You've probably seen them in gift shops and boutiques—beautiful soaps with a core of dazzling colors and shapes—and asked yourself, "How the heck did they do that?" Here's how.
Step 1: Cut base into cubes Cut your base into 1-inch cubes to allow for easier melting.
Step 2: Heat soap base Place your soap base into the glass bowl or measuring cup, cover the top with plastic wrap, and heat it in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. If the base isn't completely, remove it, stir it with a whisk, and re-heat it at 10-second intervals, stirring in between, until it is. Don't forget to replace the plastic wrap each time.
Step 3: Stir gently Remove the melted base from the microwave and stir it gently, to avoid creating air bubbles.
Step 4: Add colorants Pour small amounts of the soap base into as many separate mixing bowls as colors you plan to use, and add the colorants to each. Keep at least half of your melted base aside to use as "background base" — the outer layer of soap that will contain the core of confetti pieces.
TIP: Your background base can be colorful too — just add dye or colorant to it at the same time that you dye the base for the inside colors.
Step 5: Spray with alcohol Pour a little background base into the loaf mold and spray it with rubbing alcohol to eliminate air bubbles and help the layers adhere.
Step 6: Pour confetti Pour a thin layer of the colored confetti base on a piece of wax paper and allow it to cool. If you have multiple colors, pour out some of each color.
Step 7: Cut base into confetti When the colored base has hardened—and the background base in the mold has formed a 'skin'—break, chop, or cut the colored base into 'confetti' pieces, and scatter them over the background base in the mold.
TIP: A loaf mold, true to its name, will yield a loaf of soap that will ultimately be cut into slices—so remember that whatever you put in will be visible from a cross-section cut.
Step 8: Continue pouring layers Continue pouring in layers of the background base, spraying them with alcohol, and adding pieces of colored confetti once a skin has formed.
TIP: If any of the base starts to cool and harden before you’re done with it, pop it in the microwave on high for 10 to 15 seconds until it’s re-melted.
Step 9: Add final layer Top off the mold with a final layer of background base and spray it with alcohol.
Step 10: Let cool & slice Let your creation cool several hours or overnight, pop it out of the mold, and slice it up – then marvel at your speckled masterpiece.
FACT: Early American colonists made their own soap from rendered animal fat, and by 1700 some colonies were even exporting ashes and fats for soap production.