Embedding Soap: A great way to reboot a batch of soap

I’ll admit it: soaps don’t always turn out how I plan. It might be that the colors don’t look right together, or the scent is too weak or too strong (or just unpleasant). Embedding those “misfires” can really turn a disappointment into something treasured!

IMG_8329Take this batch, for example. I was happy with the colors. But the layers were supposed to be more swirly. It didn’t turn out that way. Lesson learned. But in the meantime, these bars were taunting me, sitting there being only a glimmer of what they could have been.


So I transformed them. I transformed them into the green centerpieces of these earthy, modernistic slabs of loveliness. (Why yes, I do like them very much.)


It’s deceptively simple. I just sliced up the bars and lined them up in my mold. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMade up a fresh batch of soap and colored one half with rose clay and the other half with yellow clay. Poured the soap on either side of the green soap, and stuck in the extra rods. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


But the results: oh, so complex.



46 thoughts on “Embedding Soap: A great way to reboot a batch of soap

  1. An amazing soap,indeed! So thinkfully perfect! Did you gel this new one? Or, did you put it in the oven? I had tried to do similar embeds,but later, they fell off!
    If you ask me, the first one looks great, also!

  2. Thanks, DivaSoap! I didn’t insulate this batch or put it in the oven. I don’t think that it gelled. But if you are having trouble with your embeds falling out, I would try using fresher embeds and forcing it to gel (like with a heating pad or putting it in a warm oven for a short time).

    • I love the soap you made. It looks very classy. How fresh should the soap be? I have a batch that has been curing for 6 weeks. I love the scent but not the colors. Is it too late?

      • Hi Christine, it’s possible to also use soap that has cured in this technique. I’ve done that without any real problems. The only difference is that after you cut your new bars, the “old” soap parts will not shrink anymore. So the new soap that you poured will shrink as it cures, but the embedded soap that was already cured will not. You bars may end up a little bumpy on the surface because of this, but once you start using them it will all even out and be just fine.

      • Thanks for the info. I’ll think about how I can use the bumpiness in the design of the new soap. Maybe even embedding in melt and pour would work. Creative juices are flowing now!

  3. I have a batch that I didn’t have enough to make my normal 4.5oz bars out of. So I chopped it up like yours and I’m attempted to make a cool geometric design too! πŸ˜€ Thanks for the inspiration! Jennifer

  4. I cannot believe just how amazingly beautiful these soaps turned out; I can’t wait for my wife to wake this morning so that I can show her your lovely work! Seriously, these soaps are extraordinary, beautiful, subtle, edgy, and oh-so-warming to the soul. Thanks for this wonderful visual gift this morning – I’m going to be coming to your blog rather often in the future, methinks!

    • Wow, Darren. Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to leave your comments! I only hope that my blog posts can help you make some beautiful soap of your own, too. Happy soaping!

  5. Pingback: Monday musings: Handmade soap and good, clean fun | Emmet Street Creations

  6. I have been exercising my brain to come up with a different soap designt: This is it. what a wonderfully creative idea. I love the geometric design – and to use up “unhappy soaps” is even better. Thank you Ruth.

  7. I love this idea and the soap turned out beautifully! But isn’t it difficult to trim off the tops of the imbeds afterwards? I would think it might be a bit tedious and difficult to get a smooth top.

  8. Dear Ruth,
    1) Can i still use the bar of soap which i have make 2-3 months back, cut it (or slice it if it is too hard) then arrange before pouring in the new batch of soap?
    2) Do i have to spray alcohol on the old soap before pouring in the new?

  9. I have used four and five month old CP soap to make cubed and shredded embeds and it came out beautifully. And do not spray with alcohol as you would with melt and pour! Just make sure you bang the mold on a hard surface a few times to get rid of any air bubbles.

  10. I loved the outcome of the new soap, the pattern was beautiful. What did you call the new version? Can you share the recipe?

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