Sunday, February 20, 2011

Adventures in Candle Making-Day 2

I bought 4 pounds of soy wax today (it also happens to be much cheaper this way). I had already glued wicks into 2 fairly big containers (one a leftover jar of olives, the other a small glazed plant pot from the "Dollar Spot" at Target) and didn't want to not be able to fill them up all the way to the top. Today I ended up making 3 additional candles. And have quite a bit of wax left over. I used lemon and orange essential oils as a scent. As long as they turn out ok, I think that handmade candles are the perfect thing to have on hand as a hostess gift or a little birthday gift. I'll probably take a few home with me at Easter.
As we wait for the candles to cure (two whole weeks), here's some final thoughts about the process.
-A word about volume. The chips shrink down to about 1/2 their size. When I filled a 2 cup pyrex container, after melting, I ended up with about a cup. This should help you figure out the container size/amount of wax ratio. Felt much better about this on day 2.
-I thought that I was saving money and recycling when using leftover food jars. (And I was.)However, as I go to put the lids on the jars, I've noticed that they have the unmistakeable aroma of whatever was first in the jar (salsa, olives, roasted red peppers). Even after a very complete washing, even soaking them in dish soap solution overnight and running them in the dishwasher. Just the lid, mind you. But I had envisioned giving these as presents, with the lid on them. A jar looks a little funny without a lid. I've read that if you soak them in a 50/50 water/vinegar solution for a couple of days. I'm going to give that a go. Just a warning, that it might be better to buy a container to put your candle in. Just make sure that it's heatsafe. If the vinegar soak doesn't work, I think I'll just cut a square of fabric and tie it with ribbon over the top of the jar. So the effort will not be for nothing. But have definitely learned from this experience.
-Yesterday I thought that I had added too much fragrance into the candles. Right after I had made them, it was REALLY fragrant in here. Now that we've made it to the next morning, I have to put my nose into the jars to get any fragrance at all. So that's a good thing. Much more like a store bought candle.
-While this was not a difficult project, if you decide to try this yourself, you must be very, very careful. The melted wax temperature can get up to the 170s, so you could suffer a very bad burn. I would not attempt this with say, small children under foot or around anyone that could knock anything off the counter. Even after you pour the candles, they have to sit undisturbed for several hours before they harden. Use caution!!

1 comment:

  1. A very nice person actually left me a comment but I accidentally deleted it when attempting to moderate from my iPhone. Sorry! Although I do remember her question. Scents used? I used a store bought fragrance from the candle making section of hobby lobby. For the second batch, I used a mix of lemon & orange essential oils. I'll do a follow up post after the 2 week curing process is complete. Thanks so much for the comment! I'm working on my thumb nimbility!!