Layered Guest Soaps
What you will make:
In this project, learn how to make soaps with different colored
layers using the melt-and-pour soapmaking technique. You can create guest soaps in
colors to match your kitchen or bath decor, or to give as a special gift.
To get started on making handmade soaps, you'll use items from the kitchen and bars of
glycerin soap. For fancier soaps, you can use soap or candy molds,
along with special melt-and-pour soap supplies from the craft store.
This project is great for family, classroom or group craft time. It requires
no patterns and uses simple materials. Adult supervision is
Related project: For another soapmaking technique
that even small children can enjoy, see the
Bath Buddies craft project.
Here's what you need:
- Glycerin soap in a variety of colors (or color the soap with
- Muffin tin or silicon bakeware
- Microwave oven
- Microwave-safe cups or glass measuring cups
- Potholder and trivet
- Metal spoons
- Cutting board and knife
- Waxed paper or plastic wrap
- Small spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol
- Optional: Food coloring, silicon soap molds or
plastic candy molds, melt-and-pour soap blocks or chips, newspaper
This project is rated EASY to do.
How to Make Layered Guest Soaps
Read all of the steps before starting.
- Step 1: Project Preparation
Prepare your work area by covering it with newspaper. The kitchen
table or counter space next to the microwave oven are ideal workspaces. Set out
all your tools and supplies. Look through your bakeware for
something to use as a mold for the soaps. A muffin tin (mini- or
standard-size) works well. You can also use a small loaf pan, but
you will need to cut the your guest soaps to size after unmolding
Cut the bars of glycerin soap into 1" cubes using the knife and cutting
board. It is essential that you use glycerin bar soap or the special
melt-and-pour soap from the craft store.
- Step 2: Melt Soap
Caution! Melted soap is hot and can burn!
Place three or four 1" cubes of soap in a cup. Use cubes of a single color
or mix colors.
Put the cup in the microwave and melt the soap on "high" for 15 to
30 seconds. Try 15 seconds first, and adjust the time depending upon
the power of your microwave and the quantity of soap in the cup.
Remove the cup from the microwave using a potholder. Place the
cup on the trivet and stir the the soap to mix thoroughly.
Tip: At this point, you can add a few drops of
food coloring to the soap. Go easy on the food coloring to avoid
- Step 3: Pour
Pour the melted soap into your molds. Leave room for one or
two more layers of soap. Lightly spray the surface of the soap with
alcohol to burst tiny surface bubbles.
Let the soap set for several minutes to harden and cool. You can
place the mold in the refrigerator or freezer to hasten cooling.
Additional layers: Repeat the melt and pour
steps for each layer of soap. You can alternate two colors or
use three or more colors of soap. To ensure a good bond between
layers, spray alcohol on the previous layer of soap immediately
before pouring the next layer.
- Step 4: Unmold Soap
Remove the soap from the mold onto waxed paper or plastic wrap.
If you have used silicon bakeware or a silicon mold, just pop the soap out.
For metal bakeware or plastic candy molds, run hot water in the
kitchen sink to the depth of the soap. Place the pan or mold in the
hot water for a minute, then dry the pan and unmold the soap.
Another option with metal pans is to place the pan in the freezer
for 30 minutes before unmolding the soap.
Tip: If you used a loaf pan, use a sharp knife
to cut bars from the unmolded soap loaf.
Wrap your soaps in waxed paper or plastic wrap and store in a jar
or plastic bag.
That's it! Now keep going and
make more soaps!
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