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playing with wax

Holy Cannoli & Mamma Mia whoever thought candles were so involved?

Candles are a simple luxury I’ve always enjoyed, and spend money on. I thought, I make soap, lots of people who make soap make candles, too. How difficult can it be?
I’ll just make my own. Genius.

When I started researching, I was surprised at what I found. I guess I never paid attention to the fact that there are so many different types of waxes;
I just used my sniffer to decipher what I liked.
Paraffin, Soy, Soy-blends, and Beeswax. Container wax, votive wax, pillar wax.
My head was spinning.

Soy wax sounded nice. Grown in the USA, clean burning candles,
yes, please! I’ll start with Soy.

Four types of candle wax later, and there’s still one more that I’m interested in.
Some of the waxes cracked and caved after pouring, or ‘frosted’,
or developed ‘wet spots’. New terms, that I unfortunately came to understand.
Others had barely a scent.

I’ve never looked at a candle with such discriminating eyes before I made them myself.
This particular wax was easy to work with, and poured beautifully. The tops look creamy, and there was no cracking or caving.
This wax is primarily Soybean, with just a bit of paraffin added.
From what I understand, this gives us the best of both worlds.
A less-finicky pour, and the cold scent throw is strong.
Blackberry Marmalade

Next is the test-burning.
Test-burning is a series of burns, in which you record how well your chosen wick works in your chosen wax, within your chosen container.
Dye and fragrance oil also factor into the outcome, so it’s good to keep accurate notes.
The test-burn will also tell you how many hours your candle will last,
which is helpful if you plan on selling.

You want to make sure your candle is not under or over-wicked. An over-wicked candle will have a large, flickering flame and use up the wax-fuel quickly.
An under-wicked candle will not burn hot enough, which causes tunneling,
or it may even extinguish itself.

I haven’t produced a truly successful candle yet, but I’m determined.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed on these, and lucky me, it’s time to
trim the wicks and test burn!

Always, always trim your wicks, kids.

Burn, Baby, burn. Not too hot, but not too cool, either.
I’d like a Baby Bear Burn, please;  just right 🙂

About Valerie DeVito

I'm a wife, mom of two, Licensed Massage Therapist & enthusiastic soap maker!

4 responses »

  1. Those look wonderful (and I bet they smell divine)!! You did a great job!

    Just passing this on too…one of the “tricks” I learned to help keep my wicks centered and straight, is to coil the tops of the wick around something…like a wooden dowel…so that the dowel sits across the top of the container. That way it keeps the wick taught and if it decides to “scoot” a little bit while pouring it’s easy to adjust and center it again while the wax is sill warm. Also, if you get a little cracking or frosting, a quick zap with a hair dryer (not used for hair though) or a heat gun will help!


    • Thank you, Mischelle!

      Good tips. I’ve been using craft-sticks to center the wick, but the coil sounds much better, I’ll try it next time! The heat-gun works well, too, but I’m still getting the hang of that. Thank goodness for true one-pour waxes. I can’t wait to try these, thanks for looking at my blog, and thanks for the encouragement 🙂 🙂

  2. You continue to amaze and inspire me Val! In the midst of getting settled into your new home office and your new Etsy shop, you find the time and desire to take on yet another new endeavor. I wish I had 1/10th of your creativity and energy!! More power to you – the candles look amazing and I have no doubt that you will find that “just right” combination. Plug on, Goldilocks! Have some porridge, maybe it will inspire you! XOXO

    • Ha, ha! You’re so sweet, Sharon. Truthfully, sometimes I wish I only had 1/10th of my drive; perhaps I’d get some things done that actually need to get done! Thank you very much for your kind words, and for stopping by my blog. Great idea, I’m going to go see about that porridge. XOXO


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