Dried flowers are a gorgeous addition to handmade artisan soaps, providing natural visual appeal through their vivid colors and delicate textures, as well as subtle floral scents. Soaps with dried flowers have a distinctive, elegant flair not found in generic store-bought bars.

Why Dried Flowers Work So Well in Botanical Soaps

Dried flowers complement natural soaps beautifully for several reasons:

Vibrant Colors and Intricate Textures

The colors and textures dried flowers retain even after the drying process lend natural soaps a visually stunning appearance with bright pops of color and intricate details from the dried petals and blooms. These eye-catching qualities make soaps stand out in a handcrafted, botanical way.

Lovely, Subtle Scents

Though dried, the flowers still impart gentle floral scents into cold-process soap batter or melt and pour soap base during saponification. Infusing the soap with these light essences results in a softly scented bar with each use.

Distinct and Sophisticated Appeal

The dried floral ingredients, along with their handmade nature, give soaps an elegant and unique flair not replicable in generic commercial bars. It’s a distinctive and charming combination.

Creative Use of Garden or Florist Flowers

Preserving flowers via drying allows for creative reuse in soap making, providing the opportunity to transform your garden-grown flowers or florist bouquets into stunning soaps.

The Best Dried Flowers for Soap Making

Many varieties of dried flowers work beautifully in natural soaps. Some of the top options include:

Dried Lavender Blossoms

The classic purple lavender buds retain their vivid hue once dried, imbuing soap with a gorgeous pop of color. Lavender also provides a clean, relaxing scent.

Dried Rose Petals

Dried rose petals bring timeless beauty and elegance with their delicate texture and blush tones ranging from yellow to deep red. They lend a light, sweet floral fragrance.

Dried Calendula Flowers

Vibrant dried orange calendula flowers provide natural color along with skin-nourishing herbal qualities. Their scent is warm, earthy, and comforting.

Dried Chamomile Blossoms

Tiny dried chamomile flowers maintain their bright golden hue and impart a mild, soothing honey aroma, perfect for nighttime soaps.

Dried Mint Leaves

For an invigorating twist, bits of dried green mint leaf provide fresh flecks of color and a crisp, awakening spearmint scent.

Experiment with different individual flowers or create custom blends to achieve your perfect botanical soap.

Tips for Preparing and Adding Dried Flowers

To achieve an eye-catching effect, follow these simple tips:

Select Untreated Botanicals

Choose dried flowers that have not been treated with chemicals or dyes to maintain pure ingredients. Dried lavender, calendula, rose, chamomile, and other blossoms can be purchased specifically for soap making and crafting.

Grind or Chop Petals

For the flowers and petals to disperse evenly within the melted soap instead of clumping, grind and chop the dried botanicals into smaller pieces before adding them to the soap. A spice grinder works great for pulverizing dried flowers.

Mix Into Batter at Trace for Cold Process

With cold-process soap, stir the chopped flowers into the cooled lye-oil mixture once trace is achieved, just before pouring the soap into molds. The batter should be thick enough to suspend the petals evenly.

Add to Melted Soap for Melt and Pour

For melt and pour soap crafting, add the dried flowers while the clear glycerin soap base is still melted, stirring to fully incorporate the petals, which will be visible in the finished bars.

Contain Loose Petals

If you prefer whole flower petals rather than chopped pieces, store them in a small mesh bag or cheesecloth sachet. Embed in the soap batter for a focused visual burst of color and texture.

Experiment with Different Flowers

Play with different blooms, colors, and blends to discover your favorites aesthetically and aromatically. Bright rose petals, purple lavender buds, sunny calendula blossoms, and pale chamomile flowers combine beautifully.

Safely Using Your Botanical Soaps

To best enjoy handmade soap bars with dried flower additives:

Allow 4-6 Weeks to Cure

As with any cold-process soap, allow bars a full 4-6 weeks to fully cure and harden before use. This ensures color stability and sets the fragrance as the top notes evaporate.

Check for Plant Allergies

Those with known skin sensitivities related to certain flowers or plants should check the ingredients for potential allergic reactions. Lavender and chamomile, for example, fall in the daisy family.

Store Completely Dry

To prevent excess moisture exposure, which compromises visual appeal, be sure to store finished soaps in a relatively low-humidity environment out of steamy areas like showers or baths.

Follow Standard Usage Tips

Use like typical handmade soaps, allowing bars to dry out between uses to avoid a slick film forming and increasing longevity. Rub damp soap to generate lather, then massage over the skin.

Design Inspiration Using Dried Flowers

Beyond stirring dried flowers directly into soap batter, additional design options include:

Pressed Flowers for Impressions

Press larger flowers into the bottom of the soap mold before pouring batter to leave subtle impressions behind after unmolding for an artsy effect.

Layering Colors with Petals

Alternately pour contrasting colored batter with finishing layers of coordinating dried flowers for a striped effect. White and lavender are prime examples.

Topping Melted Soap

Before pouring and setting varieties like clear melt and pouring completely harden, sprinkle assorted dried flower petals on top as a colorful, delicate garnish.

Growing Your Own Botanicals

For the ultimate in fresh traceability, consider growing flowers and herbs specifically for drying and soap use. Easy plants for beginners to cultivate include:

  • Lavender
  • Calendula
  • Chamomile
  • Rosemary
  • Mint

Harvest by cutting flowers and leaves just before blooms fully open. Air dry out of sunlight, then crumble and store in an airtight container, ready for soap crafting.

Soaps handmade with dried flowers are a gorgeous, aromatic way to enjoy the colors, textures, and scents of nature’s loveliest blooms and botanicals. Infusing custom blends into homemade recipes allows for unlimited creativity. For stunning bars that nourish skin naturally, consider incorporating vibrant pressed flowers.

Creative Techniques for Adding Pressed Flowers

Beyond mixing dried flowers directly into soap batter, get creative with different techniques for an artistic flair:

Press Flowers for Subtle Impressions

Adding pressed flowers is a beautiful way to decorate your soap. Choose fresh lavender, roses, calendula, or other flowers and press them into the bottom of the mold before pouring in the cold-process soap. Once cured and unmolded, your bar will have delicate impressions.

Layer with Petals for Depth

Create an intricate, textured look by pouring alternating layers of differently colored soap batters and pressed flowers. White and lavender are a classic pairing. Wait for each thin layer to partially set before adding the next.

Top with Dried Petals

For melt and pour soap, sprinkle an assortment of dried flower petals like rose, calendula, lavender, and chamomile blooms onto the top as the clear glycerin soap base begins to harden. It adds natural speckled color and texture.

Infuse Botanical Goodness

Many plants and herbs have therapeutic benefits. Along with visual beauty, chamomile, calendula, and lavender flowers infuse skin-soothing properties through their saponification process. Add a few drops of essential oils to boost their effects.

Prevent Discoloration

To keep vivid red rose petals and other natural colors from turning brown in the soap over time, spray the flowers with rubbing alcohol. This helps retain their beautiful hues.

With a range of creative ways to use pressed flowers, you can craft gorgeous soaps that look as good as they feel. Experiment and have fun with different homemade soap recipes to find your favorites.

Achieving Vibrant Pressed Flower Soap Designs

Selecting Bright Botanical Blooms

When aiming for vividly pressed flower soaps that wow, consider these coloring techniques:

Start by selecting the brightest fresh flowers and herbs with hues that will beautifully transfer, like red roses, orange calendula blossoms, purple lavender buds, and bright yellow chamomile blooms. For contrast, white flowers like baby’s breath and white roses are crisp options.

Preparing Delicate Flowers for Pressing

Gently rinse the flowers to remove dirt, then delicately pat them dry with a paper towel to avoid bruising the petals and blooms. Carefully place your assortment of floral botanicals between sheets of parchment paper or newsprint. Top with rigid materials like wood or heavy books to press flat.

Check daily, replacing absorbent papers if moisture is released from the flowers as they dry and press over 2-4 weeks. Once completely dried and flattened, they are ready to be used in soap.

Incorporating Pressed Flowers into Soap

When adding pressed flowers to cold-process soap recipes, have your mold ready with blooms artfully arranged across the bottom. Carefully pour your homemade soap batter over the flowers to cover them completely. Spritz with rubbing alcohol for extra color retention.

For swirled melt and pour soap, align pressed flowers near the bottom of the mold in your chosen design before layering contrasting colors of glycerin soap base. As you pour each layer, use a toothpick to swirl the soap for a marbled watercolor effect.

Get creative with different shapes, sizes, and varieties of flowers for unique looks. Vivid pressed flower soaps are gorgeous additions to gift handmade botanical soaps or enjoy them in your own bath.

Keeping Vibrance in Handmade Botanical Soaps

Preventing Flower Discoloration

When working with fresh flowers like bright red roses or calendula blooms, you want to retain that vibrance within cold-process soap recipes and melt and pour bars. To prevent handmade soaps from drying out and turning brown over time, spray flower petals with rubbing alcohol before placing them in soap molds. The alcohol helps set and lock in colors through the saponification process.

Using Natural Colorants

Experiment by infusing a cold-process soap base with skin-friendly herbs, spices, and flowers to naturally color your homemade soaps rather than using artificial dyes. Turmeric, cinnamon, carrot puree, calendula flowers, lavender buds, matcha powder, and rose clay offer an earthy palette from which to create botanical works of art.

Creative Layering Techniques

Layer contrasting colors of soap base and dried or pressed flowers in creative designs within soap molds. Try embedding large dried rose petals or whole calendula blooms near the bottom of the mold before pouring a white glycerin soap base over top. As it sets, drag a toothpick or skewer through the soap to swirl the layers. Spritz with alcohol for sheen.

Texturing Natural Soap Surfaces

Just before completing the pour, gently press fresh or dried botanicals directly onto the surface of cold process bars or liquid melt and pour soap to leave faint impressions behind once cured. Lavender sprigs, rose buds, chamomile flowers, lemon grass, and mint leaves make fragrant options.

Get creative with different natural colorants, layering methods, surface textures, and blooms to craft stunning works of plant-based soap art.

Experimenting with pressed flowers, artful layers, and botanical infusions allows you to turn basic cold-process soap recipes into stunning works of melt-and-pour or handmade soap art. Play with an array of petals, buds, herbs, and blooms to create custom bars as unique as you. Whether designing vibrant purple and green swirls dancing with lavender or orange and yellow stripes embedded with chamomile, your floral imagination can run wild. For scrumptious, soothing soaps that nourish skin naturally with the gorgeous colors and scents of plants, handcraft custom creations using dried flowers. Let your creativity bloom!

Categorized in: