Easy Honeycomb Melt & Pour Soap!
This tutorial will show you how to make a super-easy honeycomb melt and pour soap using a detergent-free honey soap base. This is a terrific beginner project if you are new to soap-making, or want to try a supervised project with the kids.
If you’re not a soapmaker, you may not realize the difference between cold processed soap and melt and pour soap, but it is night and day. While cold processed soaps require tons of safety equipment and the use of sodium hydroxide (lye) to create soap (you can read more in my DIY cold processed soap post) , melt and pour soap bases have already been through that process and are just ready to heat and use!
All you need is a few ingredients (which I will list for you at the bottom of this post) and some bubble wrap to create this easy design.
Gather Your Ingredients
Melt and Pour Soap Base
Melt and pour soap projects require melt and pour soap base. I like a lot of the detergent free soap bases sold by Wholesale Supplies Plus (their Crafter’s Choice brand), and the list of ingredients in their products is very minimal, so they keep it simple. I was inspired to try a honeycomb melt and pour soap project because I found this detergent-free honey soap base!
Even some of the ingredients listed that look confusing, like Sodium Cocoate, are really pretty simple. Sodium cocoate is just fatty acid salts of coconut oil. Coconut oil is a popular oil to make soap with (I use it in all of my cold processed soaps) because it makes a really bubbly lather!
Anyway, note that this soap base also has actual honey in it. Sugar, in general, in soap also helps boost your lather volume, so I’m expecting this to be a very lather-y bar!
Cutting and Melting Tools
You’ll need a microwave safe pouring container and something to cut your melt and pour honey soap base with. You can use a knife for this if you like. I like this crinkle cutter because it cuts through big blocks of soap easily and is easy to release the cubes from in order to pop them into the container for melting.
Color, Fragrance, and Stabilizer
Now if I just lost you because you’re thinking “Amanda, that’s too many things…and what the heck is stabilizer”, don’t fret.
You don’t need to do these things if you don’t want to. You can just melt your soap base plain and not add additional color or fragrance.
However, these are the items that I chose to use for my project. While the honey melt & pour base on it’s own has a very pleasant color and scent, it’s mild. I wanted to amp mine up.
I used just two tiny drops of this amber soap colorant in the entire batch.
On the right is the fragrance I selected, honey almond. This is also from Wholesale Supplies Plus, as is the item on the left. That item is vanilla color stabilizer. The reason I need this is because I’ve selected a fragrance oil that has a lot of vanilla in it.
My fingernail is pointing to the vanilla on the label, which is 6%. As vanilla content goes, that’s pretty high. Vanillin in vanilla will naturally discolor your soap and bath and body products, but the stabilizer helps prevent it!
If you choose a fragrance without vanilla in it, the stabilizer won’t be necessary. And if you choose not to fragrance your base at all, you can also leave out the stabilizer!
Prep Your Mold and Bubble Wrap
The whole reason this honeycomb soap project is so easy is because the tool you use to make the honeycomb design is just a simple piece of bubble wrap!
I used a 12 bar rectangular silicone mold, but you can use any cavity mold you like as long as the top of it is flat.
If you don’t have a cavity mold or want to keep the budget low on this project, consider using some tupperware containers and just cutting off the bottoms later to make them smooth.
To prep your bubble wrap, just cut each piece to the size of each bar!
Cut and Melt Your Honey Melt & Pour Soap Base
One reason I like the melt and pour soap bases from Wholesale Supplies Plus is because they come notched, which makes it easy for you to chop up the block.
Fill your pouring container with cubed soap, and heat in 30 second bursts until fully melted.
The color is already pretty nice naturally. As I mentioned, I amped it up just a touch with the liquid soap colorant.
Add Color and Fragrance if Desired
Two tiny drops was all I needed to get the color a little darker. I wanted a nice deep honeycomb!
The appropriate amount of fragrance oil to use is going to be determined by the kind of fragrance you selected. Always check with the retailer for appropriate usage rates. Wholesale Supplies Plus, for example, has a calculator on their website that makes it easy!
I check the temperature of the melted soap base before adding my fragrance. If the honey soap base is too hot when you add fragrance, some of the scent may burn off.
I like to aim for between 120-125 degrees to add my fragrance. Then I like to pour the soap just a little cooler than that.
Pro tip: If you pour your fragrance down the side of a skewer or pipette, it’ll keep your fragrance oil from running down the backside of your bottle and onto your hand. 🙂
You will also notice that I’m using a scale under my melted soap so I can tell how much fragrance is going in.
And finally the vanilla color stabilizer in the same amount that I used for fragrance. I typically use a 1:1 ratio just to be safe.
Pour Bars and Add Honeycomb Texture!
Once you’ve mixed in your fragrance, give the melted soap base a spritz with 91% rubbing alcohol. This will pop all of the bubbles and keep your soap nice and smooth.
Pour equal amounts into your cavity mold, and spritz a final time with rubbing alcohol.
Finally, add you pre-prepared pieces of bubble wrap on top of the poured soap.
Make sure you put the bubble wrap BUBBLE SIDE DOWN onto your soap.
I like to use my bamboo skewer to push out any large air pockets. Frankly, with a honeycomb soap design, any imperfections you may have will look more natural! So, I don’t do too much fussing with it!
Unmold and Behold!
I think the honeycomb effect is really cool, and it was so easy!
I was impatient and excited, so I only waited about 6 hours before I unmolded my honeycomb soap. 🙂
Gently peel back the bubble wrap, and behold your glorious honeycomb melt and pour soap!
Let Your Honeycomb Soap Rest for a Bit...
While melt and pour soap doesn’t need to cure the same way that cold processed soaps do, I still think it’s nice to let it rest for a bit.
Glycerin soap can often get what is called glycerin dew when it is unmolded and exposed to air. There’s nothing wrong with your soap, it just doesn’t look fantastic.
Glycerin is a natural humectant, meaning that it draws moisture from the air to itself. So if that’s soap, that can make it look like it’s sweating and dewy.
This honey melt and pour base from Wholesale Supplies Plus is a “low sweat” base, so I didn’t have much sweating at all. After letting the soap rest for a couple of weeks, it got a little more firm and a little more cloudy, which I think made it look even more like an actual honeycomb.
What do you think?
Video Tutorial and Supply Links
I put together a super-speedy video tutorial for you and will post the link below.
Materials used for this project are linked below. Some links are affiliate links and if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. If you do, thank you in advance for your support of this blog.