It’s hard to beat the cozy feeling of warming up with a mug of cocoa on a cold day. With this recipe, you can make three adorable soaps that will inspire those cozy feelings every time you wash your hands. These soaps are incredibly easy to make, and they’d also be the perfect gift for anyone on your list!
Skill Level: Easy
Hands-On Time: 1 hour
Supplies from NorthWood
- Hot Cocoa Mug Soap Mold
- 12 oz clear melt & pour soap base such as Premium Extra Clear or Detergent Free Clear Soap Base
- 1 fl oz fragrance oil, such as:
- 1g jar Scarlet Red Mica Powder
- 1g jar Coco Brown Mica Powder
- 1g jar Floral White or Satin White Mica Powder
- Mix & Pour Funnel Pitcher
- Two 3 oz measuring beakers
- Straight Edge Soap Cutter
- Plastic Pipettes (3-5 pipettes recommended)
- 2 Micro Size Scoops
- Face Mask
- Digital scale
- Shrink wrap bags for packaging (optional)
- Nitrile Gloves (optional)
Supplies from Home
- Cutting board
- Small rubber spatula for stirring
- Rubbing alcohol (at least 91% isopropyl alcohol)
- Small spray bottle
- Paring knife
- Small paint brush
- Plastic wrap (optional)
We’ll start by melting a small amount of soap base and coloring it white with our mica powder. Using a pipette dropper, we will add snowflake and whipped cream details to the soap mold. We will also use this method to create a red handle for the mug. After these layers harden, we’ll use mica to make brown soap, which will be poured into the molds to top them off. Finally, we’ll use mica to touch up any details and add peppermint stripes to the mug handle.
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Choosing Your Supplies
Please note that if you’re using a fragrance that contains vanillin, it may cause final product to brown as it cures. Because we’re not adding fragrance to our white details, and because the remainder of the soap is already brown, we don’t have to worry about it for this project.
You can use white soap base for this project instead of clear soap base if you prefer. However, you will get a more pastel effect. It will be necessary to add more mica if you want richer colors. However, it won’t be possible to get the same intensity of color that you can achieve with clear soap base.
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Making the White Details
- Prepare your Hot Cocoa Mug Soap Mold by washing it to remove dust and debris. Let it dry completely.
- Weigh out approximately 1 oz of soap base and cut it into small cubes. This will be used to make our snowflake and whipped cream details.
- Add the cubes to one of your 3 oz measuring beakers. Microwave in short bursts of no more than 5 seconds at a time. Stir after each burst to prevent scalding. Don’t overheat.
- Wearing a face mask, add 2 micro scoops of White mica powder to the melted soap base and stir until completely blended.
- Fill a pipette about half full with the melted soap base.
- Working quickly, dispense the soap base into the snowflake details of each cavity in the mold. Try to push the soap into each of the snowflake branches to get the best appearance in your finished product.
- Squeeze any remaining soap base from the pipette back into the 3oz measuring cup with the remaining soap base. *You may be able to save the pipette if you wash it with warm water. However, it’s almost impossible to reuse pipettes once the soap has hardened inside*
- Once the snowflakes set (it should only take a minute or two), you can begin working on the Whipped Cream details with the remaining soap base you melted down. You may need to re-melt your base by putting it back in the microwave for short 5-second bursts.
- If you remelted your soap base, stir it to ensure the mica hasn’t settled.
- Hold your soap mold at an angle with the tip of a whipped cream dollop is facing you. With a pipette, dispense a small amount of soap base into the center of the dollop and up the sides of the dollop (as much as you can). You may find it works best to let the center cool for a few seconds, and then dispense more soap along the sides.
Note: You’ll notice that two of the mugs face in the same direction, while one points the other direction. You may need to fill each whipped cream dollop separately and let it set for 30 seconds or so before filling the next dollop so that you can fill each one at the correct angle. The soap doesn’t need to be completely set before you rotate the mold – just set enough that it won’t drip into the center of the mug.
Making the Handle
- While your whipped cream dollops are setting up, weigh out a .5 oz piece of soap base and cut it into small cubes.
- Using your other 3 oz measuring beaker, microwave the cube for short 5-second bursts until it’s melted. Stir between each burst.
- Wearing a mask, add 1-2 micro scoops of Scarlet Red Mica powder to the melted soap base and stir until it’s completely blended.
- Fill a clean pipette about half-full with your red soap base.
- Working quickly, dispense the red soap into the handle of each mug. This part can be a little tricky, but if you mess up, it’s easy to pull the cured soap out of the handle and try again.
- Let the mug handles set completely (this should take only a few minutes).
Making the Soap Mugs
- Pour some rubbing alcohol into your spray bottle and set aside. We will need this for spritzing our mold before pouring and removing bubbles after pouring.
- Weigh out approx. 9 oz of soap base and cut it into small cubes. Add the cubes to your Mix & Pour Funnel Pitcher (or another microwave-safe pouring pitcher) and heat for 15-30 second bursts. Stir between each burst to prevent scalding.
- Once completely melted, add 2-3 micro scoops of Coco Brown Mica Powder (wear a mask) and stir until completely blended. You can also disperse the mica in a small amount of rubbing alcohol to make it easier to stir.
- Next, add .15 to .25 oz of fragrance oil to your melted soap and stir until blended. It’s a good idea to start with a smaller amount of fragrance and add more until you reach the desired fragrance load.
- Spritz the soap mold with rubbing alcohol. This will help the snowflake/handle/whipped cream details adhere to your mugs without separating.
- Fill each cavity with your brown soap base. Spritz the top of each soap immediately after pouring to remove any air bubbles that rise to the surface. It works well to pour with one hand while simultaneously spritzing the tops using your other hand.
- Let soaps cure completely. This may take an hour or more depending on the climate/atmosphere. While curing, clean and your measuring beakers (we’ll be using these for mica paint).
Unmolding + Adding Details to Your Soap
- Remove the soaps from their molds. It can be a little tricky to remove soap from a rigid plastic mold. If you’re having difficulty, try pulling one side of one cavity away from the soap to create an air pocket. Repeat on each side of the cavity and press gently on the back until you see the air pockets traveling towards the center of the cavity where they will meet each other. The soap will pop out easily once air has separated it from each part of the mold.
- Wearing a mask, Add 1-2 scoops of mica powder to one of your plastic measuring beakers along with a few drops of rubbing alcohol. Adjust the ratio of rubbing alcohol to mica until you get a consistency that is easy to paint with. It can be somewhat runny, but it should have some “body” to it.
- With your paintbrush, touch up any details in the whipped cream or snowflake that might need fixing (in case your white soap mixture didn’t cover the area completely).
- Lastly, paint small stripes on the handle of each mug to create a peppermint stripe effect.
- When the mica paint dries, package the soaps in plastic wrap or shrink wrap bags to prevent sweating.