Simple Soap Carving
Customizing soap is easier than it looks. In fact, we’ve boiled down soap carving to a simple process you can try with nearly anyone, any time. Using our free templates and step-by-step instructions, personalize bars of soap as gifts, or just for fun.
Bar of soap
Template (free designs below)
Pen, pencil or toothpick
Knife or linoleum cutter* (found at art supply stores)
Select your template:
Tip: Try tracing your own simple shapes like hearts or a moustache and lips (perfect for his and hers gifts).
*If crafting with kids, provide a butter knife, screwdriver or plastic utensils in place of a sharp knife or linoleum cutter.
With a peeler, scrape the brand name or other pre-existing details from your soap. We suggest placing a bowl beneath your bar as you peel, so you can collect and reuse shavings. At this point, feel free to use your peeler as a means for squaring or rounding off edges—whatever strikes your fancy.
Once your soap’s surface is flat and smooth, place your stencil on top. Draw over the outline with a pen or pencil, making sure to press into the soap, or use a toothpick to etch around your pattern’s outline.
Set the template aside, and look at what needs to be carved using one of two approaches: 1) Carve around the outline, resulting in a raised design, or 2) Carve inside your design for an imprinted effect. When carving out larger pieces, carefully use your knife or linoleum cutter, always carving away from you.
Clean up the details of your design with a toothpick. To better smooth out imperfections, dip a cotton swab or paintbrush in a bowl of water (using minimal water), then lightly swab or brush over imperfections to smooth them out by removing unwanted areas of soap. Blot dry with paper towels.
Ideas for Handmade Soap
-Bundle a set of soap as part of a wedding gift, turning to our creative packaging ideas for inspiration.
-Host a spa party and give each guest a monogrammed bar as a truly special treat.
-Include them as part of a get well gift. They’re also handy for new neighbour welcome kits.
-Before each approaching holiday, carve a season-inspired symbol into soaps you can set out in bathrooms.
What patterns do you plan to carve into soap?