This week for Iron Craft we are getting into the Valentine’s Day mood with the theme of Hearts and Flowers. Last week, I shared a pattern to make chenille heart washcloths, so for this challenge I decided to make some heart-shaped soaps to go with them.
Last year I made Lego shaped soaps, so I knew the basics of making shaped soaps. This time I wanted to try something a little more challenging and make a shaped, colored soap within another soap. It was a little trickier than I had thought it would be, I think that was mainly because of the shape of my hearts, but I’ll get more into that below.
Also I had originally planned on having pink hearts floating in a clear glycerin soup round, but the store was completely sold out of the clear base. Instead I went with this white shea butter soap base. I actually think I like the feel of this soap better and it doesn’t seem to have the sweating problem glycerin soap does. On top of that is has no scent when you start unlike the glycerin which does have a natural scent.
Other than the specific soap ingredients, the soap base, coloring and scent, I was able to make these with things I had around the kitchen.
- White Shea Butter Soap Base
- Cutting Board
- Kitchen Scale (optional but nice to have)
- Microwavable Cup With Spout
- Red Soap Coloring
- Scent For Soap (optional, I used a nice subtle one called Pearberry)
- Silicone Heart Shaped Ice Cube Tray (Available at IKEA and Target for about $2.50)
- Rubbing Alcohol in a Spray Bottle
- Silicon Cupcake Liners
First I made the hearts. On a cutting board cut the soap base into small pieces, the smaller the pieces the faster and more consistently it will melt. Place into the microwavable cup. I used the IKEA heart ice cube tray and each heart held 1/2 ounce of soap. Weighing it out meant I melted exactly how much I needed.
Microwave the soap on high for 40 seconds. Stir. If it is completely melted you are ready to go, if not microwave in 10 second intervals until it is. (Note: I found with small amounts I didn’t even need 40 seconds. Keep on eye on it, if it starts to boil up, it’s melted) Stir in a few drops of coloring. I got this pink with 7 drops in 5 ounces of soap. Then stir in a couple drops of scent if you are using it.
Carefully pour the soap into the molds. I wanted mine to be as close to full as possible. Spray the top of the soap lightly with the alcohol, this will get rid of most of the bubbles that have formed. Let cool and solidify. I let mine cool until I can pick it up without anything moving in the molds and finish it in the fridge. Let them get completely cool and hard, otherwise when you pop them out you can make little impressions in them where you press.
Pop all your soaps from the molds. They are pretty enough at this point that you could use them as they are. I wanted them in a bigger bar though.
Now came the experiments. The IKEA mold gave me a soap that was flat on the bottom, but rounded on the top. This rounded shape made it a little tricky to set into the cupcake liner and fill around. First I tried putting the heart flat side down in the cupcake liner and pouring uncolored, melted soap base around it.
I didn’t like how much of the heart I lost at all. I thought maybe you’d see the flat heart on the bottom, but some of the white soap got underneath too.
Then a tried putting the heart round side down and pouring the white around it. This had better results, but required a steady hand. First I put a little of the white base on the bottom of the liner. I sprayed my heart on all sides with alcohol and placed it round side down in the center of the liner. Then poured the base in slowly until it was even with the top of the heart. Finally, the whole thing gets sprayed with more alcohol.
You have to be careful not to get any drips of white soap on the heart. Actually, if you do get a few you can scrape them off when the soap is set and then use a little water to remove any scraping marks.
Here are a few of my different tries before I got it right. They are of course still usable and after a little use the heart will become clearer in them. I actually like the one with the rounded side of the heart sticking way out of it.
Of course, after I made these I found some heart ice cube trays at Target in the $1 section that I think would work even better. They are flat on both sides and slightly smaller. I think they would lay much nicer in the cupcake liners.
Ok, now for the giveaway. Here’s our Valentine to all of you, a set of four heart soaps, 2 rounds and 2 hearts, and two heart washcloths.
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post. Make sure to leave a viable email address, so we can contact you if you win. Please only one entry per person. A winner will be chosen randomly on Monday, February 6th.
© 2005 – 2012 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish