Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge- Butterfly Swirl

This month’s soap club challenge was a tough one- the butterfly swirl! And with the family being sick, I knew I was going to have one shot at this!

Amy Warden from Great Cakes Soapworks demonstrated this technique for us. She also gave us Zahida’s (Handmade in Florida and master of the butterfly swirl) YouTube links. First, we were to lay our soap in the mold by doing a drop swirl. Then, use a hanger or gear tie to swirl.

So, here’s what I used-
Colorants: Activated charcoal, purple ultramarine powder, titanium dioxide, green liquid pigment/chromium oxide, gold mica
Essential oils: Lavender, lemongrass
Base oils:
Special tools: Hanger with thick straw that fits the length of your mold
(It was advised that we use something thicker than a hanger”)

1. At medium-thick trace, I drop-swirled the soap into the mold. Actually, at that point, the soap was pretty thick! It was hard to drop-swirl smaller/thinner amounts. I was nervous about that!
2. Next, I swirled the soap using the hanger tool.
From a side view of the mold, here’s the motion I used:
Hmm, maybe the loops were deeper and ran into each other, more like this:
Hope that made sense! And sorry it’s a little scribble-ly! I used my iPhone to draw that hah!
3. Then, I topped it off with a layer of soap including a swirl of gold mica.

I had a hard time deciding which was the best butterfly to enter into the challenge. I liked little things about each. But, my brother begged me to submit this one (so I did):
Here’s the rest of them:
I was really amazed at how different each bar or “butterfly” looked! Also, earlier I mentioned being nervous about the soap batter getting too thick. But, I think I’m realizing now that thick trace is good! Really wish I had more time to give it another go to try new techniques, colors, ideas, and so on. Oh what fun :)!

Thanks for reading! And thanks, Amy, for giving us this forum to learn and share!



About merrydaysoaps

musician & soapmaker

24 responses to “Great Cakes Soapworks Challenge- Butterfly Swirl

  1. It’s perfect! Yes, the thicker trace really does work well with this technique. I’m so glad you got it on your first try – that’s amazing!! Hope you make more! πŸ™‚

  2. Jackie R.

    Such a pretty color selection! They’re beautiful!

  3. Stunning! Butterfly looks amazing:)

  4. Agree the thicker trace really helps. And I love how you did your blog with the steps! Each bar shows its own personality. Nice job!

  5. Eileen

    Great colours! Lovely swirls!

  6. All the butterflies are beautiful. I would have chosen the white one, too, because it stands out against the base green. Lovely swirls, Caroline!!

  7. I would have had a hard time picking the best from all of your bars. They’re all lovely!

  8. Beautiful soaps. And an awesome blog post! I loved your illustrations too.

  9. Pooja

    I love how each pair turned out to be different & unique. The colors suit your EO combo too.

  10. Beautiful… is such a fun technique….love all your butterflies πŸ™‚

  11. Beautiful soap. Love the post and your drawings of how the swirl is done.

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