Tools of the trade
Candle making requires the following equipment, some of which you might find in your own home and others which can be purchased from a craft supplier or online:
A double boiler melting system using one saucepan inside another. Scales to weigh the wax, a ladle to put wax into the melter and a pouring jug. A thermometer, covering the scale 38 - 177°C (100 - 350°F), to measure the temperature of the melting wax. moulds can be made from materials such as metal, plastic, glass, latex and rubber and flower pots (provided the hole is sealed). A blow t
Paraffin wax, wicks, coloured dyes and additives to create a range of effects.
Fill the mould with water and measure it, to calculate the amount of wax needed, where 3 ounces of wax are needed for each 3.5 ounces of water.
Put wax into the top saucepan, fill the lower pan a third full of water and begin heating it gently on the stove.
Melt the wax to a temperature of approximately 180°F. The thermometer should be dipped into the wax, but not touching the bottom of the pan, to ensure readings are correct.
Place a length of wick into the melted wax and remove it when it begins releasing bubbles, indicating that sufficient wax has been absorbed. Using a heat proof implement, remove the wick from the hot wax and pull it tight and lay it flat to dry.
When the wick has hardened, put it through the small hole at the top of the mould and pull it through, securing it around a wick support such as a pencil.
When the wax reaches the required temperature, add 1/2 tsp of vybar and 3 TBS stearic acid for each one pound of wax and when the additives have dissolved add colour.
Add one ounce of fragrance oil for each pound of wax and stir gently for a couple of minutes.
Use the jug to pour wax into the mould. Metal moulds should be preheated prior to pouring using a blow torch or low temperature oven.
Tap the sides of the mould a few times before the wax sets, to release trapped air bubbles.
When the wax becomes tacky, poke small holes around the wick to release air pockets in the candle which could be a fire hazard.
Leave the candle for a few hours to set. Wax contracts as it cools and consequently you should top up the mould by melting and pouring some more wax.
When the wax has set, remove the candle from its mould and if necessary smooth and even its base.
Let the candle stand for at least a couple of days before lighting it. This allows time for the scent to bind with the wax.
Tips and tricks
Heated wax could cause burns and consequently care should be taken throughout the candle making process. Monitor the heating process, using the thermometer to measure the temperature of the wax and ensure that it does not overheat.
Ensure that you have everything you will need to hand.
Whilst at a fair take a note of the temperature as if the room is too cold it can impact the wax. If you have a box to put some of your stock if it is spoiling that may help.
Being able to stack a group of candles together by type and or colour can give your display both height and structure. Set it all out in advance at home and create a display plan, or just take a picture for reference.
Pricing your candle by size makes sense. Try to avoid odd numbers that make it difficult to give change. Whole number or in 50p is better and you will just need a float of pound coins and 50ps.