DIY Succulent Soap Tutorial | How to Use Succulent Soap Embeds

how to make succulent terrarium soap

Succulent soap is a fun project that anyone can make with a little patience. Succulent soap molds can be used for countless different things. They’re the perfect size for making soap embeds for topping loaf soap, or incorporating into just about any other soap design. And if you like to make things other than soap, these molds are also perfect for making wax melts, bath melts, toppers for your bath bombs and more!

Today we’re going to show you how to use our succulent soap embed molds with melt & pour soap. This fun tutorial shows you how to make on-trend succulent soap that looks just like a real-life terrarium in a glass jar. Like any other soap embed project, this tutorial requires a little more patience than your typical melt & pour recipe. However, the stunning end result is so worth it!

These succulent soaps would make fantastic gifts for any plant lover in your life. They’re also the perfect product to add to your lineup if you sell your creations. With how popular succulents are right now, your terrarium soaps are almost guaranteed to fly off the shelves!

Yield: 6 bars of soap (5oz each)

Hands-On Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 4+ hours (including cooling time)

Skill Level: Advanced

Ingredients

Supplies

Supplies and ingredients for this project can be purchased at our store NorthWoodCandleSupply.com

Succulent soap embeds

Succulent Melt & Pour Soap Project Overview

To make our succulent soap, we will start by painting mica into our soap mold. You can use as many colors of mica as you like! Succulents can be found in such a wide array of beautiful colors, so there’s really no wrong answer when it comes to choosing your mica powders. This painting step is optional – it will simply give your succulents more detail and depth.

Next, we will cut and melt some white soap base to create our embeds. We will tint this soap with some mica powder. The melted soap is poured into the succulent molds and left to harden. You can use just the green succulent mold, just the blue one, or both. We liked using both molds so there are a variety of plant designs to choose from.

Meanwhile, we will cut up a bit of clear soap base that we will tint brown and pour into the round soap mold. This will create a layer that looks like dirt. Once hard, the succulent soaps are arranged on the “dirt” layer. Finally, we will melt some clear soap base and pour it over the top of the succulents, creating the appearance of a glass terrarium.

We like this design because you can use the soap bars freely without damaging the design of your succulents. As you use more of the soap, the clear layer will get smaller, revealing more of the succulents within. Because they’re enclosed in clear soap, the succulents will maintain their shape and beauty until the soap is used up!

If you like this project, you will also love our Seashell Melt & Pour Tutorial! It uses a similar design concept to make ocean-inspired soaps with melt & pour shell embeds.

Step-By-Step Instructions

This project is done in 5 stages. We will walk you thorough each part of the process with detailed instructions and helpful photos.

Part 1: Painting the Succulents with Mica

Because painting with mica can be a little tedious, we know not everyone will want to use this method. With that in mind, you can skip this section. Instead, you can simply make your succulents by adding mica directly to your soap base as described in Part 2.  

painting mica powder in a silicone mold

Follow these tips for painting with mica powder:

  • First, we recommend you wear a face mask for working with mica powders. The powder will usually become airborne when using a paint brush.
  • With a paintbrush, apply a thin layer of mica to the succulent mold cavities. You can use as many colors as you like.
  • The mica will stick relatively well to the silicone material on its own. However, if it’s easier, you can dip the brush in a small amount of rubbing alcohol to help the mica spread and adhere to the mold more easily.
  • Be sure to paint up the walls of each cavity, as you will be able to see the sides of your succulents in the final design.
  • Lastly, avoid putting down a thick layer of mica. Any excess mica can potentially trap air bubbles, resulting in a jagged/uneven texture in the soap. If you have excess mica in the mold, gently tap the mold upside down over a garbage can. If you used rubbing alcohol, wait until it has dried.
Silicone mold painted with mica

Part 2: Making the Succulent Soap Embeds

Note that you may not end up using all of the succulent embeds that you make. If you have any left over, save them for another project!

how to make succulent soap embeds
  1. Wearing gloves, begin cutting some of your white soap base into small cubes with a straight edge cutter. You will need about 2 oz of soap base to fill the blue mold and 4.5 oz of soap base to fill the green mold.  
  2. Add the soap to the funnel pitcher.
  3. Melt in the microwave in 15-second bursts. Be careful not to overheat the soap.
  4. Next, choose a color of mica that you want to use as the base color for your succulents. If you painted your molds with mica, this color will show through the color that you painted. However, it may look different in each succulent depending on the colors of mica you brushed into the mold.
  5. Wearing a mask, add 4-6 micro scoops of the mica powder you chose to a 1oz measuring cup. Add a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the cup and swirl it to dissolve the mica.
  6. Pour the mica/rubbing alcohol mix into the melted soap in your funnel pitcher. Stir with a whisk.
  7. Use your pipette to transfer 2 ml of fragrance oil to the melted soap. Stir with a whisk.
  8. Pour the melted soap into each cavity of the succulent molds.
  9. Immediately after pouring, spritz the top of the soap with rubbing alcohol to prevent any bubbles (photo 9).
  10. Let the succulents harden in the mold, then remove them.

Part 3: Making the Base Layer

While the succulent embeds are setting up, we will start making the “dirt” layer of the soap. You will need your round soap mold for this step.

If you want to add a fun texture to your dirt layer, you can add some poppyseeds to the brown soap. This will create a mildly exfoliating bottom layer, while also making the dirt look even more real!

how to make a layer with melt and pour soap
  1. Clean and dry your whisk and funnel pitcher.
  2. Cut 6 oz of clear soap base with a straight edge cutter and weigh it in your funnel pitcher on the scale.
  3. Melt the soap in the microwave using 15-second bursts. Remove as soon as it is melted, being careful not to overheat it.
  4. Wearing a mask, add 4-6 micro scoops of Coco Brown mica to a clean 1oz measuring cup.
  5. Add a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the cup and swirl it to mix the color.
  6. Pour the mica mixture into the melted soap and stir with a whisk.
  7. Use a pipette to transfer 3 ml of fragrance oil to the melted soap and stir with a whisk.
  8. Optional: If you want to create some texture in your dirt layer, add approximately ½ tablespoon of poppyseeds to the melted soap. Stir with a whisk.
  9. Pour a thin layer of soap into each cavity of the round soap mold. Try to create an even level in each of the cavities. If you used poppyseeds, stir the remaining soap in your funnel pitcher between each pour. This will keep the poppyseeds evenly distributed.
  10. Immediately after pouring, spritz the top of each bar with rubbing alcohol to remove any bubbles.

Part 4: Arranging the Succulents

As the “dirt” layer is hardening in the mold, begin arranging the succulents in the cavities. You can start doing this as soon as the dirt layer has started to form a skin on top. The succulents are placed directly onto the layer so it looks like they are growing naturally.

how to arrange succulent soap embeds
  1. Spritz the layer with rubbing alcohol before placing the succulents. You can also spray the succulents with rubbing alcohol. This will help them adhere and stay in place.
  2. Place as many succulents as you can into each cavity of the mold without overlapping them. It’s okay if they sink into the dirt layer a little.
  3. Avoid having the succulents touch the walls of the soap mold, as this can create pockets that trap air.
  4. Use a combination of large and small succulents to fill in as much space as possible.
  5. If you want to fill any gaps, you can cut some of the succulents into smaller pieces.
how to arrange soap embeds in the mold
I used all but 4 of the succulent soap shapes when filling the molds.

Part 5: Pouring the Layer of Clear Soap

The final step is to cover the succulents with a layer of clear soap that will create the appearance of glass. Be sure to use Extra Clear Soap Base for a crystal clear, glass-like appearance.

how to make a clear layer of melt and pour soap
  1. Clean and dry your funnel pitcher and whisk.
  2. Cut 20 oz of clear soap base using your straight edge cutter. Weigh the soap in the funnel pitcher on the digital scale.
  3. Melt the soap in 15-second bursts in the microwave. Remove as soon as it is melted to avoid overheating.
  4. Use a pipette to transfer 4 ml of fragrance oil to the melted soap. Stir with the whisk.
  5. Important: Spritz all of the round soap mold cavities with rubbing alcohol. Make sure the succulents and the base layer receive a layer of rubbing alcohol. Skipping this step will make it difficult for the clear layer to stick to everything else.
  6. Use the digital thermometer to check the temperature of the soap. When it reaches 135-140 degrees F, begin pouring to fill the soap cavities. Be sure to pour slowly to help the soap reach all of the spaces between the shapes.
  7. If you painted your succulents with mica, be careful to not pour the soap directly onto the succulents if possible. Instead, try to pour the soap in between the succulents. Pouring soap directly onto the succulent shapes can cause the mica to come off slightly. If this does happen, don’t worry. The effect will not be very noticeable in the end.
  8. Immediately after pouring, spritz the top of the bars with rubbing alcohol to remove bubbles.  It’s best to spritz each bar after you pour it.
  9. Let the soap sit undisturbed until it is completely hard.

Fishing Touches

Once the soap is completely hard, wear gloves to remove it from the molds. This will prevent fingerprints. If desired, package in square soap boxes for a professional-looking touch. These soaps would also look cute packaged in a clear bag with some crinkle paper to hold the bar in place.

NorthWood is not responsible for any projects you make with our supplies, recipes, or informational resources.

Did you try this Succulent Soap Tutorial? We’d love to see how your soap turned out! Tell us about your project in the comments below or share your photos on social media with #MadeWithNorthWood

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