Great Cakes Soap Challenge Club Soap Dough Challenge

A Little Bit Rusty



Welcome to the May 2017 edition for Amy Warden’s Soap Challenge Club! This month’s challenge was taught once again by guest teacher, Tatiana Serko of Creative Soaps by Steso, and featured one of my latest obsessions in soap making – soap dough! For those who may be unfamiliar with soap dough, it’s basically soap made using certain recipes that create a moldable dough. Once finished, the soap is allowed to cure and it can be used as you would any other homemade soap. Tatiana generously offered us four of her very own soap dough recipes as well as some wonderful tips to help us create anything our minds could imagine.


Oh, The Possibilities!

I learned of the magical possibilities of soap dough several months ago from a very creative and talented soap witch, Bee Iyata of Sorcery Soap. I have been completely enthralled with the endless possibilities ever since.

Bee has been a huge inspiration to the soaping world and has generously shared what she knows about soap dough and tips on how to create magic! You can visit her blog to read more about her enchanting world, tips on working with soap dough, and some fascinating interviews with different soap makers. Bee also has a store to purchase her spell-binding soaps as well as books to help further your soap dough journey!

I cannot tell you how many gloriously imaginative ideas I had for this challenge! Unfortunately, I also had an unbelievably hectic month, which significantly put a crimp in my ability to act on many of my ideas. Adding to that, if we wanted to use Tatiana’s ideal recipe, we were in for a long wait. The recipe she typically uses for her soap dough is made and then allowed to sit for 1-2 months before it is ideal to use. I really wanted to compare one of her recipes to my usual one so I made the dough right away. Unfortunately, whatever gene carries the skill for patience completely skipped me.  

I was absolutely dying to play so I used some of the dough I had on hand to practice covering a bar of soap. This is one of those creations:


Sadly, I spent quite a bit of time on an idea that ended up not panning out in the least bit. If I ever get it to work, I’ll share it in a future post. At least the time I wasted on this particular idea helped keep me occupied while I waited for Tatiana’s dough to be ready.

I had so many other ideas but I was quickly running out of time and had to choose something. A recent Pinterest Party* with a friend gave me my final inspiration. At that party, we gave bottles an aged/distressed/vintage/antique makeover. 

I loved the rusty, patina look and decided to try to recreate it. I wanted to make something that looked like rusted metal embedded in a background of patina.

A Pinterest Party is an awesome gathering of friends to create a project found on Pinterest. Lots of snacks, lots of wine, and LOTS of fun! 


Go Forth And Conquer!

I honestly believe no obsession is complete without a massive amount of tools to go along with it. I have amassed an embarrassing amount of gadgets to use for soap dough. Between the raid on my own long-abandoned cake decorating supplies, a major thrift store score, and snatching up clearance fondant and clay sculpting tools from craft stores, I could possibly open my very own outlet! My favorite doodads are the texture tools. I have mats, wheels, embossers, you name it. I decided to create the soap using my small half-round molds since they were clear and I could easily assess the placement of the metal decorations.

I began by rolling out strips of dough. I then either rolled a texture wheel over the surface or placed a texture mat (or embosser) over the strip and pressed it with a rolling pin.

I used a clay extruder to make some ropes. Some of them I twisted into chains:

On some pieces, I rolled the dough over a texture mat and then cut out shapes using fondant cutters:


After I had several pieces, I brushed copper mica into the grooves to give everything a metallic sheen:

I placed each piece, face down in the bottom of the mold:

Close-up of pieces in mold

Dough placement from the underside of the mold


I chose to fill the mold with a patina-colored salt recipe to give it more of a texture – and to make it set up quicker since I was seriously running out of time! A few hours later, I removed them and brushed more copper mica in the crevices and on the surface of the bars. I then used a spray bottle of rubbing alcohol to disperse the mica and give it a more rusted appearance.

After they had dried completely, I brushed black mica over the surface, followed by a dusting of silver mica, giving the bars more definition and more of an aged appearance.

Close-up of mica detail


The Results

Although I am still a little bummed that my lack of time and crazy life prohibited me from diving in full force with this challenge, I am still very pleased with the results I did achieve.  I never imagined I would be so thrilled to say I created a hunk of rusted metal, but I am! I also very much enjoyed the opportunity to try a different soap dough recipe.

While I cannot disclose the actual recipes I used, I can say that Tatiana’s recipe gave a firmer dough than the one I typically use from Bee. They both have fabulous modeling capabilities, however, and provide the advantage of using different firmness to best suit the project you are creating. Whatever you can dream, you can create. Your only limits are your own imagination!




My entry:


Soap Specs:

For Bee’s soap dough recipes, please check out her wonderful books here. She also offers a free basic soap dough recipe here to get you started.

For Tatiana’s recipes, you can purchase the tutorial from Amy Warden here.


Black Chamomile – Wholesale Supplies Plus 


All from Steph’s Micas and More

 Metal Pieces

Shimmer Fuscous Brown

Cocoa Brown

Accent Colors

Pitch Black


Silver Graphite

Base Soap

Aqua Green

Cambridge Blue


Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time…

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Savannah Berd
April 2, 2020 3:34 pm

This is beautiful! I don’t think my skill level is high enough to accomplish this same look but I wanted to say that It’s just stunning! Do you sell your soaps?

Angie Twitchel
Angie Twitchel
July 12, 2017 2:54 pm

Wow – these are soooooo very cool! I love the look! Another idea to think about – nice work 🙂

Liz G
Liz G
May 31, 2017 7:51 am

I thought I’d left a comment, but I must of forgot to click on “Post Comment!”
It is so creative Debi, so much thought and work went into your creation and it does look exactly like old patina metal. Love it this soap bar, you always come up with such unique and individualistic ideas.

Liz G
Liz G
May 30, 2017 8:47 pm

Debi, I can’t believe how much it actually looks like rusty old metal…I love it, every month you come up with such creative bars. The thought and work you put into the challenges is very inspiring.

carolyn newton
carolyn newton
May 29, 2017 4:25 pm

Well hello Mrs O! What a lovely soap! I love the patina, it looks the part. The detail on all the pieces is fab and I really love the colours. Can I come to your Pinterest party please? lol I like wine and I like crafting! Perfect pairing. Good luck Debi, such a great job! x

May 29, 2017 10:15 am

wow I love the creative way you approached this challenge I enjoyed seeing all of your tools and gadgets thank you for sharing I love your soap they are very nice and yes it does look like soap metal!

May 28, 2017 11:02 pm

Excellent post and such an awesome soap! This was the first site to visit just so I could read about your experiences in soap making!

May 28, 2017 5:25 pm

Your skills are certainly not rusty!! Absolutely lovely soap and detailing. Congratulations!

May 28, 2017 8:53 am

Very interesting soap. Great combination of colors. It looks really rustic and gorgeous. And I admire the technique. Congratulations Debi.

May 27, 2017 3:14 pm

What wonderful ideas & techniques. I love your results!
Thanks so much for sharing them.

Claudia Carpenter
May 27, 2017 3:07 pm

Wow, I wished I lived near you! I’d love to go to a Pinterest Party!

You definitely achieved what you were going for, as these came out very antique-y, and with the same spirit as the bottles. I think they would also have worked for last month’s rustic soap challenge. 🙂 I love your heart cutout bar, too. Cute idea and very creative!

Ronda Scorpio
Ronda Scorpio
May 27, 2017 10:15 am

Love your technique, Beautiful

May 27, 2017 10:01 am

Beautiful , As always Fantastic soap design you never disappoint!

Amy Warden
May 27, 2017 9:47 am

Beautiful rusty soaps, Debi! I never thought I’d say that! LOL! Who knew you could make a soap rust? I love the colors and the patina effect!

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