Have you seen those clear glycerin soaps with either a message, toy or money inside?
Here are some tips to try making a fun message soaps using melt and pour soap base. There are so many creative ideas you may come up with once you start experimenting!
Melt and Pour soap base - CLEAR
There are many levels of clarity. The more transparent the better if you want to read a message inside your soap. Read the ingredients and see if these will work for your families needs. There are all natural clear bases, however they are slightly less clear. Just experiment. A thinner layer of natural base over lettering would be better.
Melt and pour base - Opaque/white.
There are many all natural options here, from basic, to ones with fancy butters, luxury oils and more. This is the layer you will use to create a background for your message.
*An option is to buy ONLY clear, and just add more color, and/or clays to the part you wan to be less transparent.
Rubbing alcohol and small spray bottle
Use a spray top with a finer mist. This is for spritzing the surface of the melt and pour to eliminate bubbles that may get stuck in your design. It also helps to spritz between layer before pouring the next to help the new layer adhere better.
Pitchers or heat resistant plastic containers. Spatula and or spoons
Have several if possible. Cheap ones can be found at most 'Dollar stores', and Wal-Mart. Pitchers are used for melting your base. Creating different colors if needed.
Thermometer - This is 'kindof' optional. Some designs are more temperature sensitive to have the right consistency. Honestly, I just watch to only heat my base until it is 'just' fully melted. Use what method works for you.
***FYI Melt and Pour base is HOT when fluid! You don't want to spill it on yourself! It will range from 100 - over 145 depending on the base and if you left it tooo long to melt.
A way to melt it. I use a microwave. If you want to use a double boiler pan, or other pan you may, just swap you plastic containers for metal. :)
Water soluble paper / or 'embed paper' - you can find it online and possibly at a local craft store. the Regular printer size sheets are best so you can just print on you home printer. You could use regular paper for you message, however, as you soap wears down you will have to tear it off from time to time.
Create a design - use whatever program you prefer. Size your design so it will fit into your mold. copy and paste it until you have the amount you need on your paper. Printing out & cut to size.
Other ingredients to snazzy up you project: Colorants. Micas, clays, cosmetic glitter. (do NOT use craft glitter. It is made from metal and will scratch you !!!)
Scents - essential oils, body safe fragrances.
Silicone molds - these are so easy to use! Heat resistant, easy to remove you soaps, and come in many cools shapes. Find these at many kitchen and craft stores.
Other items will work as a mold, however it MUST be heat resistant. This plastic food containers may melt with you hot soap in it.
Here are the basic steps to create you message soaps.
Have what ever you are going to embed already made, printed, cut to size, and handy.
Make sure you have all you ingredients available, and keep distractions at a minimum to avoid accidents.
Chop your white M&P base into cubes about 1" in size so it melts easier. Try to only melt the amount you think you will need, you can easily melt more.. Put in a pitcher.
Melt. If using a microwave, only heat a few seconds at a time. 15-30. You don't want to boil it and burn it. Just until it is fully melted.
Color. Add any clays or other colors now if this is you non-transparent layer. A spoon, small wisk or coffee frother wisk work great. You will find that some powders may need pre-wet with a little oil or water first to avoid clumping in you soap base.
Scent. A little goes a long way. Really, start with less and add more if needed. Stir in well. Scent each layer as you go.
By this point, if you see a film starting to form on you soap, just reheat a very few seconds.
Pour you first layer into you mold. Spritz with the rubbing alcohol to pop the little bubbles. let cool, without moving if possible. Moving it before cool, will cause wrinkling on the surface. (spritz with alcohol to pop bubbles.)
2nd layer - Melt a small amount of white M&P to create a very thin layer on top of the first. (Spritz with alcohol) This will be the background your Paper design will 'float' over. If this layer is too dark, the print will not show. (The paper may look white, however it mostly disappears inside the soap, leaving only the print to stand out.) Let cool completely, even put in the fridge a few minutes. Just don't leave it in there!
3rd layer. Melt some clear M&P now. Just to fluidity. (You don't want this any hotter than necessary, or it will melt the previous layer when pouring it.) Carefully pour a very thin layer of the cold previous layer. Use a small stream out of the pitcher is best. If you see some of the previous layer float into the transparent soap a little, don't panic. (Spritz with alcohol.) The purpose of this 3rd layer is to create a buffer to prevent the colored soap from getting over your design later. let cool completely, put in the fridge a few minutes.
4rd layer - the embed paper. from now on are my favorite parts! Melt some transparent M&P soap. Again pour a tiny bit into the mold, just enough to flood the surface. (spritz with alcohol once) Take your precut embed paper and place it in the mold, starting at one edge and gently letting it fall into place. Gently use a skewer or silverware handle to make sure it is all in and where you want it. Work fast, it will not be movable very long at all! After your embed paper is in, gently fill your mold with the final layer of transparent soap, to the level you want. (The clarity of your clear soap will determine if you need to keep this final layer thinner or can make it thicker.) Let cool completely.
Unmold your masterpieces! - Silicone is so easy here - just pull the mold away from the edges of you soap, and push underneath to pop you soaps out of the mold.
TIP - clean up any drippy edges with a butter knife or fingers.
Wrap - Melt & Pour soap will attract moisture and get beads of water on it if not wrapped in air tight wrap. If you live in an arid environment, it won't matter.
Things to consider - Melt & Pour soap will melt easily if left in a hot car, in the sun too long, or left in a hot mailbox in your package if mailing.
Here are some places you can find supplies. Feel free to do you own search, there are many others...
Where to buy Melt and Pour base
Canadian company, great selection of high quality oils, essential oils, various bases.
A variety of craft home and bath supplies.
This link is for the clearest melt and pour. Look for others and read ingredients to suit your needs. The all natural clear works, but will be slightly less clear.
Elements Bath & Body Check around for other bath & body craft needs here. Ingredients and packaging.
Wholesale Supplies Plus Bath & Body craft ingredients and packaging.
This is for the clearest M&P base, but look around for more natural options…
Embed paper - search online, or look at local craft stores. It is also called 'water soluble' paper.
Brambleberry (northwest USA) ingredients and videos/blogs on DIY.
There are MANY other online sources. Just search for melt and pour soap base.
LOCAL craft stores are usually good to carry all the basic melt and pour bases, and other ingredients, such as colors, and scent.
I hope you found this helpful! I am just demonstrating one idea with a design I wanted to share with friends. You can create whatever design you want - that is the beauty of DIY.
Let me know what things you make!
Be safe and have fun folk. :)