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How to make Personalized Soap using Waterslide Decal

How to make Personalized Soap using Waterslide Decal


In the world of handmade soaps, creativity has no bounds. Laser Waterslide Decal Paper is an excellent way to add beautiful images or cute text to your soap using your own home or office Laser Printer. Great for personalized gifts, special occasions, or an impressive yet functional art piece to your bathroom.


Already used in many industries by hobbyists and professionals working on various projects, Laser Waterslide Decal Paper is also great for Chandlers and Soapmakers. There are many ways to incoporate Waterslide Decals in your soap.


Ways to add Waterslide Decals to your soap:

Label: You can add Waterslide Decal Paper onto the soap as a secure label.
It's a humble way to stick images or your brand logo onto the soap that are easily removed during the first use.

Embedding: Similar to Resin Embedding. The image is secured between two thick layers of soap and often stays there for the longevity of the soap.
It's a great way to add a splash of color to your soaps without any additional coloring.


In today's tutorial we will be exploring how to embed an image inside the soap using Waterslide Decal Paper. This is a method that retains the image inside the soap but requires clear soap due to visibility. It's an excellent way to create beautiful soaps with cute messages or images corresponding to the scent of each soap.



Materials Needed:

  • Laser Printer
  • Scissors, Craft Knife or Cutting Machine.
  • Crystal Soap Base
  • Essential Oils (optional for fragrance)
  • Glycerin (optional for moisturising properties).
  • Beaker (Glass Beaker recommended).
  • Soap Cutter, Knife, or Paint Scraper.
  • Hot Plate (for melting ingredients).
  • Shape mold.
  • Squeegee
  • Lukewarm Water.


NOTE: We advise against using Inkjet Waterslide for soap products, because the Ink is water soluble and requires an acrylic clear coat.
Use only high quality essential oils. To avoid adverse reactions on sensitive skin it's recommended to do a patch test.


Step 1: Soap Base

Start off by cutting the soap base into smaller pieces, this reduces the time required to melt and helps prevent discoloration.



Place it in a beaker. We recommend a glass beaker if you want to avoid air bubbles.


Step 2: Melt


Heat slowly to avoid burning the soap base. Burning will cause discoloration.


Step 3: Mix Scents

Next we need to add glycerin (moisturiser) and essential oil (fragrances).


These ingredients are completely optional.


  • Glycerin: 1-5% of the soap base. Too much will make the soap too soft or sticky.
  • Essential Oils: 0.5% - 3% of soap base. Bare in mind some Essential Oils are stronger than others so start with the lower end of the recommended percentage.



Mix the ingredients together before adding to the soap base.

Make sure everything is mixed together.


TIP: Stir slowly and gently using a non-porous tool. These precautions will help avoid introducing air bubbles to the mixture. If you see bubbles in your mixture, and don't have access to a vacuum pump, you can leave the beaker to sit in hot water or on a heating coaster until the bubbles have completely surfaced.


Step 4: 1st Pour



Spray a little alcohol over the mold.

Then fill the mold halfway with the soap mixture and spray alcohol again to remove any air bubbles on the surface.


Step 5: Print

Adjust the size of your images to fit your soap molds.

You can print on blank paper to preview the image next to your soap molds before printing on Waterslide Decal Paper. 



Make sure your Laser Printer Settings have been set accordingly:


PAPER TYPE: Label Paper (175g or more) / Thick Paper / Decal Paper.

DPI: 600 or above. We recommend higher DPI for miniatures / dioramas.

Maximum Photo Resolution.


We advise you to use the manual feed in your printer (not the paper tray).

Print on the glossy side of the decal paper.


TIP: Higher DPI (dots per inch) and / or darker colors will reduce in more opaque images.


Step 6: Cut



Cut out the image leaving 3-5mm margin.
You can use Scissors, a Craft Knife, or Cutting Machine.


Step 7: Submerge



Submerge in lukewarm water until the image has separated from the backing paper.
You'll know it's ready if the two layers glide between your fingers. Don't leave in the water for too long as this can ruin the decal.



The backing is meant to slide, but do not take off the backing yet.



After placing, you can now slide around the decal on the surface until you are satisfied with the position, then press down to start securing the image.


Step 8: Apply



Apply the wet decal on top of the soap by sliding the backing out from underneath.

Once the decal is in the desired position, quickly remove the water using a squeegee before the soap starts to melt.



You can gradually press down harder to squeeze out any excess moisture, while the adhesion starts to secure the image.

The decal will start to look dry if done correctly.


We strongly recommend using our squeegee or similar, as it has a large contact area, ideal for Waterslide Decals.


Step 9: 2nd Pour



Put the soap back into the molds with the image facing up.

Spray alcohol and pour the remaining soap mixture.

Remove any air bubbles on the surface by spraying alcohol one last time.


Step 10: Harden


Let the soap cool, and you are done!




These make great personalized gifts for loved ones and friends. You can also experiment by adding multiple layers to your image to create anamorphic art and changes depending on the angle it's viewed at. Maybe try using Metallic Waterslide Decal Paper to create a soap with a splash of gold inside.


There are many more interesting options in the Waterslide Decal Paper range if you're iinterested.


Saponification ("Cold Cure")

We recommend letting the soap harden for up to 4-6 weeks in a dry place, on a rack or breathable surface (no fridge required). This allows the natural saponification process to complete, resulting in a harder bar of soap.


How can I make my soaps clearer / glossier?

If spraying alcohol doesn't achieve the results you want. You can buff your soaps using nylon or cotton. Rinse off the soap that was scraped off and leave to dry. This works best after the "cold cure".


How can I print white?

Domestic Printers are designed to print onto white paper, as such, white ink isn't included. You may need to use a White Toner Laser Printer, usually available at your nearest printing service.


How can I improve the visibility on dark surfaces?

600 DPI (Dots Per Inch) is plentyful even for transfering onto black ceramic. However if you want even richer colors and detail, a higher DPI printer will pack more pigment into an area with fewer gaps between the toner (dots). This is often unnecessary unless working on very tiny transfers (miniatures and dioramas), however is noticible side by side.


I need a faster method for removing air from my soap

If you have access to a facility that works with soap or epoxy, you should have access to a vacuum pump. You can use this to create pressure that will quickly remove the air from the mixture.


Can I use Film-Free for soap and wax?

It is not recommended due to the heat curing step and lack of testing glue on hygiene products.


Laser Waterslide Decal Paper Structure


 If you have any questions, difficulties or need some advice, feel free to contact us. We'll be more than happy to help.