Fondant Mats = Creative Soaps

August 1, 2014

I’d been wanting to try using a fondant mat to make an imprinted soap for a while.  I bought the mat to do so about six months ago.  I only just recently used the mat to make soap.  It’s really quite easy to make.  I bought the mat.  There are many places you can find them online. I got mine through Wilton.

matI then cut the mat up into two pieces to fit my mold.  I did a piece for the bottom and one for the top.  You could probably make pieces for the sides too if you wanted too.  I made my soap, poured it in.  And then after 24 hours just peeled the mat off and cut my bars.

Very simple to do, and gives you a pretty soap.

loaf imprint

soap sea breeze


More efficient work space…

August 20, 2013

I finally sacrificed my dining room to create a more efficient work space for myself.  After not having been able to USE my dining room for the past year because every chair had stuff on it and under it and not being able to see the top of the table there was so much stuff on it (oh and we won’t even mention trying to move around the table there were so many storage boxes) I decided it was time to just turn the space into a functioning work space.

Business has been growing, which is great, but it’s meant I’ve needed a much more efficient work space.  I ordered some heavy duty storage shelves and a stainless steel work table.  The dining room table is now taking up residence in my parents basement.  I miss my table!  But I love my new work space.  The plan is to one day be in a bigger space and have a dedicated work room, but for now this new space works well!

I didn’t get a picture of the space when everything was pulled off of shelves, boxes and what not and all dumped in the middle of the room.  I wish I had…it looked like a complete disaster zone!  But things started to get organized once my shelves arrived.  Here’s a look at the space with the two new shelves.

workspace

And here’s the new work space with the stainless steal table.  Yeah I’m a happy girl!  Can’t tell you how much happier I am working in this space.

work space

Oh and I had to add another dry rack ha!  Fall/winter is going to be busy!


Getting those hearts OUT of the mold!

July 31, 2013

Remember my “Embedded Heart Tutorial“?  Well I’ve had a couple people say they can’t get the hearts out of the mold in one piece.  They ARE HARD to get out.  I tell you it’s my least favorite part of making these soaps.  Here’s some tips and tricks to help you.

1. FREEZE the soap!  Keep it in there for 30min to an hour (longer is ok).  If you have multiple molds you’re going to be unmolding just take one out at a time.  You’ll notice that condensation will form right away on the mold (if it’s summer).  Take a paper towel and wipe that off.

1 condensation(not sure if you can see the condensation on the mold here, but wipe it off or it’ll be near impossible to get your hands to hold on tight enough to push the heart out.)

2. Next you’re going to have to push the heart soap up at least 3/4 of the way.  It’s not fun and it’s not easy and your wrist will get a work out and a half.  Your fingers will be sore!  It is possible to do this though.  If the bottoms are deforming put it in the freezer longer.

I can’t stress here that you REALLY REALLY REALLY need a recipe that is going to produce a harder bar (immediately).  I use a recipe where about 3/4 of the oils/butters are solids.  (See the original tutorial for the recipe).

2- push three quarter

3. Once you’ve got it mostly out using a paper towel wrap it around the heart and “gently” pull it out of the mold.

Side Note: If you have the original “pink” mold it’s much easier to get the soaps out of this mold than the new white ones.  The white ones are so much stiffer. You have to work harder but you can do all these steps and still get the soap out.

3- paper towel

4.  You’ll be (most likely) left with the mold inside out.  That’s fine. It’s not going to hurt it. Just push it back in when you’re done.

4- reverse mold

It can be done!  It’s not an easy process though.


Experiment 1: Simple Vertical Split

October 30, 2012

Loofah Soap

About a year ago Soap Queen did a tutorial on making a Loofah Soap.  It has been a great seller for me.  I’ve altered it a bit to make it in a 5lb loaf mold and use the combination of Moroccan Mint Fragrance and Mangosteen Fragrance.  The hardest part is getting a clean layer between the two.  Normally it never comes out quite perfect.

The vertical mold has a center divider that  I thought would be really good for getting an even split and perfectly straight line!  It worked like a charm!  Look at this soap!  Love!

Now here comes the part all of you have been waiting for!  Would you like a chance to win a $50 gift card from Bramble Berry? Of course you would (I know that’s a no brainer question!).  Well here’s how to do it.  All you have to do is enter this code: GIVEMBER50

Any order made during the month of November (that’s just 2 days away!) will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 gift card.  Go check out your inventory and see what you need restocking on!

Stay tuned for tomorrow!  I’m going to do some more playing around with the middle divider.  And Thursday I’ll be experimenting with embeds!!


Removing Soap from PVC

September 4, 2012

I’ve been doing a lot of embedding of soaps lately that I made in PVC pipe.  I’ve been asked quite often how I remove the soap from the pipe.  Here’s my trick:

First I let the soap cure for 48 hours in the tube.  It needs the longer cure time.  Then I preheat the oven to 200 and then leave my soap in there for 9-10 minutes.  If it’s a small diameter tube (3/4″) I usually do about 9 minutes.  If it’s a larger 1″-3″ tube I do ten minutes.  Then I have a couple different “objects” that will fit inside the diameter of the tube which I use to help push it out.”

You REALLY need to have something that will evenly distribute the pressure over the soap.  Or example: A pencil would fit in my small 3/4″ diameter tube, but it’s too think and just punches through the soap.  I create cardboard discs which I then wrap in a small bit of wax paper. That helps distribute the weight.

If you cook it too long it will get a little tacky…if you can’t get the soap out fairly easy then you haven’t cooked it long enough.  I’ve tried all sorts of ways.  Freezing has never worked for me.  The plastic bags (instead of PVC are cool and definitely easy to unmold, but they don’t work well for the really small diameters I find and you need a contraption of some sort to attach them to so they can hang.

I’ve also tried the oven at 170 which is what most everything you read says to do but I found that for some reason that temperature just never worked.  I had to leave the soap in the oven for a good long time.  Yes, sometimes the ends get a little melty-squished.  I always plan for that and know I’ll trim off a certain amount.  But for the most part this method works really well for me.


New Molds :)

August 7, 2012

When BB announced their new silicon lining for their 5lb molds I new I had to get one.  I also knew it wouldn’t fit my acrylic mold.  So, I decided if I could build a 2lb mold I could do the same for a 5lb mold!

Pieces cut and base glued on.

Pieced glued together. Liner in there to make sure it all fits perfectly (it did)! The only thing I’m going to have to do is figure out a way to keep the sides from falling in (probably a dowel the (small) width of the mold) to make it easier to pour the soap in.

Soap in the molds! Success :) (There are plastic lids on top and a piece of blue tape on the lid…) I can’t wait to unmold it tomorrow and see how (hopefully smoothly and easily) it comes off! This will definitely save me time not having to line molds!

 


My Molds!

June 19, 2012

I’m teaching some CP classes.  For the basic introduction classes I’m using PVC pipe.  Works great.  However for the advance classes I really needed a loaf mold.  It’s kind of hard to do a swirl soap in a PVC tube.  The problem was finding a mold that wasn’t too expensive.  I didn’t want to spend over $10 on the mold.

So, I was in Lowes picking up some supplies and thought I could build one. Something simple (with no dowels or anything).  I went by the lumber section and found what I needed.  Got my dad to teach me how to use his table saw so I could cut the pieces.  Then it was a simple matter of some sanding to smooth the edges and then gluing and stapling and I had $10 molds!

Aren’t they nice?!?!

I got 1/4″ wood for the bottom base.  Then 1/2″ for the “anchor” base.  Glued it in place and then just built a box that slid over the anchor base.

The top just slides over the base and stays secure in place by the 1/2″ piece of wood glued to the base.

You can see that these are much bigger than the standard 2lb/3lb soap molds.

To keep things simple with this experiment I took the 24″ lengths of wood I got and divided them in half. One, I didn’t want to waste wood and have little pieces left over that I couldn’t use. And two, I didn’t want to get more complicated than I had to to start with.

The dimensions for my mold are:

Width: 3.5″ Height/Depth: 2.625″ Length: 11″  –> Volume wise that gives me 101 cubic inches (approx. 56 ounces).

The dimensions for the silicon mold are:

Width: 3.5″ Height/Depth: 2.25″ Length: 8″  –> Volume wise that gives me 63 cubic inches (approx. 34 ounces).

(Hopefully I did my math right!)

So you can see mine holds significantly more.  I’m going to have to play around with the size bars I get for a 1.5lb batch, 2lb batch, 2.5lb batch.  I think if I were making this and wanted to get the same dimension bars as I get from my 5lb mold I’d have to use about 3lb of soap…some experimenting will follow.

What I learned from this is that I can make a simple mold (cost effectively) this way.  Next time I’ll by the longer wood and then cut them up to be closer in size to the silicon mold for my classes.

Super easy to line too! Love the molds!


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