Monday, October 10, 2016

Greatcakes Soap Challenge 2016, Wood Grain Soap Technique

Wood Grain Soap Technique

October 2016 Great Cakes Soap Challenge Entry 

 The goal of this months soap challenge was to get our soap to look like a natural wood grain pattern. 
We could chose to enter into the All Natural or the Synthetic category.
I always make all natural soaps so I decided to do a soap for the Synthetic category so I could play with some new colorants.

I used 36 oz. of oils    Superfat at 6%
The method I chose to create the wood grain effect was achieved by putting different colors of soap batter in squeeze bottles and then I put a line of soap batter down and then I went over that line with the next color, and then the next color and continued until all of my soap batter was gone.

The oils I used are: Tallow 33%, Olive oil 33%, Coconut oil 30%, and 
Castor oil 4%.
I melted my oils and stick blended my soap batter to an emulsion. I added a bit of Kaolin Clay, pulsed a bit with my stick blender just to incorporate the clay. Next, I divided the soap evenly into separate containers and mixed in the color/colors. I then mixed in the Fragrance blend and then poured it into 5 different squeeze bottles and then I started designing my soap in my 9 bar Birch wood mold.

Before I got a quarter of the way done, my soap batter really thickened up on me (I am thinking due to the Rosewood/Vanilla F.O.???) I was able to work right through it though, the layers just wasn't able to spread out very well on their own. I gave the mold some shakes and jiggles a little here and there. Ok, maybe a lot! :) When I was done, I gave it some good taps so hopefully I wouldn't have any air bubbles. 
I then thought it may pop a little if I CPOP, so I put it in the pre-heated 170 degree F oven for about 1 hour.
The next day I had some really nice hard soap, with an Awesome scent!
I was worried that I may get some soda ash on top but luckily I did not!  

The colors that I used:
Color #1- Soap batter with no color (Added: .5 oz. Rosewood/Vanilla F.O. from Bramble Berry)

Color #2- Soap batter with Regular Cocoa Powder
Color #3- Soap batter with Special Dark Cocoa Powder
Color #4- Soap batter with Regular Cocoa Powder + Orange color (created by mixing some Electric Bubble Gum with Fizzy Lemonade and just a touch of Blue Ultramarine) Electric Bubble Gum, Fizzy Lemonade and the
Blue Ultramarine is from Bramble Berry.

 Color #5- Soap batter with Regular Cocoa Powder with just a touch of
Electric Bubble Gum and Fizzy Lemonade. 

Scent: I used .05 oz Patchouli, .3 Sweet Orange, .35 oz. Lavender Essential oil with .7 Rosewood/Vanilla Fragrance oil.  Smells amazing, such a wonderful blend, I will be using it again for sure.

I loved working with the Bramble Berry colors they are so amazing and I was able to create many different colors with them.
I really enjoyed this challenge it was really fun, Thanks again Amy for a great challenge!!!


  1. Your soap looks fantastic, Rhonda! Great colors and texture! Thanks for sharing your color tips. I think they turned out really beautiful!

  2. Thank you Amy, that means a lot to me coming from you! I had planned to take pictures to document the process but things just didn't go as planned:)

  3. Really beautiful colors and design!

  4. Great colors, design, and swirls! Beautiful!

  5. Beautiful swirls and design Rhonda !! All the best to us !

  6. Thank You, Priya! Just looked at your soap, it looks Great!!! Best wishes to you as well.

  7. Your soap turned out fantastic! I wish I could smell it. Your blend sounds amazing. Maybe there will be another swap soon, hoping :)

  8. Thank you, Lisa! Every time I walk near the curing rack I can't help but to stop and take it all in. It does smell wonderful! :)

  9. Real beautiful! Love the colour combination! Great job!

  10. What a beautiful soap, Rhonda! Really well done :) The colours and pattern are on point and that fragrances sounds like it pairs perfectly. Congrats and all the best!

  11. These are truly amazing, Rhonda! I think you really nailed the technique. I would also do anything to be able to smell through the Internet at this moment - I imagine your scent blend smells divine! Very well done!

  12. Thank You Debi for the sweet comment! I tried really hard on these, I ended up entering my second batch.

  13. This came out very nice, Love your colors and scent choices :)

  14. You really created some beautiful smooth transitions in your soap - great job on the natural look and feel of the wood grain patterns!