Alice Vs. Charlie Winners

March 2021 Soap Challenge

The challenge for March was a theme challenge with two categories: Alice in Wonderland and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory.  Members could be as creative as they wanted to be in making their soaps.  They just needed to have three or more soaps weighing at least 3 oz /85 gr.  The only caveat this month was that no one was allowed to post anything about their soaps anywhere on the internet until this announcement and no names were attached to the entries – a truly BLIND challenge!  I have my reasons for not doing this every month – mainly that the Soap Challenge Club remains a highly educational experience first and foremost, even though it’s a competition.  Posting information about how the soaps are made helps everyone learn!  Another reason is that it is very difficult to judge an entry without that information – both for voting purposes and verifying that it was made according to the guidelines.  Since that wasn’t necessary this month, it worked well to keep everything a secret – except it was still really difficult to judge them!  If you’d like to see the social media posts now, just search Instagram and Facebook for #soapchallengereveal.

Typically the entry photos for the challenges must maintain a neutral background.  However, since no one could add a link to their entry, I made a provision for an optional “prop” to use in the entry photo to show the inspiration behind the soap.  It could be a photo in the background or an actual object.

We had two sponsors this month!  Li-Ching of LiluSoap Tools is providing 6-Second Bevelers ($75 value) for the two Grand Prize winners.  LiChing says, “Ever since I founded LiluSoap Tools, my mission has been providing the most durable, efficient and friendly tools as well as the most enjoyable soapmaking experience to all soap makers.”  They truly are top of the line!! 

Lovin Soap Studio is providing gift certificate prizes for the rest of our winners.  Amanda and Benjamin Aaron have been providing essential information to soapmakers for many years through their soap making blog and learning website. They offer eclasses and ebooks on soap making, liquid soap, shave soap and more!

Additionally after hearing stories in our private Facebook group about how inspired many of the members were to try new techniques this month, Lisa Cunningham of I Dream of Soap on our Bubble Support Team decided to provide an extra prize.  Those who took on their own personal challenge were encouraged to write about their experience so that Lisa could choose a winner.  More information on that later in this announcement!

Let’s start with the Charlie & the Chocolate Factory category!  We had just 21 entries in this category (compared to 108 in the Alice in Wonderland category!).  The competition was still pretty tight.  The grand prize winner is Aparna Kumari in California!!  Her entry titled, Willy Wonka’s Wonderland, is full of colorful design and detail:

Willy Wonka’s Wonderland by Aparna Kumari

Congratulations to Aparna for winning a 6-second soap beveler from LiluSoap Tools!  As a reminder, none of the photos are linked to social media this time – search #soapchallengereveal to see all the posts!

Second place goes to Amber Coon in New York for excellent representation of Willy Wonka’s purple suit!  The floral vest is rather impressive along with the golden bow tie and signature brown hat.

Willy Wonka by Amber Coon

Amber wins a $35 gift certificate from Lovin Soap Studio – hooray!

In third place we have Lauren Gumaelius in Sweden, who made chocolate soaps, complete with Wonka wrappers!  The lines of the soap design are so crisp.  Very well done!

Cold Processed Chocolate by Lauren Gumaelius

Lauren’s prize is a $25 gift certificate from Lovin Soap Studio – way to go!

For the Sponsor’s Choice award in this category, Amanda Aaron has chosen Sarah Schröder’s Land of Golden Chocolate River soap.  She says, “I love how the flowing soap gives this bar such movement! The embedded chocolate bars seem to be floating away. Well done!”

Land of Golden Chocolate River by Sarah Schröder in Germany

Wonderful job, Sarah!!  She wins a $20 gift certificate from Lovin Soap Studio – woo hoo!  

Next up are the Recognition Awards for the Charlie & the Chocolate Factory category.  Best Technique goes to Emily Milbauer in Colorado for her Lickable Wallpaper entry!!  Believe it or not, all of those fruit designs are made of soap dough canes that go all the way through each bar of soap!  She meticulously pieced each one together and figured out how to suspend them in her soap.  I am so super impressed!

Lickable Wallpaper by Emily Milbauer

The Best Use of Color Award goes to Marty Johnson in Minnesota for her entry titled “Willy’s Gobstopper Smash.”  Marty did an excellent job getting bright, solid, and unmuddied colors plus a true black for the hat!

Willy’s Gobstopper Smash by Marty Johnson

The Best Presentation Award is for an entry with awesome photography and beautifully displayed soaps.  I’ve chosen Janae Tyars in California to receive this award for her “Emerging Ticket” entry!  The soaps are well-lit and focused, and I love how they are stacked in order for the golden ticket to emerge at the bottom.  Compositionally, the lighter ticket soap lines up with the darker background color, while the darker chocolate bars line up with the lighter wall color.

Emerging Ticket by Janae Tyers

The last recognition award is the Best Soap Newbie Award.  This one goes to someone who has been making soap for less than a year and has made fewer than 50 batches.  It’s my pleasure to announce Dawn Shackley in Utah takes this award for her Violet Bubblegum entry!  The colors match her inspiration photo, and I love the light reflections in the bubbles!

Violet Bubblegum by Dawn Shackley

Let’s take a look at the winners from the Alice in Wonderland category next!  Congratulations goes to Tami Tonges in Australia for winning the grand prize!  Her soap, titled “Curiouser and Curiouser” is such well-planned design, and incredible look at the story of Alice, complete with authentic book covers and a key shaped hidey-hole for the White Rabbit.  Every detail is just amazing!

Curiouser and Curiouser by Tami Tonges

Tami wins a 6-second beveler from LiluSoap Tools – so incredible!!

Second place goes to Clare Norman, also in Australia!  Clare’s soap has a clean, yet difficult design as the diamond background goes all the way through the soap.  The added embellishments are very precise and beautifully done.  Check out the “Queen of Hearts”:

Queen of Hearts by Clare Norman

Clare’s prize is a $35 gift certificate from Lovin Soap Studio!  Well done!!

In third place we have Amy Bautista in Colorado who created her soaps with each suit in a deck of cards, and like a scene from the movies, they are “Painting the Roses Red!”  The details are excellent on her soaps as well:

Painting the Roses Red by Amy Bautista

Amy’s prize is a $25 gift certificate from Lovin Soap Studio – hooray!

The Sponsor’s Choice award in this category goes to Irina Beketova in Texas for her soap titled “How Long is Forever?”  Amanda says, “These soaps are so detailed and fun looking! They look like a scene from a dream. Nailed it!”

How Long is Forever? by Irina Beketova

Irina wins a $20 gift certificate from Lovin Soap Studio – way to go!! 

Now we get to do Recognition Awards for the Alice in Wonderland category!  For the Best Technique in this category I was looking for a combination of techniques that I knew would be difficult to pull off, but they had to be done well.  I couldn’t help but notice Manic Muchness by Jill Crane in Texas who started with a diamond background with an incredible number of pieces, followed by soap dough embellishments that are colorful, detailed, and quite realistic:

Manic Muchness by Jill Crane

Next is the Best Use of Color Award.  So many of the entries did an excellent job with this, so I decided to choose an entry that relied mainly on color to identify the characters each soap represents.  This award goes to Maude Aubry in France for her “Bienvenue au Pays des Merveilles” (Welcome to Wonderland) entry!  The abstract design is very cute, and the use of a mirror for the entry photo gives us a full view of both the fronts and backs of each soap:

Bienvenue au Pays des Merveilles by Maude Aubry

The Best Presentation award goes to Paige Poyerd in Minnesota for her entry called “Down the Rabbit Hole.”  The details of each soap are quite meticulous, down to the dual colored eye shadow rings of the Mad Hatter.  The photo captures the soaps in a beautiful naturally lit setting, with just the right amount of blurring over the back two soaps while keeping the front soap perfectly focused.

Down the Rabbit Hole by Paige Poyerd

The last recognition award is the Best Soap Newbie award!  Again, this goes to someone who has been making soap for less than a year and has made fewer than 50 batches.  I am very happy to present this award to Suzanne Melville in Sweden for her pocket watch soaps with hands made of carrots and soap dough gold chains.  She’s aptly called this one “I’m Late, I’m Late.”

I’m Late, I’m Late by Suzanne Melville

Next, we have the Bonus Category Sponsor’s Choice award!  Amanda has chosen “Magic Cat” by Sabina Allegretti in Italy to receive this award.  She says, “I love the story that this soap series tells! My favorite character was the cat and I love how he’s appearing (or disappearing) in this soap.”

Magic Cat by Sabina Allegretti

What a super cute design idea!  Sabina wins a $20 gift certificate from Lovin Soap Studio – great job!  

Finally, we have our extra prize winner who wins a FIMO clay extruder, along with a full set of I Dream of Soap extruder discs from Lisa Cunningham:

Lisa’s prize package

Congratulations to Whitney Wynn in Canada!  Lisa says, “It was lovely to read how so many people had used the challenge to push themselves to try something new. I loved the way Whitney had hand made her embeds from soap dough, something that she had failed at doing in the past but managed to achieve so successfully this time. You can see when you look at Whitney’s soap how she persevered with tiny pieces of soap dough embeds to make her wonderful soap. I think now that Whitney has made such a great leap in her soap dough skills that the extruder and disc prize should be going to a home that will get a lot of benefit from it.”  Here is Whitney’s entry called “Bending Time”:

Bending Time by Whitney Wynn

Congratulations, Whitney!  I look forward to seeing more of your fantastic soaps!

The rest of the entries for the Charlie and Alice categories are at the bottom of this post!  You can see who made them by clicking on the soap name under each photo!


Registration opens up for the April challenge tomorrow!!  We will be doing Polka Dots with guest teacher Tatiana Serko of Creative Soaps by Steso.  Our brand new sponsor is Babassu For You in Germany.  They sell babassu oil in its most natural form and of the best quality: unrefined, organic and fairly traded for the past 14 years.  Here’s the soap Tatiana made for the tutorial:

Polka Dot soap by Tatiana Serko

Registration fee is $12.95 to join us for this excellent challenge.  Check out the Upcoming Challenges page for more info and to sign up for notifications!

Check out the Charlie and Alice submissions below (click on the soap name under each photo to see who made the entry):

Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Category



Alice in Wonderland Category