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Candle Project: Making Clam Shell Melts and Tarts

by Chandler 2. May 2013 23:50

Adding clam shells or tarts can be extremely easy, and, in many instances, you can use your existing wax formula and these products can then double as a way for you to send samples of what your fragrances smell like.

Ideally, the best wax to use for making tarts and clam shell melts is the CBL-129. It has excellent cold fragrance throw and will release very nice from the clam shell or the tart mold. You can use a low shrink wax but they do not release as well from the molds and soy can be brittle at times getting the wax out without breaking.

Instructions

Step 1

If using a wax like CBL-129 or a paraffin wax take the product up to around 140°F. With soy you will only need to take the wax up to around 120°F or so.

Step 2

When your wax reaches the desired temperatures add your dye. With soy it will be easier to use liquid dyes because they will not have to melt like the color blocks.

Step 3

Add your fragrance. In most instances, since you want to deliver great fragrance throw with a small cube you should be closer to 7-9% fragrance which works out to about 1.25-1.85 ounce per pound of wax. Again a reason to use the CBL-129 is that it will hold that much fragrance.

Step 4

Lay out the clam shells and slowly pour your wax to the desired level.

When your wax is hard simply close and apply a label. You can custom design your own label for the front by going to Avery.com

Step 4 (alternative)

If you wanted to make tarts you should heat the wax close to 150°F and then choose the mold you want to pour into. The Floating candle mold M-112 is one of the most popular choices but there are many other choices like hearts, ducks, ships and others. In addition soap molds can also be used for making tarts.

The nice thing about the clam shells mold is the packing. After pouring the only handling required is closing and applying a label. The clam shell also has a "peg hole" - making it easy to display on any retail location. These products are also a great way to use up your extra wax and maximize your wax yield.


Candle Project: Summer Sand Candles

by Chandler 9. April 2013 17:26

Despite our continued cold spell here in the Northeast, summer will soon be upon us. As you plan your summer vacation, be sure to also plan for those possible rainy day activities. Sand candles have been around for a very long time and can make a memorable gift from your summer vacation. The other thing to consider when making this candle is to use up "scrap wax" you may have recently generated. Since each candle can be of a different design and shape using different color waxes will not effect the finished product.

Materials

  • Tub / Bucket
  • Water
  • Glass or solid object
  • Wax (141 Melt point)
  • Wick
  • Dyes or (Color Blocks)

Instructions

Fill the tub/bucket up with sand. Add water (you will have to experiment with the amount of water since sand texture varies) and try to pack the sand as tight as possible. The tighter it packs and the less water you use, the more consistent the outside shell of the candle will be.

Once the sand is packed tightly, take the cup or object and form a "cavity" in the sand. Once the cavity is formed, take your wax and pour at around 195-205°F. The wax can already be colored or you can now take color blocks and swirl them on top.

Once the wax gets a film on top, place the wick assembly into the wax. As the wax gets a little harder you may want to add shells and other non-combustible decorations.


Candle Project: How to Make Streak Candles

by Chandler 26. March 2013 20:22

One of the easiest novelty candles to make is the streak candle. What makes this project so easy is that you do not have to change anything you are doing when pouring your candles.

  1. To start this project, first select any pillar type mold. Melt your wax 10-15° F higher than your usual pouring temperature. Add your scent as usual but do not add color.

  2. Before pouring your wax into the mold take any color block or pigment dye and shave it into smaller pieces, you can do as many colors as desired.

  3. Once you have shavings of several colors, pour your wax into the mold.

  4. As soon as you are finished pouring, take pieces of your shavings and place a needle through the shavings.

  5. Hold the needle with the shavings against the mold. The dye will begin streaking down the sides causing a "tie dyed" effect. Repeat this using the same or different color, being careful not to over color.

Any mold can be used for this project.

Each candle made will look different than any other one and allows you to do an infinite amount of themed candles such as red, white and blue or any other color.


Choosing the Right Candle Wick

by Chandler 13. March 2013 21:26

The final choice to be made in the candle making process always seems to be the wick. Those that have gone through this experience know well that if the proper wick isn't selected, it doesn't matter if you picked the best fragrance, wax or even container because the candle will not burn properly. And if the candle doesn't burn properly, the consumer won't come back.

When choosing a wick, there are some important criteria to follow. You should strive to achieve:

  • consistent flame size
  • moderate container temperature
  • minimal or no blooming (carbon deposits)
  • well-formed wax pool with no dripping
  • minimal glow after the candle has been extinguished


Where do I start?
The issue any candle maker has is where to start when choosing the proper wick. In today's marketplace the possibilities are endless and that can be overwhelming at times. The frustration for many is that there is not a magic formula to determine what wick is right for the given application. There are over 300 different wicks! The best one for your application will vary depending on the wax you are using, the fragrance load, candle diameter and even the color.

So the question is, where do you start? Below are some highlights of the most frequently used wicks:

  • RRD--is a round directional wick with a cotton core and tension threads. It has been designed for optimal burn in solid-colored, scented votives and containers. This series may be one of the more popular due to its versatility in working with both paraffin and soy waxes.
  • HTP--Are otherwise known as high-tension paper wicks. These wicks have a paper core wound into the wick to offer rigidity. These wicks are specially designed for use in votives and containers.
  • CD--Also have a paper core wound into the wick and are very well suited for votives and containers.
  • LX--is a flat braided wick with stabilized threads that help the wick "curl" during the burning process. These wicks will work in votives, containers and pillars. This wick is also an excellent choice for pillars made of the ECO-Soya PB and the Pillar Palm waxes.
  • Zinc--This core has always offered rigidity in the "hot pour" process. The down side is that zinc is prone to mushrooming and carbon deposits. This series is very popular with paraffin waxes in containers.

Candlewic Wick Choice Resources:

  • Candlewic offers many standard wick assemblies and a broad selection of spooled wicking.
  • For a summary of all the wick series, be sure to check out this section of the Candlewic website which lists all of the wick series from smallest to largest.
http://www.candlewic.com/candle-wicks/pop-spools.asp
  • Don't forget about our Custom Wick Builder! Watch this video to see how it works!

 

It is important that you spend time selecting the proper wick so you can really showcase the fragrances you have selected. The staff at Candlewic can help you with this process and we encourage you to take advantage of their expertise.

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Categories: Candle Making (General) | Candle Making How To's | Candle Making Projects & Crafts


Tips on Creating Gel Candles

by Chandler 28. February 2013 17:53

Blueberry wax candle inserts

Gel candles are an extremely popular and versatile type of candle. They allow for a lot of artistic possibility. One popular gel candle creation you've probably seen is the "Fruit Preserve." This is where a jelly jar is filled with wax fruit inserts (shown right), then filled with gel. You can even create champagne glasses, beer mugs and other "drink" candle creations with gel. In some respects, gel can be easier to learn with than most candle materials. It's important to know the requirements and properties of gel,
however, before you venture into the process.

Gel, as previously defined by Penreco and now Calumet, is:

A specially selected, processed mineral oil that is gelled with copolymers that give them a clear rubbery texture. Similar to traditional wax candles, clear gel candles are commonly produced from a hydrocarbon base stock.

Instructions for Selecting the Proper Gel

The selection of the proper gel is limited to three different densities. The determination of the proper gel for your application will be dependent upon the type of gel candle you will be making and how much fragrance will be used.

  1. The low density (Candlewic's CG-1) is generally suited for gel candles with 0-3% fragrance loads. Generally, the low density can be poured at lower temperatures, ideally 195°-205°F.
  2. The medium density (Candlewic's CG-2) is generally suited for candles with 3-5% fragrance. This density is a good gel for embedding many of the wax inserts. This particular gel is quickly becoming the most popular gel.
  3. The high density (Candlewic's CG-3) is best suited when embedding heavier wax inserts and higher scent loads.

When making gel candles there are no additives needed, and in most instances, anything you add to the gel, including fragrance sometimes, can cloud the finished product.

Safety Precautions for Making Gel Candles

Before making gel candles for resale it is important that you review all of the safety precautions for manufacturing these candles. These safety precautions include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Must use fragrances that are non-polar. (If you are not sure, check with your fragrance supplier)
  • Fragrances must have a flash point higher then 170° F
  • Proper wick selection is critical. In some instances you may want to undersize your wick. This can create a unique "glowing" effect as the candle burns. It is important to test burn wicks in all your containers.
  • A wick assembly should have a wick base that has a 9mm neck.
  • Depending upon density, do not go over the recommended percent usage for fragrance.
  • Always have burning instructions.
  • Make sure gel embeds are not flammable. (It can be surprising at times what objects are flammable.)

One of the most intriguing aspects of the gel candle is its endless ability to create new and interesting designs. The gel candle has brought a whole new level of "art" to candle making. Glass containers filled with "scenes" and other designs make this product as popular as ever.

Want to know more? Check out our Gel Candle Making Tips for Beginners.


About the author

Hi I'm Chandler. Thanks for visiting! Illumine is all about helpful projects, ideas, and articles related to candle and soap making and the candle and soap making business.

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The Candlewic Company

Supplies the candle making industry with candle making kits, molds and accessories including candle wax, gel, and wicks.

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