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Project

Striped Soaps

Delight someone with a fresh-scented and boldly striped soap. Purchase clear and white glycerin soap at a crafts store. Use a mini loaf pan as a mold; each "loaf" of soap requires 2 cups of each soap and yields six bars of soap.

Introduction



Materials

  • Glycerin
  • Peppermint oil
  • Glycerin
  • Plastic spoon

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Melt the glycerin according to the package instructions, using 1/4 cup at a time.

  2. Step 2

    Stir in a drop of peppermint oil (available at most health-food stores) with a plastic spoon; for the clear glycerin, add drops of red food coloring, stirring until you get the desired hue.

  3. Step 3

    Pour the 1/4 cup of melted soap into the loaf pan. Let cool for 20 minutes.

  4. Step 4

    Score the top with a fork. Repeat, alternating colors, until the pan is full.

  5. Step 5

    Let set for 4 hours. Pop soap out of pan, and slice into bars.

  6. Step 6

    Wrap each bar in cellophane; tape it shut, and tie with bakery string.

  7. Step 7

    Cut holly-leaf tags out of green construction paper.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, December 2004

Reviews (37)

  • 19 Dec, 2012

    Also, the web directions left out a step---- put your loaf pan of soap in the freezer for 20 minutes to get it to come out of the pan. It popped right out for me.

  • 19 Dec, 2012

    Don't let the negative reviews dissuade you from trying this. It's not un-doable. I followed all of the directions and it all came out just fine. It's best to do it on a day when you can work on something else in the house, leaving the double-boilers going on the stove and keeping the glycerin heated between steps. After I poured each layer, I put the loaf pan in the refridgerator for 20 min. This let each layer set up. I was also very careful when slicing because the layers can come apart.

  • 16 Dec, 2011

    This is a cool idea and I love the stripes! I'm planning to print this out for a friend of mine. I'm hoping these instructions don't give her any of the problems described in the comments section though. But she's been making handmade soaps for years, so hopefully between the instructions and tips by all of you, she'll know what to do. Thanks!

  • 27 Nov, 2011

    I have found a consistent problem with directions from "Martha" not giving consistent results. I have had to tweak the directions every time, with trying to fix failed attempts. This proves to be 2-3 x more expensive then making something needs to be. With this soap recipe, I had to reheat slightly after allowing to harden to meld the layers together. I only wait 2 minutes before scoring with a fork, by 20 minutes, my soap was completely set. Run a knife around sides of mini loaf for removal.

  • 27 Nov, 2011

    A mini loaf pan holds 2 cups. If you're having problems, go to soapqueen.com - she has lots of tutorials on how to make both melt-and-pour and lye soap.
    I've made this twice with no problems either time. I did spray each layer with alcohol before adding the next.

  • 27 Nov, 2011

    A mini loaf pan holds 2 cups. If you're having problems, go to soapqueen.com - she has lots of tutorials on how to make both melt-and-pour and lye soap.
    I've made this twice with no problems either time. I did spray each layer with alcohol before adding the next.

  • 25 Nov, 2011

    I agree, melting soap is not really making soap. It would nice to have an easy from scatch recipe using real glycerine which is good for your skin.

  • 24 Nov, 2011

    Making soap from pre-made soap at the craft store may be a time saver, but it is not real soap making to me. I would like to learn to make soap the old fashioned way, with animal fat. Please teach us how to do that.

  • 7 Nov, 2011

    How big is a 'mini' loaf pan? What size did everybody use?

  • 27 Dec, 2010

    I tried all the tricks - rubbing alcohol, scoring with a fork, pouring when the last layer was still warm - and still my layers separated when I cut it. So I cut into smaller pieces and suspended in a solid block of the white glycerin died green. Worked out in the end, but I was disappointed when the original stripes failed.

  • 15 Dec, 2010

    This was fun and easy to make and my 3 and 5 yr. old boys enjoyed helping pour the glycerin. I used disposable tin loaf pans so it was easy to bend or tear and pop the loaf out. Some of the layer did come apart when I cut them so I laid them flat on a paper plate and heated them for 6-7 seconds and then gently pressed them together and smoothed them with my finger. My 5 yr. old can't wait to give a bar to his teacher!

  • 15 Dec, 2010

    This soap was fun and easy to make...my 3 and 5 yr. olds enjoyed helping pour the glycerin with me. My 5 yr old can't wait to give a bar to his teacher. Using a disposable tin loaf pan made it easy to pop out the soap when done. When I cut the soap, some of the layers did come apart but I laid them on their side and heated them for 6-7 seconds and gently pressed them together and smoothed them with my finger. A fun and easy gift!

  • 12 Dec, 2010

    a silicone loaf pan could work

  • 30 Nov, 2010

    Couldn't you just use parchment paper as a liner instead of a non-stick spray?

  • 1 Aug, 2010

    You can spray the sides and bottom with Pam, but you don't want lots of extra oil on the pan, so you may need to wipe excess off with a paper towel. If you put alsohol (70%--found at drug stores) in a spray bottle, you can spray the soap between layers. This helps to get rid of air bubbles and to adhere it to the next layer.

  • 21 Dec, 2009

    Is there a secret to getting the soap out of the loaf pan? Can you spray it with Pam or something?

  • 30 Nov, 2009

    Martha Stewart's line at Michael's includes that bakery string. The problem I had with these is that I had trouble getting the soap out of the loaf pan mold! I did have a few layers come loose. I scored the layers, applied warm water and put something heavy over the soaps to help the layers "glue" back together. Seems to have worked. Hopefully they won't come apart once the person opens them!

  • 2 Oct, 2009

    Where can you get the cute red and white bakery string, pictured?

  • 16 Feb, 2009

    To get the layers to bond together, spray to cooled layer with rubbing alcohol, then pour on the next layer. Don't worry, the alcohol will evaporate, and the layers will stick.

  • 23 Dec, 2008

    It's important, that's why I said it twice!

  • 23 Dec, 2008

    Oh bloody hell. How many hours did I spend on this soap bar only to have it fall to pieces once I start slicing it? If there's some trick involved, it'd be nice for Martha to update her instructions accordingly -- not that it would have helped me, since I was using a recipe from the printed magazine.

    Perhaps I was only meant to admire the recipe, what with all the pretty prose and attractive pictures. Silly me to think it represented an actual procedure for making festive freakin' soap.

  • 23 Dec, 2008

    Oh bloody hell. How many hours did I spend on this soap bar only to have it fall to pieces once I start slicing it? If there's some trick involved, it'd be nice for Martha to update her instructions accordingly -- not that it would have helped me, since I was using a recipe from the printed magazine.

    Perhaps I was only meant to admire the recipe, what with all the pretty prose and attractive pictures. Silly me to think it represented an actual procedure for making festive freakin' soap.

  • 11 Dec, 2008

    CAT123, if you still have those red and white matchsticks, cut them up in little cubes and suspend them in clear glycerin soap. Or melt them together and make pink. One of the things I love about glycerin soap is that it's fairly recyclable. I also love the fact that if you spill it, oh well, it's soap!

  • 11 Dec, 2008

    I make glycerin soap, and while I've not tried these bars, I can usually get my layers to stick by spraying them with rubbing alcohol. Sometimes, though, the colors bleed between layers. These could turn out as pink peppermints. I'll have to give them a try, only on a smaller scale. I'll report back.

  • 6 Dec, 2008

    I wish I read the comments, my soap fell apart too...so disappointing. Any ideas?

  • 25 Nov, 2008

    Layers didn't stick, even though (warned by comments) I did everything as I was supposed to -- scoring the layers, pouring each layer at exactly 20 minutes so underlayer was still a bit warm. I used Michael's soaps -- I did everything to a T. I have a pile of red and white matchsticks. Big waste of a lot of time and about 35 dollars.

  • 20 Aug, 2008

    You can use different colors too, for different holidays and seasons.

  • 14 May, 2008

    NICE COLORS , I LIKE HANDCREFETED SOAP MYSELF
    I ENJOY THOSE SOAP IS HEALTHY FOR MY SKIN
    IM VERY ALERGIC
    http://www.naturalhandcraftedsoap.com

  • 9 Jan, 2008

    just don't over do it with the peppermint oil, a little goes a long way! If it's too strong it could burn "delicate" areas:)

  • 8 Jan, 2008

    You don't need to have the underneath layer warm ~ just simply put some rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spritz the hardened layer and then pour the new layer. It will adhere perfectly - no separation :)

  • 13 Dec, 2007

    I made this soap and it looks so nice and festive. Regrettably, some of the layers did not adhere to eachother. Although I timed each layer and scored them prior to adding the next layer, some layers stuck to one another and others did not. Any ideas for how to make this work?

  • 1 Dec, 2007

    I have tried food-grade coloring without any adverse effect. That is, no skin staining or irritation, etc.

  • 1 Dec, 2007

    Actually, you can buy a red soap dye, but they are fairly expensive compared to food coloring. Usually about a $1 per color, but they normally come in 3 packs so about $3 for the dye set compared to $1 for food coloring. I don't think it will stain the skin but may leave a little pink tinge in the tub.

  • 1 Dec, 2007

    Has anyone tried this? Does the red food coloring have any adverse effects like turning your skin pink or staining your white bathroom tile pink? I've never made anything like this with food coloring.

  • 29 Nov, 2007

    I'd like to try it with vanilla essential oil in the white part so it would be peppermint vanilla OR how about white chocolate peppermint................. hmmmmmm, you have to excuse me but I just had cocoa and chocolate peppermint milano cookies!

  • 29 Nov, 2007

    Oops, the instructions do say to add peppermint oil-I don't know why I didn't see that...sorry!

  • 29 Nov, 2007

    This would be even better if you added peppermint essential oil, so that the soap smelled like peppermint too.