So it’s been a busy and exhausting year punctuated by starting a small business, a new job, the death of a parent, various medical surprises, and just an all-around resettling back into life. All of these pretty much managed to collectively knock me on my ass and stomp on my face for good measure. Recently, I was able to squeeze in a little craft time to help maintain my sanity, and the result is that I discovered a love of making candles.
I had been kicking this idea around for awhile, especially as a product to sell in our new founded craft business. What I didn’t expect was how much I would enjoy it! I started out with trying to melt some pure beeswax beads into some tiny jars in the oven based on some Pinterest posts, and I’m lucky I didn’t just give up the entire thing then and there. Pure beeswax is a bitch to work with. There, got that off my chest. *phew* Lessons learned were a need for better reading and instructional materials, as well as utensils and materials better suited to what I wanted my final end product to be.
I started immediately researching books and websites for the knowledge, and finally ended up purchasing “Candlemaking for Fun & Profit” by Michelle Espino due to it having a lot more positive reviews than other guides. I love this book. When I was researching wax, and I would read the reviews detailing problems others were experiencing, I turned to this book. One of my favorite parts is that it has a troubleshooting section on why you might be experiencing certain difficulties and how to remedy them. It has good explanations and eases you through the process of different projects, from pillars to container candles, from novelties and tea lights.
My focus was container candles, and I poured my first mason jar candles using a soy wax blend I bought in bulk at 50 lbs.
I only had an issue with some wet spots, which the subsequemt purchase of a heat gun (best toy ever!) has remedied.
Wicking a candle is still an adventure, but thankfully there are handy tips for figuring that out. I’ve now started critiquing the candles I see in stores and it’s really easy to tell if a lit candle is improperly wicked, once you know what to look for. I.e. Carbon balls forming in the end, uneven melt pools, etc.
I’m also still figuring out scenting, but that’s my favorite part, as I feel like a chemist or more aptly, a wise woman mixing potions and watching temperatures. My next foray will be colors, and I am so excited!
Interestingly enough, research can make a big difference, so make sure you do your research on materials so that your cost vs. profit numbers work out. Beeswax is way more expensive, and making an 8 oz beeswax candle vs. a soy wax candle can have a price difference of up to 4 times the amount of the other! In other words, you could be spending $2 per soy candle and $8 per beeswax candle! My research led to a cost-effective soy wax and palm oil blend, designed for hotter climates. Pillar candles will hold their sides better.
I’d honestly thought I wouldn’t be adding any more hobbies into my life recently, and yet I’ve added quilting, self-defense classes, and now, candles. Also self reflection, but that is an important part of a hobby. How else would you relax or find release? Consider taking a class with a friend or partner. My husband and I are taking Krav Maga, and enjoying ourselves immensely.
Find a passion so that you may live your life passionately.