I hope that you all are gearing up for a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. And I also hope that you've got your holiday soaps ready for gifting!
This year, I made only two holiday soaps: Peppermint Wonderland and this Christmas Tree soap. I usually make more, but hubby and I have been anticipating a move, which has kept us both distracted, and I still have plenty of other soaps that I can gift.
But when I saw this Christmas Tree Swirl tutorial on the Soap Queen blog, I just had to make it. It is inspired by the Secret Feather Swirl technique created by Zahida of Handmade in Florida. (Check Zahida out - her soaps are absolutely amazing!)
This soap features a sort of reverse feather swirl. Instead of pushing a hanger swirl tool into the soap after pouring, I poured the soap over the hanger swirl tool and then pulled the tool out to create the Christmas Tree look.
I used my Essential Depot RED silicone mold along with my hanger swirl tool from Great Soap Shop for this project.
For the oils, I used olive oil, vegetable shortening (soybean/cottonseed blend), coconut oil, and rice bran oil. I had some coconut milk in the freezer, so I used it for part of the liquid along with some distilled water to make up the difference.
The scent is "Eucalyptus Cedar" from Elements Bath and Body, and it is a woodsy, outdoorsy scent
that is perfect for a Christmas Tree-themed soap. It appears that Elements no longer carries this scent, which brings a tear to my eye because it is fabulous. Oh, well, life is full of disappointments.
So, here's what I did. After scenting and bringing the soap to light trace, I split off two 8-ounce portions. One portion I colored with hydrated chrome green pigment and the other with gold sparkle mica.
The rest I colored with super pearly white mica, and also some titanium dioxide just to make sure that the soap turned out a vivid white.
The green and gold soap were then poured into squeeze bottles. (Remember to snip the tips!)
My hanger swirl tool fits snugly into my mold, so I placed it at the bottom and then poured a layer of white soap on top to cover it. Then I squeezed a thick line of green on top of the white soap right above where the hanger swirl tool rested beneath. Then another layer of white, followed by a thick line of gold, more white, more green, and so on and so forth, alternating the colors. I ended up making three green lines and two gold with a layer of white in between each.
Tip: It's good to bang the mold on the countertop and give it a gentle shake every now and then to get rid of air bubbles.
I wanted my soap to be at a thin trace, but once again I had trouble with the batter thickening up. Fortunately, the soap was still manageable and everything worked out okay.
At any rate, it definitely looks like there are little Christmas trees inside the soap (although some look more like Christmas trees than others), and the fragrance fits the soaps perfectly.
Here's a video I made showing the process:
I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday! As I mentioned earlier, hubby and I are moving to California at the end of December, but we are going to work in a trip home to Florida for Christmas before we go. After Christmas, we'll take a few days to make the cross-country drive. I'm not sure when I'll have the chance to make another batch of soap since we'll be spending a good chunk of January getting settled. But I will make some as soon as I can!
Wherever you are and whatever you celebrate, I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!