How to Carve Soap

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How to Carve Soap

Carving wood, cement or even plaster is great, if you’re already a master of this craft, but if not, you can start with something simpler. For example, you can try soap carving. Here’s how you can do this fun craft.

Benefits Of Soap Carving

Soap carving is a very popular form of art that entices many people nowadays. Adults and kids alike love this activity, for several reasons.

  • Art – There are carving institutes that treasure the beauty of intricately done soap carvings, even putting them up for exhibit and preserving them for years to come.
  • Profit – You can see many stores nowadays selling soaps carved in shapes like flowers, animals and even food. A number of small-time businesses also produce and sell custom-made soap carvings.
  • It’s a great hobby – It’s an ideal and quiet past time for creative people who don’t mind making a mess. The simplest soap sculptures can take a hour or two to finish, but complicated designs can keep you preoccupied for a whole day.


Gather all your materials even before you begin, so you won’t have to rush around later. If kids are doing this activity, always keep an eye on them and don’t let them use knives that are too sharp.

    1. Decide on a design. Beginners should opt for small figure sculptures that are easy to carve, such as animals (bunnies, turtles or cats). As you get used to this activity, you can progress to more complicated designs. Draw the design on a scratch paper first.

soap carving

  1. Purchase a few bars of soft, fresh and inexpensive soap. If you’re thinking of a curvier design, opt for a round soap, but if corners are important for your design, then opt for a rectangular bar.
  2. Lay out newspaper or old towels over the surface where you’re going to soap carve. Having bits of soap lying around can be a mess and a hazard, since they can be slippery.
  3. Scrape off the logo of the soap, so you’ll have a clear canvas. Afterwards, use a pointed instrument, such as a nut pick or toothpick (if the soap is soft enough), to imprint the design on the paper lightly on the soap’s surface.
  4. Start carving. Hold the soap in one hand, and the knife in the other. Be careful not to grasp it too tightly or too loosely, and be careful not to let the knife slip and cut you.
  5. Shave the soap around the design you imprinted, removing small pieces one at a time. When you get to corners, round and smooth the edges by pressing down gently. Use a pointed tip to carve small designs, such as eyes or mouth.
  6. When you’re done, buff the soap carving gently with a cloth, so it becomes smooth from all angles.

Don’t worry if you end up with a wonky and misshapen carving the first time; you can always do it again, and soon you’ll be making lovely and more intricate shapes. When you get better, maybe you can move to wood carving, read how to carve wood.

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