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DIY Gemstone Soap Tutorial | How to Make Soap Rocks

I think you are going to LOVE today’s DIY gemstone soap tutorial because DIY soap rocks are easy to make, look gorgeous, plus this is a DIY/craft that you can use/enjoy/gift – it’s not just clutter!

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

My First Introduction to “Gemstone Soap” or Soap Rocks

As a rock lover/collector, you can imagine how much I mooned over these gem and mineral shaped “soap rocks” when I first spotted them in an artsy boutique in Duluth, MN.  They were regularly price at around $11, so you can imagine my glee when they were put on clearance one day – for $6 a bar!  Still pricey, but I ran to the cash register with an armful.  I bought a couple as gifts and then depleted the store’s stock of “turquoise” soap rocks, which I’ve doled out to myself over the years.  You might have seen them pop up in this bathroom and that bathroom.  I swear it wasn’t the same soap, moved from room to room šŸ˜‰ When I finally got down to my last original soap rock, I hopped online to buy more, but I just couldn’t commit to the full price.  When I started seeing gemstone soap tutorials popping up everywhere, I decided to make my own soap rocks.  My DIY gemstone soap is nowhere near as gorgeous as the original soap rocks, but at only $2 a bar (which will be less once I make more batches and the cost per use of the molds I bought is lowered), my wallet is much happier.  Plus, making soap rocks turned out to be such a fun and easy craft project that I can’t wait to make more!

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

DIY Gemstone Soap Making Supplies:

What are the ingredients in soap rocks?  You can make soap many different ways, but the melt and pour method using a clear glycerine base is an easy method that creates realistic looking soap gems.  Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

A note on these soap making supplies supplies:

Essential oils: I read that vanilla can yellow a soap so if you’re going for a really clear “gem,” opt for another scent.  Choose an essential oil brand you trust to produce safe essential oils – there are a lot of cheap knock offs online.

Glycerine soap bases: In total I ordered 7 lbs of glycerine, which yielded two huge silicone molds worth of soap.  Unfortunately, the exact glycerine I purchased is no longer available, so I have linked to some other options in my supply list.  If you’re only going to order one (the opaque or the clear), get the clear.

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

Cosmetic grade mica dyes: Mica colorants bestow the shimmer and sheen of real stones and help make these gem soaps more realistic.  I think I went a little overboard with the dye and made mine too richly colored, so play around a little with the quantity and add a little to start, building up the color if required.  For my next batch I’ll try more faintly tinted clear glycerine areas for a more “quartz” inspired look.  The exact kind of mica I used is no longer available, but I linked to a similar one.  Buy any kind you like, but make sure it’s cosmetic grade.  Or put those unused eye shadow kits to good use!

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

Look at the pretty shimmer on these bars of DIY gemstone soap:

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

How Do You Make Soap Look Like Crystals?

  1. Gemstone soap is easy to make with a basic melt and pour method, but first you need to choose a “gemstone” and decide what colors make up the stone.
  2. Hit up Pinterest (I have a entire board dedicated to rocks) and find at least one kind of rock/gem to mimic – take a close look at the veining and colors.
  3. Cut up chunks of the glycerine soap base and place one small batch at a time, in a microwave safe container.
  4. Melt the glycerine a cup or so at a time, for 30-60 seconds.
  5. Once the glycerine is melting, pour it into another container (like a paper cup – it’s temporary).
  6. Mix in a pinch of colorant and fragrance, and pour into a small soap mold.
  7. Repeat this process for the different colors your chosen gemstone is comprised of.
  8. Let the individually colored bars of soap cure/cool in the molds for 6-8 hours.
  9. Once set, roughly chop up those individual bars of soap into organic looking chunks.
  10. Place all of those chunks in a loaf shaped silicone soap mold.
  11. Melt one more batch of glycerine soap base with fragrance, and color it the color of any “veining” your chosen gemstone would have in real life.
  12. Pour the glycerine into the soap mold, so it settles between all of the chunks.
  13. Let the soap harden/cool overnight.
  14. Remove the soap loaf from the silicone mold and slice into thick slices.
  15. Using a knife, shape the slices into chunks/irregular gemstone shapes (save the shavings for future soap projects).

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

That’s the basic process for how to use the melt and pour method of soap making to create DIY gem soap bars.  Keep reading more detailed instructions with photos.

How to Make DIY Gemstone Soap (Melt & Pour Method):

As described above, first chose a gemstone you’d like to copy and decide what colors of soap you will need.  Then start making small soap bars in the colors you will need.  Basically you will melt, color, and add fragrance to small batches of glycerine.

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

Cut up the glycerine into small pieces and place in the microwaveable bowl.  I worked with a cup or two at a time.  Pop into the microwave and melt (about 30 seconds – 1 minute, depending on the microwave).

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

Mix in a pinch of mica until the color is perfect and then add essential oil.  I added a few drops of oil at a time until it smelled great – it’s a personal decision how much to add.  If you’re going to be making many colors, you can also pour the melted soap into another container, add dye and oil, and then pour into mold to keep the Pyrex measuring cup from transferring dye across batches.  I just used some disposable cups I had on hand to mix up my small batches of colored soap.

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

Pour the melted glycerine into the bar mold and let cool 6-8 hours.  In the meantime, start on another color and repeat the process.  You want to have a nice variety of the colors present in your gem or mineral.  I spent a couple of hours leisurely making different colors; it was a relaxing crafternoon.

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

You can also use an assortment of random plastic containers, but the bars pop out of this silicone bar mold so nicely.  I bought it because I figured I can make rectangular bar soap later.  After they’ve hardened, remove the soap from the molds.  (Technically, at this stage you could also just cut these soaps into gem shapes).

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap RocksDIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

Now chop up those bars!  Use a knife or other kitchen tools (like a vegetable peeler) to create organic looking shapes.  Create bigger and smaller chunks, some shards and thin little “veins” – depending on the stone you’re trying to replicate.  You can also gently rub the soap to soften corners.  Set aside any shavings and cuttings – you can add them to a bar later or melt them again.

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

Next, assemble the pieces in the large loaf silicone mold, as per the gem or mineral you want to replicate.  For one batch, I started with a darker layer then added lighter layers as well as “veins”:

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

Then melt a final batch batch of glycerine, adding essential oils and mica again, but keeping the color very light and sheer.  Once mixed, pour into the soap mold, covering all of the smaller
pieces.  How much you need will depend on how much room is left.  Start with a cup and keep adding.  If you want separation between the layers, let them firm between adding more.

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

Let the loaf of soap set and harden overnight.  When it’s set, you’ll have a block of gemstone soap that looks like this:

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

For my first attempt, I really created a layered look (below) and my second batch was a little more uniform (see above):

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap RocksDIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

For my next attempt, I plan to limit the variation of color and just play more with opacity, so the little shards and pieces I cut up will be suspended in what I hope will look like quartz.  This process is fun and I promise you’ll want to keep experimenting to get as realistic a gem soap as possible.  Once it has hardened, remove the soap from the mold and slice it like bread.  Cut off edges and corners, and add some facets, to create a random, organic feel.  Cut some bars diagonally, some square – mix it up!

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap RocksDIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap RocksDIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

Gemstone Soap Mold Option:

Making soap can continue forever because you’ll end up with little scraps that you can melt down and use again or add into the next batch of rock soap.  One neat idea is to pick up a small silicone mold, like this gem-shaped mold, and then melt down and make mini guest soaps with any leftovers.  You could, technically, skip all of the steps above and just pour some sheer colored glycerine soap base into these mold to create a quick and easy gemstone soap DIY!

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks

Tips and Tricks for Making DIY Crystal Soap:

I love my DIY gemstone soap – it makes such a cheery statement on the counter in the bathroom.  The colors didn’t stain or dye anything (which was my worry the first time I lathered up a bar in my brand new white tub).  I also have really sensitive skin (prone to redness, dryness, and also oiliness – yay) but this soap has not dried out my skin or caused acne; it’s a really nice soap.  Here are some tips and tricks to help you make the best DIY soap rocks!

  • Make sure to keep some areas translucent to create a more realistic “gem” look
  • The mica/shimmer shows up better in clear glycerine
  • If you don’t like a color, re-melt the bar and try adding more dye (to darken) or glycerine (to lighten), or add a whole new hue and try again!
  • If you get mica bubbles (I got some) spray with rubbing alcohol, or mix the mica with the alcohol before adding to the soap
  • But don’t worry about it being “perfect” – have fun and just go with it
  • Clean up is a breeze (it’s soap!) so I just ran my cutting board, knife and Pyrex cup through the dishwasher when I was done

DIY gemstone soap

Make a batch of these easy DIY gemstone soaps for holiday gifts – bonus points for whipping up birthstones!  (Or, if you’re in a rush, you can always find Soap Rocks on Amazon for stocking stuffers and make/hoard these handmade gem soaps for yourself later).

DIY gemstone soap tutorial

DIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap RocksDIY Gem + Mineral Shaped Soap | Make Your Own Melt + Pour Soap Rocks
P.S. Don’t Forget to Pin For Later!

P.S. Check out my gold and crystal DIY soap rocks.  Have you made DIY gemstone soap?  I’d love to see yours!  Share a link in the comments or tag me on Instagram.

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16 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    November 30, 2016 / 5:56 pm

    These are so pretty! I love that you are sharing how to make these!!! Love, love, love:)Amy in MN

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 30, 2016 / 8:05 pm

      Thanks Amy, so happy you like them!

  2. jamie@midcenturymania
    November 30, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    I just ordered everything I need for making soap. You made it look so easy! I have had my fair share of diy failures so wish me luck! Great Christmas gift idea. Thanks Tanya.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 30, 2016 / 8:05 pm

      Good luck!! I hope yours turn out beautifully, but I have no doubts šŸ™‚

  3. Sarah McG
    December 2, 2016 / 2:05 am

    The framed Agate art was apparently too hard for me (I bought the slices and never did anything more, haha) but this looks more fun! My husband is a geologist so I'm always on the lookout for rock stuff :)Yours turned out beautiful.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      December 2, 2016 / 4:55 am

      Oh no! Well, those slices make perfect coasters, as-is. Call them DIY coasters and call it a day, haha. I have a closet full of discarded projects, so I totally understand. If your Hubby is a geologist, he'll be able to help make amazing soap. I read somewhere that the folks who created soap rocks were geologists and that's how they created such realistic soap stones. Hubby might be an excellent asset for this craft!

  4. Monika Alic
    December 2, 2016 / 9:23 am

    This looks absolutely marvelous! It seems like a nice project to do together, or a perfect afternoon all to oneself!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      December 2, 2016 / 5:30 pm

      Thank you! Definitely, it would be a great craft to work on with someone but it's also kind of a peaceful project to tackle alone.

  5. Unknown
    December 2, 2016 / 10:48 pm

    I am a minimalist so I would probably make the monocolored gemstone using my diamonds silicon ice cube tray. They will be perfect for my guest bathroom. Glad to hear that they didn't stain, but not sure why they didn't since its still dye sitting on a surface. Maybe your new tub just has a great finish on it. But I do worry about my sink counters as they are rather old and possibly porous. Although I wouldn't know for sure since I am obsessive about keeping anything that could stain, off of it.Anyway, love your soap rocks.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      December 2, 2016 / 11:08 pm

      Your plan sounds lovely!The weird thing about the mica dye is that the soap lathers white, not colored. I've never worked with soap before so this is all new to me but it seems like the glycerine traps it somehow. Bath bombs made with it can definitely stain tubs (I've read), but with the soap there wasn't even any color released when it's used. It never stained my stone counter, which did stain when a strand of my freshly dyed hair fell on it and sat in water for too long (crap). But if you're worried about your counter, then it would be a good idea to avoid colorants of any kind. The glycerine on its own is gorgeous and in your mold with a lovely fragrance, this would still be a really nice soap.

  6. Bee Johnson
    January 5, 2017 / 9:30 pm

    these are very pretty…you can remake bars of soap that way using left over soap slivers…I'm very old and thrifty.

  7. Kathy Bitzan
    January 9, 2017 / 1:58 am

    Thanks for posting on hometalk. I saw these also and wanted to make them, just not sure but I guess my idea was pretty close to how you did them. Thanks again. I'll have to order a few more things to get started. I think they are so pretty.

  8. December 18, 2019 / 5:19 am

    WOW Tanya, thanks for sharing your ideas. I have just started making my own soap, and am having lots of fun with it. All new ideas are greatly appreciated and will definitely be tried! Keep up the good work. Best Wishes from the UK. Ria

  9. Ashlee S.
    July 4, 2021 / 9:44 pm

    I love this idea! I am trying it out soon.

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