I had it all planned out, I wanted to try a Bramble Berry blend Anne-Marie recommended blend, Crisp Apple Rose and Violet - sounded delish, and when it was mixed in the flask, I loved it! So then I closed my eyes and sniffed, and thought I would make a spring loaf similar to the Valentine's Day ones with Melt & Pour Hearts embedded, but I would embed daisies for a summery/spring feel. So far so good, planned the scent, the colours, the process, but alas, it was not a success. Nevertheless, I thought it would be useful for new soapers to see, after over 20 years of soaping, sometimes it just doesn't happen the way you plan it!
So I had to begin again, but using the "old" loaf of soap, and re-inventing it into something I was at least happy with! Here are the photo's of the first batch - the big pink flowers were too large, and orange balls embedded into the golden yellow soap just don't cut it!
It really is just a case of a bad choice of colour, the fragrance blend is wonderful, so it was thinking cap on and rework it, I wasn't going to waste the soap and fragrance!
So, if things didn't go according to plan, don't be disheartened, if you, like me, are unhappy with the results of your Melt & Pour Soap, you can melt it down and begin again!
I made life easy by using our Flexible Mould - Loaf (Regular) for my first project, so the measurements were perfect for that mould, but we switched to my Silicone Tray Mould for my remake. You can of course make another loaf. For the re-make ensure that the melted soap is not hotter than 60°C to avoid melting into the layers as you pour each successive layer on top. If you want squares, rather than a slices choose our Small Square Silicone Slab Mould as we did.
Notes from my diary for the original loaf:
Bramble Berry Apple Rose ratio to Bramble Berry Violet Fragrances: 2 parts (16g/ml) Crisp Apple Rose, 1 part (8g/ml) Violet Fragrance totalling 24g/ml for the whole project.
150g Clear Soap Base with Brites NG Orange mixed with a touch of Carmine Liquid Dispersion for the small balls
2 pours of 250g each into square silicone tray to use for the daisy cut outs coloured with Brites NG Pink mixed with touch of Carmine Liquid Dispersion
700g Clear Base coloured with Yellow Liquid Pigment Dispersion and the fragrance blend mixed through
From this, it was mostly remelted for my re-made batch with the white being fresh soap as I required pure white.
Melt 100 - 180g Clear Melt & Pour Base for the flowers, depending on how many you need, I used a little White Pearl Mica with some pale pink offcuts from the first batch
In the remelt I added some Citrus Orange Liquid Lake to the Pink re-melt.
So, if this is a new recipe for you, here are the measurements for the Square Tray Mould:
- Base Layer 350g of coloured chunked soap, pinks, yellow and orange tonings (use non bleeding colours)
- Middle Layer 300g White Melt & Pour Soap Base
- Top Layer 400g coloured, chunked soap in same colours as the base layer
So, you'll need:
Stirring spoons or spatulas
3 microwave safe jugs - each needs to hold 750ml
Electronic Scales to ensure you have even layers
A Thermometer is useful, but not essential
Moulds - we no longer stock the Blue Tray Mould, but have several others that are suitable.
If you don't have an Ikea Mould, we have a Column Embed Daisy Mould which will do the job too!
- Set out the ingredients (again!), equipment and moulds, ready to go
- Use a little clear soap, or a small quantity of the pink soap with some White Pearl Mica and pour some small soaps to use as decoration. I have used an Ikea ice cube mould
- Set aside to set up
- Dice the soap bars into small ice cube sized chunks, with a mix of colours, into two lots of 350g for the base layer and 400g for the top layer, and place in the microwave jugs
- Also dice 300g white soap base, any variety, for the middle layer
- Now lightly cover the first jug of Melt & Pour Soap cubes, and put in the microwave to melt on medium or medium low. This will take a few minutes, so do keep an eye on it so it doesn't overheat
- If using new soap, count the drops of colour used (write this down) and add approximately half of the fragrance and stir in well
- Pour this soap into the tray (or you can use individual moulds), spritz with alcohol to remove bubbles and allow to set until firm enough to touch with your fingertips
Now melt the white base, spray the set layer of soap in the mould with isopropyl alcohol, and carefully pour the white soap over the surface using the back of a spoon to avoid breaking through the layer, and give a quick spray of alcohol to remove bubbles **Note this tray was deleted, and the Small Slab Silicone Mould is suitable, but slightly smaller in width.
- Now melt the third jug of 400g soap (this is the coloured batch for the final pour if you are rebatching)
- Now add the same amount of colour plus an extra drop of each colour (as it's a little more soap) and the remainder of the fragrance, and stir well to combine
- Check the white layer has set up and spritz liberally with alcohol ready to pour over the top
- Carefully pour this orange layer over the white soap using the back of the spoon as previously (the soap should not be hotter than 60°C)
- Allow the coloured layer to set up, and then melt approximately 100g of clear soap, spray the top orange layer with alcohol, and the underneath of the embed flowers
- Arrange the flowers on the surface of the soap, then carefully pour the clear soap around them to "stick" them to the surface in a shallow layer of clear soap. This layer will only be 1 - 2mm deep, thus "sticking" the flowers permanently in place. It is important to ensure you set the embeds in their final position before pouring the clear soap around them
- Allow several hours or overnight to set up completely
- Unmould by pulling the sides from the silicone mould to release the air lock, and pop out onto a board and slice into squares
- Use a thin bladed, non-serrated knife to cut into squares and then wrap
- Done - and a happier outcome!