Sunday, March 08, 2009

New Experience

I poured two homemade votive candles this morning. Sweet Pea scented. Liz loves candles and we burn them quite often, both for the scent and for the ambiance. Store-bought candles are expensive though, and lately the ones in the discounted and clearance sections (translation: affordable) have been remarkably bad when it comes to smell. Some of the new designer scents should be collectively named "gym sock".

We researched the idea of making our own, and it turns out to be cost-effective and simple. Assuming, of course, that you don't want to get too fancy with them, and we don't. Simple votives and small pillar candles, maybe some container versions in the future after we get our feet waxed (to mangle a metaphore).

To get started, we bought 10lbs of wax, a scent sampler (10 of our choice, plus a bonus they threw in), a wick sampler, a few bottles of wax dye, a pour pitcher, three votive molds and two pillar molds. Less than a hundred dollars, and a big percentage of that was shipping. Based on what I used this morning on two simple votives, I should be able to make some 100 small ones or 30 larger candles from our starter supplies. The only thing we'll need to replenish then is wicks, more colors if we want, wax (about a buck a pound) and more molds if we want more variety. The big advantage I see is that these aren't something you go through quickly, so it's not like we're going to be making candles constantly to replace what's already gone.

I think I'm going to enjoy this.


Mad William Flint said...

THAT sounds like fun.

I never figured out how to stop the top of the candle from looking like the middle was carved out of it.

I suppose shaving it flat once it's cooled would work.

Ted said...

I found out that for votives you do a second pour with slightly hotter wax to top it off.

For pillar candles you do the same thing, but first you poke holes down alongside the wick after it skins but before it completely hardens, that way you can add the wax and it'll get down into any air pockets that formed.

Mad William Flint said...

Cool, that makes sense.

Yeah I get abnormally jazzed about making anything. People just don't make things any more.

Anonymous said...

Cool stuff!

I remember makes dipped taper candles when we were kids...takes a long time, but I was always excited by the results.

My mom and some of the neighbors were very into candle-making for awhile (it was the early '70s: candles, bread, macrame) and they made really neat novelty candles. My favorite, which I had for years, looked just like a milkshake with a frothy topping made by mixing the wax with crushed ice.