Happy Easter


Happy Easter! We hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends! We’d love to hear and see what fun Easter projects everyone has going on. We decided on a cold process soap project. Now available to see and purchase at our store!
Reminder: Otion will be closed April 20th & 21st for Easter! We will be open for regular business hours on Tuesday the 22nd.

What You’ll Need:

6.8 oz Sweet Almond Oil
4.1 oz Avocado Oil
4.9 oz Castor Oil
15.6 oz Coconut Oil
2.7 Hemp Seed Oil (Refined)
10.2 oz Palm Oil
13.8 oz Rice Bran Oil
8.13 oz Sodium Hydroxide (Superfatted at a 6%)
20 oz Distilled Water
2.1 oz Grass Stain Fragrance Oil
0.3 oz Pink Grapefruit Fragrance Oil
1.1 oz Lime Fragrance Oil

Ultramarine Pink
Cellini Blue
Neon Blue Raspberry
Fizzy Lemonade
Hydrated Chrome Green
Activated Charcoal

Squeeze Bottles
5 lb Wood Loaf Mold
5 lb Silicone Liner

1. Our first step was to make our lye solution so it had time to cool down. We measured out 20 oz Distilled Water and 8.13 oz Sodium Hydroxide and set to the side to cool down.
**Always remember to make sure you label your lye solution so nobody gets into it!**

2. Next, we measured out our Fragrance Oils and our colorants. We premixed our colors with Avocado Oil.


3. While our lye solution was cooling, we measured out our oils in a large Pyrex bowl. Our oils were a little cool, so we stuck them in the microwave on 20 second bursts. Once our lye solution and our oils were around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (10-15 degrees of each other), we combined them together.

24. Once we came to a light trace, we measured out 8 oz of our soap into 5 different squeeze bottles. Then we mixed our premixed Fizzy Lemonade in our batch of soap. With our squeeze bottles, we poured each of our colors in and shook it up until completely mixed. When all our colors were mixed thoroughly in our squeeze bottles, we did an in the pot swirl. We alternated squeezing each color back into the Pyrex. You will have soap left over in your squeeze bottles, just set it aside as you will use it later!

35. We then took a skewer and pulled it through each color, going around twice. Now its time to pour! We poured our soap in a 5 lb wood loaf mold until it was completely full.

46. Now its time to grab those squeeze bottles again! Alternate between each color and do a zig-zag pattern on the top of the loaf. Keep switching between colors until all your soap is gone!

57. Time for the fun swirling! We first did a linear swirl, then finished with doing figure-eights. You can  do any kind of swirling technique you’d like, or even make up your own!

68. Put a box over top your soap to help reduce soda ash. Then wait 3-4 days to unmold and cut your soap!


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Tye Dye Cranberry Pomegranate


What You’ll Need:

5 oz Avocado Oil
3 oz Castor Oil
9 oz Coconut Oil
12 oz Olive Oil
6 oz Palm Oil
3 oz Shea Butter
12 oz Distilled Water
5.24 oz Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
2 oz Cranberry Pomegranate Fragrance Oil
Activated Charcoal
Electric Bubble Gum
Ultraviolet Blue
3 lb Loaf Mold

1. First we mixed our lye and distilled water together. We set that aside while we got the rest of our oils and butters together and melted down. Once the oils and lye water was between 10-20 degrees of each other (preferably around 115 degrees) we mixed the two together.


2. Once we came to trace, we poured our soap in 3 separate containers. We then colored them with Electric Bubble Gum, Ultraviolet Blue and Activated Charcoal. Along with adding in our 2 oz of fragrance oil.


3. When all our colors were mixed and our fragrance oil was added, we started pouring our soap into our loaf mold.
4. For the tye dye effect, we poured one color to start with, then the next color we poured in the middle of the loaf from top to bottom. Repeat this while switching colors until the loaf is full.


5. After all the soap was poured into our loaf mold, we took a skewer and did a fun swirl effect on top.



6. As you can see from the picture above, as our soap starting curing, the colors kept changing! The Electric Bubble Gum turned to a peachy-orange color and Ultraviolet Blue turned green. We let the soap sit under a box over night and the colors were still different. But after a week they seemed to go back to normal.
We love the end result and it smells AMAZING!


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St. Patty’s Day Gold Peppermint CP


What you will need:

5.4 oz Apricot Kernel Oil
2.7 oz Castor Oil
10.6 oz Coconut Oil
9.4 oz Palm Oil
8.3 oz Rice Bran Oil
12.6 oz Aloe Vera Liquid
5.15 oz Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
*Superfatted at a 6%*
1.4 oz Peppermint 1st Essential Oil
1.4 oz Wintergreen Essential Oil
(discontinued at Bramble Berry as well as over a year old)
Titanium Dioxide
Chrome Green Oxide
Heavy Gold Mica
1 Squirt Bottle
3 lb Loaf Mold

*If you are using Aloe Vera Liquid in place of distilled water, be aware that your lye solution will turn yellow. Don’t be alarmed!*

  • Once our lye solution and oils were both around 110 degrees (within 15-20 degrees of each other) we started mixing the two together. Once we got to trace, we filled one squirt bottle with the soap and colored with chrome green oxide. We then colored the rest of the batch with titanium dioxide.


  • After we added the titanium dioxide, we added our Peppermint 1st and our Wintergreen Essential Oils. Unfortunately, the Wintergreen EO made our soap into a ‘mashed potato’ consistency and we needed to work rather quickly. (*Please note: The Wintergreen EO has been discontinued from Bramble Berry & it was also over a year old, which could be the reason for the change in our consistency*)2
  • We then took our squirt bottle that was colored with chrome green oxide and did an in the pot swirl.
  • After we swirled our chrome green soap into the batch, we poured it halfway full into our 3lb loaf mold. We then dusted heavy gold mica on top of it, then finished pouring the rest of the soap on top. We then dusted more heavy gold mica on the top of the loaf.
  • After insulating our soap with a box and blankets, we unmolded our soap 2 days later and cut into it. Unfortunately the heavy metal gold mica does bleed into the soap, but we think it gives it a unique look. :)


This is not what we were planning on happening with our soap project, but we definitely like how it turned out!

Rancid Oil Loaf



You may be asking yourself “why would I ever use rancid oil? Yuck!” Most soapers avoid rancid oils due to the icky smell and dreaded orange spots. But as you well know we love to test fate ;)

Normally oils should not have a smell. When they start to have a sour smell, that’s when you know they are rancid. We had quite a few different oils that had that sour smell to them, but didn’t want to throw them out. We decided to make a batch of cold process soap with a couple rancid oils to see how they worked out. We made one batch unscented and uncolored, whereas we made another batch colored and scented.

What We Used:

23.9 oz Sweet Almond Oil (Rancid)
18.2 oz Apricot Kernel Oil (Rancid)
31.6 oz Sesame Oil (Rancid)
5 oz Castor Oil
28 oz Distilled Water
10.01 oz Sodium Hydroxide
(Super fat @ 1%)
4 tsp Sodium Lactate
1.5 tsp Neon Blue Raspberry Colorant
2 tbsp Jojoba Oil (pre-mix with colorant)
2 oz Pepperberry Fragrance Oil
Two 3 lb Silicone Molds

(Usage Rate for Sodium Lactate: 1 tsp per 1 lb of oils)

1) Mix all 3 rancid oils together. (Sweet Almond Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Sesame Oil)

2) After we poured what rancid oils we had, we then made the recipe using a lye calculator.


3) Once you have your lye water measured out and combined, you can then add your sodium lactate to the cooled lye water.

4) Once your lye water and oils are around 120 degrees, you can mix your lye water with your rancid oils. Stick blend until you come to a light trace.


5) Once you’ve hit light trace, go ahead and add in your castor oil and blend. The castor oil will bring the 1% superfat that we started with to a 6%. 1% is too harsh for the skin..


6) Pour your unscented and uncolored soap into a 3 lb silicone mold.

7) Spray with 99% rubbing alcohol.


9) With your remaining soap, add in the Neon Blue Raspberry Colorant and Pepperberry Fragrance Oil.

10) Mix together then pour into the other 3 lb silicone mold.


11) Spray with 99% rubbing alcohol and insulate.



Once we pulled these out of the loafs, we cut them and let them cure. Never once did we notice the soap smelling rancid or ‘bad’. Even when we started using them in the shower they still smelled yummy and had a great lather. The only issue we saw was the Neon Blue Raspberry colorant discolored when we added the Pepperberry Fragrance Oil.


Opposites Attract: M&P Embeds in CP Soap


Earlier this year we debuted an out of this world project: Embedding CP soap into M&P soap. We had so much fun with our project we decided to try it again…Only inverted! This M&P embedded in CP is so stunning, it is sure to make a lovely Valentines Day gift. So give it a whirl, you may just find it’s your new favorite technique!

To see our first mixed medium project see our blog here.

What You Will Need:

For Cold Process Batch:
4 oz Avocado Oil
1 oz Castor Oil
5 oz Coconut Oil
6 oz Olive Oil Pure
5 oz Palm Oil
1 oz Shea Butter
2 tsp Titanium Dioxide
8 oz Distilled Water
3.04 oz Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Rose Petals
10″ Silicone Loaf Mold

For Melt & Pour Embeds:
18 oz Clear Melt & Pour
2 mini scoops Super Pearly White
7 mini scoops Cellini Red
2 mini scoops Merlot Mica
1 mini scoop Cellini Blue
2 mL Black Amber & Lavender Fragrance Oil
Clean-up Tool
Mini Heart Silicone Embed Mold

ONE: Before you start your melt & pour embeds, you will want to make your lye water so it has time to cool down before you make your soap. Weigh out 3.04 oz of Sodium Hydroxide and set aside. Then weigh out 8 oz of distilled water. Once you have both weighed out, go ahead and add your lye to your water while mixing with a whisk. Label your mixture so no one touches it and set aside.

TWO: To start your heart embeds, melt down your clear m&p and add 7 mini scoops Cellini Red, 2 mini scoops Merlot Mica, 1 mini scoop Cellini Blue and 2 mL Black Amber & Lavender Fragrance Oil. Make sure you stir until there are no clumps in your soap. You can use the mini mixer to help disperse the color in the soap if needed.

THREE: When your color and fragrance is fully incorporated into your clear m&p you are ready to pour! To make this process easier, we recommend putting your mold in a tall sturdy vase to help keep it upright. Otherwise it likes to tip over. Once you have your mold in a vase, go ahead and pour your m&p into the mold. Let fully solidify and repeat steps until you have made 4 heart embeds. (note: if your m&p starts solidifying in your bowl you can pop it back in the microwave for 30 seconds.)

FOUR: Once your heart embeds are made, take a clean up tool and scrape off the edges that are from the seal of the mold. Once the edges are cleaned up, cut the embeds to fit the 10″ loaf mold. Set aside.


FIVE: Add 2 tsp Titanium Dioxide with 1 tbsp fixed oil and mix together. Set aside.

SIX: Now its time to make your cold process batch. Combine all your oils and butters and heat in the microwave until fully melted. When your lye solution and oils are around 120 degrees (within 10-15 degrees of each other) go ahead and pour your lye solution into your oils. We recommend pouring over the stick blender so it doesn’t splash back up at you. Blend your soap until you reach trace.

SEVEN: Once you have reached trace, add your titanium dioxide to your batch and blend together.

EIGHT: Spray your heart embeds with rubbing alcohol, then place 2 embeds on the bottom of your mold. Spray again with rubbing alcohol.


NINE: Now you are ready to pour your cold process soap. Pour over the 2 embeds until they are fully submerged. Then spray the existing 2 embeds with rubbing alcohol, place in mold then pour the cold process batch until mold is full.


TEN: Spray the top of the loaf with rubbing alcohol once more, then you are ready to cover the top with rose petals.


ELEVEN: Put your loaf under a box/blankets (or in our case, aprons) so your soap doesn’t cool too quickly. After about 1-2 days you can unmold and cut your soap.


TWELVE: When cutting your soap, be sure to turn the soap upside down so the rose petals are against the table. This is to prevent the rose petals from dragging through the soap and causing deep abrasions.



Cold Process Planets in a Melt & Pour Universe

**Warning! These planets are not astronomically correct!**

Ever wanted to know how to combine cold process and melt & pour? Well, here is an out of this world opportunity to do just that!

What you will need:
- 16 oz cold process mixed colors
- 24 oz clear melt & pour
- 1 mL sodium lactate
- 4 mini scoops black luster mica
- 2 mL black tea fragrance oil
- 3 mini scoops silver glitter
- Thermometer
- 3 lb loaf mold


  • If you have some in the pot swirl soap hanging around, use it! If not, you can get some great soap from Bramble Berry. You can then shred the soap with a cheese grater. I used about 16 oz of cold process soap.2 
  • Once your cold process is grated, roll the shreds into balls ranging from 1/2 inch in diameter to 1 1/2 inches. Keep CP shreds separate so colors will be more defined.3
  • Once soap balls are rolled, it is time to make your universe!
  • Start by melting 24 oz of clear m&p. Add black luster mica, black tea fragrance oil and glitter. Stir well!4
  • Once soap has reached 130 degrees, add sodium lactate, this will thicken your soap and allow your planets to float!
  • Spray about 10-14 of your planets with rubbing alcohol and place them into your mold. Pour your m&p over the planets and begin to add more sprayed planets. Repeat in a quick fashion until the mold is full.5
  • Spray once more with rubbing alcohol and let sit.
  • Your soap will be ready to cut in approximately 2 hours!6

Grandma’s Apple Pie

Fall is coming! I was so excited to be able to use the Hot Apple Pie Fragrance Oil from Brambleberry. Once I realized it’s not suitable for cold process soaping I put my nose to the grindstone, Literally! I came up with a mixture using Red Apple and Clementine Cupcake.


2 oz Castor Oil
10 oz Coconut Oil
14 oz Pure Olive Oil
10 oz Palm Oil
14 oz Distilled Water
5 oz Sodium Hydroxide (lye)
**Super fat at 6%**

1.1 oz Red Apple Fragrance Oil
1 oz Clementine Cupcake Fragrance Oil

Copper Sparkle Mica
Chrome Green Oxide
Silver Mica

I did an in the pot swirl, then finished with the peacock swirl on top. Once I was done I covered my soap with a box and a blanket to keep it well insulated. Two days later I was able to un-mold and cut my soap. I love when soap turns out this great, now go try it for yourself!

collage 1

collage 2

collage 3

Holly Leaf Cold Process

Not only is this a completely yummy bar of soap, it’s cute to boot! Adorned with charming little holly leaves, this soap is sure to put a smile on any Scrooge’s face. Give it to co-workers, teachers or anyone who needs a holiday boost.

What You Will Need:

  • 8 oz Castor Oil
  • 20 oz Coconut Oil
  • 25 oz Olive Oil Pure
  • 20 oz Palm Oil
  • 8 oz Shea Butter
  • 5 oz Sunflower Oil
  • 26 oz Distilled Water
  • 11.8 oz Sodium Hydroxide
  • 2.8 oz Hollyberry Cybilla Fragrance Oil
  • 2.2 oz Christmas Tree Cybilla
  • Chrome Green Oxide
  • Antique Silver Mica
  • Red= 1/2 tsp. Burgundy Oxide & 1/2 tsp. Ultramarine Pink Oxide
  • 18 Bar Unfinished Birch wood Mold

This recipe makes 7 lbs of soap. I started off by mixing my lye in my water. Once the lye was dissolved, I labeled my container and set it aside to cool as I prepared my oils. Once all my oils and butters were measured out and melted (I like to heat in 30 second increments), I combined it with my lye mixture. collage 1 I brought my soap to a light trace before I filled two squirt bottles half full. I scented and colored the remainder of my batch with Antique Silver Mica and poured it into my mold. With the green squirt bottle, I started to make oval shapes on top of my already poured layer. With a skewer, I pulled out to the sides to make the points of the leaves. Once my leaves were formed, I took my red squirt bottle and added the berries to my leaves. (3 berries looked better than two.) Then I topped it all off with some silver glitter. collage 2   collage 3 This holly leaf idea has been mulling around in my head since summer and I’m completely excited it turned out so well!

Candy Corn Swirls

Do you love Halloween? How about candy corn? If you do, we have the perfect recipe!


13.9oz Distilled Water
5.9oz Sodium Hydroxide
1.7oz Castor Oil
11.3oz Coconut Oil
11.3oz Palm Oil
17.6oz Olive Oil
2.6oz Holiday Candy Fragrance Oil

1 1/2 tsp. Titanium Dioxide
1 1/2 tsp. Fizzy Lemonade
1 1/2 tsp. Tangerine Wow!


After combining my oils with my lye water, I blended until it was at a light trace (make sure your trace is light so you have more working time with your soap). I added my fragrance oil, then evenly distributed my soap into 3 squirt bottles. I added one color to each bottle and shook it up really well. Time to make some amazing soap! I started by alternating colors while doing S curves throughout the entire loaf mold. Once I filled the loaf mold I took a skewer and did a linear swirl on the top portion of the loaf.


collage 1





It may not be what your trick-or-treating kids are begging for, but boy is it perfect for the spooky soap lover in your life!

Ambitious Newbie

I’ve been working at Otion for about a month now, and in that time I’ve helped with cold process soap making, but I haven’t done it completely on my own. So, I thought I’d give it a go!

I decided to look through Anne-Marie’s new Soap-Crafting book to find a recipe I wanted to try out. The one I chose was the Cylinder Pour Goat Milk. Looking at the recipe, there were a few tweaks I needed to make since we didn’t have canola oil and powdered goat milk.
(Check out Anne-Marie’s own website at http://www.soapqueen.com/)

Since I had to change the recipe, I entered it into a lye calculator to get the correct water and lye measurements.(http://www.brambleberry.com/pages/Lye-Calculator.aspx)

The recipe I used was:

13oz Distilled  Water
4.8oz Sodium Hydroxide (lye)

5oz Sweet Almond Oil
3oz Castor Oil
9oz Coconut Oil
5oz Olive Oil
9oz Palm Oil
3.5oz Rice Bran Oil

0.7oz Peppermint 2nd Dist. Essential Oil
0.7oz Rosemary Essential Oil
1.5oz Pink Grapefruit Fragrance Oil

1tsp Titanium Dioxide
1tsp Black Oxide
1tsp Yellow Oxide
1tsp Ultramarine Violet

Just like any other project, I got out all my ingredients to make sure I wouldn’t forget anything. But somehow I always seem to forget about my fragrance/essential oils! They sit in front of me, but I frequently forget to put them in. While I was blending my lye water and oils together I remembered about my FO’s and EO’s. I started running around getting everything I needed before my soap solidified too much! Luckily I was able to get it measured out in enough time. (next time I will remember to pre measure my F.O.’s and E.O.’s so I don’t forget them on the side lines)


Once I was able to get back to my soap, I poured it equally into 4 containers. Added my colorants, fragrances and mixed it completely. I had already chosen my color method prior to starting, so I knew which color I would pour in the mold first. Each time I poured, I counted to 3 then switched to the next color. I continued this until all my soap was gone.



Once finished, I set it aside and waited a week until I took it out of the mold. I find that when working with a cylinder mold, the longer you wait to unmold it, the better.

This was definitely an ambitious project to do as it was my first cold process experience. But it was definitely a fun project to work on! It was a great learning experience and has taught me the best part about soap making is learning how to do it better each time!

finished product