Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dissolving Embed Paper - So Much Room for Soapy Creativity!

When I started making glycerin soaps, I wanted to get lots of detail into my designs.  I used exacto knives and toothpicks to cut pieces of soap into fancy shapes like birds, silhouettes, tiny tiles... you name it.  I loved doing it but even then there were so many looks I couldn't achieve.

I used chocolate transfer paper, which was fun but colors will bleed since it's made of food coloring.

I saw soap designs with photographs in them and was pretty excited until I found out they were using sheets of acetate or plastic which didn't sound very skin friendly (hello, sharp edges and corners!). My quest continued.

Bicycle Soap - winner of Best Melt & Pour at HSMG Conference 2010
Then I heard about dissolving paper.  I was intrigued but read about people using hairspray to set the ink so it wouldn't bleed, and even then it was very problematic.  But it sounded like the best material, so I tried it.

Well, let's just say that once I figured out the nuances of embed paper, I was hooked!  I created an entire soap collection around this material because I loved it so much.  It's perfect for making logo soaps, wedding favors (photos of the happy couple!), and combined with other soap techniques it's a show stopper.
Are you interested yet?  If so, here are my Cliff's Notes about this amazing stuff:
  1. This is my favorite brand. I've had NO problems with it.  My soaps that are years old still look new.
  2. Use a laser printer!!  Ink jet printer ink will dissolve into a fuzzy blob!  Not pretty!
  3. Only use graphics with the designer's permission.  Personal photos are great, but celebrity pics will get you in trouble. The world of digital clip art is vast and affordable. Just check the artist's rules about using them if you plan to sell your gorgeous creations.  
If you'd like to learn more - from printing tips to a step-by-step project - check out Issue 9 of Let's Get Soapy which also includes free printables.  I'm sure you're going to have so much fun!!  

Comment below if you have any questions or additional input!  
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