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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December 2015 Challenge - Impression Mat Soap

December 2015 Challenge - Impression Mat Soaps

Inspired by Amy Warden Soap Challenges!
Here is my final Entry !!!
Beach Soaps
 I actually started preparing 2 weeks ago. My first attempt at making a silicone mold I used a 100% silicone made by GE I purchased from Lowes.
 I was able to get the silicone to harden up enough to work with in the soapy water. I happened to use Ajax dish soap since it's all I had on hand at the time. I use quite a heavy dose of it, so the water was very sudsy.
(here are some links to helpful videos on the subject of diy silicone molds: (you may have to copy/paste)
(I added glycerin to a second soap & silicone attempt later & it helped it set up much faster!)

 I pressed & worked my silicone into a tile square I had picked up from Lowes for less than $5.00 (I like to experiment cheap!). I then set it aside to cure. Well the next morning my saran wrap had gotten blow over onto the top, so I then had to leave it in place or risk destroying my mat. It was still VERY soft and sticky!!! I was having doubts about success at that point. 3 days later I pulled the still tacky silicone from my tiles, I figured it had to come off one way or the other - so I hurried the process a bit. I really thought it was a lost cause on this try! surprisingly it was (mostly) intact. 
 After sitting it on the fridge for several days the silicone finally cured! I trimmed the mat to make usable portions. It was very thin, but super flexible so I am excited to try it!
***FYI the smooth glass tiles worked great to create a mold - the silicone didn't stick to it.

 Since the 1st Silicone mat didn't appear at first to be an option to use for the challenge - I had moved ahead with getting a mold kit from Michael's (%40 off coupon - yay!) This kit was super easy to use and worked wonderfully! It was called "Amazing Mold Rubber" I chose it over the other kit as this has a longer working time.
I use as my mold fodder a selection of seashells and pebbles I had around. I happened to use bubble wrap as my material to hot glue them to. In hindsight this was NOT the greatest idea. I had the idea the bubbles would add interest, but even though I used a lot of hot glue on my items, there were still several gaps that allowed my mold rubber underneath. I was able to clean it up, but it took a lot of careful work with a sharp razor blade!
 I wanted a sandy color with some slight grainy texture. I didn't have any actual sand so I chose to color with Coffee as my Lye liquid. I boiled in in a pan then used a sieve to filter out only the large grounds. The silty coffee specks stayed in my liquid. I added 1 tsp course sea salt to my lye water before adding the lye. (2 lb. soap recipe). I chose natural colors, with some gold mica in oil to dab on in places.
I didn't get photos, of the in-between, but I put spots of color in the rocks and shells to give variety to the look. I made two loaves, one with my tile line silicone mold and one with my Beach themed rubber mold.

 After 13 hours I was able to gently remove my loaves from the main mold. I let them sit about 4 hours more before attempting to pull the impression mats from the loaves.
* The tile line mat made from silicone was easy to remove. I just took my time. I like the rustic look of it.
**The Beach themed mat was trickier. Even tho I had used salt in my lye water, the soap was still soft enough that a couple of my rocks wanted to break. All and all I am very pleased with the look of it! I plan on experimenting more with darker/more colors with this one! Melt and pour is good in this, as I experimented with that first as a trial run. I did trim a couple of trouble areason the rubber mold to make CP come out better next time. Also a harder recipe is in order.

 I am so excited to see what everyone else came up with!
Thank you again to Amy Warden for such a fun and helpful Challenge! I definitely recommend them to any Soaper wanted to really learn from others and be pushed to try new things!
I hope the Best to all - Have a fantastic day! : )