We recently added more than 80 fun, shimmering colors of mica powder and we couldn’t be more excited! Mica can be used in countless different ways – the possibilities are pretty endless! Today we wanted to share a few of our favorite ideas that we think you’ll love if you make candles, soap or bath products.
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The Basics of Using Mica
Mica comes in a powder form and can be mixed into a variety of materials to create vibrant colors. It’s helpful to know that mica isn’t water soluble, meaning that you’ll have a tough time trying to stir it into water-based products.
While it doesn’t like to incorporate with water, mica works beautifully in oil-based products. That makes it the perfect colorant for soap, wax melts and body products that include oils, such as lip balm or lotion bars (just be sure to use lip-safe colors for lip balm).
How much mica powder do I need?
The amount of mica required to color a product will depend on how intense you want your colors, as well as the amount of product you’re trying to color. A little mica usually goes a long way. Most of our soapmaking tutorials use as little as 3-4 micro scoops of mica powder per pound of soap base. However, you can use up to 1/2 tsp per pound of soap base if you want to achieve a super intense color.
Similarly, wax melts can hold up to 2 tsp of mica per pound of wax. However, we use much less in our projects, and love the results with a smaller amount of mica.
If you’re wondering what size of mica powder to order, we carry 1g sample sizes as well as 25g jars in more than 80 colors of mica. A 1g sample equals approximately ¼ tsp, while 25g equals about 6 tsp.
Remember that because our recipes only call for a few micro scoops of mica per pound of wax or soap, a 1g jar of mica can go surprisingly far. Depending on the project you choose and the quantity you make one jar of mica can last through several batches!
With that in mind, here are four of our favorite ideas for adding mica to your projects.
1. Make Colorful Soap
The most popular use for mica is adding it to Melt & Pour (MP) Soap Base to make brightly colored soap. Any of our mica powders can easily be added to MP soap bases to get shimmering, rich colors. You might also have fun experimenting with our iridescent shades of mica to add a subtle, yet shiny tint of blue, gold, green, red or violet to your soap.
Check out our MP Soap Making Tutorials for more project inspiration!
You might be wondering if you can also use mica in cold process (CP) soap. While it is possible to get great results, the high pH environment of CP soap can cause some colors of mica to morph. In CP soap, some mica may give your project a brown or gray hue, or disappear altogether. You can still use mica in CP soap, but it’ll take a little more experimentation to find colors that behave properly in your recipe.
2. Paint Details on Soap
Mica is also great for making your own metallic paint. Just mix a small amount of rubbing alcohol with your powder and stir until it is blended completely. Alternatively, you may use a small amount of water. Even though mica doesn’t mix well with a large volume of water, the amount you need to make paint is so small that it won’t be an issue.
The ideal thickness for your paint will depend on what you’re using it for. For example, you can create a thin mixture and use it just like watercolor paint, or create a slightly thicker blend that will be easier to control. Simply adjust the amount of water to fine-tune the thickness of your paint.
Mica paint can be used for numerous different craft projects, but one of our favorite techniques is to paint shiny details on soap. Whether you’ve colored your soap base with mica or not, using mica is an excellent way to add highlights and pops of color to finished bars of soap.
After you remove your soap from the mold, mix up some mica paint and apply it to any part of the project you want to stand out. For example, you could paint metallic details on soap made with our Peace Health & Love Mold or Heart Candy Mold to make the words and characters stand out.
Alternatively, mica can be painted directly onto a mold before you pour in your soap base. The mica will adhere to your soap, eliminating the need to paint details on afterwards.
Want to try it? This technique is covered in our Mini Oak Leaf Soap Bar tutorial.
3. Add Some Sparkle to Your Wax Melts
It seems like every candle maker out there sells wax melts, but it’s easy to see why. It’s the perfect way to let customers try new fragrances without having to buy a whole candle, and they also make cute gifts. Adding mica to your wax melts is a great way to make them stand out from everyone else’s.
The exact amount of mica you need will vary, but we recommend starting with just a few micro scoops of mica per pound of base. When you’re trying a new technique, it’s a good idea to make a small batch to test how it will turn out. You can always increase the amount of mica to ¼ to ½ tsp per pound of wax for brighter, shinier colors.
Mica doesn't dye wax in the same way that it adds color to soap. You will be able to see it when you add it to the melted wax, but once the wax hardens, it will turn white. However, the mica colors will spring back to life as soon as the wax melts are used.
Follow our Mica Powder Wax Melt tutorial to see how mica behaves in wax.
If you want colored wax, you can experiment with adding candle dye chips and mica powder to get rich, shimmering colors. There are so many fun color combinations to try!
Try this technique by following our Pumpkin Spice Wax Tart tutorial.
Any color of mica will look great in wax melts, but you can also make standard white wax melts more interesting by adding a little bit of our Super Sparkle mica powder. This powder won’t change the color of your wax, but it’ll give it a beautiful, eye-catching shimmer.
Just like soap, you can also add details to your wax melts by applying a little mica paint to the inside of your mold before pouring. Painting the indented parts of your mold will make the details pop and really take your products to the next level.
4. Make Shimmering Wickless Candles
Some candlemakers are able to achieve beautiful results by adding mica to their candles. However, it’s a tricky process that requires lots of testing and often leads to clogged wicks that don’t perform well. There’s no rule against adding mica to your candles, but we don’t usually recommend it because of how difficult it is – especially for beginners. If you want brightly colored candles, dye chips are a great product to try.
Although mica isn’t recommended for traditional candles, it’s perfect for wickless candles. What is a wickless candle? It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like! Rather than having a wick that you light, wickless candles are placed on a candle warmer, which heats the wax and delivers a strong scent all throughout the room.
Because there’s no wick to be clogged, wickless candles are perfect candidates for mica colorants. Experiment with our entire rainbow of mica colors to get beautiful and unique wickless candles.
Try our fun gradient candle tutorial, which covers how to use mica and dye chips to create a beautiful layered candle.