December 2015 Impression Mat Soap Challenge, Part 2 – Blackberry Lemon

Part 2 – Working with negative impression mats

(See previous blog for part 1)

This is the second half of the December soap challenge by Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soap works, on making soap with Impression Mats.

Blackberry Lemon Soap:

My second attempt with impression mats was using the Wilton Fondant negative impression mat. I cut it to fit my 9-bar mold and painted it with dry mica.

There were several challenges with doing this: the lines were very thin and it was difficult to put the mica on them without spilling over. Also, I have a limited choice of micas to use – not many that are vibrant. I used: TKB Shimmer Lemon Pop, BB Coral, TKB Queen Kathryn, TKB Pearl Green, TKB Soapberry Purple, and TKB Pearl Blue Mica.

There are lots of vines and I colored them all, but my color was a light green. In the end, I also used BB Snowflake Sparkle mica on the entire main body of the mat to give it some shimmer.


Impression mat painted with dry mica.



Impression mat laid into a 9-bar mold – you can see more of the sparkle mica that covers the whole base of the mat.

I used these same colors for a drop swirl into 30 oz of soap batter with TD to lighten the slight discolor of the fragrance.

FO’s used were 1 oz of BB Sweet Meyer Lemon, .5 oz of BB Earl Grey Lemon Tea, and 1.5 oz of BB Blackberry Sage Cybilla – added to both the base & colors. Here are the details:

30 oz Natural base with TD & .5 oz SML & .5 oz Earl Grey
5 oz TKB Shimmer Lemon Pop mica .62 oz SML FO
3 oz BB Coral mica .38 oz SML FO
3 oz TKB Queen Kathryn mica .25 oz BS FO
3 oz TKB Pearl Green mica .25 oz BS FO
5 oz TKB Soapberry Purple mica .5 oz BS FO
5 oz TKB Pearl Blue mica .5 oz BS FO


Clockwise: TKB Shimmer Lemon Pop, BB Coral, TKB Queen Kathryn, TKB Soapberry Purple, TKB Pearl Green, TKB Pearl Blue, and TD in the center.

The FO added to the yellow got really stiff (in hindsight, I used way too much) and the coral color was a bit thicker than the others.


Top (to be the bottom?) of Blackberry Lemon soap.

No matter how much I straighten these dividers, the middle ones always bow out. If anyone has a fix for this, please let me know.


Soap with dividers.

Sadly I almost ruined these beautiful colors by accidentally spraying vinegar on top instead of alcohol. (The edges of each bar were a bit curdled after curing, so I planed those off.)


Soap just out of the mold with the mat still on.



Impression mat removed. You can see the dividers and some of the drop swirl purple has broken through, disrupting the white background.

The colors that I painted on the mat did not all transfer to the soap – especially the green vines. The snow flake sparkle mica that I put on the mat base did seem to transfer nicely, although it’s difficult to see that in the photo (Look at the top left & right of top center areas of the photos).


Dry mica painted on the soap.

I dry painted some of the mica colors onto the soap, but the vines were too tedious and it would have been impossible to stay in the thin lines.

I have seen oil mica painted on, but I don’t care for the look – to me it’s too thick and unrefined, so I didn’t try it. (I just don’t have that steady of a hand!)


Close up.

WAY too much work for a $5 bar of soap!


Top or bottom?



Bottom or top?




Not sure which side to package as the top of the bar. I prefer colors that pop, so am more inclined to use the swirl as the top. Or possible putting the label on the side so people can choose for themselves. Any suggestions?

As they say on Cookie Challenges and Cupcake Wars: this is Not a $10,000 bar of soap!

I think this impression mat technique would look nice on shampoo bars and possibly salt bars, (sans the dry mica coloring) as they set up so quickly there is a limited amount of time to do much designing.

Happy Soaping!!

Happy Holidays!!


Something fun with the leftover soap – put in Victorian Heart molds (and later dusted with snowflake sparkle mica)




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