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Sorry, I don't watch this thread because there is never anyone here.
I make both paraffin and palm candles. Containers, pillars, votives...
I also make aroma beads, crystal potpourri and such.
I have been doing this for over 10 years and am just now thinking about trying to make a business of it. It is a hobby now, and I make no money. I burn them and give them away at this point - but soon I am gonna stick my foot out there.
I make soy candles. And they are a huge hit. Here is some info on soy versus paraffin:
Paraffin wax is a heavy hydrocarbon that comes from crude oil. Paraffin waxes are produced by refining or separating the waxes out of crude mineral oils. Obtained from the ground, crude oil is a compositionally varied product, consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons. Another name for crude oil is fossil fuel. Crude oil is transported to refineries where it is refined into finished products by complex processes. One of the many products derived from refining is lubricating oil. It is from the lube oil refining process that petroleum waxes are derived. There are three general categories of petroleum wax that are obtained from lube oil refining. They include paraffin, microcrystalline and petrolatum. Paraffin waxes are derived from the light lubricating oil distillates. Paraffin waxes contain predominantly straight-chain hydrocarbons with an average chain length of 20 to 30 carbon atoms. Therefore it is very toxic to inhale.
Soy wax, on the other hand is made from vegetable matter. Soy wax is a vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans. After harvesting, the beans are cleaned, cracked, de-hulled, and rolled into flakes. The oil is then extracted from the flakes and hydrogenated. The hydrogenation process converts some of the fatty acids in the oil from unsaturated to saturated. This process dramatically alters the melting point of the oil, making it a solid at room temperature. The leftover bean husks are commonly used as animal feed. The U.S. grows the vast majority of the world's soybeans, primarily in Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana.
Also is 95% soot free , lasts 50% longer and fragrance lingers longer and a great moisturizer for hands and cuticles. Washes up with hot soap and water.
I was just looking around on DG and saw you post. My wife and I are candle makers, but have scaled way back. We only do a few fund raisers now. In fact, we have a 35 lb. melter that is in the way most of the time. Of course, if we get a big fund raiser, it is pretty nice to have around.
I'm curious, have you ever heard of the EZ Wick Setter? It's a tool that centers and sets the wick in your containers. Anyway, if you have, I happen to be the inventor. I sold the company to Rich and Doneen at Bitter Creek Candle Supply.
Basically, the wick setter is best when you have a case or more of jars to wick. You put the little round wick stickers on to bottom of the wick tab, insert the wick into the setter, place the setter on top of the jar, push the handle down and "Presto", the wick is secured to the bottom of the jar, perfectly centered. It usually takes less than a minute to wick a case of jars.
The body of the tool is graduated into different sizes for different size jar openings, and an adjustable collar is on the tube for setting different depths. It's a pretty slick little tool if I may say so myself. It's mainly for folks who make a lot of candles at one time. I usually ended up with the job of wicking the jars, and an idea popped into my head. I applied for a patent, and we were off to the races. They say that laziness is the mother of invention, you know.
I mentioned doing fund raisers as a way to make money in candle making. We found that's the best way. You approach someone from some organization, such as school band or choir, clubs, or a church group. You give them your price per candle and they add whatever they want to make from each candle. They decide on maybe eight or ten fragrances. Then you print an order form for each student. They take a few weeks to take orders and collect the money. When they are finished taking orders, they give you the number of each candle and your share of the money.
That's the beauty of it, You get the money up front and buy only the supplies you need, make the candles, and call and tell them to come and pick them up. You're done.
We have one Girl Scout troop in particular that comes back every year. Doing fund raisers, we have made anywhere from a few hundred candles to well over a thousand. You get sick of it for a few days to a week, but that wad of money is pretty nice.
If you have any questions, just let me know. I actually got on DG because I had to put in a new Koi pond a few days ago since my old one sprung a leak and I needed some advice on some things. Then, I saw the candle making section, and decided to take a look at it and that's when I saw your post.
I have used wick stickers but have found I am not real fond of them. I pour at 180 to 190 degrees and they tend to release the wick on me. Maybe I should try your wick setter - maybe that is my problem, not getting the wicks stuck down good enough. Currently I use the hot glue, pray for center, ice pick method. I make my candles a dozen at a time now, big upgrade for me, I made 3 in a batch for years.
I have never attempted the fund raising route, I have thought about trying it at my son's school but have never followed through. Maybe I will give it a whirl this year, I don't know that I ever get tired of making candles. I have a little 16x12 shed that I do them in and no one bothers me there. I have an 18 year old son at home and he has a one year old which he has custody of, so the escape is wonderful.
Sorry about your koi pond - that sucks this time of year - hope that all worked out for you.
I love Patchouli from Bitter Creek (guess I'm an old hippie), and also their Bird of Paradise. Carla, at Houston Candle Supply has the best Red Hot Cinnamon, Buttery Vanilla and Creme' Brulee. We also get a few from Just Scents and a few from Lone Star Candle Supply.
I'm an old hippe as well :). I have not heard of Bitter Creek, I will have to check them out. I purchase my scents from Enchanted Lites, Save on Scents and Candle Science. I bought some Red Hot Cinnamon from Candle Science, I liked it alot and so did everyone that I gave a candle to but am currently out of that scent.
Hi guys - I am a hippie too! LOL and a redneck, truck driver, candle maker...
I buy lots of supplies from Bitter Creek, I also use Wellington Fragrance quite a bit. My new, favorite supplier is candlesandsupplies.com. They have everything I need and have some great sale once in awhile!
I would love to get into the "business" of selling candles - I have been making them for years. Guess I just don't really know how to go about making a business out of it. I do mostly paraffin but have been playing with some palm wax lately. I really like the stuff, easy to work with, but have not got the scent throw down yet. I just can't make them smell they way I want them too.
Have you tried http://www.etsy.com for selling your candles? If I were to sell candles I would post them there for sure.
I have never worked with palm wax, what is different about it? I only only worked with soy wax, I love it because it is so easy, it is done in the microwave and they burn very clean as long as the wick is kept trimmed.
Sorry I am not much help - like I said, I am just now starting to work with it. I like the wax but cannot get my "formula" down right. I will keep working on it - if I figure out what I am doing wrong, I will let you know. Will start playing with pouring temps, wicks, etc. soon.
Hey Enid, your candles may not throw, but they sure do look good. We only do paraffin, and only container candles.
We used to sell in shops, mostly on a consignment basis, but we finally concentrated on doing fund raisers for organizations and like that a lot better. You know exactly how many candles were ordered, so you only get the supplies you need and you get your money up front.
It's easy to get orders too. Just take a business card and a few samples to different organizations such as, 4-H, scouts, school organizations (band, choir, sports, etc.), church groups, civic groups; anyone who does fund raisers.
You will need to print up an order form for each student/member plus a few extras. They will sell for a certain amount of time, usually two weeks. They bring you their order and your part of the money, then, you order your supplies, and pour the candles. You set your price and the organization adds whatever they want to make, and that is the price you put on the order form. We have done a few hundred to 1000 + candle orders.
We started out using Presto Pots for melting the wax. You can get them at Wal-Mart for about $20. I modified them by putting in a valve to eliminate pouring or dipping (and dripping) wax. Then, I bought a 35 # melter. It works great for the larger pours, but for small pours, we still use the Presto Pot..
I met the two young men who own Candle Science In Orlando at a Candle Convention. I also know Rich and Doneen, the owners of Bitter Creek. They are the ones who bought the tool from me that I invented (the EZ Wick Setter).
Well, this is getting very long, but if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I don't get over here much any more but I will try to check back.
I noticed that this thread has one of the highly responded conversation as shown in the board index. That significantly shows that candle making is indeed the most fun you'll ever have creating anything. Geez, though surrounded by fools. Anyways, this could be a helpful link http://www.candlemakingguide.com.au/
I love doing candles. Used to sell them and the supplies to make them. Time and family got in the way so these days I don't get to do much with them, but still make soaps...melt-n-pour...for family and friends. Just started with this site and found this very interesting. I too have used the palm wax and absolutely love it. I have tried soy...didn't really care for it. I found the palm wax burns much cleaner and very easy to work with. You can make container or pillars with them...they have many types that do wonderful starburst patterns, quartz looks, feathering and even a tortous shell effect. Boy, all this talk really makes me want to get out to the shop and straighten things up so I can make some candles. But, I really got on here to get some ideas about fall vegetable gardening here in the south. The gardening is so much safer to fool with when the kids have come home and brought little grandchildren with them. That's a big part of why I don't work much with the candles these days...Lord knows I often think of selling my candlemaking supplies, but that "someday" keeps me holding onto all of it. From molds to glassware, just waiting on me to say..."Today is the day!" The grandchildren won't stay little forever...one started school this year!
I am new to making candles, just made my first soy container candles. My problem is figuring out how much wax to melt for number/size of containers I want to make at a single time so I don't either end up with a bunch of left over wax or not enought to do the second pour! How do you all determine amount of wax to melt?
I am trying to get supplies for candle making, for my son and I while Mom is out of town this weekend. What a job! I am not finding any good sources locally so we may go looking tomorrow. I have always liked homemade candles, and my wife wanted another product on etsy.com so I ordered candes, too, and got interested in doing some myself.
I Make Mostly Gel Candles! I find the best place to buy supplies (except Gel) is Ebay! When I first started making candles I went to Hobby Lobby! The difference in price between Hobby Lobby & Ebay are like Night & Day! I like to press Ferns, Flowers, & Leaves to go in them! I also have all the stuff for regular candles also! I have been trying to get moved into my New Craft Building! Once I get it set up right I can really do some Candle Making & Crafting then! Of course I found that my building is not big enough! I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & have a hard time of getting stuff done most of the time! I have big ideas of selling my Candles & Crafts but just seem to never get around to it! I need a Crafting Partner more than anything! If I had someone to help me I could make some money with my Candles! At least a little bit anyway! Oh & I am a ole hippie to From the North Ga Mts! I guess most of us have been a Flower Child when we were younger! LOL!
I use soy only. Don't like the fact that paraffin is a by-product of the petroleum industry. Soy supports AMERICAN farmers. 464 soy wax is a dream. If I get the occasional mottled top, a few minutes with a heat gun solves everything.
I use 1.5 oz FO to 1 lb of wax. This provides a super throw, as long as the fragrance oil is strong to begin with.
I'm interested to know more about the pros and cons of soy based candles vs paraffin based. My understanding is that soot is emitted by both soy and paraffin based wax (similar to the kind produced by cooking oil and toasters). Anyone have good info on this?
A coworker who recently bought 6 soy candles from me for his wife told me that there is a big soot stain on their ceiling above the desk where she always burned paraffin candles. I burn my soy candles in the same places all the time, every day, and I have never seen soot stains on my walls or ceiling.
As long as the wick is trimmed you shouldn't get any soot from soy candles. I just bought some new fragrance oils, can't wait to make some new candles. I ordered Angel Food Cake and Apple Butter with Caramel, Vanilla with Nutmeg. I must have been hungry when I ordered :).
I've also "dabbled" in making candles in the past too. I'm talking way back when I was in my early 20's and had made my Mom a matching set of "goblet candles" from a form that I used years ago. I'm 58 now and am concentrating more on my photography career, than making candles.
I've read all the comments on this thread and I think I may try my hand at making some 'soy' candles when I've been able to tackle some of my "clutter" issues. I'm usually on another thread, so this one was interesting to come across!!
I had recently attended an arts & crafts show where I was able to talk to a lady that made her own soap. She told me that she uses "goatsmilk" when making all her soaps. She adds some fragrance during the process and the soaps come out "tan" in color. She doesn't use any particular "form" shape, but rather pours her 'soap' mixture into 1-1/2 inch deep baking pans. When the mixture has cooled & cured, she then cuts them into standard soap bar size. Just about the same size of the ones you buy at the store.
She sells her soap bars for $4.50 each or 3 for $10.00. I like the idea of making the soy candles too. Of course, soap made with goatsmilk sounds interesting too. Maybe I'll try my hand at the "soap" venture first. Sounds like it might be easier.
@ enidcandles ~ I enlarged your photo image of your candles. Very nice! I like the appearance that your candles have once they're finished. I've seen candles like that in the stores and they always smell so good! Yes -- have to admit that I'm the type of person that has to take the candle jar lids off & smell the candles. That's the only way I can find one I like. If it smells good, I'll buy it! I guess y'all might consider me from the "hippie" era too. That's the way one of my friends referred to me way back in the early 1980's because of the way I dressed. You know the type of clothes --bell bottom pants & paisley tops! LOL!!