And if you pair mint with chocolate, it's even better. But then, chocolate always makes things better.
And so every Christmas, I must have not only minty foodstuffs, but also minty soap. And that means candy cane soap.
Christmas + Mint = Candy Canes
Candy canes are The Christmas Candy. When I was a kid, I'd go to the mall to see Santa Claus and tell him what I wanted for Christmas. I wasn't sure that I believed in the whole Santa thing - how's one guy going to deliver all of those presents to all of those kids in one night? - but I figured that it couldn't hurt to hedge my bets. And after I gave Santa my list of demands, he'd give me a candy cane.
Also, when I was little, my grandma would hang candy canes on the Christmas tree and my cousin and I would eat them on Christmas Eve as we not-so-patiently waited until it was time to open presents. The adults would play spades while we consumed an obscene amount of pepperminty sugar and inspected our gifts over and over again. The spades game was over once a team scored 500,000 bazillion points and only then were we allowed to open presents.
I don't visit Santa Claus anymore (I guess he just refers to my Amazon wish list these days), and my cousin and I no longer gorge on candy canes on Christmas Eve. But we still need a candy cane theme for the holidays, and soap is the perfect medium.
For this project, I decided to give the Impressionist Swirl a try. This technique uses squeeze bottles to squirt the soap into the mold in alternating colors, creating a swirl that resembles the short brushstrokes of the Impressionist artists from the 19th century.
|Candy Cane Impressionist Swirl Soap|
For the scent, I chose Nature's Garden's Peppermint fragrance oil, which soaped like a dream. I mixed the FO into my cooled oils and then added the lye solution. Once I reached a light trace, I divided the soap batter into three equal portions and colored one with titanium dioxide, another with Bramble Berry's brick red oxide, and another with BB's green chrome oxide. (I mixed each colorant with a bit of liquid glycerin to work out the clumps and help minimize streaking.)
I transferred the colored soaps into three separate squeeze bottles and then squirted the colors into the mold horizontally in a S-shaped pattern, alternating between the white, green, and red. I repeated that process until the soap was gone. (I turned the mold every so often to keep the sides even, as the Soap Queen tutorial above recommends.) Once the soap was all used up, I used a skewer to swirl just the very top layer.
Here's a video I made of the process:
These soaps turned out really cool! I really enjoyed this technique, and I will have to revisit it in the future. I love how each bar is unique, and how you don't know what you're getting until you cut into the soap loaf.
Are you a big mint fan? Which scents and flavors do you associate with the holidays?