Sunday, December 14, 2008

Who Said MP And CP Can't Mix? - Tutorial

If you're anything like me you'll have quite a lot of spare soap lying about, or scraps from old projects. You can't bear to throw it out. Sometimes a batch just doesn't look like you'd envisioned, although it is still good soap for all intents and purposes. So it accumulates constantly and consistently over time. Soon you are up to your eyeballs in soap and you can't give it away fast enough!

Here are a couple of very quick and easy instructions to re-fashion your soap, making sure it gets used and isn't just sitting there, ugly and unloved. You don't even need isopropyl alcohol to stick the CP embeds to the MP. Easy!

I had made a batch of Cold Process (CP) Coconut Salt Soap (scent - BB Sensous Sandalwood) which turned out to be extremely crumbly. I found some Melt & Pour soap base (MP) I had lying around for a while (I am a CP girl to boot!) and thought these would make nice holiday gifts for the guys.

1. Set Up

I placed my crumbled up bits of soap (alternatively you can slice them or use shavings of soap) into the empty silicone muffin mould.

2. Melt your MP soap. I used about 250g for 3 soaps. For ease of melting chunk up into roughly 2-3cm cubes, put in a heatproof container and in the microwave on 30 second bursts until just melted. You do not want to overheat your soap or make it boil. I have a tendency to do that, so don't! This can increase sweating of your soaps after they have hardened.

3. Add your colourant. Mix gently until it is dissolved. You also don't want to over-stir your MP soap. For these ones I used Australian Amber Mica in an opaque base, and some Shamrock Green mica in a clear base. I then add fragrance when it has cooled down a bit ... you want the fragrance to be easily dispersed so don't let it cool down too much. Fragrances and essential oils have flashpoints, it might do you well to check those. If you add a fragrance and see steam rising after you have added it, you can be sure that you fragrance will be weakened as it has evaporated.

4. Pour gently over the CP soap embeds. Shimmy (is there a better word?) your mould so that the soap will cover the bottom of the embeds. Alternatively you can just pour the soap on carefully and in a circular motion around the embeds to make sure you have covered them. If you do this you will end up with embed exposure on the top of the soap once you have unmoulded. (Like the ones pictured above)

5. Spritz with some isopropyl alcohol to get rid of any air bubbles and you're done! Wait until they have hardened (a good few hours) and pop out from the mould, wrap immediately in plastic packaging (or you could just wrap in Glad Wrap initially until you get some packaging.) This will prevent your soaps from becoming sweaty.

For the girls I found some of my Ylang & Citrus EO soap with some UM Pink swirled throughout.

1. Shave your soap with a vegetable peeler and roll them up into little rolls.

2. Arrange nicely in your silicon muffin mould.

3. Melt about 250g of your clear MP soap base, again by chunking up into 3cm cubes, microwave bursts of 30 seconds, and not letting it overheat. Add your colourant, stir, add fragrance when a little bit cooler, stir. For this project I wanted a clear outside so the embeds were more visible. I love sparkles and they add an extra dimension to the finished soap. So I added some Pearl White Mica. I scented with BB Red Apple as I was making these for younger girls. Its a great kids' scent!

4. This is a bit tricky. Pour your MP soap over the CP embeds. For these I make sure that I pour a bit of soap into every single hole in the middle. It's very easy to accidentally overfill these soaps, and end up with soap everywhere. Try to be gentle and slow, but not too slow as you want your MP to flow and not harden. If it does harden to the point it is unpourable just put it in the microwave for 30seconds until it is remelted again. I wouldn't recommend remelting over and over again as your soap will lose quality.

Once done, spritz with isopropyl alochol. Wait a few hours to harden, then turn out and immediately wrap in plastic packaging, or Glad Wrap so they don't sweat.


Oops.. I didn't realise there was an unmelted part of soap in there. In the end I just planed it off with my soap cutter. I used my crinkle cutter to get the effect you see in the first picture of this tutorial.

Inevitably there were soap shavings that just didn't want to roll into nice little well, rolls. I made up another batch of clear MP and scented it with a Rose fragrance. I'm giving these to the grown-up girls! :)

This is one I'm using in my bathroom. It wears down nicely, revealing all the embed layers.

Great for stocking stuffers!

Merry Christmas!


France said...

Hi Justine!
I love your soaps with curls. The soap you commented on on my blog, the translucent one, is not a MP it's a CP, I think it might be that way because it's not fully cured and it's cut thin? Dunno, time will tell!!

Anne-Marie said...

This tutorial turned out great. I especially like the soap curl soap.

Justine said...

Thanks :) Still have a ways to go before I get a halfway decent blog going lol

Julie van Oosten said...

The soap curls look fantastic, great idea mixing the 2 types of soap! Happy soaping.....