These pretty, sparkly balls of soapy, sudsy goodness are pretty cool. They look like snowballs (or candies), but are perfectly at home in your soap dish or on your Christmas tree. They’re great for guest bathrooms or traveling, and are just neat in general.
We’ll kick things off by making a batch of pale blue peppermint-vanilla scented cold processed soap and leaving it for a day. And then, instead of slicing it and leaving it to age, we’ll scoop out blobs of soap and roll them into little balls since the soap is still quite soft and malleable—just like play-doh. This part would be really fun to do with kids (as long as they know not to put it in their mouths—yuck!).
Once we’ve got those little balls, we’ll roll them in some large grain sparkle sugar and leave them to age. My sugar is from King Arthur Flour, but I’d bet you could find something similar in the baking area of your local grocery store. You could also use large grain salt if that’s all your have. Make sure to press it into the balls fairly firmly and ensure an even coating as you won’t be able to add anymore once the balls harden.
And that’s it. Cool, no? If you want to use them as a Christmas tree decoration, poke a hole through the balls with a toothpick after they’ve been rolled in sugar, and then thread fishing wire through them to hang them on your tree. You can use them as soaps after the tree comes down 🙂
These soaps are the first official Christmas/holiday gift type recipe of the year—yikes! I can’t believe we’re there already.
Sparkly Snowball Soap Balls
Per 500g (1.1lbs) of oils:
- 1 pinch tussah silk or ½ tsp silk peptides
- 2 tsp sodium lactate (optional—hardens the bars)
- 1 tbsp white kaolin clay
- 23g peppermint essential oil
- 7g benzoin essential oil
- Blue ultramarine oxide
- Coarse, large-grain sugar (check a baking supply shop)
Use SoapCalc to calculate your final amounts of oils, lye, and water based on the size of batch you want to make.
Plan to make this soap at a time when you’ll be able to take an hour or two 24 hours later to turn the soap into our wee little balls.
Follow my standard soap making instructions. Add the tussah silk to the lye water, pulling it apart into smaller bits to encourage it to dissolve. If using, add the sodium lactate to the lye water after it has cooled and stir to combine. If you’re using the sodium lactate I strongly encourage you let your fats and lye water come to room temperate before combining. I haven’t tried using the sodium lactate above room temperature, but I do notice a much, much faster trace than I would usually get at room temperature, and it’ll only get faster at higher temperatures.
Once your soap batter has reached trace, blend in the clay, essential oils, and blue ultramarine. Pour the batter into a prepared mould (I recommend a loaf mould for this one, since the mould shape really doesn’t matter here) and let it set up for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, it’s time to roll! The soap will still be fairly soft, like a stiff play-doh. Use a spoon to scoop out blobs of the soap and roll them into balls with your hands. I did a variety of different sizes for fun. Once you have a bunch of balls, roll them in the coarse sugar (I poured the sugar into a shallow bowl to make this easier), pressing the sugar firmly into the soap. This part is super important—if you don’t press the sugar in well, it’ll all fall off when the soap cures and dries 🙁
Once all the soap has been turned into sugar coated balls, this is the time you can use a toothpick to poke holes in the balls so they can be strung up as decorations after curing. And now it’s time for aging! Leave the balls for at least three weeks before gifting or gilding the tree 🙂