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Stained Glass Soap

Extract from Soap Crafting • By Anne-Marie Faiola • Published by Storey


$ $ $ $ $
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Soap Crafting
Making melt-and-pour soap is a fun alternative to using the cold-process method, and it has the striking characteristic of being clear rather than opaque. In this recipe, a layer of brightly colored melt-and-pour soap is featured on an uncolored cold-process soap base; the result is reminiscent of stained glass.
Because of its high glycerin content, melt- and-pour soap has a tendency to sweat, so it is important to use a specially formulated low- sweat melt-and-pour base for this technique. Remember that although there’s no lye involved, melt-and-pour soap can be hot enough to scald the skin.

Approximately 18 bars

Posted by Storey Publishing Published See Storey Publishing's 42 projects » © 2023 Anne-Marie Faiola / Storey · Reproduced with permission. · Photography by (c) Lara Ferroni
  • Step 1

    Make the Soap Mixture

    Cut the soap base into 1- to 2-inch cubes. Using a heat-safe container, melt the cubes in the microwave on 30-second bursts, taking care not to boil the soap.

  • How to make soap. Stained Glass Soap - Step 2
    Step 2

    Once the soap is fully melted, split it into five parts, each weighing 4 ounces. Color each batch with one of the glass colors.

    TIP: If you don’t have enough molds, you can make these colors in separate batches.

  • How to make soap. Stained Glass Soap - Step 3
    Step 3

    Pour and Cut

    Pour each color into one of the sili- cone baking molds. Spray each color with rubbing alcohol to dissipate any bubbles that may have formed. Leave the molds uncovered and undisturbed for at least 30 minutes, until soap is fully solid and ready to pull out of the molds and cut. This may take up to two hours, depending on the temperature the soap was poured at and the tem- perature in your soaping area.

  • Step 4

    Carefully unmold each color and lay the pieces on a flat surface. Leave uncovered and undisturbed in the least humid room in your home for at least 24 hours to reduce sweating.

  • How to make soap. Stained Glass Soap - Step 5
    Step 5

    Cut the soap glass into small pieces with a sharp, unserrated knife. The shape of the pieces determines the design of the soap, so for a more uni- form look, cut all squares. If you’re interested in an abstract look, cut ran- dom pieces and shapes. In either case, each piece should be no more than 1⁄2 inch at its widest part.

  • How to make soap. Stained Glass Soap - Step 6
    Step 6

    You will get approximately 50 small pieces of soap for each color. Set the pieces aside and continue to the next stage.

  • Step 7

    Make the Soap Mixture
    Add the lye to the water (never the other way around), stir gently, and set aside until clear.

  • Step 8

    Melt the palm oil in its original container, mix it thoroughly, and measure into a bowl large enough to hold all the oils and the lye-water with room for mixing. Melt and measure the coconut oil and add it to the bowl. Add the castor, canola, and rice bran oils.

  • Step 9

    When the oils and the lye-water are both below 120°F, add the lye-water to the oils, pouring it over a spatula or the shaft of the stick blender to mini- mize air bubbles. Tap the stick blender a couple of times against the bottom of the bowl to release any air trapped in the blades. Do not turn on the stick blender until it is fully immersed. Add the Pineapple Cilantro fragrance oil and continue to stick-blend until thick trace, similar to a refrigerated pudding. The soap needs to be thick enough
    to suspend the melt-and-pour soap design on top.

  • Step 10

    Pour and Design

    Pour the soap into the mold. Tamp the mold on the work surface to remove any air bubbles and create a smooth, flat surface.

  • How to make soap. Stained Glass Soap - Step 11
    Step 11

    Arrange the melt-and-pour soap pieces on top of the soap base. You can use a planned and strategic pat- tern, or you can scatter the pieces in a totally random fashion. Leaving a small line of the base showing between the pieces gives the stained-glass effect.

  • How to make soap. Stained Glass Soap - Step 12
    Step 12

    Final Steps

    This soap does not need to be insulated. If the soap gets too hot during gel phase, it may melt the design (which is an interesting look but not what we are going for). Let the soap sit for 1 to 2 days, uncovered, to prevent gel phase and any condensation from forming, before unmolding it.

  • Step 13

    Cut the soap into bars, taking the pat- tern into consideration to ensure the maximum effect. Allow to cure in a well-ventilated area for 4 to 6 weeks, turning the bars over every few days to ensure that they cure evenly.

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