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can melt and pour make "pretty soaps"

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dragonmaker

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I've never made melt and pour soap. I do plain non-colored cold process soap. My daughter wants to make "pretty soaps" like we saw on youtube. She's way too young to work with cold process soap like the artistic soap demonstrations we've seen. She loves in the pot swirls, hanger swirls, piping, clamshell pours, landscape pictures, and pictures made with embeds. Can you make "pretty soaps" with melt and pour or does it cool and harden too fast? Do some of these techniques work better than others?
 

lsg

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Soap Queen has some great YouTube tutorials on M&P You can make some fantastic-looking soaps with M&P.
 

BattleGnome

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I don’t have YouTube recommendations but both Wholesale Supplies Plus and Brambleberry have some pretty m&p kits. The brambleberry kits will most likely have a tutorial in their blog or their YouTube channel (I know some older kits did). It’s a good way to find out something she likes and have a “teacher” to help. (Or a complete set for christmas if you feel she’s ready for that)
 

dragonmaker

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Thanks, everyone! I’m starting to feel like I have a handle on an alien landscape. Any other tips y’all can throw my way? Favorite base? Do colors morph in M&P? Favorite artists (including yourself)?

Do scents morph in M&P?
 

TheGecko

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Do a search in YouTube for Melt and Pour. There are a lot of folks who make some pretty incredible stuff.

Understand...M&P...while it is soap, it's a different medium. Think of painting...you have oils, acrylics, watercolors.
 

Kamahido

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Thanks, everyone! I’m starting to feel like I have a handle on an alien landscape. Any other tips y’all can throw my way? Favorite base? Do colors morph in M&P? Favorite artists (including yourself)?
Colors do not morph, as there is not Sodium Hydroxide present to do so. However, your colorants and fragrances still need to be skin safe.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Any other tips y’all can throw my way? Favorite base?
I've only made MP once and I loved the result. FUN!!! You can make gorgeous transparent jewel tone soaps that not only look pretty but do a pretty good job of cleansing as well. The fact that it's an activity to share with your daughter is a huge plus.

You'll want to start with the best base -- SFIC, Water Soluble Liquid Colorants, fragrance oils and a few pretty molds. I got everything I needed from Elements Bath & Body in Colorado. I chose her No Sweat Clear and opaque White. (Yes, as you will soon find out, MP soaps sweat.) She has recipes and Easy to Follow Instructions that lists all the equipment you need to get you started. The owner is also available for help with any questions or concerns.

We like pictures, so don't forget to post the results of your efforts in the Photo Gallery where we can all oooh & aaah over them! 😁

HAPPY SOAPING!
 
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lsg

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I like Crafter's Choice M&P bases from Wholesale Supplies Plus.
 

cmzaha

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Essentials by Catalina has some very nice bases available. Many times you will want more than one base depending on the effect you want. My daughter used to make exquisite mp soaps. I cannot make pretty m&p soaps if my life depended on it. Like any craft, it has its own learning curve.
 

LilianNoir

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Highly recommend the SFIC brand, which many places including BB carry. One of the reasons I like SFIC is that it's a true soap, not detergent based. And the quality is amazing. In the past I thought I hated "glycerin" soap. Turns out, it was the detergent based ones my skin didn't like. The SFIC stuff is quite nice.

You can use the same micas and pigments you use in CP in MP so you don't need to purchase additional colorants. BB (and a few other places) do sell "color blocks" which are basically just mica/pigment mixed into a MP base, and you just shave or cut off pieces and add to your melted base. But really, mica is fine.
Some colorants can bleed in MP, which is why I stick to micas and pigments.
I also find that MP is a great way to use FOs that are temperamental in CP, either they cause acceleration in CP or don't retain scent in CP.
In fact, I use MP to test out new fragrance ideas before testing in CP.
You can't quite the same swirls, but swirls are possible.
I was able to make really neat "galaxy" soap that wouldn't have been quite the same in CP.2019-09-20 15.54.09.jpg
 

dragonmaker

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She is 6 years old, and very conscientious for her age, and obviously she would have to have heavy supervision still. I was picturing her hand over the top of my hand while pouring or stirring hot liquids to start, but she would be most excited about designing the soap and making choices about her very own soap.

Painting bars with colored MP sounds brilliant! She would love that. Did you paint with hot and super runny MP, or wait until it was cooler and thicker? I haven’t actually used micas before. For painting with micas, were they suspended in a liquid, or just dusted on the soap with a paint brush?
 

dragonmaker

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I just read that MP sweats. If it is attracting water from the air, does the soap start dissolving/melting when it sweats? Will it be a problem to store on a shelf long term unless I wrap it in plastic?

Also, does MP need time to dry out after cooling, and does it benefit from curing like CP?
 

dixiedragon

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She is 6 years old, and very conscientious for her age, and obviously she would have to have heavy supervision still. I was picturing her hand over the top of my hand while pouring or stirring hot liquids to start, but she would be most excited about designing the soap and making choices about her very own soap.

Painting bars with colored MP sounds brilliant! She would love that. Did you paint with hot and super runny MP, or wait until it was cooler and thicker? I haven’t actually used micas before. For painting with micas, were they suspended in a liquid, or just dusted on the soap with a paint brush?
It doesn't take much to melt MP. 1 square in the microwave was less than 30 seconds. It does cool fast so you may have to re-heat it a few times. It may be worth while to do a water-bath type thing - casserole dish with hot water and small bowls or coffee mugs with different colors of MP in them so they will stay warm/melty.
 

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