Charcoal & Clay Rimmed Soap

032016_18282wp.jpgThis month, the Great Cakes Soap Challenge (hosted by Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks) involved creating a rimmed soap. Our instructor was Tatsiana Serko of Creative Soaps by Steso. Not only does Tatsiana create amazing rimmed soaps, but all of her soaps are so artistic and beautiful. She provided us with a wonderful tutorial. All of the tips and help provided by both she and Amy Warden made this daunting technique seem a bit easier to tackle. I chose to make a charcoal and kaolin clay rim, then fill it with white soap using more kaolin clay.  :)

Note: If you’re a beginner or want to learn more about soap making, check out these helpful videos:
Soap Queen TV – LYE SAFETY:
Amanda Aaron of Lovin’ Soap – BEGINNER SERIES:

This technique was so much fun to learn and make. I’ll definitely be making it again.

As recommended by both Tatsiana and Amy, the recipe needed to have about 45% hard oils and 55% soft oils, with about 10% of the soft oils being castor oil. Castor oil seems to help the soap be more pliable.

Sweet Almond Oil – 15%
Sunflower Oil – 10%
Avocado Oil – 10%
Castor Oil – 10%
Olive Oil – 10%
Organic Sustainable Palm Oil – 25%
Coconut Oil – 20%

You’ll see in the video below that I used Tatsiana’s technique for the rim (making a complete slab and then slicing off the soap to make the rim). I did not put my slab of soap in the oven, but I did cover it with a blanket and left it in a warm room overnight. Thankfully, it did completely gel. After I unmolded it and let it sit for a few hours, I was able to cut and roll it fairly easily. You’ll also see in the video the tool I used for slicing the soap. Tatsiana showed us how to use cork, guitar wire, and washers to make a fantastic flexible knife. It worked perfectly.

The inside of the soap was made using one of my regular soap recipes and scented with a custom blend of floral essential oils. This blend caused the center of the soap to turn a cream color (you’ll see this in the video). After about 2 days, the center lightened considerably, and I was able to take the photos you see in this post.

I made a video of my entire process and edited it down to about 7 minutes.  You can see it here or on my YouTube channel.



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Thank you for reading my post!


50 thoughts on “Charcoal & Clay Rimmed Soap

    • Thank you so much, Amy! I wasn’t very confident I could do this, but the tutorial you and Tatsiana provided helped me through every single step. It was so much fun to make!


  1. So exquisitely beautiful, Holly! I absolutely love the powerful design you achieved from these classic colors. So incredibly well done!


  2. Oh my goodness, so beautiful!! Thank you very much.
    I’d love to know how to make that guitar string, cork & washers slab cutter……


  3. Your soaps are beautiful and I can’t thank you enough for taking your time in including your how-to videos. You are a professor of soapmaking.


  4. Pingback: How to make a Checker Board Design in Homemade Soap | Board Game

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  7. Thanks for sharing such a lovely recipe but when i tried it was breaking on winding. Can you please send me the exact ratio especially for the lye solution.
    Are all oils to be used in the same exact amount ?

    Please help me in making your brilliant soap

    Rubina Shah


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