February 21 is the day to celebrate Finger Painting. This artistic style is traditionally popular among the preschool crowd, but I’ll let you in on a little secret – it’s fun to do even as an adult!
To mark this fun day and painting style, I channeled the idea of fingerpainting into the dimensional world of soap by making an in-the-pot swirl. I used Yellow Oxide, Moss Green, and Ultramarine Blue colorants, and I added Titanium Dioxide to the main batch of soap to make it white.
A few people who got to see my soap after I cut it have commented about the colors, and so far, my soap has been compared to Van Gogh, ocean-inspired fingerpaintings, mountain meadows, and even marbles. I’ve found it quite fascinating to see how each person sees something different in the same bars of soap!
While this particular soap doesn’t require us to use our fingers to create the swirls, this surprisingly easy technique will have you making soap that will be loved for the complex looking colored swirls!
Let’s gather what we need to make some fabulous soap.
Palm Kernel Oil
Sodium Lactate to increase hardness
Coconut Lemongrass Fragrance Oil
Moss Green colorant
Ultramarine Blue colorant
Yellow Oxide colorant
Glycerin to disperse colorants
Soap Cutting Tool
Please begin with this blog post if you have never made cold process soap before! Then join me in the kitchen to make this soap.
Finger Paint in-the-pot Swirl Soap:
|Recipe in Ounces (41 oz of oils)
15.38 oz Soybean Oil
12.81 oz Palm Kernel Oil
10.25 oz Sunflower Oil
2.56 oz Cocoa Butter
5.7 oz Sodium Hydroxide (lye) (5% superfat)
|Recipe in Percentages
37.5% Soybean Oil
31.25% Palm Kernel Oil
25% Sunflower Oil
6.25% Cocoa Butter
I started by dissolving the lye into the distilled water. When it was completely clear, I added the Sodium Lactate to produce a firmer bar. Then I melted the oils, which were weighed in a soap bucket. After they were all liquid, I poured the lye water into the oils and stirred well. I stick blended the batter just enough to emulsify the mixture, then I mixed in the Coconut Lemongrass fragrance oil.
I poured off about 12 oz of the soap batter into each of three different containers. I added Titanium Dioxide to the main batter and stick blended it until it was well mixed. Then I put the three different colors (which were premixed in glycerin) into each of the three separate containers, and I stick blended each, going lightest to darkest.
At this point, I thought I’d probably poured off too much of the different colors, but no going back at this point! I poured some of each color into different spots in the main batter, then I went back and poured the rest of each color. The batter was very fluid, so I really didn’t need to do any swirling. I think it might have been better to let the batter become a bit thicker first. Another thing that might have been better was to use a container that was wide and shallow rather than tall and narrow. As I poured my in-the-pot swirled soap batter into the mold, I saw that it had mixed a lot more than I’d expected would happen. The great thing about swirls, though, is that they usually look great! It may not have been exactly what was intended, but unless you tell, no one will guess you felt it was a mistake.
The scent of the Coconut Lemongrass fragrance reminds me of Thai cooking, so now I’m craving Pad Thai. I was definitely not expecting that to be the result of an afternoon making soap!
I’m not sure the end result looks a lot like finger painting. I should have colored less of the soap batter. Next time I’ll remember that! However, the soap looks and smells fantastic.
I am looking forward to trying a bar of this after it cures, as I have never soaped with Sunflower Oil before.