Ultramarine Blue: Gender Reveal Soaps
Gender reveals are quite fashionable these days, and there are so many fun ideas out there! Are you a Pinterest fan? Just search “Gender Reveal,” and an overwhelming variety of ideas will pour forth: balloons, cakes, glitter, paint. But soap? YES!
When I was pregnant with my kiddos in the ‘90s, we simply told people the baby’s gender. It wasn’t a big deal. I recall a friend making one pink and one blue cake for my first baby shower. Both had big question marks on them because we did not know the baby’s gender. (We tried to find out, but she was a modest little miss who never showed us the goods when we peeked via ultrasound!) Somewhere, there exists a photo of a very pregnant me holding a blue-frosted cake in one hand and a pink-frosted cake in the other next to my bulging belly swathed in an oversize tie-dyed t-shirt. I think it’s packed in a box. I should find it and show my daughter her first portrait!
Back to the soap. Here’s my idea for a soapy gender reveal. We make soaps using Ultramarine Pink and Ultramarine Blue, both colorants used lightly to achieve the pastel hues we associate with babies. I’m using our heart-shaped silicone mold for the gender reveal bars. For the rest of the soaps that will be used as decor and party favors, I am using a 2″ x 2″ square silicone cube mold to make little blocks like children build with while playing. A fun option would be a mold that makes tiny baby footprints.
Use the soaps to decorate the venue stacked in little pyramids and scattered randomly on tables and offered as gifts to attendees. Use our soap boxes without a window to hold the heart-shaped reveal bars. When it’s time for the highlight of the party, the expecting couple will open up the little box and pull out the blue soap if they’re having a boy or the pink soap if it’s a girl. Everyone will cheer, and there will undoubtedly be cake and congratulations!
All the extra soaps can be kept to bathe the newest addition to the family, or attendees can take them home. Homemade soaps are gentle and wonderful for a baby’s skin! I formulated this recipe specifically for a baby’s brand new skin. You can leave it unscented if you wish, but I love our Baby Powder Fragrance, so I used it at a light level.
This is part of my series on our Ultramarine Blue pigment. It’s been fun experimenting with such a gorgeous color!
Let’s gather our supplies and ingredients and head to the soap lab!
* Dispersing the pigment in liquid glycerin makes it easier to add to the soap batter. I mix 1 ounce of pigment into 2 ounces of liquid glycerin (by weight). Stir well, then store in a bottle.
Pure & Gentle Baby Soap:
Recipe in Ounces (27 oz of oils)
Recipe in Percentages
75% Olive Oil
Follow basic soap making instructions and safety precautions: Wear gloves, goggles, long sleeves, and close-toed shoes. Tie back your hair and get rid of distractions.
If you are unfamiliar with soap making, please begin with our introductory series on soap making. The first blog is here.
When I began working on the soap, I first split the batter into two containers and colored one pink and one blue. It took about a teaspoon of Ultramarine Pink pigment dispersed in glycerin to get the light pink color I wanted. The blue took a lot less – maybe 1/2 teaspoon. When you aren’t sure how intense the color will be, start with a small amount and mix it into your batter thoroughly before evaluating.
I’ve found that the ultramarine pigments don’t change color much when the soap has cured, so what you see in your mixing pot is generally what you’ll get. I probably could have added some titanium dioxide to the pink batter to tone down some of the muddiness. We’ll see how it looks when it has cured. Because I only used coconut oil and olive oil as the fats, there is no white oil like soybean to help keep the bars white.
I decided to swirl the soap batter for the blocks after pouring the first blue heart and pink heart. I thought they would be more visually interesting than single color blocks.
After the soap came out of the mold, I was not pleased with the swirled colors. I felt they were too muddy and lacked definition. The plain blue and pink hearts were beautiful, but the blocks didn’t fit my vision.
I mulled this problem for weeks before it hit me that I just needed to add some white to the swirl. That would help the pink and blue be less muddy and stand apart. I remade the blocks, this time dividing my soap batter into three containers. The first part, I colored white with Titanium Dioxide. The second part, I colored pink with Ultramarine Pink and additional Titanium Dioxide to prevent the color from becoming muted. The blue was again Ultramarine Blue with added TD. I poured them into the cube mold, and I allowed the colors to mix a bit, though I was aiming for a more layered look.
After 48 hours in the mold, the soap was still very soft. Clearly, it had stalled on me, which is not unusual for a high content olive oil soap. The best thing to do would have been to set that mold on a curing rack and come back to it in about 2 months. By then the cubes of soap would be hard enough to unmold without problems.
However, this blog post needs to be published, so I went ahead and unmolded the soap after just a week, being as careful as I could to avoid smashing it. I’m thrilled with how the second cubes came out.
What do you think? Would you use soap as a gender reveal?