By Home Decor Contributor Alyssa
I have sort of an out-of-control obsession with hosting guests at our apartment. When looking for my new couch, everything we came across that didn’t turn into a bed was pretty much unacceptable. A large variety of adorable mugs (displayed for all to see) to offer coffee to guests in is a must. I freak out if there are dishes in the sink, all the candles should be lit, all linens washed, all floors vacuumed…basically, my apartment needs to look like an HGTV advertisement or I’m not doing life correctly and no one will ever speak to me again.
This month, I have some best friends from college coming up to see our new apartment for the first time, and they’re some pretty trendy chicas. I love them to death and know they would never even bat an eyelash if my toothbrush was sitting on the bathroom counter when they walked in, or if there was dried up food stuck to the kitchen sink. But I like to act like my life is put together. So I decided to DIY a couple of small things to make my apartment look extra homey and chic before they come to visit. These geo soaps are great to display in the bathroom to bring some color to an otherwise very boring room. Or anywhere, really. You can just tell people they’re real.
What you will need:
- Soap base (I used both clear glycerin and plain white; I would highly suggest using both for this project)
- Two microwave safe bowls
- Disposable plastic cups
- Food coloring
- Small Spoon/stir stick
- Essential oils
- Work surface you don’t mind getting messy
Start out by cutting ten plastic cups down until they can hold about five tablespoons of liquid, like this:
Lay out the ten plastic cups in front of you and put about three tablespoons of soap base into your microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave for 30 seconds, take out, stir, and if needed, microwave again in 10 second increments until fully melted. Take it out and carefully (it’s SUPER hot) pour into a trimmed cup.
Pro tip: I highly recommend you use two bowls for melting – one for the clear soap and one for the white. Otherwise, your clear soap will start to look a little milky from the residue of the white soap.
Now the fun part! Add food coloring to make whatever color your heart desires and quickly mix, as the soap will being to harden pretty fast. To get a pastel color, I used white soap base and sort of dipped the tip of my stir stick into my food coloring and swirled it around in my soap to get as little of the super pigmented color in the soap as possible. Then, stir in some of your essential oil (whatever scent is your favorite, I used lavender because it’s the only one I have…and in my opinion, the only one I need. I LOVE lavender).
Repeat this process until you have around ten colors, five in one color family and five in another (I did pinks/purples and shades of orange). And a word of warning, a little color goes a looong way, especially in the clear glycerin soap, so it’s better to start with a little and add more than it is to drop a bunch in right away, especially if the color is really dark.
You’re going to need your little soaps to harden completely before working with them again, so either leave them sitting out overnight/for at least twelve hours, or stick them in the freezer for a few hours if you’re impatient like I am.
Once your soaps are totally hardened, cut a slit down the side of each plastic cup and sort of peel it away from the soap, giving you ten small soap disks in different colors. I honestly think even just these would look pretty cool stacked on a soap dish because they’re so colorful, but that’s just me.
Grab two plastic cups, have them on standby.
Cut the five disks that are of the same color family into little shards with a knife, and begin dropping the pieces randomly into the two cups, letting the pieces fall naturally. Use your best judgement when deciding what size to make them, and make sure to only fill the cup about half way at most. I’d say smaller pieces are better.
Next, melt enough soap base in your microwave safe bowl to fully cover the pieces in your cup (and then some), and pour into each cup with pieces inside. Make sure it fills all the nooks and crannies. You can sort of tilt the cup one way if you want colors to run more on one side, and you can always melt more and add it if you didn’t melt enough, even if the soap has started to harden.
Play with different opacities, using both the white and clear soaps while filling the cup. Have some fun. Maybe use a toothpick to swirl the pieces around a bit. Repeat this process for both sets of color families and once again, leave to harden overnight.
Once all your cups are totally hardened, cut/peel the large soaps out of the cups and place them on a cutting board.
Begin cutting the tip into a shape that somewhat resembles the tip of a gemstone, and start shaving down the sides to give it the angular look my soaps have in this photo.
I kept the scrap pieces I’d shaved off to use in my next batch.
That’s it! That’s the whole thing, it’s really that easy. This was probably the most fun I’ve had doing a DIY, and clean-up is easy because you’re literally cleaning soap. Make them for your friends, keep a hundred for yourself. They deliver such an impactful punch of color wherever you put them, you really can’t go wrong! All I know is these puppies are just for display in my apartment, and if my boyfriend tries to use them, he’s getting an “angry mom” hand slap.