Do you run a soap-making business and need a cutter or mold? If YES, here is an 8-step guide on how to make homemade cutters and wooden molds with hinges. Soap-making molds come in various shapes, sizes, and can be made with different materials.
There are some molds that come together with wire cutters for soap making. However, it’s necessary to consider what kind of mold you will be using when designing a soap project. The mold and cutter will determine how big your batch needs to be and may influence ingredients and cure time.
Table of Content
Why Use a Wooden Mold?
Wood molds are sturdy, cost-effective, and act as great insulators for cold process soap. They can also last for years and years with proper storage and care. Most wood molds are made out of top-grade birch plywood that is both sturdy and durable.
Wood molds need to be lined with freezer paper to avoid the soap from sticking to the mold. To make this process easier, many wood molds come with silicone liners. Freezer paper is much different from wax paper as it is sturdier, and will not melt under high temperatures.
One of the best features of wood molds is they insulate the soap well. This makes it easy to achieve a complete gel phase throughout the soap. Also have it in mind when insulating wood molds that because they insulate the soap naturally, placing the mold on a heating pad may not be necessary. If you want to avoid the gel phase completely, you may want to place the mold and soap into the fridge or a cool place.
Indeed you want a mold that is big enough to be profitable. Labour costs money and your labour isn’t free. However, a word of caution: Know what your physical lifting limit is. Your maximum safe weight-lift limits will ultimately determine the maximum amount of soap and the number of bars you should get out of each mold.
8 Steps on How to Make Homemade Cutters and Wooden Molds with Hinges
Making soap is without doubt a fun hobby that can potentially earn you money if you sell your soap at craft shows or online. In order to make soap, however, you must have a mold and a cutter in which to pour the liquid soap so that it can harden. Below are the necessary steps to make a homemade mold and cutter for your soap production.
1. Gather your Materials
To start making your mold, gather your materials first. You should be able to find the materials for this mold at most craft stores. For this mold, you will need the following:
- Two pieces of 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) thick craft wood, cut into 12” by 4” length
- Two pieces of 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) thick craft wood, cut into 3 ½″ x 4″ length
- One piece of 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm) thick craft wood, cut into 3 ½″ x 11″ length
- Wood clamps
- Wood glue
- Extra wood for the hinges
2. Trim the Wood Down
Have it in mind that you may not find craft wood cut into the exact dimensions you need. You should be able to ask someone at the store to trim the wood down for you. However, If this option is not available, you can cut most craft wood on your own with a small handsaw. Take your time to measure the wood using a ruler or measuring tape. Draw a line marking the dimensions with a pen or pencil. Use your handsaw to gently saw along that line.
If the sides are rough, use sandpaper to smooth them down. Sandpaper is rated by grit number. The higher the grit number, the stronger the sandpaper. As craft glue is fairly soft, you do not need high grit sandpaper for your soap mold. Stick to grit levels below 100, as anything above 100 – level grit is best used on large furniture.
3. Create a Box Out of the Sides
After you must have cut your wood into the proper dimensions, you can begin assembling your mold. To start, assemble the sides of the wood to form a rectangle. The 12” by 4” boards make up the long sides of the rectangle. The 3 ½” by 4” sides make up the shorter sides.
The shorter sides will fit inside the longer sides. Remember to take the 12” by 4” boards. Place a line of wood glue along each 4” side. Then, place the 3 ½” by 4” sides between the 12” by 4” boards, creating a rectangle – shape with your boards. Use the wood clamps to secure while the wood is drying.
4. Glue the Bottom Piece
Once you ascertain the glue is dry to the touch, and the rectangle feels secure without the wood clamps, you can add the bottom board. The 3 ½″ x 11″ board fits inside the rectangle. Run some wood glue along each side of the bottom board and then place it inside the rectangle.
Don’t forget to use wood clamps to secure the board in place. However, if your board feels flimsy, use a cordless screwdriver to place four screws into the board where the sides connect. This will further secure the board, as wood glue may lose strength over time.
5. Fix the Wire Cutter
Using a screw-drive splitter that has a wire grid, push the wires through the sides by use of a wheel or crank that turns a long screw moving the grid up or down, backward or forward, depending on the design. Just remember, the problem of longer wires bending is a limitation and the amount of strength required to push those wires down through a thicker amount of soap.
6. Mark and Cut Mortises for the Hinges
You can use a knife to outline the hinges and pencil in the lines so that they can be easier to see. Set up your trim router with a ¼” straight bit and set the depth to half the height of the closed hinge. Then, use the router to remove most of the wood but stop just short of your lines. You can also use a chisel to finish removing the waist then repeat this step for the second hinge and for the top.
7. Install the Hinges
You can use glue and accelerator throughout this process to hold the hinges in place while you mark or assemble. Using a self centering bit, you can drill pilot holes for each of the screws and drive the screws in by hand.
Once you’ve assembled everything, set it aside and let it dry. To be 100 percent sure everything is dry, it’s best to set your board aside overnight before use. Once you’re done creating your board, you can use it to make soap. Make sure to line your board first, as liquid soap will stick to wood.
You can use parchment paper or trash bags to line your Board. It can take soap anywhere from a few hours to a few days to set. It depends on the soap recipe you’re using. Once the soap is set, simply remove it from the board. Set it aside for 3 to 4 weeks to allow it to dry completely.
How big your wooden soap mold is will ultimately influence the cost of supplies needed. Opting for any width of soap mold cavity beyond 12″ wide will greatly affect the cost, as the bolts will increase in price. Indeed, you will also need larger pieces of wood to make a larger mold.
You also want to consider how heavy the wood soap mold will be when filled with soap. It’s advisable you consider a maximum length of 18″ for a single loaf configuration, as beyond that, it will become unwieldy to move and/or store when not in use. A single loaf at 18″ in length will range in weight from approximately 6 to 8 lbs of soap.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Make A Wooden Soap Mold?
The following are the processes in making a soap mold;
- Get about 100% silicone caulking
- Squeeze it out into a bowl
- Mix 5 tablespoons of cornstarch into the silicone
- Wipe the original shape with a mold release, such as vegetable oil or vaseline
- Pour the silicone over the object you want to mold
- Let cure
2. How Do You Unmold Soap From A Wooden Mold?
To unmold soap from a wooden mold, first of all, pull on the sides of the mold. This breaks the airlock. Then, flip the soap mold over and press gently on the back of the cavities with your thumb or the heel of your hand. And if the soap delays in coming out, pop it in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
3. How Big Is A Soap Loaf?
A big soap loaf is measured at 11.5 long, 3 wide, and approx 2.5″ high.
4. Why Do You Need Lye To Make Soap?
In soap making, lye is very important. Through the magic of chemistry, the vegetable oils in our bar soap produce a chemical reaction with lye that leads to the creation of a glycerin-rich soap bar that nourishes your skin.
5. How Do You Keep Soap From Sticking To Mold?
The secrets keeping soap from sticking to mold are the following;
- Force gel phase- Use a heating pad or oven process to force your soap through gel phase until your soap is completely gelled
- Clay- Use clay to color the soap that you will be molding in a tall-skinny mold. Clay makes a harder soap by absorbing water
- Discount your water- Soaping with a water discount helps your soap to harden enough to unmold with no issues
- Use sodium lactate- Sodium lactate helps to create a harder soap upon unmolding. Add 1 teaspoon per pound or 450 grams of oils to your warm lye solution
- Use salt- Add 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt per pound or 450 grams of oils to your hot lye solution to dissolve
- Give it more time- You can leave your soap in the mold for an extra one or two days.
6. How Do You Make Soap Out Of Wood?
- Gather Ashes – To be able to produce a good soap, you need hardwood ashes that have been burnt throughout
- Make Lye – There are two methods you can use to make lye from hardwood ashes
- Concentrating the Lye
- Add your fat
- Then pour into molds
7. How Do You Make Homemade Soap Molds?
The following are the processes to make homemade soap molds;
- Lightly dust a clean surface with starch of your choice
- Squeeze out enough silicone for making your mold- Sprinkle some starch over the top
- Then use gloves, work the starch into the silicone- It will be messy at first, but will come together after a few minutes. Add more starch if need be.
8. How Do You Use A Pringles Can For A Soap Mold?
The following are the steps you need to use a pringles can for a soap mold;
- Wash all your containers well and let dry completely- Take special care with the Pringles can since it’s made out of cardboard.
- Cut up ultra-clear melt and pour base into small cubes
- Take 16 ounces of cubed soap base and place in a microwave-safe glass container- Melt in the microwave in 30-second bursts until melted
- Add about 6 drops of a gel soap colorant of your choice.
- Add a fragrance oil of choice using a disposable pipette.
- Then use a thermometer to monitor the soap base temperature – it should be about 130° to avoid warping the molds. If soap is too hot, keep stirring slowly until the soap reaches 130°
- Pour the soap base slowly into the Pringles can, spritz the top with alcohol, and set aside.
- This is a lot of soap, so to get the best results, allow the soap to set overnight
- When completely set, remove the soap from the container by slowly tearing away the sides of the container
9. How Do You Line A Soap Mold With Parchment Paper?
- Firstly, you have to cut out the big piece of freezer paper that will cover the bottom of the mold
- Then carefully cut on the creased lines
- Place the paper inside the mold to make sure that it fits – trim the edges if you need to make any adjustments
- Repeat the same method in step one for the two end pieces- make a crease with your finger along the sides that you can cut on
- Cut along the creased lines again and cut the freezer paper in half
- Form the end pieces on each side and tape down the edge- Then finally put the long piece of paper back in to cover the bottom and sides and tape to adhere the paper to the mold.
10. Is It Cheaper To Make Or Buy Soap?
Making your own soap can be cheaper than buying one at the store. This can be achieved without expensive ingredients or buying these ingredients in bulk.
11. Can You Use A Loaf Pan As A Soap Mold?
Absolutely Yes! You can use a loaf pan as a soap mold, or something similar, but it will be nice if you take the extra step to line it first.
12. Can You Use Wax Paper To Line A Soap Mold?
Yes! You can use wax paper to line a soap mold, though it is so thin and it tends to stick to the soap, making it very hard to pull off the soap at once.
13. What Do You Line A Soap Mold With?
Freezer paper is the liner for most soap makers. You can also use plastic garbage bags to line smaller batches.
14. How Do Soaps Increase Volume?
The following are the ways soap increases in volume;
- Use a water reduction
- Add some wax
- Add sodium lactate
- Increase the olive oil
- Add some salt
15. How Do You Make Oil Soap For Wood?
To make oil soap for wood, get about 4 cups of warm water, 1 teaspoon of castile soap, 10 drops of lemon essential oil, an empty spray bottle, and a mop. Mix all these ingredients into a spray bottle and shake well before using. Spray the solution on the wood floor and then use a mop with a soft cloth to clean the floors.
16. Can You Use Muffin Tins For Soap Molds?
Yes! Muffin tins can be used as soap molds. They offer an economical alternative to purchasing expensive plastic soap molds.
17. Does Wood Ash And Water Make Lye?
Yes! Lye made from wood ash is potassium hydroxide and not sodium hydroxide.
18. What Can Be Used As A Soap Mold?
The listed below are the materials that can be used as a soap mold;
- Mitre Box
- Cereal Box
- Liquor Boxes
- Milk Carton
- Yogurt Container
- Food Storage Containers
- Oatmeal or Pringles Container
19. Do You Need To Grease Soap Molds?
No, you don’t need to grease them. But note that because they are individual molds they probably won’t gel and so might need a lot of extra soap.
20. What Can You Reuse Or Recycle To Make Soap Moulds?
The following can be recycled to make soap molds;
- Mitre Box
- Cereal Box
- Liquor Boxes
- Milk Carton
- Yogurt Container
- Food Storage Containers
- Oatmeal or Pringles Container
21. Can You Use Parchment Paper For Soap Making?
No! Parchment Paper is not the best for soap making. It actually reacts with the soap and you may end up peeling pieces of paper off your soap.
22. How Do You Determine The Amount Of Soap You Need To Make For A Specific Mold?
For square or rectangular molds, multiply the length by the width by the height in inches to give the volume of the mold in cubic inches. If you are not going to fill the mold to the top, calculate the height you want the soap.
23. How Do You Make Old Fashioned Soap?
Old-fashioned soap was produced by cooking fatty acids – like the fat rendered from a slaughtered cow, sheep, or goat – together with water and an alkaline-like lye, a caustic substance derived from wood ashes.
24. Is Making Soap A Good Business?
Yes! The soap-making business is very profitable. For instance, if you’re building a premium-priced soap brand, your soaps can be sold for at least $9.95 per bar.
25. How Do You Calculate The Volume Of A Mold?
To calculate the volume of a mold, First of all, fill the mold with water and then pour that water into a measuring cup. Multiply the number of fluid ounces of water by 1.8 to get the total cubic inches of the mold. For example, if your mold holds 12 ounces of water, 12 X 1.8 = 21.6 cubic inches.
26. How Long Do You Leave Soap In Mold?
It is recommended to let your soap rest in the mold and harden for at least 12 to 24 hours after pouring. But the time depends on the size of the soap, but it should be completely hard to the touch before you try to remove it from the mold.
27. How Do You Make Round Soap?
The following tips are the processes in making round soap;
- Heat management
- Add liquid after the cooking
- Mix your colorants with hot water
- Use a tool specifically made for round-soap
- Have a round-shaped pan for your hot process soap
- Get ready to work quickly
- Add some quantity of yogurt
- Choose colors that contrast
28. How Many Bars Of Soap Will 2 Lbs Make?
A 2lb of soap which is 24oz makes roughly 6 bars of soap. The standard bar of soap you buy at the store is about 3.5 oz or so.
29. What Can You Reuse Or Recycle As Moulds For Making New Crayons From Old Ones?
Old muffin tins or ice cube trays can be recycled as mold in making new crayons.