Custom Stamp Giveaway: Share a Soaping Tip or Trick

Since getting my stamp last month, I still haven’t mastered the precise way of stamping soaps – sometimes I hammer too hard, or too lightly, or lopsidedly. But one thing for sure is that I love stamping soaps and the resulting look. To celebrate my first soap anniversary this April 3, I thought I’d share the joy by giving away an acrylic stamp with your own logo or design. All soap makers from anywhere in the world are welcome to join!

All you need to do is share your favorite soaping tip or trick in the comments section, or on Facebook  (would be awesome, too, if you “like” SoapJam 🙂 ).  If you have already written a post or tutorial about it, a link would be highly appreciated.  If you share a soaping tip or trick here, and another one on Facebook, it will count as 2 entries.  The idea is to provide a resource for soap makers – a kind of pay-it-forward.

Cut-off will be on April 2, 9 PM Philippine time, and the winner will be announced the following day.  I will need a pdf file of your logo or artwork to have your custom stamp made. If you are not yet ready with your logo, we can wait.  The stamp I will be sending is going to be the acrylic portion only, without a handle.  It works fine without a handle, but if you wish, you can buy a generic wooden handle and glue it to the stamp.

Soap Stamp

Here is one of my latest soap creations with a thicker stamp.  It’s a soothing fragrance combination of lavender, honey, and almond. I mixed ultramarine blue and african violet pigment to get the lavender colour. The original mixture came out greyish, so I had to hastily mix more ultramarine blue with oil to add to the soap batter.  The swirls of this batch reminds me of an earlier soap I made called Lavender Mist. But of course I like this better because of the stamp. 😉

Lavender Almond

Lavender Almond

For my own contribution, here’s a link to a tutorial I made on Lye Masterbatching.

Thank you for reading and for your participation! Wishing you a happy and bubbly week! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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40 thoughts on “Custom Stamp Giveaway: Share a Soaping Tip or Trick

  1. Virginia Henderson

    I would like to enter your contest for the soap stamp. My tip is to grate an old soap that you are not happy with and make balls for the top of a new recipe and add the rest of the grated soap to the batter. It is prettiest if you use titanium dioxide in your batter to accent the color of the grated soap. If you pipe the top with your cake decorating tip and set your soap balls on top then it looks like something good enough to eat. Makes a very pretty soap.

    Reply
  2. Infusions

    Hi Silvia!
    Again, congratulations in advance on your 1st soaping anniversary! (I may be back on April 3rd again to congratulate you on the day, though 🙂 ) I do not know if it counts but if possible I would like to enter with my post on using white kaolin at http://infusionsblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/using-white-kaolin-in-soap/.

    I love your creativeness and resourcefulness and hope you continue in the same way as your blog posts are so informative and inspiring to soapers from all parts of the world.
    Maya

    Reply
    1. soapjam Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, Maya. 🙂 Your post on Kaolin Clay counts. In fact, I used your recommended quantity of 1 Tbsp kaolin per 500g oils in one of the soaps I made last week. I feel that the kaolin makes the soap harder. Or maybe because I did not add more liquid to compensate for the kaolin. In another batch I made, i mixed the kaolin with extra water before mixing with the oils. That batch didn’t seem harder than normal. I am enjoying experimenting with kaolin. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Infusions

        Making a slurry of water and kaolin and adding it to the batter will keep your soap soft as usual. I sometimes use jojoba oil instead of water but except for the hardness of the soap which (depending on how much water you use for the lye solution) may be almost unnoticeable I haven’t found any other differences in the finished soaps. I would love to hear the results of your experiments with kaolin though :- )
        Maya

        Reply
  3. forsenuf

    Woohoo- sign me up for the contest! I have a tip related to stamping your soap- spritz your stamp with rubbing alcohol before stamping, and it won’t ever stick to your soap. I like to stamp my bars as soon as I cut them, but they can be a little soft & sticky at that point.
    Kelly

    Reply
  4. Sly

    Silvia: from one Silvia to another Sylvia…I think your contest is a really great idea and would love to enter….
    First, congrats on your 1 year soaping anniversary!! I’ve only been soaping for barely 1 1/2 years, and have so much to learn.
    I don’t know if other people do this – I call it my “bad girl” technique, as I always read about mixing all the fragrance together and into all the soap colors. But if I am using 4 colors & 4 fragrances (for example), I put each fragrance in a separate color. I started doing this to get truer colors and if one scent discolors, I plan that in my color pallet (I.e. Vanilla in the brown color). Also, if I have a color that will accelerate trace, I wait till I’m ready to use that color before adding the fragrance. It gives me more time and control over the technique I am doing.
    I’ve been told this was a no-no, hence calling it “bad girl” but it works for me. (And if a scent ends up behaving badly, it’s only one of my colors that get messed up. I always make extra soap (to try something new after the first batch), so theoretical if one color seized to the point of it being unusable, I would have some back up soap to use instead.)

    Reply
    1. Sly

      Opps…that should read..”if I have a scent that will accelerate…”
      Sorry, thought I proof read that..too many days on the back side of the clock.

      Reply
  5. Pam

    Sylvia I love your style! So unique and so fresh I’ve been following for sometime now. Your posts are informative as well as entertaining! I always feel like I’ve been on a trip here or there with you when I read them! Congratulation on your up coming anniversary!

    I posted a new tutorial type helping hand document with photos on my blog. Just another in the bag of soaping tricks that I hadn’t seen documented about spilt oils.

    As my stamp budget was used in Italy, I would hope to qualify for this giveaway as I need words for my soap bars. I do have a rubber mallet to use when making impressions, as that stabilizes the stamp when putting the tap on the soap!

    Aloha,
    Mella L

    Reply
    1. soapjam Post author

      Thank you, Mella. I appreciate your kind words and I’m glad to hear you enjoy reading my blog. 🙂

      The link to your tutorial is missing. Kindly add the link for the convenience of our readers.
      I read your tutorial on spilled/spilt oil and I think it is very clever!

      Reply
  6. Christine

    Happy anniversary and thank you for this contest! I haven’t collected an arsenal of tips yet so I’ll share the tip that helped me overcome soda ash, which was a huge problem for me as a new soaper. In researching how to prevent it, I read that spritzing the top of cold process soap with rubbing alcohol would help prevent soda ash. So, I bought a bottle of rubbing alcohol from my local drug store, spritzed and spritzed and soda ash still developed. Then I read somewhere that 99% rubbing alcohol is best. I looked at my bottle and it was only 70%. The extra 29% made a huge difference and now, I almost never have problems.

    I wonder if anyone else has noticed that lower concentrations make a difference?

    Reply
    1. soapjam Post author

      Thank you for joining and for your tip, Christine. If I need to remove soda ash, I steam the soaps. I have tried using alcohol, but not 99% since I don’t know where to get it. 😀

      Reply
  7. ecovioletsoap

    Silvia, Congrats on your upcoming first soap anniversary! This is an awesome giveaway too! My tip helps to organize your soaping activities. It’s a little bit of work initially but helps prevent mistakes like forgeting to add an ingredient (like fragrance) while soaping. Before making a new recipe, I usually type up a procedure with a list of the ingredients, the amounts needed and the steps to making the soap. I then print out a copy, and use it as a way of documenting the soap batch made. You can pull up the same file anytime want to make another batch of the same recipe. When making soap, I write the weight of each ingredient after I weigh it on my document (can just check it off if this is too much work for you). I also initial each process step as I do it. I write down key information about each batch (temps used, mixing time, etc.) at the appropriate process step. After I make the batch, I file the documents in a binder for future reference. I have seen videos of people using Soapcalc printouts and sort of doing this. I am not crazy about just using the Soapcalc sheet but then I am very meticulous in my weird ways. In the U.S. there is a little bit of buzz going on about using “GMP” (Good Manufacturing Process) while soapmaking. To be “GMP”, you really need to being doing this minimally (actually a lot more than this). OK, I didn’t mean to write this much. I’ll get off my soap box now. 😉

    Reply
    1. soapjam Post author

      Thank you for the greeting and your organizational tip, JV. My process is similar to yours, but I think you are much more organized and meticulous than I am. 🙂 I have a notebook (I am on my second, going on third) where I write down the recipe and design plan of every soap that I make. I take notes of e.o./f.o. behavior, and other observations. I take further notes after the soap has cured – did it discolor, is it soft or hard, did the scent stick, etc. Now that I repeat recipes, I simply record each time I make soap. I also use the SoapCalc printout. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Emily

    Hi my name is Emily I’m 16, and I am the owner of Suds by the Sea. I just recently ran across your web site, and allow me to say you have quite an eye for crafting soap! Congratulations on you first soap anniversary! When I read you were having a custom soap stamp give-away, I was ecstatic! I had tried to make one before but it only led to failure. I do not have many patterns that I am proud of but I do have a blog post on CP soap and bubble wrap it is one of my favorite techniques. http://islandsoapster.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/bubble-wrap/
    I also love the mantra swirl technique! You simply measure and cut out a cardboard divider to fit you soap mold, then make a batch of you preferred soap and split the batch in two. Color the half of the soap batter whichever color you like. Now while holding the cardboard firmly in place (so no soap will escape through the crevasses of the cardboard) at light trace pour the colored soap into it’s own side and the plain soap in the other. Last; slowly remove the cardboard, and you have a beautiful soap. Here I have some soap pictured —> https://www.facebook.com/sudsbythesea/photos/pb.478245348875790.-2207520000.1396063180./588142371219420/?type=3&theater

    And I also have some more bubble wrap soaps on our facebook page!

    I hope you first soapy celebration if amazing! 🙂
    What got you interested in soap making anyway?
    I would love to here you story. It’s probably on here somewhere, but I haven’t looked hard enough. -Emily

    Reply
    1. soapjam Post author

      Hi Emily! Glad to have you here and welcome to SoapJam! Your entrepreneurial spirit and creativity amaze me! I wish I had the same focus as you when I was your age.
      Thank you for the tips and for the links! I hope you find something helpful here, too.
      I got interested in learning how to make soap after using handmade soap for the first time. It started as a curiosity. Never thought I’d be addicted to it.
      How about you? What got you into soap making? I read from your website that you started quite early, in 2011.

      Reply
  9. soapsudsations

    You are such a doll for having such a wonderful giveaway Silvia! Early congratulations on your anniversary (because I’m prone to forgetfulness)! I have no tips or hints to share, but I’m always looking for new ideas and inspirations.

    Reply
    1. soapjam Post author

      Thank you, Monica!
      I’m waiting for you to try your hand at making CP soap. (No pressure. 🙂 Just encouraging. I am sure you will enjoy it. I will be here to answer questions, so long as I know the answer. 🙂 )

      Reply
  10. DivaSoap

    I was tempted to write a whole post on tips&tricks, but since I’m not home at the moment and don’t have a reliable internet connection, it will have to wait for a while. But, it doesn’t mean I cannot share some trick here, with your readers who hasn’t read/discovered my blog yet.
    Luckily, my latest blog post is about an issue, which soap makers hate the most- soap-on-a stick.
    Usually, soap makers decide to try to defeat soap, putting it in the mould and rebatch it the next day (or put it in the pot right away), but I chose something else. For those who hadn’t read my post, here it is the link: http://divasoap.blogspot.com/2014/03/violet-cocoa-silky-soap-on-stick-down.html

    Reply
  11. Cee

    So cool, I would LOVE a custom stamp, thanks for this great giveaway! Congratulations on your 1st year…wishing many, many more!!! Hmmm, trying to think of a tip or trick to share that hasn’t been shared here yet….lots of great ones above!
    Okay, here’s mine…for those of us who have intricately and proudly swirled and patterned our soaps – only to glance to the side and realize we’ve forgotten to add our fragrance 😦 To avoid this from happening, place your fragrance IN the mold while preparing your soap…you’ll never accidentally pour your soap into the mold without the fragrance again! 😉

    Reply
  12. mijnzeep1

    Wow, this is a giveaway everyone would love to win 😉
    Congratulations, Silvia, on this 1st blog anniversary! You made of it a lovely and attracted place for all of us. As tip/trick- it’s difficult to think now about only one , but I would like to mention one which I learned from my grandmother: for an unforgetable lather but also for a hard/er soap, add some sugar to the soap.
    Really interesting this post, I will have to come back on it and read all the tricks from all the soapers.

    Reply
    1. Sly

      I see the sugar additive in European blogs but my question is How Much Sugar per pound of soap? I would love to try this trick…thanks for posting.

      Reply
        1. soapjam Post author

          I noticed too that adding sugar to soap is more commonly practiced in Europe than elsewhere. I have tried it at 3%-5% of my oils (I have to check my notes again). I’ve seen some go as high as 10%. At 2 Tbsp per 500gr, that equates to 5%.

          Reply
          1. Sly

            Silvia & Mijnzeep:
            Thank you so much for your info.
            Can you see a noticeable difference when using sugar? Do you get more lather & a harder bar of soap? If you use Palm oil (for hardening) and Castor oil (for lather), do you use less or need less of both if using sugar? Any crumbling? (I noticed when I used too much Sodium Lactate, the edges of the bar crumbled.)
            Thanks again for letting me pick your brain!!!
            I really love all the wonderful tips this blog has generated. What a super great idea!!!

          2. soapjam Post author

            Hi Sylvia, I have used sugar only a few times and in low concentrations, so I feel I don’t have enough experience on this subject. But from what I’ve observed, there was no crumbling. The soap seemed a bit more bubbly, but it didn’t feel harder than normal. I hope this was helpful to you. 🙂

          3. Tienne

            I use sugar as a rule in all my soaps (and I live in Europe! LOL ) at approx 1 heaped tsp ppo fully dissolved in the water BEFORE adding the lye, (or else it will caramelize into a sticky glob if you add it afterwards.) I don’t see much of a difference regarding the hardness of the soap, but it does help add bubbles and stabilizes the lather. (I add 1 tsp sodium lactate powder to the water at the same time, if I want to add hardness.) You can go higher on the sugar, but if you also use other sugar-containing ingredients such as goat’s milk or purés, don’t forget to take that into consideration too, as sugar is a heater. You don’t want your soaps to overheat and a little goes a long way. 🙂

  13. Tienne

    What a generous giveaway! I would love to win a soap stamp! My tip to getting a lovely stamped soap is this: When you cut soap with a wire cutter, sometimes, especially if your soap is coloured with TD; the wire can sort of lift up little raised up bubble-like spots on your soap. To get rid of them, wait until the surface of the soap dries just a little and isn’t sticky anymore and then gently wipe down the soap with a dry cotton cloth, such a rag of an old t-shirt. This will press down the raised spots and leave the soap ever so smooth and lovely and ready to stamp. If you want to stamp the soap by pressing the stamp in mica first, then before you do that, dust the stamp with some baby powder or talcum using a small makeup brush and get it well in between all the crevices on the stamp. Then blow away the excess and wipe off the baby powder from the very surface of the stamp and then press the stamp into the mica you want to use. This way, the stamp releases easily from the soap without pulling bits up with it and the mica sticks to only the part of the stamp you want it to, that is, the surface and not in between. End result? Beautifully smooth and precision stamped soaps. 🙂 I hope my tip qualifies for the competition!

    Reply

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