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Candy cane swirl melt and pour

Difficulty: Beginners
Time: 30 mins
Yields: approximately 500 g of soap or 4 bars of soap

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The consistency of melt and pour soap bases doesn’t allow for the same swirling techniques you can use in cold process soaps. Still, it is possible to get some really cool swirling effects using both white and clear melt and pour soap bases. The trick behind the swirling technique used in this soap is using both clear and white soap bases and pouring them at different temperatures. As the white and clear soaps cool, they will have a different consistencies, allowing for a swirling effect. The temperature difference is important, because is we were to pour both the white and clear soaps at the same temperature (= consistency), the clear and white soaps would just blend into each other and the result would be one solid pastel pink colour, instead of swirls.

The mold I’m using is the small square silicon mold from Pure Nature, which is ideal for melt and pour projects like this. It holds about 500 g, giving you 4 bars of soap.

Pure Nature also stocks several types of melt and pour soap bases. For this project I used the normal white base and clear base. If you wish to leave your soap unwrapped, I recommend using the low-sweat white base and low-sweat clear base.

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ONE: Cut up approximately 250 g of white melt and pour soap base into cubes and add it to a heat proof glass Pyrex jug. Heat on high in the microwave in 20 second bursts until the soap has melted. Make sure you don’t bring the soap to boil.

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TWO: Add 1 teaspoon peppermint essential oil and give it a good stir.

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THREE: Pour a layer of about 1 cm of white soap into your soap mold.

FOUR: Cut up approximately 250 g of the clear melt and pour soap and add it to a separate heat proof glass Pyrex jug and again, heat on high in the microwave in 20 second bursts until melted.

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FIVE: Add 1 teaspoon of peppermint essential oil and 2-3 drops of red food colouring. Give the soap a good stir until you have an even colour throughout the soap.

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SIX: Pour about a third of the red soap into the mold from a height of about 20-30 cm, making sure you break through the surface of the white soap.

SEVEN: Using a spoon, give it a little swirl.

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EIGHT: Wait a few minutes, and then pour in some of the white soap and give it another quick swirl. Wait again for a few minutes. Keep repeating this, alternating between pouring red and white soap until you have used up all the soap.

If the soap should set in the jugs, heat them up briefly in the microwave to melt again.

There are no set rules for swirling melt and pour soap, so feel free to play around. Try pouring from different heights, or pouring different consistencies of soap, some a bit thicker and some more fluid. Swirl when the soap is a bit thicker, or don’t swirl at all and let the soap do the movement for you. You can even plop in a few unmelted blocks of soap.

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NINE: Once you’ve poured all the soap and you’re happy with the swirling, sprinkle some gold bio-glitter on the surface.

TEN: Let the soap cool down and harden completely before unmolding. I usually leave it overnight, and unmold the next morning. Cut the soap into 4 bars and wrap in glad wrap or place them in cello bags. The soaps contain a high amount of glycerin, which draws moisture to its surface, especially in a humid climate like we have in New Zealand. To prevent this, we wrap the soaps.

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Candy cane swirl melt and pour

  • Difficulty: beginners
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Ingredients

  • 250g white melt and pour soap base
  • 250g clear melt and pour soap base
  • 10 ml peppermint essential oil
  • red food colouring
  • gold bio-glitter
  • small square soap mold

Directions

  1. Cut 250 g of white melt and pour soap base into cubes and add it to a heat proof Pyrex jug and heat on high in the microwave in 20 second bursts or until melted.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon of peppermint essential oil.
  3. Pour approximately a layer of 1 cm into the soap mold.
  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the clear melt and pour soap base.
  5. Add 2-3 drops of red food colouring to the clear melt and pour soap base and stir until the colour has evenly dispersed throughout the soap.
  6. From a height of about 20-30 cm, pour about a third of the red soap into the mold, making sure you break through the surface of the white soap.
  7. Using a spoon, give the soap a swirl.
  8. Wait a few minutes, then pour some of the white soap into the soap mold. Give it another swirl, and wait for a few minutes. Keep repeating this, alternating between the red and white soap, until you have used up all the soap.
  9. Give the soap a final swirl.
  10. Sprinkle a little gold glitter over the surface.
  11. Leave the soap to cool down and harden completely (or overnight).
  12. The next day, carefully unmold the soap and cut into 4 bars.
  13. Wrap the soap into glad wrap or in cello bags.

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Christmas soaps

Difficulty: Beginners
Time: 30 mins
Yields: approx. 20 small soaps

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It’s Christmas soon! Are you ready yet? Or are you like me, right in the middle of trying to get everything done in time? You should see my kitchen, it is one big chaos and dinners consist of BBQ and salads at the moment while the soap making has taken over the kitchen.

Here’s a little project that is quick and easy to make and doesn’t need a lot of extra ingredients. Something that you can do last minute, because these cute little soaps will be ready to gift in a couple of hours. They make great stocking fillers. Or how about getting the kids to make their own Christmas gifts this year? Something for nana, granddad, family, friends… All you need is some clear melt and pour soap base, food colouring, fragrance, some glitter, and these cute Christmassy soap molds that I found at the Warehouse for $3 each.

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The instructions are based on 2 molds of each, two Christmas tree molds (green) and two Christmas presents (red) molds. I did the little green Christmas trees first, and then repeated the whole process for the little red presents.

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ONE: To prepare, sprinkle some glitter into each cavity of the mold. Pure Nature has these great bio-glitters that are not only safe to use on skin, but are also bio-degradable and sourced from renewable raw materials. You can also use other glitters, but do be aware that they are usually made plastic.

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TWO: Cut approximately 2 rows of clear melt and pour soap base into small cubes and add to a heat proof Pyrex jug. Heat on high in the microwave in 20 second bursts, until the soap has melted. Try to avoid the soap from reaching boiling point!

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THREE: Once your soap base is completely melted, add 3-4 drops of green food colouring, and  give it a good stir.

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FOUR: Add approximately 15-20 drops of fragrance, and stir the soap until the colour and the fragrance has been thoroughly dispersed throughout the soap.

For the Christmas trees, I used the aptly named Christmas tree fragrance from Candlescience, which has a fresh Christmassy scent, and for the Christmas presents I used the delicious, sweet Holly Berry fragrance from Candlescience. I love both fragrances, because although they do remind you of Christmas, they’re not the usual standard fragrances, that everyone seems to use for their Christmas soaps.

When you choose your fragrance, make sure they are safe to use on skin. This is particular important when using candle fragrances. Not all candle fragrances are suitable for use in body care products and soap. So don’t forget to read the safety data of the fragrances you intend to use, or check back with the supplier.

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FIVE: Pour into your mold, and spritz with 99% isopropyl alcohol (optional) to get rid of any bubbles on the surface.

Let the soaps cool down completely and harden before carefully unmolding. Remember, melt and pour soap bases contain a lot of glycerin and the soaps will sweat (attract moisture) in humid conditions, so they will need to be wrapped (Glad Wrap or cello bags).

REPEAT WITH OTHER MOLDS

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Christmas soaps

  • Difficulty: beginners
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Ingredients

  • approx. 1/2 kg clear melt and pour soap base
  • red and green food colouring
  • Christmas Tree and Holly Berry fragrance from Candlescience
  • glitter
  • 99% isopropyl alcohol (optional)
  • Christmas tree and Christmas present molds from the Warehouse

Directions

  1. Sprinkle a little glitter into each cavity of the mold.
  2. Cut the soap into small cubes and place in a heat proof Pyrex jug.
  3. Heat the soap base in the microwave on high in 20 second bursts until melted.
  4. Add 3-4 drops of food colouring and stir.
  5. Add 15-20 drops fragrance and stir well.
  6. Pour the soap into  your soap mold and leave to set and harden before unmolding.
  7. Package the soaps into little cello bags or glad wrap.

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Skully’s secret bath bombs

Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Yields: 12 mini bath bombs

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These bath bombs have a hidden secret. They might look plain and unscented, but place them in water and they’ll reveal a colourful surprise and release a delicious fragrance of sweet orange, pumpkin pie and spice. Check out the video at the end of this post!

I made these bath bombs as an alternative to sweets for trick-or-treaters at Halloween. I’ve noticed the last couple of years, that there are more and more parents concerned about the amount of sugar their children consume, so I wanted to offer them a sweet-free option. These are mini sized bath bombs, made with the smaller bath bomb mold from Pure Nature, and they’re just the perfect size for kids.

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ONE: Combine 2/3 baking soda and 1/2 citric acid in a bowl.

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TWO: Add a teaspoon of orange saffron mica, and wearing gloves, mix everything together with your hands, making sure you break up any clumps in the mixture.

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THREE: Add 1 teaspoon of polysorbate 80. This is an optional step,  although the mica won’t stain the bath tub, it can leave a ring of colour along the sides of the tub. Mica doesn’t easily mix with water and the polysorbate 80 helps disperse the mica in the water.

FOUR: For these bath bombs, I combined pumpkin pie fragrance from Candlescience and sweet orange essential oil to create a blend that reminded me of Halloween and trick-or-treating: warm and fruity with spice overtones. Add 1 teaspoon of each to the bath bomb mixture. And again, wearing gloves, mix everything with your hands.

FIVE: Spray with a little water, if necessary, until you reach the right consistency. I made this a little wetter than usual, because I will need to be able to form them into balls with my hands. I tried using a little meat ball former, but I found that I couldn’t remove the balls properly and they kept breaking up. So instead, I decided it would be quicker and easier to mold them by hand. Be careful, though, that you don’t over-wet the mixture!

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SIX: Form 12 little balls using up all of your bath bomb mixture. The easiest way is to grab a handful of mixture and squeeze it in your hand. Then carefully release and start firming it up in the ball of your hand. Leave them to dry for several hours or overnight.

I’m sorry I couldn’t take any pictures, because I was using both my hands and they were covered in orange bath bomb mixture.

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SEVEN: When the little orange balls are dry and hard,  you can prepare the unfragranced white bath bomb mixture. Combine 1 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of citric acid in a bowl.

EIGHT: Spritz with water until you have the right consistency. Wear gloves (unlike me), especially if you have painted nails, because the bath bomb mixture will eat your polish. I’m wearing Jamberry wraps, which can withstand the chemicals of the bath bomb mixture. (Yes, I love my colourful Jamberry wraps!)

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NINE: To assemble the bath bomb, check out the image above. Add a little bit of white bath bomb mixture in one half mold, add the orange ball, and fill the sides up with more white mixture. Loosely fill a second half mold and squeeze the two filled molds together. Remove one mold (sometimes you need to tap the mold lightly to let it release the bath bomb), and carefully place it bath bomb side down and lift the other mold off.

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TEN: Form all 12 bath bombs and then place them somewhere to dry out and harden. Leave them for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.

ELEVEN: Once your bath bombs have dried and hardened, it’s time to paint them. Mix 1 teaspoon of dark violet purple mica with 1 teaspoon of 99% isopropyl alcohol. Using a paint brush, paint a skull face on your bath bombs. Leave them to dry for a couple of hours and then wrap them up in cling foil or cello bags to prevent them getting moist.

Happy trick-or-treating!

Skully's secret bath bombs

  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1 cup citric acid
  • polysorbate 80
  • orange saffron mica
  • dark violet purple mica
  • pumpkin pie fragrance from Candlescience
  • sweet orange essential oil
  • 99% isopropyl alcohol
  • set of small bath bomb molds

Directions

  1. combine 2/3 cup baking soda and 1/3 cup citric acid in a bowl
  2. add 1 teaspoon of orange saffron mica and (wearing gloves) mix thoroughly
  3. add 1 teaspoon of polysorbate 80
  4. add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie fragrance
  5. add 1 teaspoon of orange essential oil
  6. mix everything using your hands (wear gloves)
  7. spray with a little water if the bath bomb mixture is not the right consistency
  8. using your hands, form 12 small balls, carefully firming and squeezing them so they hold shape (this is the trickiest part)
  9. leave to dry overnight or for several hours
  10. in a bowl add 1 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup citric acid
  11. mix and spray with a little water until the bath bomb mixture is the right consistency
  12. add a little of the bath bomb mixture to one bath bomb half mold
  13. place one of the orange balls, which should now be dry, in the centre of the mold
  14. fill the mold around the ball with more mixture
  15. add bath bomb mixture to the other half mold and then squeeze the two halves together
  16. carefully remove the bath bomb from the mold and form the remaining 11 bath bombs
  17. leave the bath bombs to dry overnight or for at least 3 hours
  18. mix 1 teaspoon of dark purple mica with 1 teaspoon of 99% isopropyl alcohol
  19. with a thin paint brush, paint skull faces on the bath bombs and leave to dry
  20. wrap bath bombs in cling foil or cello bags to keep them from getting moist

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Witchy cauldrons jelly soap

Difficulty: Beginners
Time: 30 minutes
Yields: 6 cauldrons

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I love Halloween because it’s the one time in the year where I can get creative with fun spooky stuff. These witchy cauldrons are filled with a green jelly soap to which I’ve added some plastic spiders and skulls. You can buy the little cauldrons and spiders from Spotlight, and I found the little skulls at Look Sharp.

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All the soap ingredients, including the jelly soap, you can buy from Pure Nature. Jelly soap is really fun because it’s, as the name implies, a jelly like soap – pretty much like the jelly that you eat! And it’s easy to work with: you just melt it and then pour it.

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ONE: Cut up enough jelly soap to fill the six little cauldrons. You’ll have to eyeball this. Add the jelly soap to a heat proof Pyrex jug and heat it in the microwave in 1 minute intervals until it’s completely melted. Be careful that the soap does not start to boil. Give the soap only a quick stir between the intervals, but don’t over-stir. For this project, it doesn’t matter if you do get bubbles in your soap – it just adds to the effect!

TWO: Combine 1/2 teaspoon of mica into 1 teaspoon of 99% isopropyl alcohol. And add it to the soap, stirring well.The alcohol will help disperse the mica through the soap without firming clumps. The alcohol will evaporate in the heat from the soap.

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THREE: Add 30 ml of coconut lime fragrance and give the soap a good stir to mix the fragrance well into the soap. This is my favourite fragrance from Candlescience skin-safe fragrances. It’s fresh and a little fruity, and I think it’s a perfect fit for the green coloured soap and the cauldrons.

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FOUR: Pour the soap into the little cauldrons. Don’t worry if you spill a little on the cauldrons. I think it makes it look even better with a bit of soap hanging over the edge of the cauldrons.

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FIVE: Lastly, sprinkle some of the spring green bio-glitter over the surface. I like using bio-glitter because it’s made from environmentally sourced, renewable raw materials and is bio-degradable. It is also safe to use on your skin and feels a lot softer than plastic glitter.

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Leave the cauldrons to cool down and if you like, embellish with some spooky little toys. I added mini-skulls and spiders to my cauldrons, which I found at Look Sharp. Just be aware if you plan to give these to young children and toddlers, that they can pose a choking hazard.

Have a witchy good time!

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  • Difficulty: beginners
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Ingredients

  • jelly soap
  • coconut lime fragrance
  • apple green mica
  • spring green bio-glitter
  • 99% isopropyl alcohol
  • 6 cauldrons
  • optional: spooky decorations

Directions

  1. cut up and add the jelly soap to a heat-proof Pyrex jug
  2. heat the soap in 1 minute intervals in the microwave until completely melted – be careful you don’t bring it to a boil
  3. combine 1/2 teaspoon of mica with 1 teaspoon of 99% isopropyl alcohol, and add it to the soap
  4. add 30 ml of coconut lime fragrance and stir well into the soap
  5. pour the soap into the cauldrons
  6. sprinkle bio-glitter over the surface of the soap and leave to cool down
  7. add little spooky toys (optional)

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Glow in the dark Halloween soaps

Difficulty: Beginners
Time: 2x 30 minutes
Yields: 6 soaps

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I have to admit I was a bit skeptical when I first encountered the glow in the dark soap pigments, and even though they were bright in powder form, I wasn’t sure if the effect would last in soap. As you can see, they do work and they’re pretty spooky, if I say so myself!

Pure Nature stocks glow in the dark pigments in green and blue, and they are safe for cosmetic use.

I had a little play with the glow in the dark powder before doing these soaps, and I found out that they work great in melt and pour soap, but only if you don’t add colours that suspend. Dyes seem to work fine. But micas will block the pigment and you’ll lose the glow in the dark effect. In bath bombs you have to remember that only the outer layer of your bath bomb is exposed to sunlight, so any pigment not on the surface won’t glow in the bath. And lastly, they also work great in jelly soap! You can add food colouring to jelly soap and it will still glow. Great if you want green, glowing, slimy jelly soap!

For my halloween soaps this year, I’m using a skull and crossbones ice cube tray that I bought years ago, and will add the pigment to these to make them stand out and glow in the dark. Add these to a black square soap will make them pop out and look good even in normal light.

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The glow in the dark soap pigment is really that bright!

Apart from a skulls mold, you will also need a soap mold with cavities, I used one with square cavities, to embed the skulls into the black soap. To colour the soap black, I used activated charcoal powder, which is a fantastic black soap colourant and works just as well in melt and pour soap as cold process soap.

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ONE: To begin, cut up sufficient white melt and pour soap base for your skulls and crossbones and place them in a heat proof pyrex jug. Heat the soap in the microwave for about 1 minute or until melted. Keep an eye on your soap, so it doesn’t boil!

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TWO: Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of glow in the dark pigment. I used the green colour for these soaps. You can stir the pigment in directly, you don’t have to mix it with alcohol first, because it disperses easily in the soap. Stir well. If you have left the pigment out in the light beforehand, then you can test if the pigment has been dispersed throughout the soap in the dark. Just holding the jug in the cupboard was sufficient for me to see the effect!

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THREE: Pour the soap into the mold and set aside to harden and cool. I usually don’t bother with fragrances in embeds. The surrounding fragranced soap will be sufficient.

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FOUR: Once they’ve hardened and cooled completely, after about an hour, carefully remove them from the mold and set them aside for later.

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FIVE: Cut up the clear melt and pour soap and place it in a heat proof Pyrex jug. Cut up enough soap to pour about 1/2 inch of soap into each cavity. You’ll have to eyeball this. Heat the soap in the microwave until completely melted. Again, make sure you don’t let the soap come to a boil.

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SIX: Once the soap is melted, add 10 ml of fragrance. I’m using blueberry cheesecake from Candlescience because it’s such a yummy fragrance that I know kids will like – and I am making these as Halloween treats for the kids!

SEVEN: To prepare the colour, add 1/2 teaspoon of activated charcoal to 1 teaspoon of 99% isopropyl alcohol, give it a good stir and then pour it into the soap. Stir the soap until all the colour has completely dispersed throughout the soap.

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EIGHT: Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of black soap into each cavity of the mold. You’ll have to work quickly now, because you don’t want the soap to set!

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NINE: Carefully place the white skulls and crossbones into the black soap. For the best effect, you will want the white embeds to stick out from the black background. But the glow in the dark effect will still work if they have been covered by black soap. I drizzled some black soap into the eye sockets and nose. Don’t worry if you are a messy worker like me, you can easily clean up the soap once it has hardened,

TEN: Leave the soaps to harden and cool down completely before unmolding. Tidy up the soaps by using a very sharp knife, and lift off any black soap ‘splashes’ from the white soap. I also trimmed the edges a bit to give it a more jagged look.

Because these are melt and pour soaps, you will need to store these soaps wrapped in cling foil or plastic to keep from moisture droplets forming on the soaps.

Happy Halloween!

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Glow in the Dark Halloween Soap

  • Difficulty: beginners
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Ingredients

  • white melt and pour soap base
  • clear melt and pour soap base
  • green glow in the dark soap pigment
  • activated charcoal powder
  • blueberry cheesecake fragrance
  • 99% isopropyl alcohol
  • skulls and crossbones ice cube tray (or similar)
  • soap mold with square cavities

Directions

  1. cut up the white melt and pour soap base into small cubes and heat in microwave until melted
  2. add 1/4 teaspoon of glow in the dark pigment and stir well until pigment has fully dispersed throughout the soap
  3. pour into the skulls mould and leave to set
  4. once the skulls and crossbones have set, remove them carefully from the mold and set aside
  5. prepare the black colour by adding 1/2 teaspoon of activated charcoal powder to 1 teaspoon of isopropyl alcohol
  6. cut up clear melt and pour soap base into small cubes and heat in microwave until melted
  7. add 10 ml of fragrance and stir
  8. add the colour and stir until the soap is an even black colour throughout
  9. pour about 1/2 inch of the black soap into each square cavity of the mold
  10. carefully place the skulls and crossbones into the black soap – for the best glow in the dark effect you will want the surface of the skulls and crossbones to stick out of the black soap
  11. leave to harden and cool before wrapping in cling foil