sheets. This fun project is perfect whether you are just beginning to explore the creativity of the medium or have created every color combination of swirl and layer, and are looking for a new and exciting technique. The phrase “So pretty I don’t want to use it” is no longer just for glycerin soap! Note: This is a basic CP soap recipe made at 100 degrees. All measurements are by weight except the oxide. This recipe fits easily into an 8-cup Pyrex container for stirring.

Supplies 8" x 8" silicone cake pan 7.5" x 7.5" texture sheet (see pg. 4 for texture sheet instructions) approx. 37 oz of lightly traced soap (recipe follows) blanket for insulating soap 10" x10" sheet of cardboard for covering soap cutting surface flat edge soap cutter or knife ruler to measure out bars


Ingredients: 10 oz Palm Oil 7.5 oz. Coconut Oil (76 degree) 5 oz. Olive Oil (I used Extra Virgin) 2.5 oz. Castor Oil 8 oz Distilled water (32% of oils) 3.6 oz. Sodium Hydroxide ½ teaspoon Chrome Green Oxide mixed in 2 teaspoons of olive oil 1/2 oz. Fragrance Oil or Essential Oil of your choice (optional) Heavy Metal Gold Mica (optional) Soft brush at least 1” for applying mica (optional) A firm soap works best for this technique so I chose a recipe high in saturated fats, 70%. You can use your favorite recipe but if it produces a soft soap that requires a longer cure time, leave the soap in the mold for one week to ensure a nice imprint from your texture sheet. This recipe gelled and was ready to unmold in 12 hours.

Instructions Make your texture sheet according to instructions. I used a rustic bamboo placemat with a twiggy look. •

Make sure that the sheet fits snuggly in the bottom of your silicone cake pan. Trim if necessary. You will not need to line the pan, as the set soap will easily unmold from the silicone.

Make soap according to the standard Cold Process method ( m), adding Chrome Green Oxide and fragrance at a light trace. NOTE: Make sure your Fragrance does not cause the soap to seize. You will not get a nice imprint from the texture sheet if the soap is too thick. •

Pour the lightly traced soap into your silicone pan, cover with the cardboard, and place blanket over the mold so it is completely covered and safe from draft. Let it set for 24 hours.


After 24 hours uncover the mold and check to see if the soap is firm, about the consistency of a ripe avocado. If it is soft and your finger easily leaves a mark, let the soap set for another 24 hours and check again.

When the soap is firm enough to unmold, gently pull away the sides of the mold from the soap. Turn it upside down onto your clean cutting surface and gently press the soap out of the mold. Your texture sheet should be stuck to the soap.

Slowly peel back the texture sheet starting at one of the corners. You should have a perfect imprint of your texture sheet! •

I recommend letting the soap sit for 24 hours before cutting, as the middle of the soap will be sticky. •

Tips: To add ane elegant detail to your bars, highlight the texture with mica. I used Heavy Metal Gold from Put ¼ teaspoon of mica onto a small flat plate. Dip a one-inch or larger dry, soft bristle brush into the mica, tapping off excess and then lightly brush over the raised part of your design. Before making your texture sheet, mark out the size of your silicone pan with masking tape on your working surface. When you roll out your mold putty, you will know the exact area that you have to cover, ensuring your sheet isn’t too small. To see more of Erin’s beautiful work, check out her Etsy shop at! 11

Eye Catching Packaging Design

1) Soap charm by Pink Brick: 2) Wrappers dyed with coffee, Gloi Soap: 3) Blueberry Pomegranate Bars: 4) Wrapped in old love stories: 5) The Soap 5) Paper and sealing12wax: Cupcake Nana on Flickr

Glycerin soap is well known for its bright, crystal clear colors, but its translucence is perfect for subdued, frosted shades, too. I found inspiration in glass beads for these non-bleeding hues which you can easily reproduce. In order to make these formulations apply to any amount of soap, I am using “parts.� I suggest getting a tiny mica spoon to start with and mix your color in a little cup with a few squirts of alcohol. Then add your mixture slowly to your melted clear soap base until you reach the intensity you like.


JADE 4 parts pearl mica 1/4 part green oxide



4 parts liquid purple oxide

3 parts vintage grey mica

1 part antique blue mica

1 part cappuccino mica


2 parts liquid yellow oxide 1 part copper mica

Wood Grain Soap Tutorial Recreate this interesting soap, which encases a raised woodgrain design under a tinted layer of clear soap. The beveled mold gives them instant polish.


Woodgrain Soap Tutorial Supplies: 12 oz clear soap base 16 oz (1 lb) white soap base Cappuccino mica 1/2 oz Almond Cybilla fragrance oil 9 cavity square beveled tray mold Basic pottery carving tool kit Spray bottle of rubbing alcohol

These tools have so many possibilities. Experiment with them all!

Instructions: •

Melt 12 oz clear soap base. In a small cup, dissolve a tiny amount of mica in a few squirts of rubbing alcohol. Stir colorant, drop by drop, into soap. It may be tempting to make it a deep color, but you want it to be extremely light and still sheer. Even my soap in the photo is too dark. So err on the lighter side! Pour soap into mold and spray with alcohol to pop any bubbles. Allow to set completely. Choose a tool from the pottery kit to carve the design. I use the wooden one that has a slightly pointed, rounded tip. You can either print out the template I have included on page 19 or freehand your design. If you are using the template, just place it under your mold and you will easily see the design through your soap.

This one!

The general method is to lightly scratch your design into the soap, then gradually deepen the lines with a few more passes of the tool. The lines


should get to about 1/4” depth. If you feel the raised bevels in the mold, then you know you’ve gone deep enough.

If you want to freehand it, I suggest starting with the “eyes.” Scatter them so that you get at least one eye per bar. After each pass, scrape your tool off on the edge of a cup. Next, carve long lines that curve around the eyes. Finally, fill in the spaces with long, gently curving lines. Ones that reach a “dead end” can be gradually tapered off and will look very nice. Next, melt 1 lb of white soap base (throw in all of those funny soap shavings, too!). Fragrance with 1/2 oz of Almond fragrance oil. Let cool to 120 degrees. Spray carved soap with alcohol and pour in white soap. Allow to harden, unmold, and cut bars with a sharp, unserrated knife. Wrap soaps with stretch plastic wrap.


Soapylove Workshop Schedule Come join me in person and let’s make beautiful soaps together!

July 17-19 Soapmaking Weekend Intensive at Otion Soap Bar in Bellingham, WA Don’t miss an entire weekend packed full of great classes covering cold process soapmaking, lotions, and melt and pour. Last year was a blast! Class size is limited to 12 spaces, so everyone gets lots of personal attention. For more info, go to

August 8 All Day Melt & Pour Bootcamp with Soapylove at The Nova Studio in Point Richmond, CA We will spend 6 fabulous hours making glycerin soaps as I teach many of my most cherished techniques! Learn how to put amazing graphics on the surface of your soaps, use soap paints to add artistic details to your shapes, engrave, and more.

New classes are scheduled often, so stay up to date by visiting the Soapylove Daily Ditties Blog at 17

More Soapylove Publications At long last, a great new book is coming with 25 full length tutorials and 12 suggestions for project variations, including the coveted Neapolitan Soapsicle! Soapylove has 124 pages loaded with gorgeous color photos and tips galore. Reserve your copy early for a discount! Go to for the link to Amazon and the book listing. Published by North Light Books. If you have enjoyed this issue, there’s more! Check out Spring and learn how to use candy molds to create really unique, 80’s inspired soaps, and the Summer issue to find out how to throw your own soap making party! There are tons of great tutorials, tips, and pretty pictures to feast your eyes on. Go to and enter TREATME for 20% off your purchase! Offer expires July 30, 2009


Supply Source Directory Page 4—Texture Sheets Item: Amazing Mold Putty From: Michael’s Craft Stores Item: Silicone brownie pan From: Wilton Ultra-Flex from

Page 6—How to use Texture Sheets Items: Soap base, fragrance oils, and mica From:

Page 9—Cold Process Textured Soaps Item: Silicone brownie pan From: Wilton Ultra-Flex from Items: Oils, sodium hydroxide, chrome green oxide, mica From:

Page 13—Color Formulations Items: Clear soap base, liquid colorants, and micas From: Item: Giant ice cube mold From: Ikea

Page 15—Wood Grain Soap Tutorial Items: Clear and white soap base, cappuccino mica, , Almond Cybilla fragrance oil, beveled square soap mold From: Items: Pottery carving set From: Michael’s Craft Stores


Community Corkboard Order from Bramble Berry and get 10% off all molds and fragrance oils! Just enter “SOAPYLOVE10” when you check out and the discount will be taken off your order before your card is charged. Free shipping on all Soapylove Soapsicles! Enter “INDIEFREE” at checkout! Special offer for Subscribers only: $5 off your next class at The Nova Studio in Point Richmond, CA. Mention “Let’s Get Soapy”. 1 per person, must be redeemed when signing up via mailed check. Visit or call 510-234-5700 for more information. The Indie Beauty Network (IBN) helps independent (indie) business owners to maximize their potential through small business ownership. We are a business organization, dedicated to serving our members' business needs so they can focus on earning a fair profit and growing their companies. Our member benefits include a state of the art affordable products liability insurance program, worldwide media and promotional opportunities and discounts on professional services and supplies. The Handcrafted Soapmaker’s Guild promotes the industry of handcrafted soap, helping to make the joys of handcrafted soap more widely known to the general public through magazine ads and our website. The HSMG also works to provide information beneficial to soap makers. Membership is open to all Handcrafted Soap Makers as well as to individuals or companies that provide any kind of supplies to Handcrafted Soap Makers. Product and General Liability Insurance is now one of our many membership benefits. If you are a soap maker and not a member, join now!


Template for Wood Grain Soap Tutorial Directions: print out and place under mold after first layer has set and you are ready to start carving. Follow lines with your pottery tool, starting shallow and gradually getting deeper until lines are approximately 1/4� deep.


Let's Get Soapy eZine - the Soap Lab Issue  

Dive into soap crafting with this modern take on glycerin and cold process soap making. You'll find projects with step by step photos, insp...

Let's Get Soapy eZine - the Soap Lab Issue  

Dive into soap crafting with this modern take on glycerin and cold process soap making. You'll find projects with step by step photos, insp...