These scented swirly two-tone soaps make quick and easy Christmas gifts – if you can bear to part with them. I love using essential oils and choose fragrances that make me feel happy. I have gone with using single oils but there is no reason why you can’t blend them to make your own signature fragrance. Melt & Pour soap bases can be purchased from any soap-making supplier such as Pure Nature and couldn’t be easier to use: you simply cut it into cubes, heat briefly in the microwave to melt, add fragrance and colour, and pour into a mould.
235g Melt & Pour White Soap*
175g Melt & Pour Clear Soap*
5g Essential Oil**
1/2 tsp Mica Powder***
*The amounts of M&P soap used here were due to the amounts I actually had of the white and clear but the total amount was perfect to fit the standard six square moulds I have. I had previously made this using equal amounts of each but wanted to achieve more of a white soap with swirls of the colour through it so decided to reduce the clear (which is the part that will be coloured).
** Essential oils all have different densities and so an equivalent volume will weigh different amounts so it is better to measure them by weight, and include them as a percentage of the total weight. In this case I used 5g which is a little over 1% of the total.
*** Mica powders come in a vast array of colours and give a gorgeous shimmery effect as well. I chose mine to match the different essential oils I was going to use (lavender and rose) but you could choose your favourite colour, or match the decor or the season or the gift packaging you intend to use.
You will also need a set of scales, 2 Pyrex jugs, spoons for stirring, a microwave (you can use a double boiler instead but a microwave is so quick and easy), and mould(s) for the soap. I used a standard 6 cavity square soap mould but you could use any silicone mould (such as ones used for baking) in any shape you wish.
Cut the white and clear M&P soap into cubes and put into separate jugs.
Melt the clear soap in the microwave (1min then 30sec bursts as/if needed) until liquid.
Melt the white soap in the microwave as above until completely melted.
While the white base is melting, add all of the mica and half of the essential oil to the clear melted base and mix well.
Then add the remainder of the essential oil to the white melted soap and mix well.
Then you pour your soap into the moulds. You can do this however you want – play around and experiment. You can (as I did) pour the white in first and then pour in the coloured part. Or try pouring the jugs at the same time or wait until the first pour is just about set and then pour on top to create a layer. Although the result is pretty, I was a bit disappointed that the coloured soap seemed to mostly sink to the bottom but it did leave some swirls of colour through the white which was what I was hoping for. Perhaps if I let the white part start to set but not completely it would provide more resistance to the colour sinking to the bottom?
Leave the soap to set completely in the moulds, then take them out and wrap them as you wish.