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Lesson Plan

Soap Carving

The material and tools you will need for Soap Carving

  • Plastic knife
  • Bar of soap
  • Scissors
  • Peeling knife
  • Paper clips
  • Pencil
  • Sheet of paper

The steps to soap carving

1. Make sure to have everything you need. Also have a piece of paper on hand to trace the design you will use on the soap and scissors.

2. First, unwrap the soap. If you buy your own soap, choose a soap wrapped in paper and not in a box.

3. Using the peeling knife*, remove the brand name from the bar of soap (on both sides if necessary). You can do this step when preparing for the activity or ask the students to do it themselves. *Be careful, the knife is sharp.

4. As you remove pieces of the soap, you can store them in a glass jar to be used to make a new bar of soap at a later time.

5. Trace the outline of the soap bar on a piece of paper using a pencil.

6. Inside the outline of the soap, create the design you would like to carve. The drawing should take up the majority of the space inside the outline.

7. Cut out the shape of your drawing.

8. Place the shape on the soap.

9. Trace the shape on the soap using a sharpened pencil.

10. Go over the lines, if necessary, to see the desired shape well.

11. Using a plastic knife, remove as much soap as possible, from around the desired shape.

12. Using paper clips of different sizes, remove the soap closest to the outline of the desired shape. Then you can go over the shape with side of the paper clip to make the shape smoother.

13. Using a pencil, you can complete your carving by making a few details or textures.

14. Take the time to wash tools well in hot water. Wash tables with wet cloths. There is no need to add soap!

Reusing the soap pieces

Once your students have gathered all the unused pieces of soap from their sculptures, put them in a Mason jar or in any other airtight container. You can mix all soap colours together (if your students had different coloured soaps) to create a marble effect or keep the colours separate to create homogeneous soaps.

1. To repurpose these pieces, moisten them with a little water, melt them in the microwave for periods of 15 seconds and then pour the contents (liquid or paste depending on the different soaps used) still hot into silicone moulds (ice cube trays, cookie or muffin moulds, etc.). Wait for the contents to cool and remove the new soap from the silicone mould.

2. Another way would be to put plastic wrap in a microwave-safe container. Place the soap pieces (about 30 g) on the plastic wrap and moisten with a little water. Then, put the container in the microwave for periods of 15 seconds. Take the plastic wrap and twist it until there is no air. It should look like a ball of liquid. When the soap has cooled, you can remove it from the plastic wrap.

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