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October 24, 2014

Making Your Own Holiday Gifts

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"The En-Light-ener"
Candle Making Newsletter

Making Your Own Holiday Gifts

The interest in making candles grows exponentially during the fall months. Many individuals like to make their own holiday gifts. Others like to burn many candles during the holidays and view candle making as a way to save money. Many use the opportunity to make extra money by selling their products at holiday fairs. Because there are so many different types of candles, so many reasons to make candles, and so many waxes to choose from, the progression for starting out is different for every individual.

So the question is: What do you really need to get started on a small scale, other than the raw materials? The most obvious starting point is a way to melt the wax. Most people start with the pouring pot, which generally holds four pounds of wax. This pot is placed in a larger pot with hot water to create a double boiler. When wax is up to the proper temperature, the fragrance and color are added right into the pouring pot. Then, the wax is poured into the container, mold or vessel. There is also a smaller pouring pot option, which holds one pound of wax and makes it easier to pour smaller candles, such as votives and tarts. Before pouring, however, you will absolutely need a thermometer. As we have discussed in previous issues, pouring temperatures are extremely important, regardless of which wax you might be using.

Thermometers can be as simple as your basic candle/candy thermometer or as sophisticated as the ones used in more scientific applications. Handheld thermometers can be very useful for reading surface temperatures before pouring containers. With these two essential products, you can now determine the other items you need based on the type of candles you wish to make. The education section of our new website is a great resource to assist you in making all the different types of candles.

One of the advantages of making container candles is that after you have the pouring pot and thermometer, all you need is your containers and the raw materials. However, to make the best container candle you might want to look at some additional accessories. The Bow Tie clip M-503 is one of the items we highly recommend and can be used in most containers, tins and other vessels to ensure the wick is centered. These are fairly inexpensive and will last for many pours. Another product that can help are glue dots. Glue dots are very easy to use and help ensure the wick is centered.

Pillars require a little more investment to get started. There are many types of pillar molds to choose from, such as aluminum, polycarbonate and tin. The shape you wish to make dictates which type of mold to use. Aluminum molds are most effective for standard sizes and shapes, such as round, square or octagon. For a more unique candle, the polycarbonate would be the mold of choice. They tend to cost more, but are well worth it for the variety of unique designs available. When making round pillars a nice product that makes the process easier are pillar pins. Using these pins are the easiest way to ensure the mold will not leak and the wick is centered the entire length of the candle. If making other types of candles, such as tarts, clamshells, tea lights or votives, the pouring pot, thermometer and molds are all you need! However, one of the items that will make votives a breeze are votive pins, the companion to the pillar pin. These are also very easy to use.

As you can see, starting your small business, hobby or passion can be done with just a few materials and a minimal budget.

If you're not sure how or where to start, we recommended you consider purchasing a kit, which in most instances includes the raw materials in the right quantities and precise directions on how to get started. However, you may still need to purchase the pouring pot or thermometer.

If the desire is to start on a little bit larger scale, a good solid stainless steel wax melter should be considered. These are available in capacities as small as 70 pounds up to 540lbs. The important thing to note with heaters is that even if you start smaller, with the 70 pound tank, as you grow the tank can always be used.

CHANDLER'S CORNER

Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles .

As our feature article identified, the pouring pot is a necessity in making candles. A question many people often ask is: "Why can't the pouring pot be placed directly on the heat source?" Well, there is a reason we call it a "pouring pot." When making candles, no matter how neat you try to pour, some amount of wax will run down the sides of the pouring pot. After this wax hardens and you place the pouring pot directly back on the heat source, the wax on the outside of the pouring pot will run down the sides and into the flame or coils of the heater. Placing the pouring pot in a pot with hot water ensures your wax can be melted safely.

FAST FACT

Not sure which fragrance to use? Check out the top selling list on our website this reflects the current trends as well the traditional favorites. Depending on the time of year this list can always change.

Be one of the first to try these new and hot trends in candles. Candlewic works with some of the largest fragrance suppliers in the world to ensure the future trends of the fragrance market are included in our collections.

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October 2014


Featured Project:
Holiday Votives & Floaters

It's just about Christmas time again. Start getting in the spirit of the holidays with this festive red, white & green scented votive and floater candle project.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (454 g) White Beeswax
  • 1 pound (454 g) General Purpose Wax
  • 15-20 Pre-Wicked Votive Tabs
  • Concentrated Color Squares - Burgundy
  • Concentrated Scent Squares - Cranberry
  • Votive Molds or Floater Molds
  • Stearine (refer to packaging for required amount)

Instructions

STEP 1: Fill the melting pot with beeswax and general purpose wax, and heat indirectly until all the wax is melted.

STEP 2: Add 8 tablespoons (120 ml) of Stearine to the melted wax. This will make your finished candles harder and also make your candles burn longer.

STEP 3: Add 5 squares of burgundy color to the melting wax and melt at a low temperature until color square and wax are completely melted. Test color by placing a drop of dyed wax on aluminum foil or wax paper and let cool. The color of the wax will change as it cools. Additional concentrated color squares may be added if you prefer your finished candles to be darker than the sample of wax.

STEP 4: Add 6 squares of cranberry scent to the melting wax as well. More or less scent can be added to create the strength of scent that you desire.

STEP 5: For votive candles, apply mold release to your votive molds and pour wax into the mold. Immediately insert the pre-wicked votive tab into the wax and center it in the middle of the mold. (Make sure the wick is standing straight up from the tab before inserting it into the wax.) For floating candles, follow this same process using floater molds and pre-wicked tealight tabs.

STEP 6: As the wax cools, a depression will form in the center of the candle. Re-fill this depression as the wax cools. Remember: You must save some wax from the previous step in order to have enough wax to fill these indentations in your candles.

STEP 7: Once completely cooled (place in refrigerator to quicken cooling process), remove candles from mold.

TIPS: Votive candles achieve best burning results when burned in a votive holder. Wax liquidizes as the candle burns and will spill away from the candle if not burnt in a proper votive holder. If your candle does not come out of the mold easily, try placing it in the refrigerator for a few minutes. If this does not work, try pouring a small amount of hot water over the mold, and this should help ease the candle out.

For a different look, make your votive candles using candle chunks! Make your floaters with different layers of colors and different scents.

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3765 Old Easton Road
Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901
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