Time: 30 min
Yields: 4 soaps
If you’ve used melt and pour soap before, I’m sure you’ve come across the ‘Fish in a Bag’ soap. It’s basically clear melt and pour soap base, which has been tinted blue, with a little plastic fish, poured in a plastic bag. I’ve made these quite a few times, mostly for kid’s birthday parties and as treats, but today I wanted to do them in a slightly different way, using jelly soap.
Jelly soap is a melt and pour base, which you can purchase from Pure Nature, and is very easy to use and hugely popular with kids. My son loves jelly soap and can’t get enough of it. Jelly soap is exactly what the name suggests: a soap with a jelly like consistency. It wobbles and jiggles and is a lot of fun to play and wash with. Moreover, it’s very easy to work with and turn into fun soaps.
For this soap, you will also need four plastic fish, which are available from most $2-stores, and preferably a mold with cube cavities, although you could use any other shape as well. You will also need 99% isopropyl alcohol and some blue mica. I used Blue Lustre mica from Pure Nature, which is one of my favourite blue micas.
ONE: Estimate how much jelly soap you need. I usually eyeball it, but if you know the volume of the cavities, you can measure it out. If you are using a similar mold as I am – Pure Nature has the 25 cube cavity mold equivalent of mine, which is only a 9 cube cavity – you will need 500 g of jelly soap to fill 4 cavities. Cut the jelly soap into small cubes and place in a heat-proof pyrex jug.
TWO: On a low setting on the microwave, melt the jelly soap. The low setting is crucial. If you have the setting too high, you will risk boiling the soap, which not only leads to overflowing of the soap, but also creates lots of bubbles that are hard to get rid of in the viscous jelly fluid. On my microwave, I use the second to lowest setting, just one up from the defrost setting, and it takes about 10-15 minutes to melt. I take the jug out every 3-5 minutes or so, and give a careful stir, trying not to create any more bubbles, and that’s how I can keep an eye out on how far it is with the melting.
THREE: While the soap is melting in the microwave, measure out 10 ml of 99% isopropyl alcohol in a little container and add 1/8 of a teaspoon of the Blue Lustre mica. Give it a quick stir. I’m using alcohol here, because it will disperse the mica evenly throughout the melt and pour base and, at the same time, the heat of the melted soap will evaporate the alcohol, leaving only the mica behind. It’s a quick fail-proof method of adding mica to melt and pour bases!
FOUR: Once your jelly soap is melted to a thick viscous liquid, measure out and add your fragrance to the soap, and stir well. I’m using 8 ml of Coconut Lime soap fragrance from Pure Nature, which is a nice fresh fragrance and well-liked by kids (and adults). Other popular kids fragrances are pink grapefruit essential oil or a watermelon fragrance. Make sure that the fragrance you are using is a skin-safe (cosmetic approved) fragrance.
FIVE: Add the mica/alcohol mixture and give it a good stir. You might want to pop your soap back in the microwave again for a minute or so, if a skin has begun to form.
You will have to work quickly from now on and be careful, the soap is VERY HOT AND STICKY!
SIX: Pour the soap evenly into 4 cavities of the soap mold and spray with 99% isopropyl alcohol to get rid of the bubbles. Although, some people have said that the bubbles add to the effect in this soap, so it’s up to you if you want them there or not!
SEVEN: With a toothpick or skewer, push a little plastic fish into the centre of the soap. You might have to break through the skin of the soap, if it has begun to form. The soap should be thick enough for the fish to stay in place. If not, use the toothpick to hold it in place and use a new one for the next fish.
EIGHT: Leave the soaps to cool down for several hours before carefully removing them from the mold. Because jelly soap is a melt and pour base, containing a higher amount of glycerin than cold process soap, you will need to wrap the soaps in glad wrap (cling foil) to store.
Please note that this soap has a small toy embedded in it, so it is not suitable for babies and small toddlers – CHOKING HAZARD!
Fish in a bag with a jelly twist
- 500 g jelly soap base
- 8 ml Coconut Lime fragrance
- Blue Lustre mica
- 4 plastic toy fish
- 99% isopropyl alcohol
- Cut 500 g of jelly soap base into small cubes and place into a Pyrex jug.
- On a low setting, melt the soap in the microwave, careful not to bring it to boil.
- In a separate small container add 10 ml of 99% isopropyl alcohol and mix in 1/8 of mica. Mix well.
- When the soap has melted, add fragrance and stir.
- Add the alcohol/mica mixture and stir until all the colour has evenly dispersed throughout the soap. If necessary, place the soap back into the microwave to melt again.
- Pour the soap evenly into 4 cavities of the soap mold.
- Using a toothpick, carefully push in the plastic fish until it is completely submerged.
- Let the soap cool down completely before removing from the mold. Store the soap in a plastic bag or wrap in Gladwrap.