Candle Making as a Craft
Recreation or Business
Let’s explore candle making as a craft… and the big decision will be: for fun or for profit? If you are inexperienced in candle making and are considering the possibilities of a home business, why not buy a candle-making-kit? The function of this is to introduce you to the craft. Of course you can buy supplies separately and in large quantities, but with a kit you get to try it out at a minimal cost before you make a big investment.
Kits are sold in many places on the Internet and if you want to try candle making for the first time, this are the way to go. Being new to this, I’d caution you to have a fire extinguisher handy and never let children use the kits unattended. Here’s the advantage over other crafts: if you make a mistake – just melt it down and start over.
All candle making is an ancient craft – it is passed down from one generation to the next and the process has not changed, only enhanced to have a bigger appeal to modern buyers.
There is such a variation of candles you can make, I’d have to choose one type and cover it in this article… so I thought we would try making rustic pillar candles. Unlike the original pillar candles, the rustic ones are more attractive with its textured surface. Others range from lightly pearlized to a rough, leathery, and pitted surface; all seem to appeal to modern buyers today.
The secret to having a rustic finish is easy – you merely have to chill or freeze your molds before you use them for pouring your wax. The wax itself also should be a bit cooler than you would ordinarily use before pouring. The frozen-coldness of mold creates the rustic effect of the candle as soon as the wax is poured into the metal mold.
The molds should be metal as you will be putting them in a freezer for a certain period of time. Other molds would be risky and chances are they would break because they cannot withstand the freezer. You will also need “pillar-blend wax”. This enables you to have more translucence. A good identity tag to look for would be: IG14625; a grade that is normally used for this purpose.
The wax you choose is varied. Beeswax is derived from beehives and smells of sweet honey. It has a natural amber color as well, and its melting rate is slower than other waxes, but it does cost more. Bayberry is another choice of natural wax extracted from bayberry fruits. It is cheaper, and melts slower. As a business, should you go this route, you will want some of all choices for your buyers.
Wicks are another item to consider… for pillar rustic candles use HTP105. Lastly, fragrance oil -- but with beeswax or bayberry you may omit this as the fragrance is already in your candle’s wax. With others however, the scents of the candles are among the elements that makes a candle a bestseller; just make sure your oil is compatible to the wax you are using.
Whether your candle-making endeavors end up as lots of fun, or a serious business, it is a rewarding undertaking. There are different designs, styles, shapes and sizes to make. If you have mastered making rustic candles, it will be a bonus for your home-based business.
Esther Smith, author
Not a few families have done candle making as a holiday adventure, only to have it turn into a home business that even the children have done to earn their way through college.
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