Carving for Kids

BY Little Shavers

How to Carve Soap Into Shapes

How to Carve Soap Into Shapesthumbnail

Making soap - from exquisite stained-glass, marbled, and layered soaps to soothing masseuse bars - is a tempting craft. But if you don't have time to make your own, try this.


Things You'll Need

  • Bars Of Soap
  • Kitchen Utility Knives, or plastic knives
  • Peelers
  • Nut Picks
    • 1
      Buy some soap. Get some nice bars for the eventual finished product, but don't forget some inexpensive practice bars. (Ivory is perfect.)
    • 2
      Think of some simple designs that will not be impossible to carve: fish are always good, a simple bird, or perhaps just a shape, such as a heart.
    • 3
      Sketch the outline of the shape on the bar with a knife or other sharp instrument such as a nut pick.
    • 4
      Hold the knife in your right hand and the soap in your left (reverse this if you're left-handed).
    • 5
      Pay attention to the feel of the knife. How thick a layer can you take off at once? Where does the knife get stuck?
    • 6
      Use a sharp knife to gradually shave away layers until you achieve the shape you want.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take a practice run on an inexpensive bar first.
  • Choose a shape that makes maximum use of the bar shape and size to minimize waste.
  • Make sure your hands are bone dry - otherwise the soap will slip.
  • Try a potato peeler - some people prefer the control of a knife, but others swear by a peeler.
  • Always cut away from yourself - your whole hand should be behind the knife or peeler blade at all times.

Pure Fun: Ivory Projects: Soap Carving Instructions and Tips

By Ivory   source:click here
Any family member who is old enough to work with a carving tool can enjoy carving soap. The shape and texture of Ivory Bar Soap make it ideal for creating fun, memorable soap sculptures, from the simple to the extraordinary. Here are a few suggestions to help make your soap sculpture its best.
What You’ll Need to Begin
Soap carving can be simple and inexpensive. You’ll need:
• A large bar of Ivory soap – Ivory's shape and texture are ideal for carving
• A paring knife
• 1-2 orangewood sticks used for manicures
• Pencil and paper for sketching
• Optional – Large tray to hold soap chips from carving Unwrap the soap and let it dry for a day. Scrape off the lettering and any raised edges before beginning.
Place the soap on a tray or an old piece of newspaper while carving. This will catch the soap flakes in one area and will make it easier to tidy up later.
1. Developing Your Design
Begin with a simple design. Start with solid, basic shapes with simple cuts or extensions. Sketch your idea on paper first or try one of these sample patterns.
ivory soap bear carving
Sample Patterns for Soap Carving Designs
These designs are ideal for beginners. Simply:
• Print this page and cut out the design you want to use.
• Place the design on your prepared bar of Ivory soap and trace it onto the soap using carbon paper or a sharp pencil.
• With a little practice you’ll soon be ready to create designs of your own!
2. From Design to Soap Carving
• If you have a clear mental picture of your idea or have carved before, you can begin by carving directly on the soap.
• Or, you can use the orangewood stick to outline a rough sketch on each surface before you carve.
• Beginners may want to sketch or use a pre-existing pattern on paper and trace it onto the soap.
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3. Begin with Rough Cuts
The actual carvings begin with rough cuts that remove the large parts of the soap not necessary for your design.
• Place the soap on the table or tray.
• If you are right-handed, hold the soap with your left hand and start cutting at the upper right-hard corner. (If left-handed, use the opposite hand.)
• Leave about 1/4" margin beyond your outlined sketch to allow for mistakes and more detailed work later.
• Cut clear through the bar, removing excess soap all the way around.
• ALWAYS CUT AWAY ONLY SMALL PIECES OR SLICES. Soap often breaks if cut in big chunks.
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4. Adding the Details
• After the first cuts, you may find it more comfortable to use the knife as if peeling a potato. Continue to stay 1/8" to 1/4" away from your sketch guidelines to allow for finer work later.
• As you work, keep turning the soap, always keeping the shape of the piece in mind. Step back from time to time to look at the entire piece.
• Watch your high points -- those that jut out farthest from the surface -- and your low points -- those farthest in.
• Carve gradually from the high points toward the deepest cuts. Your knife point is useful for this.
• Don't try to finish any one part in detail before another.
• When the piece is almost finished, smooth rough edges with the knife’s edge and mark in details like eyes or ears with the knife tip or an orangewood stick.
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5. Polishing
• Allow your sculpture to dry for a day or two.
• Then, rub it with a soft paper napkin, being careful not to break off corners or high points.
• Finish by rubbing it gently with finger tops or palm.


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