The Peacock Swirl Soap Design

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Inspiration here.  I saw this paper on Paper Mojo and thought it would make a wonderful swirl in soap!  So here’s how I did it.

You’ll need a slow tracing/moving recipe.  Something high in olive oil, low in castor and low in hard oils/butters will work.

The Slow Moving Recipe:
Olive oil – 12 oz
Lard – 12 oz
Coconut oil – 8 oz
Rice bran oil – 4 oz

Water – 11 oz
Lye – 4.98

I used charcoal, spirulina powder, sandlewood powder and rose clay to color the soap.

Make your lye solution and melt the solid oils. Add the liquid oils to the melted oils and let everything cool down to about 115.  While things are cooling down you can measure out the natural colorants into each of their containers.  I added some water to hydrate the colors for easier dispersion and to hydrate the clay.

Make sure your molds and squeeze bottles are ready to go.  You don’t have to use squeeze bottles…I just thought it would be easier to line up the color pours in straight lines.

Bring your soap to a really thin trace. If you can recognize emulsion before you get to trace…that’s even better.

Divide the soap into the different containers. I believe I did about 3/4 cup for each color.

Pour all of the soap into squeeze bottles. Again…you don’t have to use squeeze bottles…I just thought it would make things easier.

Pour a layer of uncolored soap into your mold.

Rotating between all of the colors and white…layer the lines until you use all of your soap batter. You don’t have to pay attention that closely as you go along. But when you get to the surface of the soap make sure you have each color visible and that you try and have light colors touching dark so you have plenty of contrast.

Make sure the lines are going all in one direction.

Now its time to swirl! Using a small spatula or a craft stick we’re going to swirl through the lines.

Here’s a line drawn so you can see how I drug the utensil.

Now mirror that move. Start back up at the top.

Repeat that down the soap.

So that’s the peacock swirl! I haven’t had a chance to cut it yet but will post pics when I do. Next I want to try it with peacock colors and round out the humps a bit more like the paper. But this is the general idea.

62 Responses

  1. Love this! You are so creative and it looks so simple once I have seen how you did it, as do all great achievements. Thank you for sharing xxx

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    • Author

      I wonder as well! I was really suprised at how pretty the column swirl was in a log. If you do it…let me know! I’d love to see!

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  2. Cindy

    Brilliant – as always! Was it the sandlewood powder that gave you the orange-ish color?

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  3. Hazel

    Your creativity is amazing. I think your new swirl is gorgeous.

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  4. Marlene

    You are one talented swirler girl. I love that you used natural colorants and can’t wait to see the cut and cured soap!

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  5. Minnie

    Gorgeous Amanda. I will definately try this one when i’m more advanced.lol Thanks for sharing

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  6. Andrea

    Love the swirl and even more I love the fact that you used all natural colorants to make the swirl.
    Brilliant

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  7. Trish

    Wow that is totally gorgeous Amanda, what a neat and clever swirl idea.I can’t wait to see it cut :)

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  8. Emily

    Beautiful! I have done different types of swirls and can’t wait to try this one. I”m looking forwarded to seeing the cut soap.
    What are the slowest tracing oils to use; and conversely, what are the oils that trace the fastest?

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    • Author

      Thanks, Emily!

      Slow tracing oils include olive and most other liquid oils (although castor is fast moving). Hard oils and butters make for thicker traced soap so use sparingly. And soap cool!

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  9. Linda

    That is absolutely gorgeous! I can’t wait to see what the cut bars are like. :D

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  10. LuAnn

    Wow! That looks great! It’s great to see such bright colors with natural colorants. Any suggestions on what I can use to substitute for the lard and still have a slow tracing soap? Generally the people who live in my area won’t buy soap made with animal fats, they all go hunting, so go figure! I never seem to be able to find a good, slow moving soap batter, they all have lard in them! Thanks for the awesome instructions!

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    • Author

      Hi LuAnn! You can sub the lard for palm. Palm moves a bit quicker than lard but with the high olive you should be okay.

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  11. Ashley

    Amanda, as always you don’t disappoint. Very impressive and beautiful! Thanks for sharing and I would like to try this soon. Take care!

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  12. Pam

    What I think is OH MY GOODNESS Breath taking! I would love to see this cut, but understand how hard that is going to be. Absolutely Beautiful, did you use fragrance? The color combo is outstanding!

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    • Author

      Thanks, Pam! Since it was round one…I didn’t use a fragrance! I wasn’t even sure if it was going to turn out. :)

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  13. ok now you’ve done it;) instead of carving pumpkins this weekend i may have to escape to the soaproom to try this out! very intrigued at the slow-moving formula you have shared THANK YOU. will try it with lard, and then tallow as well to compare…as i do like tallow a titch more:)

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  14. Cindy

    Oh, my!! Absolutely fantastic!! I wonder how much color you used? I’m still so new at the colors. I’ve used oxides and ultramarines with some success, but discovered you really don’t want to use jojoba for mixing them!! Almond oil is much better!! (grin) Have never used micas, either, but I have a friend who gave me some to try. She only does MP and that doesn’t help me, either!! Oh, well. This is a live and learn for me and I just LOVE to experiment.

    Thanks for MORE inspiration, Amanda!!

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  15. Leslie

    Absolutely beautiful! You make the most beautiful swirls look so easy!

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  16. Mariah Gianakouros

    Beautiful! You have just made this weekend even longer for me! I am all out of coconut oil and my BB order isn’t coming until Monday…waaaaah! Thanks for the inspiration, love it!

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  17. Mary Pasley

    Gorgeous Amanda! Will try next week. Love your step by step instructions

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  18. We raise Peacocks and the swirl you have going is right on ! Can’t wait to try this. I will use some Indigo for blue I believe. Thanks so much for taking all that time to photograph the steps.

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  19. Sharon

    Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. Love the idea of using natural colorants. You shared how much soap to seperate out for color, but could you tell us how much colorant you used for each color? Thanks -

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  20. Sieglinde

    You are so Clever! That is a really cool design. Love it and I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  21. Beautiful Soap! I was wondering were you purchased your slab mold? It looks like silicone.

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  22. Mei

    Oh wow! you started the column swirl and now it is world wide popular for soap making. This peacock swirl will be another hit……

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  23. Mei

    Will you show some soap making technology in Conference 2012?

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    • Author

      Hi Mei! I hope to make some conferences and speak at two of them so this would be a great demo! I don’t think I’ll be at the HSMG this year. But some smaller ones.

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