Felted Coal Soap

by Ashley Weeks Cart

In our household, Santa always left chocolate oranges in the toes of our Christmas stockings. It was a lovely and sweet (pardon the pun) tradition. I’m hosting Christmas this year and thought I’d mix things up by leaving a ‘naughty’ gift from Santa. As we all know, I went on a serious felting binge this fall, and have enough wool roving to build a human sized bird’s nest still floating around the house. I thought I’d use up some of these materials, and try my hand at felted soap. It’s no easy task – but I kept it simple with basic black felted coal soaps. Just a little reminder from Santa Ashley to clean up your act in the New Year!

Soap base (cold-processed soap making is something I have not yet tackled. Notice the word YET, it WILL happen, eventually)
Scented oil (peppermint, perhaps?)
Microwave safe bowl
Mold that is semi-large sphere shape (I used my Beaba, a silicone, baby food freezer tray from my day’s of baby food making)
Knife for carving
Black wool roving
Hot water

1. Break up chunks of soap bar in microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted. Stop to stir throughout process. Add a few drops of scented oil as desired. I used peppermint as that seemed highly appropriate given the season.

2. Pour the melted soap into your mold and let cool for at least 30 minutes. I waited longer until the mold was thoroughly cooled and the soap hard.

3. Break the soap out of the mold and store on parchment paper.

5. I then used a knife to shave off some of the soap and create coal-like lumps.

6. Now it’s time to get to felting. Felting soap is much like any other form of wet felting, except you don’t need the soapy water – just hot water – since the soap you’re felting will do the trick. I find felting soap requires a great deal of patience and practice, as it is just not as simple as when you’re felting, say, a rock. Give it a whirl on some old bars of soap before tackling your coal. See my wet felting video to follow the next steps in the process.

Photo: Courtesy of Ashley Weeks Cart