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Challenge Soap – Holly Swirl

Who wants to learn the Holly Swirl? I have to confess that up until very recently I’d never heard of the Holly Swirl – it’s a ‘swirl within a swirl’ and so called because it was first created by Holly Bailey of Missouri River Soap Co. It’s also the technique featured in this month’s Soap Challenge Club (the results of last month’s challenge can be seen here). This is one of Holly’s beautiful soaps:


Having registered and watched the online tutorial I set about creating my own version.

Starting with a batch of my basic soap batter, I took out just under a half, coloured it with a pink oxide and poured it straight into the soap mould. I then split the remaining half of batter into two and coloured one portion with blue ultramarine oxide and the other I whitened with titanium dioxide. I put a small amount of the blue and white to one side to create the top of the soap later.

Now for the first swirl.  Using a jug I poured the blue soap batter into the bowl holding the white soap batter, holding the jug up high and slowly moving it around. No stirring, no mixing – that was the swirl done. I didn’t take a photo of this stage so I hope that bit makes sense!

And the second swirl: I poured the combined blue and white batter along the length the mould, from a height. This was a little tricky as I wanted it to penetrate deep into the pink, but not so much that it settled on the bottom of the mould.  It was, to be honest, an educated guess 🙂

photo 2 (9)

I then carefully topped the soap with the remaining white batter, drizzled over the blue, and gave it a swirl:

photo 3 (9)

After 24 hours I took the soap out of the mould:


And cut it:

soap 001

I’m really happy with how it’s turned out.  If I did it again I’d probably use more vibrant colours to better show off the lovely swirls, but not bad for a first attempt I reckon!  Oh, and it’s fragranced with Vanilla Bean from Gracefruit – it’s supposed to be non-discolouring so hopefully the colours will stay true…

Thanks are due again to Amy Warden of Great Cakes Soapworks for setting up and hosting the challenges – I’m having a ball 😀

34 thoughts on “Challenge Soap – Holly Swirl

  1. I think the blue and white against the pink is striking!! It reminds me of a Dresden china plate my grandma used to put out for parties. Well done !!

    1. Ah, thanks so much for your kind words Suzy 😀

  2. So beautiful pastel colours and the swirl is gorgeous! I’m heading to look over your blog more thoroughly now!

    1. Thanks Maja – loving your blog too!

  3. That’s a gorgeous Holly swirl you got there!

    1. Thank you!

  4. I’d say you nailed it! Looks fantastic!

    1. Thanks Amy! Really appreciate the time and effort you put into organising these challenges – I’m loving trying out new techniques and checking out all the other entries.

  5. So beautifully done! Congratulations!

    1. Thanks Natalia

    1. Thank you 😀

  6. Love, love, love your colors and beautiful swirl!

    1. Thanks so much

  7. Beautiful. I like pastels.

    1. Thanks Jaime – I was worried that the colours were a bit pale and not vibrant enough but I’ve had some lovely comments.

  8. That is a gorgeous soap….love it 🙂

    1. Thank you Dianne. Actually – yours is one of my favourites so far in the challenge – it’s absolutely stunning! But I’m having problems with Blogger at the moment – I’m getting an error message every time I try to comment on a Blogger post 🙁 But I’ll keep trying!

  9. Really well done! So far, I think your soap is one of the front runners!

    1. This is Kerrie from the soap challenge.

      1. Thanks Kerrie. Have just followed your blog – the colours in your soap are just beautiful!

  10. I love the colours! Very feminine. Well done!

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Gail 😀

    1. Thanks Valerie! Yours is lovely too – I had a look at your blog but I’m having problems commenting on Blogger 🙁

    1. Thanks Shannon! Loving your apple jack & peel one too, but am having problems commenting on Blogger posts. I’ve followed your blog by email tho :-D.

  11. Loving the pastel contrast with pink and blue! Nicely done!

    1. Thanks for dropping by Cris!

  12. Really nice! 😀

    1. Thanks Melissa!

  13. Beautiful job! I love the swirly top, too.

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