I’ve been wanting to make a wood grain soap design for awhile now. I’ve seen so many people post beautiful pictures of wood grain soap. I finally decided on trying to use a spin swirl to get the wood grain soap look. Here are my results! Is it perfect…nope. It looks a bit like wood. I think if I had kept my soap more fluid, it would have spun better during the spin swirl and created more of the effect I was looking for. So here is how I got my wood grain effect using the spin swirl.
To get started you’ll need slow-moving cold process soap recipe. Here is one that you can try.
Wood Grain Spin Swirl Recipe
- Coconut Oil – 16 oz.
- Shea Butter – 2 oz.
- Olive Oil – 16 oz.
- Rice Bran Oil – 4 oz.
- Sodium Hydroxide – 5.6 oz.
- Water – 11.2 oz.
- Lavender Essential Oil – 1 oz.
- Cedarwood Essential Oil – 1 oz.
- Slab Mold – I used a silicone slab mold from Wholesale Supplies Plus.
- Brown Mica or Oxide – You’ll need various shades of brown mica.
Safety Warning: This recipe is for soapmakers who have a basic knowledge of the soapmaking process and know the correct safety procedures to use when handling lye. If you are new to soapmaking, check out our Free Basic Cold Process Soapmaking eBook. Be sure to wear safety goggles and gloves while soaping.
Step 1 – Create your lye solution and set aside to cool.
Step 2 – Weigh and melt the coconut oil and shea butter.
Step 3 – Add the liquid oils to the melted oils. This helps to cool the temperature of your base oils down.
Step 4 – Add your essential oils to the base oils.
Step 5 – Emulsify your soap. Do not mix to trace or you’ve gone too far. Keep your soap mixture nice and fluid. Tips for swirling CP soap!
Step 6 – Divide your soap out into as many colors as you want to create. For a wood grain, use at least 3-5 colors with contrasting shades of brown. Some light, some dark and some medium.
Step 7 – Create a spin swirl. I simply poured several faux funnel pours into my slab mold as shown below.
Step 8 – Then you spin your mold! This is called the spin swirl because you literally spin your mold on your table. The force of the spin moves the soap around and swirls it.
Mine ended up getting a bit thick. The spinning action of the mold didn’t swirl the soap enough so I ended up having to use a swirling tool to help it along. It still came out okay! If it doesn’t look exactly like wood, it still looks pretty!
I put my soap on a heating pad to gel. This recipe has a ton of olive so will be super soft if it doesn’t go through gel phase. Let your soap saponify for 24 hours. Remove from the mold and cure for 4-6 weeks.
Here are some pics of the final soap.