Stunning In-the-Pot Swirl Winners!

This month’s Challenge Club featured the classic in-the-pot swirl. This was the first swirl I ever learned back in the day, and it remains one of my favorites. A lot of soapmakers prefer a swirl that they have more control over, but if you enjoy having completely unique soaps, no two bars of soap will turn out alike with this technique!

The guidelines for this challenge were to use in-the-pot swirls only. No stirring, swirling or otherwise messing with the soap once poured in the mold. The only variation allowed was for straight layers. Anything else could potentially detract from the star of the show: the in-the-pot swirl.

Our grand prize winner will receive a $50 gift certificate from Nature’s Garden as well as a $25 coupon code from the makermolds etsy store by Nicci Yeo. Please go check out both of their websites – Nature’s Garden has recently rolled out some big changes in their site, and Nicci has some really fun and unique soap molds!

Here is the stunning soap that takes home the grand prize. Congratulations to Zahida of Handmade in Florida who created this lovely coffee soap with several layers of soap:

Coffee Soap by Handmade in Florida
Coffee Soap by Handmade in Florida

In second place is Claudia’s fabulous “Nebula Swirl” soap, created with some help from her daughter. You’ll want to read her blog post about her process, as she has several great tips for achieving this effect:

Nebula Soap by Claudia and daughter
Nebula Soap by Claudia and daughter

Third place goes to Lisa of Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio in Australia. She spent hours and hours creating this gorgeous rainbow layered soap:

Rainbow Soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio
Rainbow Soap by Kangaroo Apple Soap Studio

Huge congrats to Claudia and Lisa! They win free registration to next month’s Challenge Club!

I know you will want to see the rest of the entries as well! They are located HERE.

Do you love the new watermarks for the winning entries? One of our Challenge Club members, Claudia Carpenter, created these logos and a super simple tool to watermark the photos just for fun! From now on, when you join the club and submit an entry, you’ll be able to use the tool to watermark your own photos with this:


Now for some more fun! We will be doing petal soaps for the October Challenge Club. Here is the test batch I created yesterday. I will be making another one for the video, now that I have a feel for the technique:

Petal Soap Test Batch by Great Cakes Soapworks
Petal Soap Test Batch by Great Cakes Soapworks

You can do lots of fun things with this technique – even make flowers instead of rows of petals! (Novel idea, I know.) We have a new sponsor for October – have you heard of Mad Oils yet? They are a new company out of Florida with some fantastic fragrances, essential oils, micas, glitters, botanicals and so much more! They are providing a $50 gift certificate to the grand prize winner. (International winner will need to pay shipping only as they do not normally ship abroad.)

Registration will open Monday, September 29th.

NEW: I am also announcing the techniques and sponsors for November and December at this time. You will have the option to sign up for all three months on September 29th for just $15 (saves you a few bucks and you won’t miss the sign-up deadlines for November and December – yippee!!)

November – We are doing combing techniques! You’ve probably seen some of these techniques before – in fact if you’ve been with us since the beginning of the Challenge Club, we started with the peacock swirl. You can do a peacock swirl again, or something different! I will be demonstrating a technique that I have so far not seen in the soaping world. Now you’re curious, aren’t you?
Brambleberry will sponsor and provide the grand prize winner with their swirl tool kit to make all kinds of soaps with combing techniques!

Registration will open on October 27th. If you are pre-registered you will have access to the tutorial on that day. Soap will need to be made by November 12th, voting opens on the 15th and winners announced on the 19th.

December – The Spoon Swirl. Another classic with plenty of applications. Easy to do right before the holidays as well. Majestic Mountain Sage is sponsoring with a $100 gift certificate for the grand prize winner.

Registration will open on November 24th. If you are pre-registered you will have access to the tutorial on that day. Soap will need to be made by December 10th, voting opens on the 13th and winners announced on the 17th.

If you haven’t signed up for the Challenge Club newsletter yet, this is how you can get notified when registration opens:


Page with Comments

  1. is that one bar of soap and just the top has petals?
    Do you need that tool to do that next technique?
    I love the new watermark. Very nice Claudia Carpenter for creating it.

  2. @Cheryl – Actually, it’s a 6-bar slab with the petals on top. As for the combing technique, I’ll show you how to make a comb with very inexpensive items. The Brambleberry tool just makes it that much easier. 🙂

  3. Wow, thanks so much, I really appreciate all of your support and encouragement!!! <3

    I LOVED ALL of the entries this month…some very cool and creative soaps! Huge congratulations to Claudia, Maddie and Lisa…your soaps were very impressive…well deserved!!

    Thanks again Amy for hosting these challenges for us! I've said it before and will say it again – this is an awesome way to break out of your comfort zone and try something new. The feedback and support you receive from your peers is priceless!

    Can't wait to see all of your petal creations next month!

    P.S. Love the logos Claudia! Thank you! 😀

  4. Being in Australia I only recently woke up, and what a wonderful surprise to wake up to! There were so many beautiful soaps to vote for this month, so I am very honoured 🙂

    I’m really glad Amy ran this challenge and gave me a reason to revisit and practice this technique until I got a much better feel for it. Thank you Amy!

    Congratulations to Zahida, Claudia and Maddy – what gorgeous soaps they are.

    I have wanted to try the petal technique since seeing it on Modern Soapmaking’s page, so I’m really excited about next month’s challenge – especially as I’m very much an emulsification soaper so getting that batter consistency right will be … well, a challenge! Lol

  5. There were some amazing soaps this round — I was so impressed by the diversity! BTW, I’ve already made an autumn-themed variant on the winning soap, and have two planned for Christmas, so thank you for a lovely (and extensible!) design, Zahida. 🙂

    I hope you all like the watermark stamps. I was looking for some way to indicate on my blog that a soap was made specifically for the challenge, and of course it’s always nice to say you made a winner or a finalist!

  6. I don’t know too much about soap making, but these soaps look great. The swirl soaps look amazing. Congratulations to the winners.

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