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soap crafting

I've always been intrigued with transparent soap...so i bought a ton of stuff at my Spotlight [craft store in australia] sale yesterday and couldnt wait to try it out.

This is my first attempt at soap crafting. its not very good but i love the smell of it! my apartment smells really good now. hope some of the soap experts can give me some comments and ideas!

questions i have include
1. how do i encase stuff without it forming a white line showing clearly where i had poured the second batch of soap on?
2. what sort of molds can i use without having to buy expensive soap molds? [i paid US$4 for my rectangular mold and i kinda think that's costly for a bit of plastic]
3. any sites/ideas/books for Heat and Pour? [that's the stuff i am interested in]like what i can encase and stuff.

Thankies in advance!


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2002 11:38 am (UTC)
I'm no expert, but here's what I've experienced with encasing, etc
I fill the mold partway, dunk the thing(s) in, and then fill it up the rest of the way immediately. I've never had trouble with a line where the two parts meet. (I'm guessing that you were waiting for the first layer to solidify before pouring on the second layer, that might be the problem)
I've used mainly small plastic toys, and chunks of the white soap colored with food coloring. Archie McPhee ( http://archiemcphee.com ) sells all kinds of tiny plastic doodads that are great for encasing in soap.
A tip I learned from the Christopher Lowell show, is to put some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle, and spray the top of the cooling bar right after you've finished pouring, to pop any bubbles that form.
you could use just about anything for a mold. Ice cube trays, tupperware, etc. Check the thrift store for small containers.
Nov. 4th, 2002 07:48 pm (UTC)
oh wow brillant.
thanks for all your help and answers.
but if i pour the stuff in directly, the stuff i try to encase floats upwards.
is that normal?

i will try the alcohol method.
thanks so much for your help!
Nov. 4th, 2002 08:34 pm (UTC)
Boy is my face red! I just realised that I've been using a special formula of melt and pour that specifically suspends whatever solid items you place in the mold. Sorry bout that.
Nov. 4th, 2002 08:40 pm (UTC)
oh ok!
could i ask where u got that?
Nov. 4th, 2002 09:25 pm (UTC)
Absolutely! I got it at michael's. I don't know if there are any where you live, but if you just read the labels carefully, when purchasing the soap, you should be able to find it at any relatively large craft store in your area.
Nov. 5th, 2002 07:05 am (UTC)
thanks for that
Nov. 4th, 2002 11:41 am (UTC)
OK what you are making is not soapmaking it is called soapcrafting. There is a huge difference. I make soap by taking base oils and put them through a chemical process and it is making soap. If you look in a search engine for "soapcrafting" or "melt and pour soap" you might have better luck in finding answers.

There is a board you can go to and ask about "soapcrafting" and your general questions. If you say you are "soapmaking" be prepared to have your head chewed off by a bunch of soapmakers. (soapmakers get really technical and some can really fly off the handle if you call soapcrafting, soapmaking so I am just warning you first so you don't make that mistake) I have been making soap from the base oils for 8 years now, and it is a completely different craft.


Here is another site with some soapcrafting info:


I hope this helps you in your soapcrafting ventures :)

Nov. 4th, 2002 07:44 pm (UTC)
i thought what i was doing is soap making since i didnt go buy a kit for heat and pour.
i made the stuff myself by boiling soap flakes and alchohol. it does go through a chemical process.

but hey you're the expert.
i have updated/edited this post to soap crafting.
thanks for the links!
Nov. 4th, 2002 07:59 pm (UTC)
Check out that site with the craft board however.

What you did was still soapcrafting because you didn't make the soap from the base oils. There is nothing wrong with soapcrafting. I just wanted to prepare you for some of the hardcore soapers on that board.

Now if you do like transparent soap and want to learn from the base oils, Catherine Failor has a great book on transparent soapmaking out on the market that I highly suggest. Watch out tho........ you will be addicted :)
Nov. 4th, 2002 08:33 pm (UTC)
thanks for your advice
like i said, its my first time doing it and i dont know the As and Bs.
Jan. 6th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC)
I am going through very old post in the craft communities to get inspiration for making holiday gifts for the upcoming year (can never get started too early!). I ran across this comment and jumped over to your journal to take a peek. Do you mind if I add you?
Jan. 8th, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
I don't care! :)

I look at it this way, why do people need to ask? If someone doesn't want people reading their journal they should keep it either private or not post it on the internets. No need to ask :)
Nov. 4th, 2002 08:34 pm (UTC)
1. can't help with your first question cos i haven't embedded anything in my soaps yet.

2. molds i have used : pringles cans, milk cartons, cheapie plastic containers from coles/woolies. i own two or three nice soap molds, but most of the time you can get by with improvised stuff. as long as the container can handle the heat, and you can get the soap out once it's set up, then you should be fine.

3. i've been using a book called "melt and pour soapmaking" by marie browning. i got it from Angus and Robertson. They have a few diffnt books there, but they are a bit expensive. If money is an issue, you should be able to go in and memorise one recipe at a time tho :) Actually, m&p is pretty forgiving - i hardly use formulas for colour or scent any more and just experiment with whatever seems like a good idea. one thing i've learnt: large bits of pot pourri are not a good idea. they are scratchy and then clog your drain :) but a lot of kitchen ingredients (herbs, ground almonds, oats, powdered milk, honey, coffee) make nice additives.

i'm going to try cold-process soapmaking this weekend, and i'm sure it'll be great, but m&p is always good for a quick craft fix because it only takes half an hour or so from start to finish. it's fun and you will become addicted!
Nov. 4th, 2002 08:40 pm (UTC)
i'm sorta just making christmas gifts and dont think i'll ever get into the whole soap crafting or soap making thing because supplies cost too much in australia
Nov. 4th, 2002 08:52 pm (UTC)
If you go to that board I told you about. Look up on the members list (you will have to register) and message user "bandicoot" because she lives in AU and is a big time soapmaker. I know she will probably be willing to share with you her resources on how to aquire supplies for cheap :)
Nov. 4th, 2002 09:29 pm (UTC)
thanks so much, you've been really helpful and answered all my questions
i really appreciate it.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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