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Tutorial: Cranberry Pomegranate Elemental Swirl with Gold Mica line

Cranberry Pomegranate logWhen I discovered a Cranberry and Pomegranate fragrance oil at Aussie Candle Supplies, I couldn’t resist. Two of my favourite smells combined together!

I immediately began design planning: green, white and red just seemed a logical choice.

Now, elemental swirls! I didn’t know that’s what they were called until I read Kenna’s Rainbow Elemental Swirl tutorial, but I’ve been doing a few of them lately and I must say, I think they’re my favourite. Relatively simple to pull off, they end up looking absolutely fabulous as an end result.

As a side note, this soap sells like hot cakes for me. The combination of the colours and the scent just work so beautifully together.

I’m Australian, so I work entirely in the metric system. I use Google to convert the recipe weights into oz for those of you in the US, but as always, I advocate running everything through a lye calculator just in case.

Cranberry Pomegranate Elemental Swirl Tutorial

Cranberry PomegranateThis recipe has been resized to fit a 10 inch Bramble Berry silicone mould. I made a large batch (3 x 8 inch moulds, or 2.4kg of base oils), but I’ve resized this recipe down to fit a 10 inch silicone mould, which is 1000g (35 oz) of base oils, or 1.4l (50 oz) of soap batter.

Soap Formula Used

  • 350g Olive Oil (12.3 oz)
  • 200g Rice Bran Oil (7 oz)
  • 200g Coconut Oil (7 oz)
  • 100g Shea Butter (3.5 oz)
  • 100g Macadamia Oil (3.5 oz)
  • 50g Castor Oil (1.76 oz)
  • 311g Distilled Water (11 oz)
  • 133g Sodium Hydroxide (4.69 oz)

Extra Additives

  • 0.1g Tussah Silk Fibre (leave this out if you’re vegan)
  • 15g table salt
  • a little cosmetic glitter if you like


  • 40g of Cranberry Pomegranate Fragrance Oil. Mine came from Aussie Candle Supplies, and is soap and skin safe.


I used micas from My Mica Obsession, here in Australia. You can use whatever colours your heart desires.

  • 2g Titanium Dioxide
  • 1/2 tsp Desire Mica (dark red)
  • 1/2 tsp Elusive Mica (forest-y green)
  • 1/2 tsp Gold Mica (for the pencil line)

Extra tools

In addition to all your regular soapmaking supplies, a good mica line needs a fine mesh sieve. You want the pencil line mica to dust on gently without clumping.


In a lye safe jug, add the finely cut silk and salt to your water, stirring until the salt is dissolved. Add the lye, and stir to dissolve. Set aside to cool. I like to sit my lye jug in a cold water bath to cool it faster.

Weigh and melt your oils.

Weigh out your colourant (EXCEPT the gold mica – we use this dry) into soap safe jugs – mix the micas with a little of your soaping oils, and your titanium dioxide with a little water (or oil – depending on your titanium dioxide.)

Add your fragrance oil to your soaping oils.

Cranberry Pomegranate Soap Desire Mica
Desire Mica in Oil. Needs more stirring.
Cranberry Pomegranate soap Coconut Oil
Shea Butter and Coconut Oil ready for melting


When everything is around 45C, you can begin.

Gently pour your lye solution into your oils and stick blend briefly. Add your titanium dioxide to the batter, stick blending until you hit light trace. This helps disperse the TD entirely, hopefully preventing flecks.

Once you’re at light trace, switch to a spatula and give the batter a good stir, scraping the edges of your soaping pot/jug well to prevent any oils not being mixed through entirely.

Pour 1/3 of your soap batter into the jug containing your Elusive (green) mica, and 1/3 of the batter into the jug containing Desire (red) mica.

Stir well, until the soap is uniformly coloured.

Cranberry Pomegranate Soap Desire Mica in Batter
Soap Batter poured into the Desire mica. I haven’t stirred it yet.


Cranberry Pomegranate Soap Elusive Mica in Batter
Soap batter coloured with Elusive Mica


Now comes the fun part!

Pour your green soap into the bottom of your mould. Pop your gold mica into your fine mesh sieve and very gently tap gold mica all over the surface of the green. You want the soap to be pretty well covered, but not thickly. We don’t want our soap to fall apart when we cut it! With mica lines, less is always more.

Tap down the mould gently.

Pour your red soap batter into the white batter jug, a little at each compass point, and then some in the centre. Using your spatula, give the red and white soap one quick stir. Just one! This is your standard ITP swirl.

Carefully pour the red and white batter into your mould. I didn’t want a straight mica line, so I used my spatula to push some of the red/white mixture through the mica line.

Texture your tops and sprinkle on a little glitter for interest!

Insulate your soap and leave it to gel. My cranberry pomegranate isn’t an accelerator or heater, so leaving it to gel was an easy choice.

After 24 hours, you can unmould and cut your soap.

Cranberry Pomegranate Soap Gold Mica Pencil Line
Gold mica dusted onto the bottom layer of batter.
Cranberry Pomegranate Soap tops before Texture
All filled up! Pre-texturing.
Cranberry Pomegranate Soaps tops
Textured tops.
Cranberry Pomegranate Soap tops glitter
Glitter added.
Cranberry Pomegranate log
24 hours old, gelled, and ready for cutting.
Cranberry Pomegranate Tops
Such pretty tops.

Cranberry Pomegranate

The Cranberry Pomegranate recipe is an original formula created by Veronica Foale for Modern Soapmaking. It is palm-free, and uses a 6% superfat and a 30% lye solution. To make this recipe vegan-friendly, omit the Tussah Silk. Feel free to adjust as needed!

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17 Responses

  1. beautiful soap and even more vibrant than the pics! but please please remember to stir the salt first…this was my first time using salt and I busted my lye jar and made a huge mess because of the added heat so be careful!!

    1. Hi Tami,

      I have let people know to dissolve the salt, but thank you for the added reminder. I don’t advocate using glass to mix lye in at all, and your experience is one of those reasons. Lye can etch glass over time, causing the jar or jug to become prone to shattering. Not a good thing!


  2. Hi Veronica,
    what is Modern Soapmaking’s policy on using recipes and designs featured on the blog?
    Thank you:)

    1. I’m so sorry for the delay, I didn’t catch this comment until today. All recipes featured on the Modern Soapmaking blog are free to use for both personal and commercial products, however, they may not be republished without appropriate written permission from the author. Hope that helps. 🙂

  3. I am relatively new to soaping, and I’ve been using soapcalc for all my recipes (with varying degrees of success). I’m still trying to figure out a good recipe for a nice hard bar that is easy to remove from the mold, but there really doesn’t seem to be any correlation between the “hardness” number on soapcalc and the actual hardness of my loaf of soap. This recipe, when I put it into soapcalc, came out as very, very soft (with high iodine and low INS). How does this recipe turn out? Is it a hard bar? Does the salt help with that? Does it have a longer cure time than something with a lower iodine number and a higher INS number? I’m just trying to figure out how much to trust these numbers. This is a gorgeous soap, and I love reading all your posts. Thanks so much for the help!

    1. The long of the short of it is that SoapCalc’s numbers are purely hypothetical. The only numbers a soapmaker should rely on is the direct fatty acid profile of the formula itself. Some absolutely fabulous soap recipes look like crap recipes according to SoapCalc’s numbers. Additionally, the hardness is not a reliable indicator of how physically hard a bar is, but rather, a better indicator for the durability of a bar. Hope that helps!

      This post may be more helpful for you: http://www.modernsoapmaking.com/the-most-popular-fatty-acid-profiles-in-soapmaking/

  4. I know this is an older post, but I’m very interested in making this soap. Just had one question. The two colors you used seemed to change a significant amount from the beginning to the end. They began as a true red and green, but changed to a red-purple and turquoise (which I love). Was this just your camera lighting, or was the change that significant? Thanks!

    1. The colour change was that dramatic, which I love. The Elusive mica from My Mica Obsession is a little muddy in fresh soap batter, but one of my favourite colours once the soap is cut and cured. Desire is a beautiful dark reddy colour too, and the photos above are identical to how the soap appeared IRL (at least, on my monitor).

  5. Hi there. I buy a soap that says it’s good as a hair shampoo. What would make this different from regular soap? Thanking you in advance, Lynn

    1. Some folks claim they make soap that is appropriate for use as a shampoo (often they use a high percentage of castor oil) and some users of those soaps agree. However, Kenna’s cosmetology background and research keep us from recommending or providing recipes for soap shampoo bars. (There are non-soap shampoo bars on the market, FYI. Susan is our go-to for info on those.)

      From my experience, the main difference is marketing. And, in the United States, different regulations based on if something is classified as a soap or a cosmetic (like shampoo).

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