May 2024 SMF Challenge: Hanger Swirls!

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Welcome to the May 2024 SMF Soap Challenge: Hanger Swirls!

This month’s challenge will involve one of the easiest ways to make pretty soap designs: the Hanger Swirl! This can be very specific design, like a butterfly swirl, Ione swirl, bouquet swirl – or, just put some colored batter in the mold, swirl it, and see what you get! That’s the beauty and fun of hanger swirls; they can be very planned or very spontaneous. No matter what, hanger swirls are soooo pretty. So, get out that hanger tool (or make one), and join the fun!

SMF Challenge General Rules

1. To enter, you must have been a SMF member for at least one month and have a minimum of 50 posts at the time the Challenge is posted. “Fluff” posts written with the sole intention of boosting post numbers do not apply. Sorry, there are no exceptions to this rule, except that the time and post requirements are removed for (do not apply to) Supporting Members. All eligible members may sign up and submit an entry at any time before the entry thread closes.
2. Your soap must be made after the monthly challenge has been announced. Your entry must consist of bars made from a single batch of soap poured at one time. In other words, your entry cannot include bars from different batches.
3. The sign-up list will be posted in this thread. Please add your name to the sign-up list if you’d like to participate. You don’t have to enter a soap at the end if you don’t feel happy with what you have made. Still, we hope you will post about your experiences here in the main Challenge thread, along with non-entry photos (be prepared to be encouraged to keep trying).
4. In the spirit of advancing our soap making skills, all members who sign-up for the SMF Challenge do so with the expectation that they will make every attempt to submit an entry. We do understand that life happens, and that you may end up without an entry. However, signing up with no intent to participate and only to vote goes against the spirit of the challenge and is not allowed.
5. Throughout the month, we encourage you to use this general Challenge thread (not the Entry thread) to ask for advice, discuss techniques with other members, upload pictures of your non-entry challenge attempts, and provide helpful hints you learned along the way. Constructive criticism is welcomed, but please keep your comments polite.
6. A separate Entry thread will be created towards the end of the month. Please do not post photos of your entry until the Entry thread is opened. Breaking this rule will disqualify that soap from this Challenge. The Entry thread is for challenge entries only; please don't post any comments there.
7. We encourage (but do not require) you to include in your entry post a description and additional photos demonstrating how you made your soap: the process, the technique, the fragrance, any special meaning behind your selected colors or design, etc. This gives voters a better understanding of, and appreciation for, what went into creating your soap.
8. Entries must be posted to the Entry thread (not to this general Challenge thread) before the closing date. Late entries will not be accepted. If you miss the Challenge deadline, please upload pictures of your soap to the general Challenge thread instead. While it won’t be part of the voting, we always love to see anything you have created!
9. There is no prize attached to this Challenge. However, this is still a competition. If your entry is deemed non-compliant, you will be given the opportunity to amend your entry if there is time to do so before the Entry thread closes. Otherwise, your entry will be excluded from voting. The challenge mods have the final say as to whether any given soap or registrant is eligible for entry and voting.
10. All eligible registrants who have signed up before the Entry thread closes will be eligible to vote, even if they do not submit an entry. A password-protected voting link and password will be sent to eligible registrants only, by private message via SMF conversations. Please check your SMF messages/conversations when the voting begins.
11. Note: all times listed below are Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). It is your responsibility to convert times to your own time zone.
* The entry thread will open on May 25 by 11:59 PM GMT.
* The entry thread will close on May 28 at 11:59 PM GMT.
* The voting survey link and password will be emailed to all registered participants shortly thereafter.
* The voting survey will remain open until May 30 at 11:59 PM GMT, or until all registrants have voted, whichever is sooner.
* The winner will be announced by May 31 by 11:59 PM GMT.

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Specific Rules for this Challenge:

A. Create your challenge soap after the challenge begins, using any variation of cold-processing or hot-processing. Loaf molds are the easiest for making hanger swirls, but slab molds can work, too. No cavity molds or M&P for this challenge.

B. Your soap must include at least three and no more than five colors. Uncolored soap can count as one color if you wish to use that. Swirling with contrasting colors will create very defined swirls, whereas swirling similar or even monochromatic colors will give a more muted effect. Either is fine for this challenge.

C. Here are some very basic hanger swirl instructions. Layer your different colors of soap batter into the mold. Insert a hanger tool into the mold to swirl the body of the soap (not just the top). A general rule of thumb is the thicker the batter, the thicker the hanger tool should be, and the more swirling you will want to do. The reverse is true for thinner batter, although my experience is that I always need to make more passes with the tool than I think.

D. Watch some of the videos below for ideas on specific types of swirls and color combinations. Remember that many EOs and FOs will affect time to trace. Definitely take that into account when planning your design.

E. If you don’t have a hanger tool, some of these videos show how the maker created one herself. You can easily create a hanger tool using a wire coat hanger, an inexpensive gear tie, stainless steel straws or cheap wooden chopsticks taped together, or anything else that can withstand lye.

F. Please post any questions about the challenge rules in this challenge thread, so everyone can benefit from seeing the answer.

G. Your entry photo should be the first item in your Entry thread post, and must show the cut face of least two bars that were cut from the same loaf or slab.

H. Per General Rule 7, above, we also encourage you to add more photos and description – but that isn’t required.

Don’t forget to have fun! I’m cheering you on and looking forward to seeing your creations!

Ladybug Lane BOURBON STREET~Making, Hanger Swirl, Cutting Cold Process Soap


Holly’s Soapmaking Hanger Swirl Soap Making (but please don’t use a glass mixing bowl like she does!)


Eve’s Garden Making Lavender Patchouli Soap, Hanger Swirl Technique


Amy Warden Bouquet Swirl - advanced cold process soap technique


Luna Swirl Soap Tutorial: How to do a Luna Swirl
 
Last edited:
To enter the May 2024 SMF Challenge, copy and paste these instructions and the entire list into a new post, adding the next number at the bottom.

Sign-up list:
1.
2.
 
Last edited:
To enter the May 2024 SMF Challenge, post your name in the list below.

Then copy and paste these instructions and the entire list into a new post, adding the next number at the bottom.


Sign-up list:
1.
2.
To enter the May 2024 SMF Challenge, post your name in the list below.

Then copy and paste these instructions and the entire list into a new post, adding the next number at the bottom.


Sign-up list:
1. Justsomeguy - it's gonna be nerve wrecking but I'm in. My first venture into multicolored soap😬
2.
 
To enter the May 2024 SMF Challenge, post your name in the list below.

Then copy and paste these instructions and the entire list into a new post, adding the next number at the bottom.


Sign-up list:
1. Justsomeguy - it's gonna be nerve wrecking but I'm in. My first venture into multicolored soap😬
2. Ackosel - I need to get a hanger and learn how to use it. Expecting to enjoy the learning process, submit a very unimpressive entry, and have fun doing it!
3,
 
Clarification: you have to layer the soap before swirling? You can't do an ITP or Drop swirl and then use the hanger?
Thanks for asking that question! Layering it into the mold is optional, not mandatory. That's just the simplest version of instructions for those making a basic hanger swirl. Those who want to get fancy are welcome to do so!

So yes, you can do an ITP, drop swirl, or any other type of pour - as long as you do use the hanger tool to swirl what you put into the mold. :)
 
To enter the May 2024 SMF Challenge, post your name in the list below.

Then copy and paste these instructions and the entire list into a new post, adding the next number at the bottom.


Sign-up list:
1. Justsomeguy - it's gonna be nerve wrecking but I'm in. My first venture into multicolored soap😬
2. Ackosel - I need to get a hanger and learn how to use it. Expecting to enjoy the learning process, submit a very unimpressive entry, and have fun doing it!
3. Relle
4.
 
To enter the May 2024 SMF Challenge, post your name in the list below.

Then copy and paste these instructions and the entire list into a new post, adding the next number at the bottom.

Sign-up list:
1. Justsomeguy - it's gonna be nerve wrecking but I'm in. My first venture into multicolored soap😬
2. Ackosel - I need to get a hanger and learn how to use it. Expecting to enjoy the learning process, submit a very unimpressive entry, and have fun doing it!
3. Relle
4. dmcgee5034 - have hanger, will swirl 🌸
5.
 
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I love it! Question - the Luna swirl uses ombré pours which technically creates more than five colors - or would you just count the two colors that make up the ombré as two colors?
For ombre, I would count only the colors that were mixed to create the ombre effect - not all the gradients that were achieved. Does that make sense?
 
To enter the May 2024 SMF Challenge, post your name in the list below.

Then copy and paste these instructions and the entire list into a new post, adding the next number at the bottom.

Sign-up list:
1. Justsomeguy - it's gonna be nerve wrecking but I'm in. My first venture into multicolored soap😬
2. Ackosel - I need to get a hanger and learn how to use it. Expecting to enjoy the learning process, submit a very unimpressive entry, and have fun doing it!
3. Relle
4. dmcgee5034 - have hanger, will swirl 🌸
5. McKherringFarm
6.
 

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