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
25% olive oil (pomace) (USA / Canada)
25% refined coconut oil (USA / Canada)
30% beef tallow
15% unrefined shea butter (USA / Canada)
5% castor oil (USA / Canada)
Per 500g (1.1lbs) of oils:
- 1 pinch tussah silk or ½ tsp silk peptides
- 2 tsp sodium lactate (USA / Canada) (optional—hardens the bars)
- 1 tbsp white white kaolin clay (USA / Canada)
- 23g peppermint essential oil (USA / Canada)
- 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 (USA / Canada) to the lye water after it has cooled and stir to combine. If you’re using the sodium lactate (USA / Canada) I strongly encourage you let your fats and lye water come to room temperate before combining. I haven’t tried using the sodium lactate (USA / Canada) 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 🙂
Those look really cool. I think they would also make perfekt “cake”-pops.
Oooh, what a cool idea! They’re definitely need a warning tag, I know some people who would take a bite 😉
Epsom salts would work nicely too as it has the same size/shape crystals as the sugar! Great idea!! I love your blog, you are such an inspiration!!
Great idea, Jenn! Thanks for reading 🙂
I assumed that was epsom salt on them from the photo. I would try that rather than the sugar.
Do you think there would be any contra-indication to replacing the sugar with Epsom Salts, or dead sea salts? Maybe it would make them too melty too fast once wet?
Epsom salts should work beautifully 🙂
These soaps look yummy.
Thanks! They definitely aren’t recommended dining, though 😉
These are beautiful! I have one question though. How do you deal with the benzoin? I tried it once and failed miserably. It was so thick and sticky it was on everything but not in my soap batter. I’ve been afraid to try it since.
Hi Patty! I just wrote an FAQ on benzoin 🙂
Hello, Thank you for all the lovely receipes that you share! Is there any difference between silk powder and silk peptides?
Hi Michele! I’ve written an FAQ on this 🙂
These are too cute. I love the sparkle you have given to them; what a “sweet” idea! =)
Thank you! I’m so happy with how these turned out 🙂
Gorgeous and such a great idea!
How much Blue Ultramarine Oxide do you recommend adding for 1500g of oils to get the pale blue color?
Thanks, Es! I don’t think I used even a full “nip” (1/64th tsp) for a batch around 750g, so start very small, and work your way up.
What a wonderful idea! You gave me inspiration to make these with my mounds of soap scraps from planing my soaps! Thanks and have a Blessed Christmas. <3
Awesome, happy to help! Enjoy your new soap balls 😀
Since your contact me said to leave a comment, I will do that here so I hope you don’t mind. Do you know if capsicum oleoresin is better/stronger/hotter than chili seed eo for back balms? Someone is gifting me some so I’d like to order whichever is stronger since I have such a bad back. I know you use seed oil in many of your recipes but I was wondering which I would get more mileage out of since it’s on someone else’s dime this time 😉
Hi Cynthia! I’d get in touch with the retailer and get their input, they’re most likely to be familiar with both products. I’ve only tried the essential oil 🙂
Hi Marie 🙂 Just love your site ! what if one wanted to make this with soy
wax, how you you go about doing that – if its even possible ?
Hey Donna! I’ve never worked with soy wax, but in general, incorporating wax into soap is more of an advanced move as it requires soaping at higher temperatures to keep the wax from solidifying. I wouldn’t recommend it if you aren’t an experienced soaper.
Thank you for all the wonderful help you give us beginners! Is it possible to make a softer soap or even a scrub ball and seal it with something water soluble, ? Maybe a gelatin?
You can always make a soap softer (just use all liquid oils, voila, super soft soap!), though I don’t really encourage it as soft soft turns into mush once it gets wet, typically resulting in one using far more of it than desired, which can mean you’ve got big lumps of potentially drain-clogging soap sailing down your drains. That can also be drying to the skin as you’d be using way more soap than necessary. Why would you want to “seal” it?
I think I’m going to try a batch of these this weekend. But I’m going to do a hot process. I’m hoping it will still be soft enough to shape once it’s cooled enough to handle. SO EXCITED! Thanks for the inspiration.
OOOh, cool! Let me know how that goes 🙂