I’m Amanda, and I put the AMANDA in A MANDAtory Activity (and I like a good bad pun).
As part of my gift and craft making for friends and family, I fell in love with making candles and soap. Now, I want to share them with you. A Mandatory Activity sells artisan candles and bath products handcrafted, by me, in Maryland. My candles are hand-poured using 100% soy wax. Take a look around and find something to love.
Are You Mesmerized by Crystal Soaps Like I Am? In this tutorial, I'm going to teach you how you can DIY your OWN amethyst crystal soap! Admittedly, I am not the first person in line for a new trend or craze. I try my best, but by and large, I'm perfectly happy in my craft […]
Are You Mesmerized by Crystal Soaps Like I Am?
In this tutorial, I'm going to teach you how you can DIY your OWN amethyst crystal soap! Admittedly, I am not the first person in line for a new trend or craze. I try my best, but by and large, I'm perfectly happy in my craft room making cards and soap and minding my own business. Sometimes, however, a craze comes along and slaps me in the face, like this one. Crystal soaps??!? Is it really a soap? Can I use it? Does it smell like a rock?
The answers are yes, yes, yes, and no. Of quartz not, don't be silly. 🙂
When I first saw a crystal amethyst soap on Pinterest I couldn't sleep because I was so anxious to get up the next day and try it. I dreamt about what mine would smell like, and how I would get the inside to look like it contained secrets and mysteries.
Look into my eyes...
I was mesmerized. If you have never seen one and this blog post and tutorial are your first introduction to an amethyst crystal soap, and you are currently scratching your head trying to figure out how in the world this comes to be?
Welcome. You've come to the right place. 🙂
What Kind of Supplies Do I Need?
Crafts in general are kind of a supply-heavy hobby, and soap making is among the more supply-heavy of the supply-heavy endeavors. So, a DIY soap project can be kind of a nightmare, but this amethyst crystal soap DIY can get pretty basic if you just want to try it out.
I'll break out for you below what you really need, and what you can do to makeshift some stuff from home.
One thing is pretty non-negotiable. You need some soap base.
Crystal Clear Melt and Pour Soap Base
Basically, you have cold processed soap, hot processed soap, and rebatch soap which are all derived from some combination of lye and oils. That's how you make soap. Without lye and oils, you have no soap. (I did a whole DIY soap basics tutorial, which I will link for you here).
On the flip side of the DIY soap spectrum, you have melt and pour soap. The pesky lye business has already been done for you...so you can avoid the scary parts and still do some of the fun creative parts.
Cold processed soap ultimately provides more flexibility for design and texture and additives, etc., but melt and pour has a clear place in my mind, and THIS PROJECT is one of them.
You cannot DIY an amethyst crystal soap by starting with a smooth, creamy, opaque oil and lye concoction. We need clear melt and pour soap to develop a really convincing crystal!
What Kind of Crystal Melt and Pour Soap, You Ask?
I like the Stephenson Melt and Pour crystal soap base, but it's not the easiest thing to get your hands on without a lot of shipping cost. In the ingredients list at the bottom of this post, I will include several different options for you to help find alternatives.
I buy mine from Brambleberry.com because the pricing is good, but you have shipping to deal with. Since I was ordering other stuff too, shipping wasn't a big deal. Amazon sells it (link below) but in my opinion, it's twice as expensive as it should be.
To help combat this, I've also recommended another brand option below from Wholesale Supplies Plus, which will send you anything you want shipped free once your order hits $25. I've also given you links to colorants and fragrance that could get you to that free shipping point if you want to go that route.
IF YOU WANT, you could just buy the one supply. You could follow this tutorial and remove all of the steps related to coloring things and making them smell nice. Even with only one supply, you'd still end up with a beautiful clear crystal soap with all of the lovely facets inside!
Some Kind of Molds, Which Could Be A Milk Carton and An Ice Cube Tray
There is an entire school of thought regarding molds and what you need to buy, but that's probably an entire blog post on it's own.
With melt and pour soap, you have a lot more options for molds. If you aren't going to be making a bunch of soap, and you're just trying this tutorial out because i've mesmerized you with my intro photo (I get it, been there), you probably don't need to go buy a soap mold.
Look around your house and see what you have that would work. Obviously you don't want something too big, because then you need a ton of soap to fill it. And you want something at least as tall as you want your crystals to be. I was thinking a standard quart-sized milk carton would do the trick. You could cut one of the long sides off, line it with freezer paper so it will release well, and use that!
Alternatively, you could use some gladware or similar containers that were deep enough to get the job done. My point is, look around the house if you don't want the investment of a soap mold.
You will also need some smaller kind of mold, so look around for one of those too...an ice cube tray? A jewelry box you could line? Or a smaller gladware container?
I'll put some soap colorant options for your in the supply list below (again, less expensive and more convenient options!).
Typically, I use mica powders because I LOVE how shimmery they get in melt and pour soap. See?
Liquid soap colorant (also linked below) is an option. There are some people who will tell you you can use food coloring. I honestly haven't tried it, but it makes me nervous. If you try it and it works, let me know! Once I've invested a chunk of money into a 2lb block soap base, I don't see the point potentially ruining it with a food coloring.
In for a penny, in for a pound, or in this case, 2lbs. 🙂
Some Stuff From Your House
Ordinarily, I would say never mix your soap making supplies with your kitchen supplies, but since melt and pour soap is already soap, using your kitchen supplies is akin to rubbing them on dish soap....no hard, no foul.
The above is true, of course, provided you are just making soap for yourself or for gifts....if you plan to sell them, don't be nasty. 🙂
You will need a cutting board, some kind of straight edged knife, a container to melt your soap in (I was lazy and used the Stephenson soap container...but let's just call that "recycling" ;)), and it helps if you have a vegetable peeler as a finishing tool.
Finally, some 91% rubbing alcohol in a little spray bottle would be helpful. Rubbing alcohol keeps your soap sections from separating from one another. It's good to spray in between pouring layers.
Amethyst Crystal Soap - Step by Step
As with many of my tutorials, there is a video link below that will walk you through all of the steps. It's about 30 minutes long, BUT it covers 2 different designs of amethyst crystal soap.
What I realized was that after I carved all the sides off of this big soap
I had a bunch of shards leftover and could make a little amethyst crystal garden soap. I'm not sure what else to call it...so that's what I'm calling it.
First, Cut Up Most of Your Soap Block Into Cubes
We're going to melt (and pour!) a bunch of it, so I went with about 75% cut into approx I inch cubes. Save the rest for the next step.
I used a crinkle cutter for this part because I find it easier to work with, but you can totally just use a straight edged knife.
Cut the Remaining Soap Into Smaller Randomly-Sized Pieces
You want to end up with a nice assortment of sizes and shapes. These pieces are what is going to make up the insides of your soap and make it look like facets on the inside. It's important here that you cut this part of the soap with a straight-sided blade. You want nice clean edges so they look more like crystals.
More variety seems to equal more places for the light to catch on the inside and make it sparkle!
I ended up with a variety like this, which I put into a container. Any container will do, these are not going to be melted.
Melt the Cubed Soap and Pour Some Into A Container to Color It
Now that we've made the clear shards, it's time to make some purple shard too.
Take some of your melt and pour cubes and put them in a microwave safe container. Melt them on 30 second bursts until fully melted. This typically takes somewhere between 2-3 minutes, depending on how much soap I am melting at once.
Take a small amount of melted soap and put it into a side container. Add some liquid soap dye or mica powder until you get a shade of purple that you like. Light purple mica was my choice (also linked below for you).
I poured my light purple into a large ice cube mold. You can use anything here...you're going to cut these up too, so it doesn't matter what size they are.
I poured about half of it and went back to add some more color to make some a little darker. My soap thickened up on me considerably (which is easier to see in the video) but I crammed it into the mold anyway knowing I was just going to cut it up and it would be fine!
Leave these to firm up for a bit...mine took about 30 minutes.
Add Fragrance and Pour A Base
You probably need to re-melt your clear soap, so do that first, again on 30 second bursts.
This is the time to add a fragrance. I provided the link below to the fragrance I used, which is a dupe of the Lush fragrance Avobath, which I love. It's a beautiful fresh lemongrass primarily. I've also given you an Amazon alternative if you want convenient.
Each fragrance will have its own level of skin safe use, so make sure to check with the provider to see how much you are allowed to add. There is typically a fragrance calculator or similar that will help you determine how much to add to the amount of soap you have. You've already removed a big chunk of it for shards, but you probably have about 60% of your 2lb block left to fragrance.
Give your mold a little spritz with your rubbing alcohol, and pour a layer about an inch thick on the bottom of your mold.
Give your mold a little spritz with alcohol...
And pour in a layer about an inch thick.
Give it another spray to pop the air bubbles on top. Set it aside and let it cool a bit. You'll want to see it form a skin on top...
Optional: Add Some Sparkles to Your Shards!
It felt like a good opportunity for glitter, so I took it. I have this beautiful super-sparkly cosmetic grade enviro-glitter from Nurture Soap (it's called Super Sparkles, so they really broke the brain trust coming up with that name), but it's some really good stuff.
I basically scooped some out with a popsicle stick and stirred them around in my shards until they were all lightly coated, like this:
Add Your Crustal Soap Shards and Cap with Clear Melted Soap
Now that your inch-thick layer of soap in your mold has cooled a little, you likely have something that looks like this...a thin skin on top, but liquid underneath.
SPRAY THE TOP WITH RUBBING ALCOHOL, then
Add in a few of your shards to make sure they aren't going to melt. If they survive, add all of the rest of them into your mold.
If they melt, give your soap base a few more minutes to cool, then try again.
Once you have done that, your remaining soap can all be colored purple. I again went with kind of a medium purple...definitely not so dark that you can't see the shards peeking through.
I chose a liquid soap colorant for this, mostly because I didn't think I needed more sparkles (! what!?!) and because I thought this would be slightly darker and provide yet another shade of purple to keep it exciting.
Cut Your Purple Soap Cubes into Shards
Once your purple cubes have firmed up, use the same straight sided knife you used to cut the clear shards, and make yourself a variety of purple shards.
I had obviously made 2 colors of shards, so my mixture looked like this when I was finished.
Pour Remaining Melted Soap and Purple Shards into Mold
Your melted soap you colored purple should now be plenty cool to pour on top of your clear shards without melting them (assuming your purple was sitting and waiting while you cut your purple shards).
SPRAY THE TOP WITH RUBBING ALCOHOL, then
Pour a half inch layer of purple soap into the mold until the clear shards are covered. Then add all of your purple shards.
SPRAY THE TOP WITH RUBBING ALCOHOL, then
Cover them with your remaining purple soap. If you want to make a base and have some dark mica (or want to just use more purple colorant), save a little for the base.
I decided I wanted to add a grey base so it might look kind of like stone on the underside of some amethysts. I took some grey mica from Nurture Soap and made a pretty silver out of the remaining purple.
I sprayed the purple layer with rubbing alcohol and then poured in the grey.
Unmold Your Beautiful Block of Amethyst Crystal!
For me, this is always the hardest part of any soap project. Waiting a few hours before you can unmold it and see.
If you're like me, you'll hold the thing up to the light and try to sneak a peek...but it's a terrible idea to hold a heavy block of melted hot soap over your head, so don't be like me. 🙂
See all of those beautiful sparkly shards?!? I was in love. I almost didn't want to cut it!
But I did.
Cut the block into sizes that make sense for your mold and for the size you want your soaps to be. Keep in mind that the size you cut determines the size of the BASE of your soap. The top will be much smaller once you're done shaving it.
Next time, I will probably make smaller soaps...these were massive.
But the large size did make them easy to carve. Take each soap and just start chopping away at it from the top down until you get a shape you like.
Make sure you turn it around as you do this so you can get a look from all sides. I used a vegetable peeler to make some of the more fine carve marks and create extra jagged edges.
Also make sure you don't forget the bottom...it's probably nice and flat from having been poured, but I roughed mine up a fair amount, for authenticity. 😉
I love how you can see the clear shards and the purple shards so distinctly.
My Grandma would have described my reaction to these soaps as "tickled". I was really tickled. 🙂 I love them.
BUT. I had a lot of leftover scraps from all that carving. And then smell really good and it seems silly to waste them. So, let me run you through the last solution, which got a couple more bars out of my batch (assuming you have any leftover clear or purple soap).
If You Have Leftover Soap, Try This!
When mine had dried, I unmolded them and got these! I'm not sure how easy they will be to actually use...
Below is the link to the video tutorial, and below that is the link to my thoughts on supplies and where best to get them. I've indicated which links are affiliate links, and despite the amount of Nurture Soap products in this post, I am not a Nurture Soap affiliate. 🙂
Final Thoughts on Supplies and Getting Heavy Soap Bases
I will give you 3 options below. The first option is what I believe is the least expensive option to get the job done. Option #2 is what I think is the easiest (i.e. everything from Amazon). Finally, the third option is a list of all of the actual supplies that I used in this project in case there was something you particularly liked (like super sparkles!!).
The links from Amazon are affiliate links, so if you make a purchase through those links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. The links for Brambleberry, Wholesale Supplies Plus and Nurture Soap are not affiliate links.
#1 - Least expensive:
Soap base from Wholesale Supplies Plus (the premium crystal clear version) https://www.wholesalesuppliesplus.com/products/signature-crystal-clear-soap-base-2-lb-tray.aspx Depending on whether there is a sale, a 2lb container is typically between $6-$9. By contrast, this same brand, Crafter's Choice is $23 on Amazon, as I'm writing this post. The real benefit to Wholesale Supplies Plus is free shipping for orders over $25....so I usually try to order all of my heavy soap ingredients from them!
If you want a soap mold so you don't need to make your own mold from a milk carton or similar, this is a decent small mold: https://amzn.to/3iMpfn4 Keep in mind that this mold holds over 40oz though, so your 2lb block of soap wouldn't fill the mold completely.
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