Simple tips for creating personalized soap

For centuries, soap has been a medium of artistic expression. It has been carved, painted, sculpted, packaged and inlaid with pictures and patterns. Creating a unique soap may be easier than you think — get started with these tips.

Simple tips for creating personalized soap

Get started with a simple mould

Soap decoration begins with the mould that holds the liquid soap.

  • Almost any rigid, shallow container can be used; consider trying, for example, small cake tins, rigid boxes of all sorts, jelly moulds or any one-cup sized container.

Customize the soap design

Once the soap has set, designs can be pressed or cut into the surface of the individual cakes or the soap can be carved into almost any conceivable shape.

  • The only equipment you need for carving is a small, sharp knife.
  • If the soap is relatively soft, it can be worked like dough.
  • Roll it into balls, or flatten it with a rolling pin and cut shapes out of it with biscuit cutters.
  • An unusual decorative technique is to embed a picture or decal in the top of a cake of soap, then cover the picture with a thin layer of melted paraffin wax.
  • The paraffin wax protects the design from water, keeping it intact as the soap gradually wears away around it.

Colour your soap the right way

Roots, bark, leaves, flowers, fruits and vegetables can be used for colourants.

  • Spices such as turmeric and natural dyes such as chlorophyll can be added directly to the mixture before pouring into moulds.
  • Candle dyes and liquid blueing also work well. Food colouring, however, does not mix well with soap.
  • To obtain your own dyes, make an infusion by pouring boiling water over dye stuff until a deep colour is achieved. Strain out the solid pieces and use 125 to 300 millilitres (1/2 to one cup) of the liquid in the standard recipe as a substitute for an equal amount of water when mixing up the caustic solution; or add the dye just before pouring the soap into moulds.
  • A marbled effect can be obtained by swirling the colourant into the mixture.

Home-made soap is an easy and unique gift you'll love making. Keep these tips in mind and get started today!

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