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How to Make Your Own DIY Wooden Soapmaking Mold for Cold Process Soap

I’ve talked a lot about how to make your own handmade cold process soap and have even shared a collection of handmade soap recipes that you can try. What I haven’t really covered though are soapmaking molds.

If you’re making your own soapmaking molds to save money, I’ve found that the easiest molds to make are wooden, rectangular soap molds. They’re inexpensive to craft, easy to duplicate, and easy to make if you have the right tools. Lowe’s shares an excellent tutorial on their website on how to make wooden loaf soap molds for your cold process soaps.

If you don’t own an electric saw and are unable to borrow one – or find someone to make these molds for you – you can make them yourself using a basic handsaw and a miter box. You’ll also need sandpaper, clamps, glue, screws and a drill. My ex-husband and my dad both made soap molds for me very similar to the one pictured above.

However, in lieu of a lid for my mold, I simply cover my mold of freshly poured soap with cardboard cut to fit on the top. It serves the same purpose. If you’re interested in a step by step tutorial of the soapmaking process, be sure to check out my blog post on how to make cold process soap from scratch.

Lowe’s also offers instructions on making a round pvc pipe soap mold. I haven’t personally tried this one myself, but have heard the soap can be difficult to remove after. A quick pop in the freezer generally makes the soap easier to remove from a round pvc pipe mold, and it does help to have a plunger of some kind to help push the soap through and out of the mold. However, Lowe’s does suggest lining the round soap molds with parchment which would ease in soap removal.


  • Dragon (Karen)

    August 21, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I use a wooden log mould that I line from end to end with paper and from side to side with a sheet of silicon. The paper is reusable and the silicon sheet just needs a wash and it’s ready for use again.

    I love my silicon loaf moulds, silicon muffin moulds and silicon mini muffin moulds.

  • Cupcakes and Skulls Bowtique

    August 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing! My husband and I would love to make our own soap and the forms to buy are kinda of spendy

  • Stoney Creek Mercantile

    August 21, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    This is great, I’m thinking Christmas Gifts!!

  • Kim AKA RabbitDogPrints

    August 22, 2011 at 3:33 am

    Cool, I had no idea, I gues I thought they came all nice and square. I have a honey do now!

  • To Sew With Love

    August 27, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    what a great post! thanks for sharing. have a fab weekend!


  • Crystal

    August 29, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing, I have made soap once with the PVC pipe a friend lent me and it was really hard to get out even with freezing it, so I think I will try making a wooden loaf mold.

  • Desi

    August 29, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I use a small cat litter pan that I bought especially for soap – it’s the right depth, has no funny shape impressions on the botton, creates a big block that is easy to cut with craft wire, and it was the right price at $1.50!

  • SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime

    August 30, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    This wonderful post totally contributed to the blog party’s success! Thanks for linking up at Creative Bloggers’ Party & Hop 🙂

  • GypsyRainn

    February 9, 2012 at 5:02 am

    @Desi, GENIUS! Along with soap molds I use mini muffin tins that I bought at the dollar store. I’ll be making the PVC pipe one to try soon! My best advice for any mold, put rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and before you pour soap into the molds give them a little spray. It doesn’t change anything about the soap except the ease of removal. I’m sure this would work with PVC also, it works with metal and clear/colored plastic.

  • Grace Filkins

    February 16, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Warning I have tried the PVC mold and as it may look cool the difficulty you incur when getting the soap out is not worth it. I even lined mine with parchment paper but even if you tape the parchment paper the tape comes off and get stuck in the middle of your soap. OR Worse yet, I thought I would give it a second try and all of the herbs I had put in my soap floated to the bottom, it looked awful. I would not recommend it at all. I still have the molds I may have to try the rubbing alcohol.

  • Debra

    April 9, 2012 at 1:53 am

    Thank you for sharing!

    Here’s a few tips for unmolding soap from a PVC mold. Spray the inside of the mold with no-stick cooking oil spray (olive oil). You can use three 14 oz. cans (like black beans or tomatoes)stacked on top of each other to push the soap out of the pipe. And lastly, if the soap is being really difficult, put the pipe in the freezer.

    I have been using PVC pipe molds for over a year, and all these things have really helped me to get the soap out of the pipe.

  • Anonymous

    May 7, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    I use PVC pipe, and just roll up the red silicon cookie sheet length ways, and drop it inside. The pipe is a couple inches shorter than the silicon cookie sheet. Just leave it for at least 24 hours and tug on the silicon (two person job the first time) that is sticking out and it will slowly start to move, then it just pops out. I don’t wash the PVC but of course DO wash the silicon. Its such an easy mold to use. Make sure you have a cap on the bottom and take it off when removing the soap. I just gently set another cap on top of the silicon or wrap plastic around it. Then wrap it in a couple of towels and set it in a tall card board box. Works wonderfully..

  • Anonymous

    July 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I, too, use the PVC pipe and while I occasionally have a particularly stubborn batch, most times after a trip to the freezer and a little push, I have no problems. I use spray olive oil lightly on the sides. I also just rubberband a thick plastic over the end as my cap. Make sure you don’t move the tube until it starts to set a little or it can ooze up the bottom sides a bit and create a bulge to the rubber bands. I just set my pipe on a cutting board before I pour in case I do need to move the whole thing early. If I have a particulary stubbon batch, a quick smack to the bottom on a solid surface usually will release it after being in the freezer.

  • Mary cummins

    September 13, 2012 at 12:16 am

    Could the pvc pipe be cut in half lentghwise? we currently use a pvc pipe (clen and sterilized) to shape burgers. to make the semi frozen log of burger easy to remove, my DH cut the mold in half. we put it together and clamp it tight. to remove, just take off the end caps, remove clamps, and voila…no muss, no fuss. I hope this helps.

  • Shop to be Green

    February 19, 2013 at 5:17 am

    Great comments and ideas for soap molds.

  • nami

    February 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I use Pringle cans when I want to make round soap but I still line the can with freezer paper. I remove the bottom when ready to unmold (after freezing the soap). Friends save their cans for me.

  • tim maguire

    July 21, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I’m fairly new to soap making, but have gotten rave reviews from the people I’ve given bars to. At the moment, I use empty almond milk containers as they are the perfect shape, but am interested in making wooden frames (I was interested in buying them until I saw the prices).

    PVC for round hand soap bars is an interesting idea. I’d try slicing the tube lengthwise and then taping or clamping it closed again. That way, you can just pop it open when the soap is done–that should be easier and gentler than forcing the soap through one end.

    1. Melissa

      October 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Huh… That could work…. cutting lengthwise in half, then using hose clamps to hold it together….

  • Isabelle G

    November 18, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    i’m brand new to soap making and have not invested in a real soap mold yet (it’s on my xmas list 😉 ) i’ve been using milk cartons and i love using a Pringles can for round soap. i don’t line it but i do clean it very good before using it. then i just rip it apart when i want to unmold it.

    i’ve also used small shaped (xmas trees and gingerbread men) silicone mold. they are awesome but make very small soaps. i’ll be using the gingerbread men as embeds in another soap

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