I have made this soap several times – always over coloring (you can see blog here), but I like this simpler version best:
Description of Bramble Berry Woodland Elves FO: This fragrance officially welcomes you to the holiday season! It’s the perfect combination of Christmas trees and Christmas spices including Siberian Fir, White Pine, Clove Buds and Mistletoe Berries. The pine and spice is tamed down by Pink Grapefruit, Frosted Lily and ripe Pineapple. Woodsy & spicy. CP: super strong – use a maximum of 1/3 to 1/2 oz pps; no discolor; acceleration (was fine for a while, then started to separate & clump; 2nd & 3rd time, worked great). Reviews: several with acceleration issues.
Make light green clear glycerine Christmas tree soap embed tubes with glitter. (CC Crystal Clear MP)
Make glycerine gold mica star embeds.
3 lb silicone mold.
35.5 oz CP soap batter (with 1 oz FO)
Plus 16.5 oz embeds: 15 oz trees + 1.5 oz gold stars.
Pour off 7.5 oz for making unscented soap samples.
Master batch Oils #8: 30 oz Oils (Makes 43 oz soap)
MB Oils: 30 oz/ 851 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 4.27 oz / 121 grams
Distilled Water: (1.9 oz/ 20% disc): 8 oz / 227 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 9 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 9 grams (in oils)
Ginseng Extract (1%): 9 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 9 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
30 oz TD White
5.5 oz MM Hunter Green mica
15 oz MP green trees (CC Apple green mica with BB fine & regular iridescent glitters)
1.5 oz MP gold stars (BB Gold Sparkle mica)
(BB = Bramble Berry, MM = Mica’s & More, CC = Crafters Choice Wholesales Supplies Plus)
Spritz trees with alcohol and put them in mold
ITP swirl with green into white. Pour batter around tree, add gold stars on top.
Green, gold, & silver mica oils on top
Put in refrigerator to prevent MP embeds from melting.
I made the embeds first thing in the morning, using detergent free CC Crystal Clear Glycerine (MP) soap. This took 2 -3 hours to get the trees poured, set, and in the freezer so they were stiff enough to get out of the mold.
I soaped the CP at 110F lye liquid and 115F oils, stick blended (using immersion blender) until emulsified; poured off 7.5 oz for making unscented soap samples.
I added the FO to the rest of the batter, then poured 5.5 oz for the Hunter Green color. When I add any FO to my entire soap, it’s always the “kiss of death,” and this was no exception, as the batter accelerated quickly. What saved me was that I started at emulsified, and I needed the soap to be at least a medium trace anyway.
I poured the green into the white in three different spots, did two swirls with my spatula and poured on both sides of the tree embeds I had put in the bottom of the mold. I covered the trees with a little batter, then blindly added the gold stars where I thought the top of the trees were – one for each slice.
I attempted to swirl some green, gold, & silver mica oils on top, but the soap was too thick to cooperate well. I immediately put the loaf in the refrigerator, to prevent it from heating up and melting the MP embeds.
I like the look of the green and gold mica oils:
The soap has beautiful swirls on the side, but it split in several spots on top:
I don’t know why I got the cracks on top (fortunately it’s not too noticeable when cut):
You can better see the clarity of the glycerine embeds when lit up from behind:
I’m very surprised that the top split – that hasn’t happened with this soap before. (Next time it might help to put into the freezer for a while first, then transfer to the fridge.)
It would be better to make the embeds the day before, so they have plenty of time to set and un-mold. (I prefer to make all my embeds with CP a week before. However, this tree mold doesn’t work well with CP, hence the use of MP. It is nice to have the clear and sparkle of MP occasionally too). The regular iridescent glitter shows up much better than the fine glitter – but I wonder if it’s slightly scratchy on the skin?
Next time I would pour some soap on bottom of the mold, then put trees on top of this, so that batter will get all around the tree trunk.
I wish I could find a smaller tree tube mold or even better, an elf tube mold and/or little elf embeds to put on the top, but I searched the internet without success. (It would be great to come up with a different name for this soap too – any ideas?)
Another option that might work better than using individual stars is to use a tiny star tube mold for the top – I just ordered one for next year. (I was reluctant to use my large star tube this time, as I didn’t want to overwhelm the tree.)