Tilted Layer Soap- By Jana & Eugene

This week’s #makeitmonday is from husband & wife team Jana & Eugene.

Me and my husband Eugene live in London and started making soap about a year ago. We were inspired by a friend who taught us how to make cold process soap and we love how we can experiment with different recipes and natural ingredients. We often spend a weekend day trying out a new design and are excited to unmould the soap to see how it turned out. Sometimes it doesn’t end up quite the way we planned it, but that’s OK. One can always try again.

This soap took a good part of a day to make, so it’s not for those who are impatient.

The key to the perfect layers is to pour the batter into the mould at thin trace. If it is too thick, the layers will be uneven. The recipe I used was not particularly slow moving but manageable. If you have a nice, slow-moving recipe, use that! In general, make sure you don’t use too much oils that are hard at room temperature as they tend to accelerate trace (my recipe has 70% hard oils, reducing this would probably result in it setting up a bit slower). Do not use a steep water discount and be careful not to add essential oils or fragrance oil that accelerate trace. High temperatures can also accelerate trace – I usually soap at about 30°C.  Most importantly, do not over mix the batter. Use the stick blender until you reach emulsification AND THEN STOP! Add the colours and fragrance as early as possible so that you don’t have to keep blending.


35% Lard

25% Coconut Oil

20% Olive Oil

10% Shea Butter

10% Castor Oil

Calculated to 5% superfat and 33% water as percent oils

Essential oils: Fir, Lavender, Patchouli (Ratio 4:2:1)

3tbsp kaolin clay per pound of oils (premix with essential oils for better scent retention)


Bottom layer: Charcoal, pink clay, pink oxide

Middle layer: Pink clay, pink oxide, charcoal

Top layer: Pink clay, pink oxide, titanium dioxide

TIP: Premix the pink oxide in a small amount of water and the titanium dioxide in oil

Top decoration

Poppy seeds

Blackberry seeds

NOTE: blackberry seeds left brown marks on the soap


Either make a plan for the angles of your layers or just tilt the mould randomly. I first drafted a design on paper and then cut out paper guides to position the mould exactly like I wanted. The mould needs to be tilted so that the line you want to create is horizontal. A funnel pitcher helps to pour the batter precisely into the corner of the mould.

You will have to mix each layer of batter individually, so you need 6 containers to divide your lye solution and the oils into three parts each (make a note of the weight of the empty containers in case you want to double check weights later). From the total weight of the oils calculate the weight of 20% (1/5) and 40% (2/5). To give an example: If you use 500 g oils in total, 20 % would equal 100 g.  Now measure 20% of the oils into one container and two times 40% in the other two containers. Repeat this for the lye in their separate containers.

If you premix the essential oils and clay, you could also split those into 20%, 40% and 40%, but accurate measurements are not crucial here.

When everything is prepared, it’s finally time to make the soap! Start with the 20% of oils and lye, add colourants, clay and EOs and remember not to over mix. Let the first layer set for about 20 min or until it has set enough to not be disturbed by the next layer. Re-position the mould adjusting the angle and slowly pour the second layer on top. Wait another 20 minutes or so before placing the mould upright for the third layer.

To sculpt the top of the soap wait for it to set a bit and create a design of your choice. I used a fork to make straight lines and sprinkled poppy and blackberry seeds on top. Refrigerate if you want to avoid gel phase.

Wait for about 24 hours to unmould and another 24 hours before cutting. Cut from the side to avoid drag marks from the seeds on top.

Let cure for 4-6 weeks and enjoy J

The soap kitchen has converted Jana and Eugene’s recipe into specific measurements for our 1kg  silicone lined mould  

Total Ingredients

263g Lard

188g Coconut Oil

150g Olive Oil

75g Shea Butter

75g Castor Oil

106g Sodium Hydroxide

282g Water

Essential oils

12ml Fir

6ml Lavender

3ml Patchouli

5tbsp kaolin clay (premix with essential oils for better scent retention)

Measure separately

Jug 1 (20%) Bottom Layer

53g Lard

38g Coconut Oil

30g Olive Oil

15g Shea Butter

15g Castor Oil

21g Sodium Hydroxide

56g Water

4ml essential oil mix

1tbsp kaolin clay

Charcoal, pink clay, ultramarine pink powder

Jug 2 (40%) Middle layer

105g Lard

75g Coconut Oil

60g Olive Oil

30g Shea Butter

30g Castor Oil

42g Sodium Hydroxide

113g Water

8.5ml essential oil mix

2tbsp kaolin clay

Pink clay, ultramarine pink powder, charcoal

Jug 3 (40% each) Top layer

105g Lard

75g Coconut Oil

60g Olive Oil

30g Shea Butter

30g Castor Oil

42g Sodium Hydroxide

113g Water

8.5ml essential oil mix

2tbsp kaolin clay

Pink clay, ultramarine pink powder, titanium dioxide

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