As a person who enjoys creativity I have other creative passions, and one of them is interior design. What you might ask has interior design to do with soap, but they are bound by being creative arts. People are visual, they chose a soap with their eyes before they pick it up to feel the texture or smell the fragrance, so a beautiful design will always intrigue buyers and catch their eye.
There are a lot of tips and tricks of the interior design trade you can apply when making your soaps, but today we will be talking about visual designs. I feel this comes handy as just this month (or the last, sorry if I am mistaken) there was a contest for designing the best stone soaps. And trust me, I’ve seen some amazing ones.
Just for fun, I have tried my hand at some textures too and I am quite happy with the colourful granite soap or the black-and-white marble soap, which as it happens are two materials used very often in interior design. So looking at patterns used in interior design can inspire you in creating your own unique soap designs.
But interior design can inspire you not only with patterns, but also with colours. When designing the colour scheme for a room you have to use a colour wheel, so you can choose colours which harmonise with each other and the room will look put together. You can use some of the principles when choosing the colours for your soaps. While principles like painting walls in a cool colour to make it look larger won’t apply to soap (even though I’d love to make a blue soap that looks larger than it really is :), a colour wheel will help you choose harmonising colours.
This link https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/how-to-use-a-color-wheel-2821255 to The Spruce Crafts shows you how to use a colour wheel to find nice colour combinations. You will be a bit at a loss if you use natural colours as you won’t have such a varied range of colours, but if you use man-made colours you can make some amazing combinations.
But even if you use natural colours, you can still make some gorgeous colour combinations. My latest favourite is the granite soap which has blue specks (gratings of a soap I made previously with indigo powder in lye water) and orange (paprika powder infused in carrier oil) base. Orange and blue are complementary colours (they are opposite on the colour wheel) and harmonise perfectly. Or if I wanted to be really fancy, I could have used a split complimentary colour scheme, with orange (paprika powder infused in carrier oil), green (French green clay) and blue violet (alkanet infused in carrier oil).
Now using the colour wheel let’s think of a couple of colour combinations you can use for your soaps.
Complementary: yellow (turmeric infused in carrier oil) and purple (alkanet infusion)
Split-complementary: green (French green clay or parsley infusion), orange (sweet, un-smoked paprika infusion) and red/purple (I haven’t tried this before but I think a combination of alkanet infusion and madder root infusion would work, mix them both at trace)
Monochromatic – different shades and tints of the same colour i.e. indigo powder infusion, this works great in gradients
Gray-scale – with different shades and tints of grey (activated charcoal)
Split complementary: yellow/orange (turmeric powder), blue (indigo) and purple (alkanet)
Complementary: light blue (small quantity of indigo powder) and dark orange (turmeric)
Analogous warm – yellow (turmeric infusion), orange (paprika infusion) and dark orange (turmeric powder). These colours will look stunning on a black soap base coloured with activated charcoal.
There are a lot of colour combinations you can experiment with. When testing remember to make a small batch so you don’t feel sorry if the experiment fails and write down the names and quantities of colourants used (as percentages to the quantity or oils used for the batch, so you can easily scale the quantities as needed).