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DIY Botanical Soap Bars Filled with Herbs, Flowers, and Greenery

These beautiful botanical soap bars are equal parts pretty and practical! A clear soap bar is made into a work of art with botanicals such as flowers, leaves, and herbs, a perfect way to preserve your garden’s bounty. Whether you gift these or keep them for yourself, this melt and pour project is absolutely stunning. 

How to Make Botanical Soap

This botanical soap is a fun project for encapsulating what grows in your own backyard to bring a little nature to your bath or shower. Handmade soap makes a lovely gift and it is surprisingly simple to make a large batch of botanical soaps with little effort. It’s amazing what you can create with the beauty of nature and a few melt and pour soap supplies!

Botanical Soap Recipe

I’m going to start this post off by sharing the basic soap recipe, and then we’ll get into the fun part, the botanicals!

Supplies Needed to Make Clear Soap Bars

Clear soap bars with botanicals pressed inside.

Make it!

If you haven’t done soapmaking before, this melt and pour soap is a great place to start. Here’s how to make the entire botanical soap project step by step.

Choose the Botanicals

Gather up a variety of flowers, leaves, and herbs that are small enough to fit into a silicone soap/cupcake mold. See the list below on the botanicals I tested for this recipe and choose the results that you like the best.Soap mold with botanicals around it

Make the Clear Soap Bars

Start with a crystal clear glycerine soap base so you can clearly see the botanicals when the soap is complete. Cut up the glycerine soap base into 1-inch cubes and add them to the Pyrex measuring cup.Pyrex measuring cup filled with cubes of clear melt and pour soap base.

Melt the soap base in a microwave or double-boiler so that it is just melted. You want the soap base to melt, but not cook. Remove the soap base from the microwave or off of the double boiler before it starts to steam. There may be a few chunks left, but that is just fine. Those will melt if you keep stirring the soap base for a few minutes after removing it from the heat.

When your soap base is melted, add in the essential oils to the soap mix.

Add in the Botanicals

Pour half of the soap into the silicone mold and add your botanicals. Allow them to set for a few minutes before topping up the molds with more melted soap base. You may need to gently poke the botanicals into place using a toothpick.Oval soap mold filled with clear soap bars with botanicals inside

Use a metal spoon to skim any bubbles off the top of the soap before it dries.

Unmold the soaps when they are completely dry and then they are ready to use.Clear soap bars with flowers and leaves inside each

Botanical Soap Ingredient Ideas

As I mentioned above, I tested a number of different botanicals from the garden for this soap project. I definitely had some unexpected results! Let’s go through them one by one.

Saffron

I am so in love with the saffron soap. It took on the color and lightness of saffron and is the most striking result of them all.clear soap bars made with saffron inside

Chamomile

The chamomile botanical soap is another favorite as the soap magnifies the small flower heads and the stems float organically in the soap.

Botanical Soap with Chamomile

Calendula

The calendula soap looks airy with pale yellow petals floating in the soap and bursts of the flower heads.

Yellow soap bars filled with calendula

Rosemary

The rosemary was cut fresh, unlike the dried herbs. While it held its shape very well, it did start to brown a little in the soap, which I don’t like as much.

Clear soap bars filled with rosemary sprigs and eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

The eucalyptus leaves were hard to keep in place in the soap as they are so light that they float around quite a bit. They hold their color and shape beautifully, though. (Eucalyptus shown above)

Nasturtium

I didn’t know what to expect from the nasturtium. It was a bit of a gamble, and I thought it would probably wilt and shrivel up. Surprisingly, it actually held the color and shape fairly well. I would use nasturtium petals next time to see if that changes the overall look.

Clear soap with nasturtium flowers

Botanicals to Skip for This Project

There were a few botanical soaps that did not turn out very well, mainly the rose petal and sage leaf. I would probably try a bay leaf next time instead of a sage leaf. The sage leaf curled and browned in the soap and doesn’t look all that interesting. The rose petals turned into brown blobs in the soap and look really ugly. Clear soap filled with rose petals

What a surprise! I thought that the rose petal soap would look the prettiest. I have reserved the leftover rose petals for a whole different soap project that will let their beauty shine through.

More Soap Recipes to Try

Here are some more recipes for making soap at home. I love to make soap and I’m sure you will find a recipe or two that suits you here:

These botanical soap bars are decorated with flowers, herbs, and leaves found in the garden. See the step-by-step instructions for how to make them at home.
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DIY Botanical Soap Bars

Preserve your garden's bounty in a clear soap bar! These botanical soap bars are a work of art with flowers, leaves, and herbs.

Equipment

  • Microwave or double boiler
  • 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup
  • Oval silicone soap/cupcake mold

Supplies

Instructions

  • Gather your botanicals. Make sure they are small enough to fit into the soap mold.
  • Cut your clear soap base into 1" cubes, then place them all into the glass measuring cup. Use the microwave or the double boiler to melt the cubes, making sure to stir frequently.
  • Remove the soap from heat before it begins to steam. Then add your essential oils to the soap and stir again.
  • Pour half of the soap into the mold. Next, layer your botanicals into the soap. Let them set for a few minutes, then top off the rest of the mold with melted soap.
  • If you notice any bubbles on the top of the soap, use a metal spoon to skim them off. Then allow them to dry fully.
  • Unmold and enjoy!

Comments

  1. Hi Stephanie I am loving your recipes, newsletters etc. Thank you. This soap is probably my favourite although it sometimes comes out a little cloudy when dry. Is it because I heated it too hot too quickly ?

    Reply
    • Hi Beth, I’m not sure how heating it too quickly or hot can affect the base, but if you suspect it, I would certainly slow it down a bit and gently melt the soap until it just liquid. Stir gently to avoid introducing a lot of air. But it could be the soap base. Some of them are quite clear, but those also tend to be the ones with additives like SLS or SLES, I go for the more natural option. The one I use for the soaps in the photos on this project is Stephenson Melt And Pour Soap Base Clear SLS FREE -> https://amzn.to/36av5s4. You can see all of the options from the manufacturer of the base here: https://www.stephensonpersonalcare.com/products/melt-pour/transparent. I hope this helps!

      Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Hi Stephanie,

    I have to say it, your soap recipes are the very best!! I’ve bought books about sopa making and the recipes didn’t work, and most of the recipes were a complete disaster.

    YOUR RECIPES are PERFECT, super well explained, easy and beautiful . Congratulations!

    If you made a book with all your recipes I would certainly buy it! Something to think about, maybe…. ;)

    All that you do is amazing, I just wanted to tell you!

    Love

    Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Hi Stephanie,
    love your recipes! So how do we make soap with rose petals without them turning brown or green? I had the same problem :(

    Reply

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