Wood You Like Some Soap?

Nancy Jameson

Best. Challenge. Ever. Oh my gosh, I can’t tell you how much I loved Amy Warden’s (of Great Cakes Soapworks) latest challenge. For October, we were to make a wood grain soap using either natural or synthetic ingredients.

I chose synthetic. I have a lot of micas so I had a good amount of colors to choose from plus I had gotten a sample of Rustic Escential’s Cedarwood and Patchouli fragrance oil and I thought that would be perfect to try out.

This challenge could not have been timed more perfectly. I had been planning on making a Nutcracker* soap for Christmas and I wanted to make it wood grain. Even though I had never done that before I was going to make an attempt. I often run out of time for doing these challenges. For instance, the month before, even though I was signed up for the piping challenge, my time was taken up trying to finish my website in order to get it launched for an October deadline. But this time I could accomplish two birds with one stone. I could work on trials for my Christmas soap and do the challenge at the same time. Score!

I looked around our house at our various wood furniture as well as the piles of wood in our garage. (My husband does woodworking so there is plenty.) But I finally took inspiration from some tulipwood pictures (which varied considerably) I found on a wood website. 

I followed Amy’s recipe which worked like a dream. Nice and slow moving, giving me plenty of time to lay down the colors. I used 5 colors from Steph's Micas and More: Shimmer Gold, Shimmer Gold with a bit of Satin White added, Latte, Cocoa Brown with Majestic Purple and Ruby Red added, and Copper.

My first try was done in a small 4 bar slab mold. I tried to CPOP and I watched it carefully. But 30 minutes after I turned the oven off the top was bubbling or getting what looked like pictures I’ve seen of alien brains.Ugh! I took it out and let it cool and after 24 hours I was able to plane the top off and it was lovely. When I cut it the edges were a bit rough and I LOVED how that added to the wood look. (see small picture on right) But since it was not only for the competition but also for Christmas, I went ahead and make it again using a slightly larger slab mold my husband had made. This one turned out exactly as I had hoped!

I am so in excited about this technique. I don’t know if I will get it done before this blog has to go up as I also have quite a few other Christmas soaps to do (yes I know, I’m behind) but I plan to try a weathered grey wood board look and probably scent it with Silver Birch and Vetiver and maybe a yellow oak soap with Oak Barrel Cider! I feel like the possibilities are endless!

Thanks again, Amy for all your hard work on these challenges and for putting together another great one!

*this soap has been renamed for Spring and is now being sold as Tulipwood.




  • This turned out so beautiful!!!!


  • Congratulations, Amazing job! It really does look like a block of wood! Color choices were perfect.


  • Congratulations!! It is amazing


  • Beautiful job! Love this soap!


  • Wow, a HUGE thank you to EVERYONE for all your kind comments. You all are such an encouragement to me. Unfortunately my blog wont allow me to thank all of you individually so I hope you all will see my thanks here!


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