10. March 2010 00:49
It seems in today's market one segment of the market which can go over looked is the Free standing or "pillar market". It seems everyone has different containers, tins and glassware and nothing can compliment the line then a nice pillar candle. Pillars are a logical progression because these types of candles are easy to make, smell great, and are relatively easy to maintain multiple brands using different labels. Every candle maker is faced with the challenge of creating more revenue for various reasons whether it is at the crafting level to fuel their hobby, or a manufacturer that needs to pay next week's payroll.
One way to bring in new customers and increase sales is to offer new and unique candles that are not offered by you competition. This can easily be achieved by learning how to make freestanding or pillar candles using a variety of mold techniques. According to the National Candle Association, candle users say they most frequently burn candles in the living room (42%), followed by the kitchen (18%) and the bedroom (13%). One may assume that aesthetics are important in the living room and creating beautifully unique pillars that burn cleanly could be a great way to increase sales. The following tips and tricks should help you with increasing your freestanding candle offering.
- Aluminum molds are heat resistant, durable, and leave no ugly seams in the finished candle. Finished candles are professional looking and have an extremely smooth finish.
- Pillar Pins are a great way to increase production while maintaining perfectly straight wicks. Once mastered they are a necessity for making pillars efficiently.
- If you are using rubber plugs to seal the wick hole, place molds on two parallel strips of wood or other material that allows you to keep molds level.
- Adjust pouring temperature to achieve different effects. If candles are not de-molding easily, try raising pour temperature a bit.
- Leave an extra few feet of wick coming from the bottom of the mold. This way fresh wick comes up through the wick hole when you remove the finished candle, thus eliminating the need to push wick through the tiny hole for the next candle.
- You can carefully trim the mold down the sides or where needed with a sharp razor blade.
- Rub a very small amount of petrolatum on the seam to help smooth seams. While you are rubbing the petrolatum on the seam, use the opportunity to verify you have the mold correctly lined up.
- Use picture wire or a D-string from a mandolin to help you wick the mold the same way you would thread a needle.
- Be sure to use the correct wax designed for free standing candles. If you use the wrong wax or incorrect temperature, it can be tricky getting the mold cleaned out.
- Do not pour wax into the mold if it is over 200 degrees or damage to the mold may occur.
In addition to the above types of molds we recently wrote about how easy custom size molds can be created. Making custom molds can increase your presence even more because those types of shapes/sizes will probably not be made by the larger candle producers.
One of the key points to stress is that you must continually update and reinvent your own line.
27. May 2009 23:30
Like clothing fashions candle projects always come back at one point in time. One of the most popular all time candle project has to be the chunk candle. This unique candle is great because it can take on unique shapes and sizes and NO two candles will look the same.
For best results a 140 Paraffin wax should be used for the chunks. Begin by melting your wax to make the actual chunks in any color and pour into a cookie or baking sheet. Hint: If you have extra wax use it for the chunks. These chunks can be scented or unscented. (For a uniquely scented candle try using different types of scents in these candles.) Using different scents will allow these candles to “throw” different smells during the burning cycle. As the wax begins to harden take a knife and cut the slightly gelled wax into different shapes, patterns or designs.
When the chunks are completely hard remove them from the sheets and place in any type of pillar mold. Common mold sizes would include 3 x 6-1/2, 3 x 9-1/2 and 4 x 4-1/2. Once the chunks have been placed in the mold, take a pillar wax (scented or unscented) and pour over the chunks. When the candle is completely set up, remove the pillar from the mold.
For variations in the basic chunk candle, try some of the following variations:
1. Once the chunks are placed in the mold, pour your pillar wax at a higher temperature, which will cause the chunks to streak and create a unique look.
2. Try using different types of molds such as octagons, squares and other unusual shapes.
3. Try making chunk candles in a jar. For best results make the chunks out of wax with a lower melt point wax.
What makes the chunk candle so unique is the endless possibilities that can be made with the same basic concept. Some candle makers are starting to use this same concept with palm waxes for truly unique candles.