Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How to Select the Best Paraffin Wax

Selecting the ideal paraffin wax to use in your candles requires an analysis of several key factors.

First, you need to determine what type of candles you are going to make. For example, the type of paraffin one would use for container candles is very different from the type of paraffin one would use for pillar candles.

Next, you need to determine what wax traits are most important to you. Is it important that your wax is easy to work with? Do you want one that requires little or no additives? Are you looking for the strongest scent throw possible? Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preferences and finding the best wax to match your desires.

Paraffin comes in many varieties. Some are soft and scoopable, while others are harder and must be cut from slabs. Typically, the softer the wax, the lower its specific melting point will be.

The melting point is the term used to describe the temperature at which the wax will begin to melt. Melting points of paraffin wax range from approximately 127 degrees Fahrenheit (53 degrees Celsius) on the low end to 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius) on the high end. The higher the melting point, the harder the wax.

One of the benefits of lower melting point paraffin waxes is that the softer wax helps to retain the fragrance of the candle until it is burned. This trait makes lower melting point paraffin waxes ideal for container candles. In addition to their wonderful ability to retain scent, these low melting point waxes are extremely malleable and almost never requires the use of additives.

While some candle makers may love the benefits of these softer waxes, they can be sticky to work with, and they tend to emit more soot than some other waxes. While the stellar scent throw may be a benefit, some may not feel that the drawbacks are worth it. Again, it comes down to personal preference.

Medium melting point paraffin waxes are most commonly used for votives and sometimes containers. A medium melting point paraffin will be harder to the touch and will keep its shape better than the lower melting point paraffin waxes.

It still manages to hold scent fairly well, but this type of wax often requires use of additives, thus resulting in more experimentation in making your candles. The medium melting point paraffins typically come in blocks, and can either be chipped off or cut off in chunks for use.

The higher melting point paraffins are usually reserved for making pillars, hand-dipped tapers, molded, and shaped or carved candles. These waxes are used for making such candles because of their extreme firmness, and because these types of candles do not often require the stronger scent throw of other types of candles.

The firmness of the wax makes them ideal for molded and shaped candles because they will not cave in on themselves while cooling. High melting point paraffin waxes will almost always require the use of additives, and they do not retain fragrance as well as the softer paraffin waxes.

Many craft stores have begun carrying a small range of paraffin waxes. However, these waxes are typically of mediocre quality and are not intended to meet the needs of more serious candle makers. For a wide array of quality choices, visit one of the many specialty online candle making supply websites.

Not only do they offer a wide variety of waxes, but they also offer detailed instructions on how to work with each one. You'll also find the other supplies you may need, making these websites excellent one stop shops for purchasing all your candle making supplies.

How to Get Started Making Candles

Making the decision to try your hand at candle making is easy. Figuring out where to go from there is a bit harder. While many of the big, national craft stores sell candle making supplies, their offerings are not always of the best quality, and their selections tend to be extremely limited. To obtain your supplies, it's advisable to visit one of the many internet sites devoted to the craft of candle making.

On these specialty websites you will find not only a wide variety of waxes, fragrances, wicks, containers and accessories, but many will also contain message boards full of valuable information for newcomers as well. The best way to learn how to make candles is to communicate with and learn from those who have already done it.

You will not only gain valuable knowledge, but you will very likely save yourself time and money by not replicating the many mistakes they have most likely made. A large part of learning the craft is trial and error, and you may be surprised by how willing others are to share their experiences.

Once you have done some research, decided what kind of candles you are going to make, and have an idea as to how you are going to go about making them, it is time to buy your supplies. The most important thing to keep in mind is to buy only what you need. With as many supplies as there are available, it's tempting to want to buy anything and everything that looks appealing.

Keep in mind that you are most likely going to make adjustments in your supplies and techniques as you get going. While bulk buying may offer significant cost savings, it is advisable to purchase in smaller quantities when you're getting started until you know that you are pleased with your end result. It doesn't make much sense to purchase fifty pounds of something that ends up not working to your satisfaction.

Another thing to keep in mind is that most of the online candle supply retailers do not require a minimum purchase. Because of this, you do not have to be limited to just one supplier. Shop around. You may find better prices or widely different offerings from one supplier to another. Suppliers closer to you may save you substantial money on shipping so see what you can buy close to home when possible.

Finally, as holds true in so many areas, cheaper is not always better. When it comes to candle making, you pay for quality. As you will quickly learn, you do get what you pay for. This becomes very apparent as you start working with your waxes and fragrances.

While getting started making candles can be intimidating, just keep in mind that many others have conquered the task before you. Listen to those willing to share and learn from their triumphs and mistakes.

You may even want to consider purchasing a book on the subject. However you choose to go about learning, just keep in mind that even the most experienced candle makers can always learn something new as well. Don't be afraid to experiment, and most of all, have fun in your new endeavor.

Candle Making Business

Only experienced candle makers will tell you that there is a lot of fun in making candles. After perfecting your basic candle making technique, you can start to produce truly beautiful, high-quality candles. To have other appreciating your candle making techniques, you can give them away as gifts, or sell them for a profit. Now after perfecting your candle making techniques, remember not to quickly to turn your hobby of candle making into a candle making business.

Before you decide to give up your day job, you should take the time to learn about marketing, purchasing supplies at the lowest possible cost, customer service tactics (as your customers are your business), and learning how much you should charge for your candles. If you set your price too high, no one will buy them, if you don’t charge enough, you won’t be able to recoup your costs, and won’t earn a profit.

Candles are very popular everywhere, especially those decorative and scented candles which are widely marketable. Now you need to let people know that you have supplies of candles for sale.

Advertisement is the quickest way to let the market know that your candle making business exists. There are many ways on selling your candles such as treating it as a home business, from a brick and mortar store, mail order, online through a website, eBay, etc.

You have to decide which method work best for you to sell your candles. After that, it would be time to start advertising your business that suits your platform. If you are starting a home business, then you would want to advertise in the local newspapers, fliers with special offers. Consignments supplies in gift shops and convenient stores can bring a consistent demand for your candles. Make your presence in local trade shows and craft centers would certainly help. You can check out ongoing events in your area via the internet.

You probably need to consider selling your candles online as another avenue. To have your business online you need to learn online advertising which you can do yourself otherwise engage some experts to do it for you. Online advertisement can be expensive. Some of the upfront cost are website development service charges, payment options hosting fees etc.

Another avenue for selling your candles is on online auction sites such as eBay. You will need to take good pictures of your candles, and put up some good descriptions of them. Once you establish your reputation in candle making as a business, you will really start seeing the orders coming in.

To be really successful in your candle making business, you need to know how to price your candles. Your sales of candles will have to cover all your outgoings such the cost of your supplies, internet fees, etc., plus turning some sort of profits for yourself. However, you need to try out, first making some errors then seeing what is right for you. There is no quick rule here.

Once you know about the pricing, advertising, etc., now you have to just provide high-quality products providing value to your customers. This will be the key to your candle making as a business , and once you master this, you stand to have a long-term candle making as a business that will make you a nice yearly income, all from doing something that you love.

Candle Making

By Isabel M. Isidro

If you are interested in the creative craft of candle making, you can have a lucrative home business. According to the National Candle Association, candle consumer retail sales in the United States alone is projected at over $2.3 billion, not including candle accessories.

Candles have become a must-have accessory in every home for their practical and decorative elements, and they are used by 7 out of 10 American households. They have become popular as gifts at birthdays, Christmas, and housewarmings. Once merely a hobby of candle enthusiasts, candles are now sold in gift and specialty stores, home furnishing stores, through mail order, craft shows and through the Internet.

While candles can be made at a relatively low cost, candle making is a time-consuming process and may require some space (working in your kitchen can both be dangerous and very messy).

Some people purchase candles already made and add decorative touches such as pressed, dried flowers to the outside. Research the kinds of candles that are being produced, and develop your own unique candle line.

Tips And Advice On How To Start Candle Making

The history of candle making goes back in time; candles have been archaeologically authenticated to around the year 3000 BC, this means more than 5000 years ago. At first candle making had a religious and a practical side. Candles were the only source of light at night. In terms of religion candles have an important part, especially in Christianity where they are omnipresent in all churches. In the ancient times only the richest people could afford candles.Things have changed over time, in the 18th century candles were common in every home, the difference between those used by the rich and the poor was the quality and type of the material used in candle making. The wealthy families used beeswax made candles, this type didn’t have such an unpleasant smell, in fact it wasn’t unpleasant at all. The cheap candles were made of animal fat, they smelt terrible when burnt, even the manufacturer workshops for candles were built outside towns because of the smell they gave away.

First steps in making candles:

The first thing you must do for candle making is get all the things and supplies from your kitchen that will help you in getting started. Before boiling wax you must consider reading some safety advice: buy quality wax, poor quality material can react very different to heating, use safety gloves and some face protection if you consider it necessary. If you intend to create scented candles be careful not to inhale strong essences because they can give you headaches or more serious problems.

After getting all the things that you consider helpful in your candle making task, you must set up your working area, at first place newspapers or butcher paper all around the surface you intend to use, this will help you when the job is finished and you need a fast cleanup. Also keep some towels or anything similar just in case the paper you placed on the working area is not enough and you need a fast cleanup of some surface. After setting the place up for work you just need to follow the instructions for making a certain candle, be careful not to pour wax on your skin because it can be very painful.

Why making candles at home?

Many of you may wonder why someone would make their candles when it is far easier, nicer and more comfortable and to simply buy them. Yes, making candles is not a job for someone to take over night, it’s a hobby that many find very captivating. If you check the forums you will find many discussions on how candle making can be personalized and why so many people take pleasure in it.