Soap Basics: Soap Mold Types and How I made my own wooden mold
My first soap mold I used a cardboard box lined with a trash bag following this video. It was way more difficult than it looked and since I also had not made soap before I messed it up big time. I ended up throwing away my first batch. I couldn’t get the trash bag to stay in place while I poured and my soap was all wrinkled and funky colored (cause I really messed up). I couldn’t figure out how to cut the soap either I didn’t exactly have a knife that long. My second batch turned out okay but the box started falling apart. I wanted something better, because now I am addicted to making soap.
I moved to using a Pringles can following this video (love the putty knife idea too). I really had a hard time getting a Pringles can cause we do “real food” in my house. My one attempt didn’t go well because I cut the soap too late. This resulted in the center not curing as well as the outside of the circle. This is a genius cost effective idea though. I have also been looking at the pvc idea but haven’t tried it yet (future blog post I am sure). It looks like there are a few ways to seal the end of the pvc and I really don’t like the ones I have seen.
With silicone it has been fairly easy to get the soap out without destroying itand I can make cute shapes. One thing I learned is for really detailed molds or when they are being difficult (like with softer soaps) you can freeze it and it becomes way easier to release. These can be very user friendly but can get expensive if you try too many different ones. They are quite a bit harder to make uniform as well.
I have been wanting to use a wooden mold but couldn’t justify the price, especially since I am so handy with power tools. So I made my own.
- 1/2″ Plywood (I used some scrap from another project) or 1×4 boards (easier to work with and prettier)
- Wood glue
- 2 Carriage bolts 1/4″ x 6″
- 2 washers 1/4″
- 2 wing nuts 1/4″
- A few inch long screws (just to hold it while the glue sets up)
- Sanding sponges
- First you want to measure and cut your wood. If you aren’t great with power tools you can ask at the store and they will cut it for you. My dimensions are base: 4″x 15″, sides: 4″x15″, small sides: 4″x 3.5″. Sand each piece so there is no rough edges. Splinters suck.
- Next mark where you want your bolts. I recommend putting them an inch from each end in my long side boards an 2″ from the bottom. Your hole should be the size of your bolt so here we used 1/4″ drill bit. Once you holes are marked you can drill. Sand around the holes on both sides of each piece just to remove splinter hazards.
- Glue the sides to the base like pictured. I used two screws on each side to hold it in place while it dries. I also put the small side pieces in to hold it plumb (straight up and down)
- If any more sanding is needed once the glue sets up you can do that now. Assemble the pieces together. The short side pieces in this case are removable for easy release of the soap. They are held in position by the tension from the carriage bolts.
- (Optional) I put my bolt 4″ from one side so that i could cut a slice out of the side with the bolt that is back away from the edge. This is so I have a cutter and mold all in one. My soap is as uniform as the mold can be held responsible for.
- (Optional) I made Lexan pieces that fit inside my wooden mold as reusable lining. I am working on a full poly-carbonate mold so there is no need for a liner (Future post)