Who doesn’t love a day at the beach? This fun melt & pour soap tutorial will show you how to make beach-inspired soap bars with cute seashell embeds. The seashells are embedded beneath a translucent layer of blue soap, making it look just like a little slice of the ocean. As you use the soap, the layers will become thinner, revealing more of the shells beneath. It’s fun to see the shells coming to the surface!
It might look complicated, but this project is doable even for an adventurous beginner. This project involves a few more steps and a bit more patience than your typical melt and pour project, but the end result is so worth it! Follow along as we make this fun summer soap project.
Yield: 6 bars of soap (6.5 oz each)
Hands-On Time: 1.5 hours
Total Time: 4+ hours (including cooling time)
Skill Level: Intermediate
- 17 oz White Melt & Pour Soap Base such as Premium Shea
- 22 oz Premium Extra Clear Melt & Pour Soap Base
- 1-2 micro scoops Teal Blue Mica Powder for “water”
- 4-6 micro scoops Tan Mica Powder for “sand”
- 4-6 micro scoops Floral White mica for shells
- South Shore fragrance oil (you may substitute for a different skin-safe fragrance)
- 2 Seashell Soap Molds
- Square Silicone Soap Mold
- Micro Scoops
- 1 oz Measuring Cups
- 28 oz Mix & Pour Funnel Pitcher
- Digital Thermometer
- Digital Scale
- EZ Grip Nylon Whisk
- Plastic Pipette
- Straight Edge Soap Cutter
- Face Mask
- Nitrile Gloves
- Cutting Board
- 6 Square Soap Boxes
- Spray bottle with rubbing alcohol (at least 91%)
- Small amount of additional rubbing alcohol for mixing mica colors
Supplies and ingredients for this project can be purchased at our store NorthWoodCandleSupply.com
Melt & Pour Seashell Soap Project Overview
For this melt & pour soap tutorial, we will start by cutting and melting some white soap base to make our seashell shapes. We’re using Floral White mica to create a shimmery white color. You can make them all one color or switch it up and make several different colors of shells. In a white soap base, any color of mica will look more pastel. However, you can adjust the amount of mica to get different shades of color.
The white soap is poured into the seashell molds and left to set. We are using two molds so that you can pour all of the shells you need at once. However, if you only have one seashell mold, you can let the soap set up, remove it and repeat the process to create the rest of the shells you need.
Meanwhile, we will cut and melt additional white soap base to create a layer of soap that looks like sand. This is poured into the square mold and left to set. Once this has hardened, the seashell soap embeds are arranged in the mold randomly. Lastly, we will cut and melt some clear soap base and tint it with a tiny bit of blue mica to create a water effect. The blue soap will be poured over the shells, making it look like they are under water.
If you like this project, you might also enjoy our Calendula Petal Soap Tutorial!
Can’t I make seashell soap with real seashells?
You certainly can embed real seashells into melt & pour soap. However, using soap seashells is beneficial for a few reasons.
First, it’s much easier to get the “water” layer of soap to adhere nicely to soap shells rather than real shells. Second, most real shells have cavities that hold air inside. The air may come out when they are embedded in soap, which can lead to bubbles being trapped in your soap. And third, real shells are hard and unpleasant to feel in soap. They might look cool when they’re enclosed beneath a layer of clear soap. However, when the soap bar is used and begins to shrink, those hard shells will poke out of the surface. The rough texture can be unpleasant, but it’s also a bit dangerous if there are any sharp edges on the shell.
Because real shells don’t dissolve like soap shells, they will also eventually pop out of the soap bar completely. This will leave holes behind. Not only do holes look unpleasant, they can also make the bar of soap break or disintegrate more easily.
Overall, we love using shells made of soap for this project because they will dissolve at the same rate as the rest of the soap, keeping it looking nice the whole time.
Making Melt & Pour Soap Seashells
- Wearing gloves, begin cutting some small cubes of white soap base with your straight edge soap cutter.
- Place the mix & pour funnel pitcher on the scale and tare it to zero. Add 7 oz of soap cubes to the pitcher (see photo 1 above)
- Next, melt the soap in 15-second bursts in the microwave, checking after each session. Remove as soon as the soap is melted. Aim to remove it before the soap begins to steam.
- Put on a mask for working with mica powder.
- In a clean 1oz measuring cup, mix 4-6 micro scoops of Floral White mica with a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Swirl the cup to blend the color. Then pour the mica mixture into the melted soap. Stir with a whisk (photo 2).
- Use your pipette to add 2 ml of fragrance oil to the melted soap. Stir with a whisk (photo 3).
- Pour the melted soap into a seashell mold (photo 4).
- Immediately after pouring, spritz the top of the soap with rubbing alcohol to remove air bubbles (photo 5).
- Let the shells harden, then remove from the mold and set aside (photo 6).
Making the Sand
While the seashell soaps are setting in the mold, you can begin making the “sand” portion of the soap.
- Clean and dry the funnel pitcher and whisk.
- Cut and weigh 10 oz of white soap base using your straight edge cutter, digital scale and mix & pour funnel pitcher (see photo 1 above).
- Next, melt the soap by heating it in 15-second bursts in the microwave. Remove as soon as it is melted – before the soap begins to steam.
- Wearing a mask, use a clean 1 oz measuring cup to combine 4-6 micro scoops of Tan mica with a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Swirl the cup to blend the color, then pour the mixture into the melted soap and stir (photo 2). Add more mica if you want a darker color.
- Use a pipette to transfer 3 ml of fragrance to the melted soap. Then stir with a whisk.
- Pour a thin layer of the soap into each cavity of the square soap mold. Aim to create an even layer in each cavity (photo 3).
- Immediately after pouring, spritz the top of the soap with rubbing alcohol to remove bubbles.
- Let the sand layer harden in the mold (photo 4).
Arranging the Shells
Once the “sand” portion is hard, you may begin arranging the shells in the square mold. The shells are placed directly onto the surface of the “sand” to make it appear as if they are resting on the ocean floor.
- To help with adhesion, spray the “sand” layer with rubbing alcohol. You can also spritz the bottom of the shells.
- Place 3 to 4 shells into each cavity in a random fashion. You will have a few shells left over. The flat side of the shell should rest on the surface of the sand layer (see photo 2 above).
- Using your cutting board and straight edge cutting tool, cut the remaining shells in half (photo 3).
- Next, arrange these half-shells so that the cut edge is flush with the vertical wall of the square mold. The closer you can get it to the wall, the better the end result will be (photo 4).
- Finally, make any necessary adjustments so that the shells aren’t touching each other. It will look best if the shells have a small amount of space between one another.
Making the Water
After arranging the shells, we will pour the final layer of the soap. To create a water effect, we’re using clear soap and a tiny amount of blue mica.
- Clean and dry the funnel pitcher and whisk.
- Cut and weigh 22 oz of clear soap base using your straight edge cutter, digital scale and mix & pour funnel pitcher (see photo 1 above).
- Melt the soap in the microwave in 15-second bursts. Stir after each session and remove the soap as soon as it is melted – before the soap begins to steam.
- Next, use a pipette to transfer 5 ml of fragrance to the melted soap. Stir with a whisk (photo 2).
- In a 1 oz measuring cup, combine 1 micro scoop of Teal Blue mica with a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Swirl the cup to blend the mica (photo 3).
- Pour a small amount of the mica mixture into the melted soap and stir with a whisk. Check to see that you like the color (photo 4). If you want a lighter, more translucent blue color, only add a little amount. If you want to have a deeper blue color, continue adding the mica mixture. You can always add more color but it’s difficult to make the soap lighter if you add too much. In photo 8 above, you can see how I changed the amount of mica to make a more translucent layer.
- Important: Spritz all of the square soap mold cavities with rubbing alcohol. Make sure the shells and the sand layer receive a layer of rubbing alcohol (photo 5). If you don’t do this step, the “water” layer will have difficulty adhering to the other components.
- Use your digital thermometer to check the temperature of the melted soap (photo 6). When it reaches 135-140 degrees F, pour the soap into the soap cavities (photo 7).
- Immediately after pouring, spritz the top of the soap mold with rubbing alcohol to remove any bubbles.
Finally, let the soap set up until completely hard, which may take up to 2-4 hours. Once hard, wear gloves to remove the soap from the mold – this prevents fingerprints (see photo 8 above).
If desired, package the soap bars using Square Soap Boxes for a professional touch.
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