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TheGecko

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My son is getting married in late May; he and his fiance are in their early 30s, have two kids and have a good handle on everything. Given that she is her parents' only child, I know her folks are covering the reception and I've donated some dollars for the honeymoon (don't know what the ex is doing, we don't speak). Since I'm just the mother of the Groom and because she is her parent's only child...I have made it a point to stay in the background, with the exception of a tradition that was unknowing started by my father's mother. Grandpa had given Grandma a set of pearls on their wedding day; when Dad and Mom got married, she gave the pearls to my Mom. Mom gave me the pearls on my wedding day and now I'm giving them to my future DIL on her wedding day and she will in turn, give them to her daughter on her wedding day.

Anyhoo...I'm feeling just a little bit sad because it is doubtful that I will ever be the "mother of the bride" as neither of my girls are interested in getting married (which I'm totally cool with). I in no way want to be one of THOSE MILs, but would like to be a tiny bit more involved with something so I offered to make some 'wedding soap' for the tables. DIL flipped...she loves the idea! Turns out she wanted to ask me if I would make some soap, but thought it would be presumptuous since I am paying for the honeymoon.

I was originally going to go with some simple heart molds in their colors of Navy and Rust and then put their initials on the soap. After pricing stamps (wow) I figured I could do a couple of fancy initials and after trying it on some soap I made last week...that's a no go. So I went back online and found the below mold. She loves it.

I already have the colorants and I'm going with Black Raspberry Vanilla. I bought two molds and will be making 80 soaps and was originally going to do half Navy and half Rust, but the more I look at the molds....hmmmmm. I'm thinking the all rosebud on the upper left would look good as a solid Navy with a dusting of Copper (makeup brush). The lower two could be done with inset colors...navy with copper, copper with navy and I could set them on a heating pad and cover to set up the inset faster. The one on the upper right...I really want to add red and green for the flowers and heart.

So time to calculate the batch and...crap. I just looked at the molds, didn't even think to check the size (I KNOW BETTER). 1.8"x1.8"x1/3" and 1.8 oz. So we're talking 'guest soap' size and that's just not going to work because I wanted something the guests could actually use. So now I'm looking at making 160 soaps.

Heart 2.png



Another option is to do a standard heart shape (3.5 oz) , but with a Mirror Glaze Soap. So I went ahead and order a set of molds.

Both molds will be here tomorrow. I'll make a test batch a test batch with both molds, do some decorating and then let them choose. And then I will need to order boxes and labels. I'm just going to order plain white boxes and clear address labels...put their name and the date.
 

dibbles

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I love the family tradition of the pearls. There is a similar tradition in my family with an embroidered handkerchief that my grandmother carried on her wedding day - passed to her daughter (my aunt), and both my daughter and DIL carried it in their weddings. It is a very special feeling to have this on your wedding day, as you know.

Have you ever done the mirror glaze technique? My avatar is soaps I made using this technique. It makes a lovely soap, but there are some things you should know if you haven't done it before. You can ask here or PM me. The two most important pieces are that there is a lot of waste (poured over soap can be collected in a bag or silicone slab mold and then put into other individual cavity molds, so not a complete loss, but there is a significant amount of run off). Over 80 soaps, I think this would add up to a lot! The other thing is that this technique requires making the soaps one day, unmolding them and then doing the pour over. And babysitting it for a couple of hours to spray with alcohol to avoid ash forming.

If you haven't seen the same maker do this with a stone individual cavity mold, it might be another option for your larger hearts. It makes a pretty swirl. Or could you make the small heart molds and then put them on top of one of the bigger hearts? Or maybe make the larger hearts and embellish with gold leaf? I think it's very special that you are doing this for your son and future DIL.
 
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TheGecko

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Have you ever done the mirror glaze technique? My avatar is soaps I made using this technique. It makes a lovely soap, but there are some things you should know if you haven't done it before. You can ask here or PM me. The two most important pieces are that there is a lot of waste (poured over soap can be collected in a bag or silicone slab mold and then put into other individual cavity molds, so not a complete loss, but there is a significant amount of run off). Over 80 soaps, I think this would add up to a lot! The other thing is that this technique requires making the soaps one day, unmolding them and then doing the pour over. And babysitting it for a couple of hours to spray with alcohol to avoid ash forming.

If you haven't seen the same maker do this with a stone individual cavity mold, it might be another option for your larger hearts. It makes a pretty swirl. Or could you make the small heart molds and then put them on top of one of the bigger hearts? Or maybe make the larger hearts and embellish with gold leaf? I think it's very special that you are doing this for your son and future DIL.

In Yvonne’s video she puts the soap on overturned cups in a slab mold and then just insulates it; she then used the overrun for a confetti soap later on. I figured I’d do it over a wire rack covered w/silicone shelf liner over a slab mold. I anticipated losing at least 50% of the soap, but since I won’t be able to make more than 18 soaps at a time do to limitations in molds and racks, I might be able, given the size of my one slab mold, have it thin enough to make a rimmed soap. Or I can make paper trays from freezer paper on cookie sheets.

I’ll know more one I get the molds and run a test batch. Sans scent of course since it’s a FO I have used many time, but I also need to test color to make sure I get the shades right (lots of notes and measuring). Once I figure which way I am going, then I will make two master batches for the Navy and Copper soaps so there is no color variation from one batch to the other since I won’t be able to do all the soaps in a single day. If I go with the more decorative soaps, I’ll only need two Master Batches, but if I go with the Mirror Glaze, that will require additional MBs.

In hindsight, I could have kept this simple as I already have a bunch of ‘rose’ soap molds, but nooooooooo…I wanted to do something extra special. Add to this…it’s tax season so now I have two deadlines…taxes on April 15th and soap done by April 14th so it has six weeks to cure.

PS - The soaps in your avatar are gorgeous!
 

dibbles

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I don't want to discourage you from trying - it is fun and I think with the navy and copper colors the soap will be beautiful. There is an advantage to setting the soaps to be glazed on something raised - like overturned cups - and that is it allows the excess to drip off. Once it stopped dripping I was able to carefully move the cup to another tray and collect the overpour. You will just have to give it a go and see what you think once you've done it. I'd love to see pictures once you do!
 

TheGecko

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I don't want to discourage you from trying - it is fun and I think with the navy and copper colors the soap will be beautiful. There is an advantage to setting the soaps to be glazed on something raised - like overturned cups - and that is it allows the excess to drip off. Once it stopped dripping I was able to carefully move the cup to another tray and collect the overpour. You will just have to give it a go and see what you think once you've done it. I'd love to see pictures once you do!

Nothing you said was discouraging, just very thoughtful about the challenges to be faced based on experience (Second Place in the Regular Category for the April 2019 Soap Challenge Club; FYI, I love the Ocean ones)

I have quite a few [soap] videos bookmarked, both successful and not so successful on the various techniques: Mirror glaze, dusting edges, insetting a different color. For the Mirror Glaze, some things that I noted:

1) Consistency of batter. It needs to be thin enough to pour, but not so thin that it just slides right off the soap so maybe a light-medium trace? And whatever colorants you use, they all need to behave exactly the same; one person had lumps because one of their colorants had thickened up.

2) Pouring container. A v-shaped spout is better than a rounded spout, though I think the long spout container would be better as it gives your batter more time to thin out to get better lines and swirls.

3) How you add the colors to the container. The best technique seems to be to add you colors, high to low and in the same direction you are pouring.

Did you do an undercoating? A lot of folks just made a white soap and poured directly on and then their glaze didn't quite cover all the soap. Yvonne had made a darker pink soap and then poured an undercoating of one of her glazing shades. Lei Lei used a complimentary soap color, but her batter was super thin and she went back and forth several times. If I do the Mirror Glaze, then I plan one half of the soaps Navy and the other half Copper with the glaze (as yet undetermined) to be the same for all the soaps.

And how did you calculate your batter for the glaze?

I may just dig out my video camera and tripod for this experiment, if only see what I did wrong. LOL
 

dibbles

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I'm not the best at taking notes, but I do still have my recipe sheets from that challenge so I'll try to remember what I did. I used a regular recipe for the soap bars. I would definitely recommend using a colored soap for the base since you have a set color palette. Spritz the base soaps with RA before pouring the glaze. My glaze recipe was 50% lard, 20% coconut, 20% olive oil and 10% HO sunflower - 40% lye concentration, 1% SF. I am pretty sure I left this part unscented. My notes say that I used a white base with an ITP light blue swirl for the ocean soaps. I think the black and white were solid white.

1) Consistency of batter. It needs to be thin enough to pour, but not so thin that it just slides right off the soap so maybe a light-medium trace? And whatever colorants you use, they all need to behave exactly the same; one person had lumps because one of their colorants had thickened up.
My batter was very fluid throughout the pour - less than light medium trace. I don't remember the colorants being an issue at all. I pretty much only use micas, so I'm pretty sure that's what I used.
2) Pouring container. A v-shaped spout is better than a rounded spout, though I think the long spout container would be better as it gives your batter more time to thin out to get better lines and swirls.
Maybe - I have some of those long spout containers, but I really don't like them. I can't remember exactly what I did use, but it might have even been small paper cups with the lip pinched. I didn't mix my colors in one pot. It looks like I might have mixed the black and white on one of the bars (I may have been running low on batter at that point), but I'm very sure the silver color was always poured separately. I don't remember pouring a base for my designs, but I think it would be a good thing to try with your two colors. You would potentially end up with less waste that way.
3) How you add the colors to the container. The best technique seems to be to add you colors, high to low and in the same direction you are pouring.
Answered this early - I didn't add all my colors to one pot. I think I wanted to keep my options open. As far as figuring out how much glaze to make - I just made a lot LOL. I'm sure I had extra. Sorry, I know this isn't helpful. My total glaze batch weight was 24 ounces, but I can't remember how many soaps I made. Maybe 8-10?

If you are interested, Amy Warden makes the tutorials available for purchase Soapmaking Tutorials - the mirror glaze tutorial is in the Just for Fun section.

If you can think of anything else, let me know. I'll help if I can - seems so much longer than 3 years ago!
 

Zany_in_CO

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their colors of Navy and Rust
@TheGecko I've been musing about that color combo ever since you posted it. Navy soap is fairly easy but a pretty rust color is a bit more challenging I've found. So, when I came across this video while searching for something else, I thought I'd post it here. See what you think.

She uses turmeric powder, ginger powder & honey to make a lovely rust color soap. The EO blend is Bergamot, Orange & Lemongrass. Go to 7:30 mark to see how she adds the colorant. Then to the 18:00 mark to see the cut soaps.



ETA: She has some good tips on keeping the colors separate from each other.
 
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TheGecko

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I've been musing about that color combo ever since you posted it. Navy soap is fairly easy but a pretty rust color is a bit more challenging I've found. So, when I came across this video while searching for something else, I thought I'd post it here. See what you think.

She uses turmeric powder, ginger powder & honey to make a lovely rust color soap. The EO blend is Bergamot, Orange & Lemongrass. Go to 7:30 mark to see how she adds the colorant. Then to the 18:00 mark to see the cut soaps.

ETA: She has some good tips on keeping the colors separate from each other.

Much appreciated but not quite what what I had in mind and was planning on using colorants and scent I already have available. I have two darker blues...Klein Blue Mica (Nurture Soap) and Matte Cobalt Blue Ultramarine (Crafter's Choice). I'll run a test with just them and then with a bit of Black Oxide or Mica to get more of a "navy". For the Rust, I have Copper Sparkle Mica (Brambleberry) and again, I'll test by itself and then with a bit of Brown Oxide or Cocoa Powder to tone it down. I'm also use Black Raspberry Vanilla...it's a fairly non-offensive scent for the majority of folks and very well behaved.

The original plan for a heart-shaped single color soap...half of them will be Navy, the other half Rust in the fancy...with their initials, but then I found the much fancier mold and my imagination took off...isn't that the way of things? LOL Worried about the size of the fancy soap, I had a back up plan...Mirror Glaze of all things.

So the molds are here...and the fancy ones are indeed as gorgeous as they look...and small; we're talking "Grandma's Guest Soap" (2" x 2", 2 oz) . You know the ones that come in a little wicker basket on some kind of crinkle paper and covered in cellophane that no one actually uses and just gathers dust? At that size, I would need to make 160 soaps at 4 soap per mold times 2 molds equals 20 batches or 1 batch per day for 3 weeks...doable with plenty of time to cure. The smart thing would be to buy more molds but 1) those suckers are almost $20 a mold, and 2) what the heck am I going to do with all those molds afterwards?!?

The second...or rather the first idea is the heart-shaped soap, but going with a Mirror Glaze. On the Pro side is 1) the size...3" x 3", 3.5oz which means I would only have to make 80 soaps, 2) each mold makes 6 six soaps and they come in packages of 3 so 18 soaps at a time and I bought 2 packs so 36 soaps per batch or 3 batches over 3 days, and 3) since they are something I would use again, each pack is only $15.00 so I could buy two more and do the soaps in a single day. The Con side is...I've never done a Mirror Glaze before and I've been watching a lot of videos; they can be wildly successful or look like a hot mess!

With that said, I try to have multiple back-up plans and a heart-shaped ITP swirl could work also so thank you.
 

dibbles

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Understandably, I know you want to make these soaps very special. What you might be losing sight of is that to a lot of people, maybe even most people, a simpler ITP swirl soap is fancy. Something to consider anyway. I’m often having people comment that they had no idea soap could be pretty. Maybe do half in the large heart size and half two of the smaller ones. I think the guests would be happy receiving either and it might save you a little time.
 

TheGecko

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Understandably, I know you want to make these soaps very special. What you might be losing sight of is that to a lot of people, maybe even most people, a simpler ITP swirl soap is fancy. Something to consider anyway. I’m often having people comment that they had no idea soap could be pretty. Maybe do half in the large heart size and half two of the smaller ones. I think the guests would be happy receiving either and it might save you a little time.

True, I've had folks gush over my Drop/Chopstick Swirls. Your suggestion is similar to what my youngest daughter suggested when she saw how small the 'fancy' soap molds were (and heard how much they cost). I won't be able to anything until this weekend so I'm going to try a little bit of everything:

1) Get the shades down. I'll use the heart-shaped molds for this.

2) Make a solid set of soaps in each set of molds.

3) Make the add'l design changes in the fancy soaps, an ITP Swirl for the heart-molds and a Mirror Glaze.

Calculating cure time, all the soaps must be made by the 16th of April. And then I will need to order boxes (that's another decision altogether).
 

Zany_in_CO

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Sounds like you have it well thought out (no surprise there)! If you're on the fence about the mirror glaze, I would skip it. It looks SO pretty on the pink soap demo; not so much on rust and navy. Plus there's the time factor in terms of learning the technique and the amount of waste.

Before deciding on packaging, take on look at "wedding favors" on line. :thumbs:

This may speed things along: How I Test EOs/FOs & Colorants in CP
 

TheGecko

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Soap Samples are in and hubby said to buy more of the little molds regardless of how much they cost.

Please ignore the bubbles, I used my electric frother since I was make little batches. The Copper Mica I tried at 1 tea PPO and 2 tea PPO (heart batch) and I think it's still too light. I looked online on how to make a 'rust' color and someone said Brown, Black, Red and Yellow at 5:2:1:1 and a tiny amount of Orange. I have all those colors and a Mica Mixer. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

The Navy samples are 1 and 2 tea PPO, I did the hearts at 3 tea PPO and got the shade I wanted; I added just a tiny amount of Black Oxide to the blue.

Wedding Samples.jpg


I added Sodium Lactate at 2 tea PPO but will back off to 1.5 tea PPO; I wanted the soap to mold a little harder, but it's a little too hard.

Texted the photo to the Bride since she and my son have final say. I let them know that this is just a trial batch.
 
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They are beautiful! ☺

I like the darker blue personally. The mold at the far right is unbelievably beautiful! I really love that design. Your son and his fiancee are very lucky! I really don't need more molds, but these are so lovely...
 

TheGecko

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They are beautiful! ☺

I like the darker blue personally. The mold at the far right is unbelievably beautiful! I really love that design. Your son and his fiancee are very lucky! I really don't need more molds, but these are so lovely...

Thank you. I don't need more molds either and these puppies are around $20.00 each. I had a few other ideas, but as soon as I unmolded, I knew that I was in for making 160 soaps (2 soaps per person) and hubby agreed. And I just got a text from the Bride...she loves them too.

The roses on the far right...I'll do them in the Dark Navy with a brush of Copper Mica.

Hubby wanted to know if I could do the 'ribbon' in a different color.

I'll also need boxes and picked out about a half dozen that the soaps will fit in and sent a link to the bride.
 

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