Friday, August 14, 2015

Mantra Marbles Soap Challenge

Mantra Marbles Soap Challenge!

Hello all!  I am back with another challenge hosted by Amy Warden’s Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge.  You too can participate in future challenges by visiting her website and signing up!  I had so much fun learning this new technique AND I got my husband to make me a new mold :) 
Lavender Martini Mantra Marbles Soap
I decided to make the Mantra Marbles swirl using the Nonpareil Mantra Marble which was using squirt bottles a comb and a spoon to achieve the desired swirl in a slab mold.  My slab mold was custom made (by my wonderful husband) for 6 bars of soap.  My mold has hinges on it for easy lining and I lined my mold with Press and Seal.  SO easy!  I decided to use foam board for dividers (nice and snug) and I tried 3 different ways of wrapping them to protect them.

3 different divider styles
The first divider (left) is covered in plastic wrap with packing tape on the ends to hold it down.  The second divider (middle) has Press and Seal wrapped around it with packing tape to seal the ends. The third divider (right) is completely covered in tape.  I wanted to test out different methods to see which worked best.  Turns out, the tape worked the best because there was very little leakage and the wrapping was tight on the foam board.  

I made my own comb too.  I decided that, since my mold was small, I wanted a smaller toothed comb for dragging the soap and toothpicks seemed to do the trick.  I stuck the toothpicks into the corrugated cardboard holes on the end but they seemed a little loose.  I decided to put a little (*cough* a lot . . . ) of hot glue on those suckers to keep them in place.  This worked great and all of my little toothpicks stayed in place.

Homemade soap comb

These are the colors that I decided to use (right).  I just mixed a little of sweet almond oil with the micas so they would mix in easier.  All of the micas that I used are from Mad Oils and Nurture Soap. I just LOVE these colors!  I have a pink, gold, blue-green and green for the swirls and purple is for the solid color block.  The most impressive is probably the Purple Vibrance from Nurture because it doesn't turn grey!  YES!!  So awesome!

I decided to use the slow moving recipe that Amy provided subbing Palm oil for the lard.  I ran my formula through a lye calculator and got to work!  This recipe really was a slow mover and I am glad that I decided to give this a try.  The fragrance I used was was Lavender Martini from Natures Garden and it smells AMAZING!  I used this one before and I knew that I would have plenty of time to work with my soap.  Once my soap was emulsified/very thin trace I divided it up into 4 squirt bottles and the remainder stayed in my bowl for the solid block.  I added my dispersed micas and shook those bad boys up!  Here are my squirt bottles ready to be used. 

Colored soap in squirt bottles ready for action
I started by pouring a little of the purple soap into the mold in one of the small cavities and one of the larger cavities.  My mold was set up a little opposite then what was planned and I had to use more dividers for a 2x3 in bar.  No worries!  This gave me more chances to play with the dividers and really see how they work. 

Pouring the purple
Once the initial layer of purple was added I got to work squirting my colors into the opposite cavities.  I always have a lot of fun utilizing the squirt bottles, even it they do make quite the mess . . . or, I guess . . . even if I make quite the mess . . .

Squirty squirt!
Here I am, a little farther in my squirt soap progression.  Ugh, you see that?  The spatula in my soap pot . . . why does this always happen?  Goo on the handle is not desired.  Good thing I wear gloves!
More squirty!
YAY!  All of the soap has been poured and it is now time to remove the dividers.  CAREFULLY!

Removing the dividers
YES!  All of that careful pulling payed off and my soap looks great!  I am now ready for the comb.
Ahhh! The dividers are out!

At first, I made the cardboard a smidge too long and I had to chop off a bit on the end.  That is why you may notice soap on the comb in this picture when it was just inserted.  I put the comb (back) into the soap and dragged it all the way through.

Using the comb for the first time
Looks like my soap is starting to thicken up a tiny bit.  The soap held a little bit of it's shape after I drug the comb through it.  I decided to use a spoon handle- a flat metal one- for my swirl.

After the comb went through the soap

Time for some swirl!
Figure 8's are hard to do in soap.  I don't know why they are SO easy on paper and then you get to the soap and you suddenly feel like you don't even know what shape that is.  After a slight moment of hesitation I dove right in and made my swirls.  I gave the soap a little tap and it smoothed right out. 

Swirly swirly!

Here is my soap after I cut it.  Not too shabby.  Thank you Amy for hosting the soap challenges and encouraging me to try new techniques.  This has been so much fun!!

Finished soap! YAY!


  1. LOVE your colors, nice swirling. and that's the cutest little mold!

    1. Thank you! This was my first project with a slab mold and I didn't know if I would like it or not, so, I wanted to start with a small one :)

  2. Great color combination, looks great

    1. Thank you Key Essence! This was a fun challenge :)

  3. I love your choice of colors! Beautiful soap!

  4. Woo hoo! Mantra Marble success! I have a handy hubby too - not sure what I'd do without him! Love your tiny little mold - it worked perfectly for this project - as evidenced by your beautiful soap!

    1. Thank you so much Amy! I love that the hubby puts hinges on the walls of the mold for easy unmolding and lining. It makes life SO much easier! Handy hubbies are wonderful!

  5. Lovely colors! Glad I am not the only goo-y soaper

    1. Thank you Cris! Good to know that I am not alone :)