Saturday, May 5, 2012

Week 7 of the weekly "Soap Challenge".

This week's soap challenge is to create a gradient colored soap. This technique is new to me and I am very excited to try my hand at it. The idea is to have your colors start out one color and gradually lighten or darken with each pour. Amy Warden from Great Cakes Soapworks shared a great video showing a good technique to accomplish this, starting with a darker color as the bottom pour and lighten the soap as you pour each layer.

I decided to use burgundy oxide for my base color and gradually lighten it for each additional pour. I fragranced this soap with  "Black Raspberry Vanilla". I love this fragrance and can't resist smelling it every time I go into the curing. I wanted to also try doing a color line between my color layer and my white top layer, for that I used cocoa powder, applied with a tea infuser strainer.

Basically the soaping process went very well, the recipe stayed fluid to get a good pour and the fragrance oil did not accelerate the trace. Did you notice that I said it "Basically" went well.......the first mishap was when I was dusting the cocoa powder on the last colored layer and was almost done when I lost my grip on the tea infuser strainer, and of course it had to plop right into the soap. Well I fixed that the best I could then sprinkled on more cocoa powder. OK, now onto cleaning the cocoa powder dust from the soap mold so there won't be any of the dust getting onto the sides of the white soap base for the top. With a damp paper towel I cleaned around all the edges and it was looking really good, then..... I dropped the paper towel right in the middle of the soap again, gurr. Fixed the soap again and sprinkled more cocoa powder onto the soap. Now for the white top color, that I spooned on gently so it would not mess up the cocoa powder line (after all I tried to mess it up twice and did not want any more mishaps). I am happy to say that went well, I had some pink left over and could not resist adding a swirl to the top (I really love swirls).

To me the burgundy color seemed too dark for the bottom layer and did not show much of a color difference in the next two pours, but then I could really notice the color differences in the remaining pours. I loved doing this technique and already have some other projects planned.

Here are some pictures of the process and the finished soap. Please go to this link: Great Cakes Soapworks. to see all the other beautiful soaps that everyone else has made. Next week's challenge: Salt Bars, please check back.

Mixing the color.

The final color being poured.

Starting to sprinkle on the cocoa powder line.

Left over soap color for the swirl.

The completed swirl...did I mention how much I love swirls?

Soap log out of the mold.

Soap log out of the mold....another view.

Cut bars, made soap balls with the ends for embeds.


  1. That turned out just lovely, despite your setbacks with the cocoa line! I, too love that fragrance and I think the colors in the soap are a great complement! :)

  2. I have just looked through all your challenges, they are all beautiful. I love how you make balls for embeds out of the ends, I am going to start doing that now

  3. Beautiful soap and your swirls on top are amazing.

  4. I love your soap, the colour is beautiful and the top just sets it all off, really super, x Linda

  5. So pretty, Margo! If you hadn't told us about your mishaps, we never would have known! :) Love that fragrance too!

    1. Amy, there was another blooper I forgot to mention. When I mixed the burgundy oxide with my oils using my hand held frother I turned it off and when I was setting it down on the paper towel I accidentally turned it on again, I had color splattered every where. You know that the oxides don't just wash off easily, what a mess!

  6. Thank you everyone. Amy, I don't mind sharing my mishaps on making soap, it happens to all of us at one time or another. At first I was annoyed with myself for not paying closer attention on what I was doing, but later it was a laughable moment. I love these challenges and I am learning to stretch myself and to try new techniques I have been putting off.

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  8. Beautiful! Your soap looks so lovely and artistic! I love this fragrance, too, and so do my kids! Isn't this fun, mishaps and all!?!

  9. Such a great idea to make embed balls from the ends - why don't I think of those things? :-D Very cool swirl and beautiful color choice. So pretty !!! ~Suzy