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Category Archives: Candles

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 🙂

candles; my maiden voyage!

Now I’ve really gone and done it-  I looked.
I stuck my nose where it didn’t belong, and had a good, long lookey-see.

Since I began making soap, I’ve purposefully avoided
anything to do with candle-making. Not that I have anything against candles,
on the contrary, I buy ’em by the dozen.

I have to admit, it wasn’t easy holding out when more than a few people said to me,
“You should make candles. Candles and soap go together!”

I knew eventually, I would have to go to there.
However, I was really enjoying learning how to make soap, and
there’s only so many hours in the day; soap’s ensconced me.

Then, I needed candles, I bought a bunch. After that, I received a
beautiful, hand-made candle and scented wax-tarts
as part of a soap-swap.
The little scratch at the door got louder.

OK, I was ready to look.  And I had birthday money!

A  friend recommended one of these Candle
Starter Kits from Peak Candle Supply, to simplify things.

It was a great idea, there’s a lot of stuff to know about candles.
Which wax? What wicks go with which wax? What? Why?

I put in my order for the Soy Container Starter Kit,
and started searching in forgotten cabinets for containers.
I was surprised at how many potential containers I already had!
My thrift-store, but perfect tea-cups, looked to be an attractive choice.

I had seen container candles done in tea-cups, and
find it really beautiful. Plus, I had plenty of dusty tea-cups
on hand that I could scrub-up and recycle!

Container candles are really fun and easy,
the perfect first-candle for anybody!
I may try those pretty little tins, come next round..

Candle Making can be pleasingly simple or simply complex,
depending on what you are creating.
It’s always beautiful.

Can’t wait to light my new candle 🙂

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