Buffalo Plaid Winners

September 2022 Soap Challenge

Our guest teacher Amy Bautista of Elysian Acres Soap came up with a technique to create a buffalo plaid pattern in soap.  It requires three main colors with the third color being a blend of the other two colors.  If you’d like to learn how it’s done, the tutorial is now available HERE.

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They are providing generous gift certificate prizes for the top 4 voted winners of the regular and advanced categories and four Sponsor’s Choice winners in the bonus category.

Let’s begin with the advanced category.  The requirements include a plaid design with a minimum of four layers and the blocks have to be less than one inch wide.  Anyone who has been making soap for more than three years or has placed in the top three of any of the soap challenges had to enter this category. 

I am very pleased to announce the grand prize winner is Marina Baranov of Creamy Obsession in Kentucky!  The inspiration for her soap is the comforting smell of lingering perfume or cologne on a loved one’s sweater.  She chose a simple black, white and gray plaid pattern with soft knit sweater and wooden button soap decorations for the top.  Amazing job keeping those layers straight and corners sharp!

Favorite Sweater by Creamy Obsession

Marina wins a $250 gift certificate to Stock Fragrance – congratulations!!  Read more about her soap by clicking on the photo to see her Instagram post.

In second place we have Wan-Ting Gonzalez of Tile Soaps in California for another truly beautiful plaid design.  This one is a classic gingham style with half-inch blocks and the tops have teeny, tiny soap dough decorations that make this soap look like the perfect gift!

Lavender Rose Buffalo Plaid by Tile Soaps

Wan-Ting wins a $100 gift certificate from Stock Fragrance – way to go!  Click on the photo for more information on her Instagram post, including a photo of the soap in the mold and things she learned.

In third place we have Lisa Cunningham of I Dream in Soap in the UK.  This challenge really appealed to Lisa’s sense of organization and she really went all out with embeds that line up from layer to layer!  She chose a sweet yellow color palette for the plaid design and chamomile flowers and leaves as beautiful accents.

Chamomile by I Dream in Soap

The piping and soap dough chamomile flowers on top are also fantastic!  Lisa wins a $50 gift certificate from Stock Fragrance – how awesome is that?  Check out her Instagram post, linked to the photo, if you’d like to know more about her ingredients.

Instead of a Sponsor’s Choice winner in the competitive categories, we have a fourth place winner!  This title goes to Edgar Kameraki in Mexico for his complex Floral Breeze plaid soap with multiple tiny embeds in half of the blocks.  So impressive!

Floral Breeze by Edgar Kameraki

Edgar says he had this design in mind from the time this challenge was announced.  Well done!  His prize is a $50 gift certificate from Stock Fragrance – woo hoo!  This photo is linked to his Instagram post.

Recognition Awards for the advanced category are next.  For the Best Technique award I was looking for straight layers and consistent sizes of the square or rectangle elements.  Those elements should also lay point to point diagonally.  I have chosen Robyn French of Bath Fizz and Foam in Texas to receive this award for her Warm Wishes soap.  Not only did Robyn do an amazing job on her layers and alignment, but she made twelve layers with tiny blocks of soap:


Warm Wishes by Bath Fizz and Foam

Incredible work, Robyn!  The tops really pull the whole design together as well.  Click on the photo to find out what inspired this bath bomb and fizzy maker to participate in a soap challenge.

For the Best Use of Color Award I was looking for contrasting color choices that are pleasing when blended together for that third color.  I was impressed by this Classic Christmas soap by Jessica Krames of Swamp Farm Suds in Florida because she went with a risky green and red color scheme that could have created a nasty looking brown tone when blended.  Instead she was able to lean toward the red tone and by adding red and green confetti soap bits, the whole scheme is beautifully tied together!

Classic Christmas by Swamp Farm Suds

The tops of the soaps are a gorgeous design as well and the added gold and glitter gives a touch of elegance.  Read more about how Jessica pulled this design together on her Instagram post that is linked to the photo.

The Best Presentation Award is for an entry with well displayed soaps and fantastic photography.  My pick for this award is Allison Cabay of Ember Tree Soap in Iowa.  First of all, can we just appreciate how these soaps are arranged in such a visually pleasing way?  I also love the subtle blurry fade in the background and how the soaps fill the space, but none are cropped off and there’s still plenty of white space on each side.  The lighting is also excellent with very soft shadows:

Pink Ribbon Plaid by Ember Tree Soap

Fantastic breast cancer awareness soaps, Allison!  Her Instagram post with more photos and information is linked to this photo if you’d like to check it out.

The regular category was limited to just three layers and one-inch or larger blocks.  Congratulations to our grand prize winner, Jennifer Mason of Mason & Mason Handmade in California!  This Plaid in the Forest soap was her third attempt at this technique and it turned out fantastic!  The green and blue colors are so calming and beautiful when blended.  Jennifer did a wonderful job getting the layers straight and corners lined up:

Plaid in the Forest by Mason & Mason Handmade

Jennifer’s prize is a $250 gift certificate from Stock Fragrance – so awesome!!  The photo is linked to an Instagram reel showing how she made this soap.

Second place in the regular category goes to Margie Ewing in Washington State for her Autumn Flannel in the Park soaps.  Margie did an amazing job creating her plaid design.  The colors and design are excellent, as is the presentation of her soaps:

Autumn Flannel in the Park by Margie Ewing

Margie wins a $100 gift certificate from Stock Fragrance – wonderful work!  (Photo not linked.)

In third place we have Melanie McNiece in Australia who created a super bright Pink Plaid soap!  Melanie did an excellent job lining up her blocks of color and creating an interesting rectangular design:


Pink Plaid by Melanie McNiece

Melanie says, “I am learning so much and having so much fun being a part of the challenge club. It’s an addiction!!!!!”  Her prize is a $50 gift certificate from Stock Fragrance.  You can see her Instagram post about her soap by clicking on the photo.

Again, instead of a Sponsor’s Choice winner for the regular category, we are celebrating our fourth place winner, Heidi Glazier in Maine whose Lavender Plaid soap turned out fantastic!  She used soap curls from trimming down the color blocks on top.  What a great idea!

Lavender Plaid by Heidi Glazier

Heidi wins a $50 gift certificate from Stock Fragrance – hooray!  Check out her Facebook post by clicking on the photo.

Now we get to do Recognition Awards for the regular category.  After perusing the entries for the Best Technique I found Fall Delight by Lisa Carozza of Tranquility Soap Co in Florida to have the straightest layers with beautifully aligned blocks.  She did a great job mixing up the design with some in-the-pot swirls as well:

Fall Delight by Tranquility Soap Co

I can’t be certain, but there may be mica lines between the blocks as well.  Another fun design technique!  More info in her Instagram post linked to the photo.

Next is the Best Use of Color Award, and I have chosen Orange Blush Plaid by Shweta Khokale in California to receive this award.  Not only are the colors bright and smooth, but again it’s a risky move to blend orange and purple.  The third color ended up a beautiful shade of peachy orange!

Orange Blush Plaid by Shweta Khokale

Great job, Shweta!  The tops of the soaps look fantastic as well!  Click on the photo to see the Instagram reel she put together of the making of this soap.

For the Best Presentation award, I’ve chosen “Phew!  I’m Done!” by Rachel Kendall in Utah.  The soaps are very well-lit, focused and centered in the photo, and the bright white background really makes them stand out!

Phew!  I’m Done!  by Rachel Kendall

The title sort of indicates that she may have struggled a bit with making her soap, but there’s no other information provided about the soap or her process.  Regardless how you feel about it, Rachel, it turned out really well with nicely aligned corners and bright, contrasting colors!

Finally, we have four Sponsor’s Choice winners from the bonus category!  First choice by Stock Fragrance is “Down the Chimney He Goes” by Robin Grieco in Arizona.  Nathan Motylinski says, “Funny concept!  In addition to the clean, straight lines and coordinating color scheme, the detailing and top is very impressive!”

Down the Chimney He Goes by Robin Grieco

Robin wins a $50 gift certificate from Stock Fragrance – woo hoo!  This was her first attempt at the Buffalo Plaid technique.  Check out her Instagram post with more information, linked to the photo above.

The second choice bonus category winner is Natalie Jepsen-Kundiger of Willow Tree Weaving & Soaperie in Kansas.  Her Stained Glass 6 Color Plaid is quite impressive!  Nathan says, “This is a beautifully made color combination!  We love seeing different tones of similar colors, the gradients are very well done.”

Stained Glass 6 Color Plaid by Willow Tree Weaving & Soaperie

Natalie also wins a $50 gift certificate from Stock Fragrance!  Because of the complexity of the design, this soap took her a full week to complete!  More info on her Instagram post, linked to the photo.

The third choice bonus category winner is Mariel Marin Flores in Spain for her “Plaid Iridescent” entry.  Nathan says, “We picked this one for originality!  The marble effect and multi-colored squares are a great touch that offer a fresh take on buffalo plaid!”  It’s definitely super cool!

Plaid Iridescent by Maribel Marin Flores

We have another $50 gift certificate winner from Stock Fragrance!  Check out Maribel’s Instagram post with three other plaid soaps that she made for the challenge, linked to the photo.

The fourth choice bonus category winner is Lauren Gumaelius in Sweden!  Lauren’s soap is a gradient green plaid called Cucumber Patch.  Nathan says, “Fun colors and neat work!  The gradient across the bar is very well done and the confetti is a nice touch.”

Cucumber Patch by Lauren Gumaelius

Lauren also wins a $50 gift certificate from Stock Fragrance!  She has created a Facebook post with all the information about how this soap was made.  Click the photo to see it!

Great job to all our winners, as well as everyone else who participated in the challenge this month!  If you would like to see the rest of the entries this month, check out these links:

Registration for the October through December challenges opens Monday, September 26!  For October we have a super fun Cowboys vs Aliens theme challenge! These are the soaps I made for the video tutorial with bioglitter from our new sponsor, The Good Glitter. Check out the Upcoming Challenges page for more information and sign up to be notified as soon as registration opens!