Thursday, May 28, 2009

Candle Making for Fun or Profit

Candle making has virtually exploded onto the scene in recent years, as people have flocked to the craft as a hobby or with the desire to sell their handmade candles for profit.

Most people tend to gravitate toward candle making as they begin to realize just how much money they spend on candles. While learning the craft takes an investment of both time and money, it can be time well spent as it is easily achievable to make your own candles that are of comparable, if not better quality, than what is already available in the mass marketplace.

There are many reasons people burn candles: as air fresheners, to set a certain mood, for religious purposes, as a source of light, even as a tool to sell houses. And with the wide variety of candles available today such as container candles, pillar candles, gel candles, natural wax candles and candle tarts, there is bound to be a candle making specialty that appeals to anyone looking to have some fun with a new hobby or to grow a hobby into a substantial, thriving business.

The candle industry has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. The demand for candles is huge, and more and more people are beginning to look to candle making as a fun hobby, or as a way to supplement or entirely replace their income. Making candles part-time and selling them at various local craft shows or through local retailers is an excellent way to earn some extra cash.

For those individuals looking to take a more substantial leap into the craft, and perhaps even leave their current job, there are numerous ways to do so. Some candle makers wholesale candles to other retailers all over the country. Others set up their own websites and sell their candles at retail from an online store. Still others make their fortunes by primarily promoting their candles through fundraisers held by non-profit organizations.

While some people do see candles as a way to earn a living, others are choosing to continue their candle making activities purely as a hobby. There is much enjoyment in creating the perfect candle. By making your own candles, you can create candles designed specifically for your own personal tastes.

Maybe you prefer natural wax to paraffin wax and have a hard time finding natural wax candles. Now you can make your own. Maybe you can never find your favorite scent in a color you like. Not a problem. You can simply make some for yourself in any scent or color you desire. If you are truly a candle lover, learning to make your own candles can be personally rewarding - and a lot of fun!

Whatever your ultimate goals may be in making your own candles, it is a craft worth learning to do right. There are many books on the subject and the internet is filled with helpful hints, tips and resources. Dive in, dig deep and you will be amazed by the fantastic candles you can create. And the best part is, you get to say that you made them yourself.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Paraffin Wax vs. Natural Waxes

If you are a connoisseur of candles, then no doubt you have heard the great debate: paraffin wax vs. natural wax. While some candle makers choose to offer two separate candle lines, most crafters choose to focus their efforts on one type of wax or the other.

Although each wax offers its own benefits and drawbacks, one wax is not necessarily better than the other. It is up to you to decide which wax appeals to you and which you would prefer to work with. If you plan to sell your candles, you may also wish to keep in mind the types of shoppers you will be selling to when making your wax decision.

Paraffin candle wax has been around for centuries, and is most likely the wax that the majority of candle purchasers are familiar with. Paraffin wax is a petroleum byproduct, and therefore it indirectly supports the petroleum industry. In today's marketplace, this fact alone has caused some long time candle makers to abandon their previous affinity for paraffin wax. As petroleum is a major component of paraffin wax, it also tends to emit more smoke and potentially hazardous toxins than its natural wax counterparts.

While there may be drawbacks to using paraffin, there are also many benefits. On the whole, paraffin tends to hold fragrance better, longer and easier than natural waxes. Typically, the scent throw (or strength of the scent emitted) from paraffin candles is stronger and can fill larger spaces more effectively. It is also typically easier for a candle maker to get fragrance to hold in the wax, avoiding fragrance 'seeping' issues. Overall, paraffin waxes tend to be less finicky than natural waxes, and require fewer additives and adjustments.

As an alternative to paraffin, natural waxes, such as soy, beeswax and palm wax, have become readily available to candle makers, and many are gravitating to these waxes for their natural and beneficial properties. While natural waxes may be slightly more expensive than paraffin, they are still an affordable option.

Because the scent throw of natural waxes is typically softer than paraffin, sometimes attaining a strong scent throw, or getting heavier amounts of fragrance oil to blend well with the wax, can be a challenge. Esthetic concerns are also usually more of an issue with natural waxes. Soy wax, for example, is prone to 'frosting', a white residue that can form on the tops and sides of the candle. Natural waxes may also have a tendency to form bubbles which make the candles less attractive to the eye.

On the flipside, there are many benefits to natural waxes. Overall, they do burn cleaner with less soot than paraffin candles, avoiding sooty build-up on walls. They also clean up with just soap and water in the event of a spill. Finally, they tend to appeal to many people because of their agricultural origins. Rather than support the petroleum industry as paraffin does, natural wax candles support agriculture.

Consider who you are selling your candles to, and what your own personal preferences are, when selecting the best wax for you. Regardless of which you choose, either type of wax is capable of producing excellent candles that you and your customers will enjoy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beginner's Candle Making Kit

This Basic Candle Making Kit has everything you need to make your first pillar candles, including 10 pounds of candle wax, enough to make ten 3" x 4.5" pillars! The Basic Candle making Kit includes a variety of candle molds, waxes, additives, dyes, fragrances, and wicks as well as a candlemaking book to tell you how to put it all together! Contents may vary from the photo shown. This kit is a great value and you'll enjoy learning to make your own candles.

Beginner's Candle Making Kit

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Candle Making Additives

As new candle makers consult various candle making resources for instructions and troubleshooting, it is highly likely that the use of additives will be mentioned at one point or another.

Most newcomers, and even a few experienced crafters, may find it helpful to review a few of the most common candle making additives - and when and why they should be considered for use.

Before getting into detail about each individual additive, there are a few things to keep in mind when working with these products. Use of any additives in your candles will almost always affect the way the dye works with your wax. Your dye recipes may need to be adjusted when using additives.

Also, additives will most likely have an effect on your wick size. Because additives are often used to increase the wax's melting point, you may need to adjust your wick size accordingly.

What are the most commonly used additives? Here are several you may likely have a need for at one time or another.

One additive you will hear frequently discussed is vybar. Vybar acts as a binding agent and is used to make wax more opaque. Vybar can also be used to reduce air bubbling and mottling effects in your candles.

Stearic acid is another popular additive. Stearic acid helps increase the scent throw of your candles by making it possible to add more fragrance oil to the wax. This additive also helps your candles achieve a smooth, even finish.

Several companies also produce what is referred to as a Universal Additive. This additive has several functions, some of which are to help in mold release, harden wax, bind oil to wax, increase opacity and lengthen candle burn time.

One additive that most candle makers will find extremely beneficial is UV Stabilizer. If you sell your candles outdoors or under fluorescent lights, you may want to seriously consider incorporating this additive into your finished product.

UV Stabilizer is added to candles to help prevent candle fading and to improve the stability of the color. When exposed to light, some candle dyes will fade severely. In other cases, dye and fragrance oil may not react well together and over time, the color may fade. The use of Universal Additive helps combat these pesky problems.

Other products that you may sometimes see advertised as additives are beeswax and petrolatum. Beeswax is often added to wax blends to increase the overall burn time of a candle. Petrolatum is commonly used to soften the wax and to increase the melt pool.

Every additive has one or more specific, intended uses. As you gain candle making experience, familiarize yourself with these additives and consider whether or not they may benefit your candle products.

Some candle makers choose to not incorporate additives at all. Some wax blends are pre-blended and sold with the additives already included. Check with your suppliers and consult various resources if you believe your candles may benefit from one of these many additive options.

Friday, May 15, 2009

100% Beeswax Sheet Candle Kit

This 100% beeswax sheet candlemaking kit has everything you need to make your first rolled candles! Kit includes: 1 Book, "Honey Wax: Rolling Beeswax Candles", 1 10 yard pack of 1/0 Square Raw Wick, and 10 beeswax sheets in a variety of colors and patterns.

Product Metrics:

Weight: 2.00 lbs. Height: 7"
Length: 10" Width: 17"

100 Beeswax Sheet Candle Kit - $ 36.18

From: Bagmo Family Enterprises

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Canning Jar Candles

We have all seen those beautiful canning jar candles with the pretty ribbon and potpourri. It is very easy to make your own canning jar candles with just a few inexpensive items that you can get from your local craft store or online. You will need wide mouth canning jars, ribbon, potpourri, votive candles with holders, and a hot glue gun. Make your own canning jar candles to add charm to the dinner table as a center piece or gift them to family and friends for gifts.

To start, fill the jar with potpourri. If you desire, add some extras such as dried apples or cinnamon sticks. Fill the jar full enough that when you set the candle holder on top it is even with the top of the jar. Place the candle in the holder once you have got the fit right. Next, glue the ribbon around the top mouth area of the canning jar. You can further personalize your canning jar candles by gluing on decorations. Canning jar candles are a great idea for Mother’s Day or crafts for young children to take home.

Canning jar candles are great for all Holidays as well. Add pumpkin cut outs for Halloween, little bunnies for Easter, and Christmas trees or small ornaments for Christmas. Canning candle jars make excellent fundraisers or items to sell at the next craft show. The internet offers many great canning jar candle d├ęcor ideas, especially for the holidays. Your local craft stores and the internet are great places to get canning jar candle ideas. Those of you who are more creative will have no trouble designing your own.

McCall’s canning jar candles are already made. They come with wonderful labels that are very rustic looking. This candle collection comes in many wonderful fragrances with a zinc wick. These canning jar candles come in two sizes, the 5 ounce that burns for about 30-35 hours and the 16 ounce burns for 110-115 hours. The small candles retail for $13.63 and the larger ones are $24.63. While these are great candles as well, you will miss out on the experience of candle making if you choose to purchase them. You will also be able to make several of your own for the cost of one McCall’s canning jar candle.

To save even more money when making canning jar candles, consider making your own votives. You can do this easily in you home. You will need paraffin wax, wick, and candle holders. You can choose to use dye for colored votives or scents to add a wonderful smell to the candles. It is very easy to melt the wax and add in whatever you want to make the color and smell you desire. Then simply pour the hot wax into the candle holders. To save even more, shop at thrift stores and yard sales for canning jars and votive holders at a very low price.

Canning jar candles are very easy to make and they are very beautiful. You can make them in very little time and young children will be able to do this with ease as long as you help them with the glue gun. Make canning jar candles for you own personal use or as gifts. These cute candles are very inexpensive to make and they last a very long time, giving a delicious aroma.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Candle Making Equipment and Supplies

When considering all the various candle making supplies available to today's candle maker, the list seems virtually endless. It seems a daunting task to determine what is truly necessary for candle making versus what may be simply helpful. Let's cover the most basic necessities and briefly identify some of the common equipment and supplies that you may find to be helpful.

Two of the most important supplies that you will need for candle making are a double boiler and a thermometer.

The double boiler is necessary for melting your wax in a safe and efficient way. Double boilers may be purchased or even created simply by purchasing a pouring pitcher and placing it into a pot of boiling water. The thermometer is essential for determining when to add additives, fragrance and dyes, and for ensuring that wax is removed from the heat at the appropriate time. Often a candy thermometer that you find at a discount store can work just as well as a thermometer marketed specifically for candle making.

Obviously, the key component in any candle is wax. The type of wax you choose to work with is entirely up to you and is usually a very personal decision. Some people will work only with paraffin wax, while others will work only with natural wax options.

If you are making container candles, you will need a different wax than if you are making votives. To determine what type of wax you will need, it may be helpful to consult a book on candle making. A great alternative is to explore some of the many candle making supply websites you can find online. You'll find a variety of waxes when you shop online. Most of the candle making supply websites provide excellent information about which wax is best used for what purposes.

Another essential supply is wicks. The variety of wicks available can seem a bit overwhelming. Wicks come in both pre-tabbed and un-tabbed varieties, so make yourself familiar with both options. A couple of things that you will want to look into and consider when choosing wicks are the size and diameter of the candles you are making, the type of wax you are using and whether or not you are making a paraffin vs. an all natural candle. All of these things will ultimately factor into your wick decision.

If you are scenting your candles, you will need to choose fragrance to work with. Again, this is an area that requires some research. Some fragrances are more concentrated than others and their reaction in different waxes may vary. Some work well in paraffin, but not in soy. You may need to adjust the amount of fragrance oil you use based on the type of wax you are using.

If you choose to use dye, be aware that dyes come in a variety of forms. There are liquid dyes, powdered dyes, dye chips and more. Make yourself familiar with what is available and how each is used.

You may also want to consider these handy items to make your candle making more efficient: wick stickers or glue dots to secure your wicks in place, wick clips to keep your wicks straight, a digital scale to accurately weigh your wax and fragrance, wax additives to correct a particular wax issue, candle molds if you are making molded candles and a heat gun for preheating containers and smoothing candle top imperfections.

The number of candle making supplies and options is amazing. As you gain more candle making experience, you will begin to learn which supplies and equipment will best meet your personal candle making needs.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Soy Candles

Making your own candles is very popular. It has always been done with paraffin wax or beeswax. Soy candles are starting to emerge on the market as well. Soy candles are made out of 100% natural soy wax without any additives. Candles made of soy wax will have a wonderful aroma without having any type of fragrance added. Expert soy candle makers know how to mix the soy wax in several ways that give the natural scent a bit of a difference as well as make in fainter or more powerful.

Soy candles can be made with or without wicks. Those with wicks are used the same way as any regular candle out there. Soy candles without wicks work with electric candle warmers. The candle sits on the warmer plate and the warmer is plugged into the wall. There is no flame to cause a fire. Wickless soy candles are a great choice for dorm rooms, apartments, offices, and anywhere that there is a potential of a candle being left burning that can cause a fire. Many offices and dorm rooms have put a ban on burning candles for this reason, but they often do allow the wickless candles using the burners.

Most candle makers who have tried soy wax are very happy with the results. It has a wonder natural scent and the texture of the melted wax makes candles that are very glossy and smooth. It is not necessary to add additives to soy wax as you often have to with paraffin and beeswax. The additives for those types of wax are for hardness and gloss. Soy wax offers both on its own.

Soy wax is cheaper than other types of wax as well. If you want to make candles on a tight budget, this would be the way to go. You will save money on the wax and you won’t need to purchase additives or scents. If you are planning to make soy candles to sell, you can make a higher profit because your costs are lower. If you aren’t sure, you can purchase a soy wax candle making kit online for less than $20. It comes with all the supplies you need to make five candles, including the jars and lids.

Many people enjoy the scent of a burning candle, but find the smoke from them can be irritating. This is especially true of individuals who are on oxygen, have bronchitis, or even allergy sufferers. Since soy wax is all natural, there is no smoke or irritates in the air from it. This makes soy wax candles a great alternative for many who otherwise wouldn’t be able to enjoy using candles.

Candle making is an excellent craft that many individuals enjoy both as a hobby and as a home business. Soy wax is not used as commonly as paraffin or beeswax, yet it works just as well for candle making. Since soy wax is less expensive and very easy to work with, consider trying it. Soy wax melts faster as well, reducing your overall production time. Soy wax is not carried in all craft stores, but you can easily purchase it on line in amounts from three pounds to fifty pounds. The more you buy, the less you will pay per pound, giving you additional savings.

Operating a Successful Candle Making Business

Making candles can be great fun. Some people choose to take their love of this art and make money doing what they enjoy spending their time on. There are many areas of the candle making business you need to consider before embarking on such an adventure. Knowing how to make quality candles isn’t enough. You need to educate yourself on ways to promote your candles, ordering supplies, offering customer service, and determining a price for your candles.

We all know candles are a very popular item, so the market for such products is out there. However, that market can’t purchase your candles if they don’t know about it. You will need to establish a plan including where you plan to sell your candles, and then come up with a handle of ways to get attention to them. There are many places to sell candles. You can do so from your own home or rent space at craft shows. Often word of mouth will result in orders. You can also choose to advertise on the internet.

Advertising online can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Write about your business on a blog or purchase services from a web hosting company. They often offer excellent tools for setting up a web page and directing traffic to your site. In addition, they provide the shopping cart and even credit card processing for you. Most web hosting companies charge $20 per month, which isn’t a bad investment.

Placing your candles on Ebay or other online auction sites is a great way to generate sales. As you accumulate feedback for selling a quality product you will get more buyers. Before you can do any advertising, you will need to decide what types of candles to sell. You will generate more sells if you show pictures of your work with each type of candle you sell. People buying candles want to visualize the product they are purchasing. Once your business starts turning a profit, consider buying supplies in large quantities to get a discount.

The secret to being a successful candle making business is selling the product at a fair enough price that the consumer will buy it. Yet you also need to cover the cost of your time and supplies, while making a reasonable profit. Don’t be tempted to cut corners on the quality of your supplies as this can greatly alter the quality of your product. Once the word is out that your quality is poor, you will have a hard time maintaining sales.

To generate business, offer promotions. You can offer free shipping for your candle products at the online auction sites to have an advantage over the competition. Many auction surfers will buy a product with free shipping over one with low shipping. You can also offer a free candle with the purchase of three or even to send a personalized card if the buyer is going to use the candle as a gift.

Many successful candle making companies offer personalized service. This means customers can ask for a particular type of candle in a color and you will make it for them. This often costs the customer more, but they are likely willing to pay it. Make sure you communicate well with your customers and know exactly what they want before committing to such a project.

Every business experiences issues that come up. This is to be expected. Customers are likely to be more forgiving of such issues if they are provided with quality customer service. Make sure customers have a way to get into contact with you. Work out a resolution to any issues that you will both be happy with. It is best to outline return policies on your website as well so that there is a place customers can review such information.

Choosing to start your own business is a wonderful and exciting time. Selling your own candles gives you a business where you can be proud of the quality product you are making. Taking the time to learn the basics of the business before jumping in will help ensure this is a fun business venture for you and hopefully one that is going to be quite profitable.

Friday, May 1, 2009

5/1 Candle & Soap Making: Most Popular Articles

Please add to your address book to make sure you receive these messages in the future. Candle & Soap Making: Most Popular Articles Feed My Inbox

Dog Soap Recipes
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Recipes for flea repelling dog soap

Add Some Sugar
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Adding sugar to your soap helps increase lather and bubbles

Herbal Oil Infusion
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Directions on How To Make an Herbal Oil Infusion for Soap Making

Soap & Surface Tension
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Demonstration of how soap breaks surface tension

Goat's Milk Soap
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Instructions for making goat's milk soap with either liquid or powdered goat's milk soap

Rustic Pillars
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Step-by-step instructions to make Rustic Pillar Candles

Propylene Glycol
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Discussion of Propylene Glycol in Soap, Cosmetics and Household Items

Scent Blending
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Create custom fragrance blends of fragrance or essential oils for your soaps and candles with this simple blending guide

Citronella Candles
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Directions for making mosquito repelling outdoor citronella bucket candles

Melt and Pour Fun
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Melt and Pour Soap Scrubbie - Easy Soap Making Project - Great for kids - fun soap making project

Easy Soapmaking
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Easy illustrated instructions for making melt and pour soap! Melt and pour soap making gets you started right away making your own natural handmade soap.

Glycerin Soap
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

The term glycerin (glycerine) soap is really a misnomer. All real soap is glycerin soap.

Easy Votive Candle
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Easy candle making project-make a simple votive candle-step by step instructions

Types of Candles
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Description and examples of the many different types of candles you can make.

Basic Bath Salts
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Basic instructions and recipe to make bath salts

Making Lye from Wood Ashes
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Links to sources of how to make lye the old fashioned way - from wood ashes and water

Cocoa Butter Massage Bars
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Instructions, ingredients and recipe for cocoa butter massage bar - recipe and ingredients

Photo Candles
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

How to add a photo to your candles using either waterslide candle decals or embedding photos into a hurricane shell

Fizzy Bath Bombs
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

These bath bombs are indeed "the bomb" - easy instructions for nearly fool proof fizzies!

Add a Bit of Salt
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Adding a bit of salt to your soap can help increase hardness - an inexpensive and easy soap making tip

Container Candles
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Step-by-step instructions for making basic container candles.

Soap Exfoliants
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

List of exfoliants you can use in your soaps

April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

definition of saponification in soap making

Easy Molded Candle Project
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Basic candle making instructions for a molded pillar candle.

Qualities of Soap Making Oils
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Which oil will give what qualities to your soap recipe? Here's a catalog of the many different oils used for making soap - and the qualities they give to your soap making recipes.

Citrus Honey Bock
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Recipe for Citrus Honey Bock Soap

Rebatching Soap
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

How to rebatch soap - grating and remelting soap - fixing mistake soap batches - make hand milled soap

Mosquito Votives
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

instructions for making citronella mosquito repelling votive candles

Gel Candle Making
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Gel Candle Making FAQ - Gel Wax - What is it?

Fun Soap Variation
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Step by step instructions to make whipped soap - room temperature cold process soap

Candle Projects Directory
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Directory of Candle Projects at Candle and Soap Making at

Pumpkin Pie Soap
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Ready for fall flavors and scents? This pumpkin scented soap uses real pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice! Almost good enough to eat...and fabulous in the bath!

Make a Lye Solution
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Step by step instructions to safely make a lye-water solution for use in making cold process soap

Soap Making Recipes
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Directory of soap making recipes from basic soap making recipes to soaps with botanical additives to specialty soaps

Hard White Soap
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

recipes for old fashioned hard white soap

Citronella Torches
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Step by step instructions to make citronella torch candles

MP Shaving Soap
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Instructions to make Melt and Pour Shaving Soap

Layered Lavender Soap
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Lavender soap with two twists! Mint and layering. Easy recipe and instructions to make Lavender Mint Multi-Layered Soap

Base Note
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Base note the rich heavy scent that emerges slowly and lingers When blending fragrance and essential oils for soap candles or aromatherapy attention must be paid to the characteristics of each oil Each oil has a top note middle note and base note

Green Tea & Lemongrass Soap
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Recipe for green tea & lemongrass soap

Make Chunks for Candles
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Instructions to make wax chunks for chunk candles - materials needed

Organize Your Craft Room
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Great articles and resources to help you organize your craft room

Mitre Box Soap Mold
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Step by step instructions to make a great soap mold out of a mitre box and some wood strips.

Essential Oil Safety
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

How to use essential oils safely in your soaps and candles.

Soap Making Basics
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Want to make your own hand made soaps - but just a beginner Start here for a quick primer in soap making - Fun projects and how-to projects as well as explanations of all the materials tools and ingredients involved

Soap Felting
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

How to felt soap - A combination washcloth and bar of soap - this project uses simple wool and simple soap to make a wonderfully unique soap presentation - soap felting

CP Shaving Soap
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Recipe for shaving soap - olive oil shaving soap

Alternative Lye Solutions
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

You're not limited to just using distilled water in your soap making. Many soapers make soap with goat's milk, coconut milk, coffee, tea or even beer. Making the lye solution for your soap is a bit more tricky though.

Cucumber Soap
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Recipe for cucumber soap

Molded Roses
April 30, 2009 at 6:17 am

Step-by-step instructions to make molded rose candles.

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