Friday, June 17, 2016

A Touch of Nature Wickless Pillars

A Touch of Nature Wickless Pillars!

This has been an idea of mine for quite some time now. I created my a pine scented pillar candle a couple years ago to give to my mother as a Christmas present. 
To this day, that candle has never been burned, as it sits untouched in the entryway of her house. 

Every time I stop by, I am amazed that even after years, 
the refreshing smell of that pine candle simply can not go unnoticed! 
That's when the idea came to me... why not just make a scented pillar that is not meant to be burned?!

I have always thought that there are so many things that would be absolutely beautiful to incorporate   into a pillar candle, that unfortunately, are not safe for burning since they would catch fire. 
So I came up with a solution! A scented Wickless Pillar! 

Having lived in the North Woods throughout my entire life, 
I loved the idea of incorporating a touch of nature within my home, by making a piece of art that 
I knew I wouldn't be able to find available anywhere else. 

For this project, you will need the following supplies:

*Candle Fragrance of your choice (I used Log Cabin, Spiced Cranberry, Spring Rain, and Oak Moss)
*Glass Measuring cup (For mixing & pouring your melted wax)

First thing first, start by melting the wax to its recommended melting temperature before you add your choice of fragrance. Even though these pillars do not have wicks, and are not going to be burned, I recommend following the suggested usage levels for each wax, that are available on our web site, to achieve optimal fragrance throw.

Melting IGI 1343 wax

You can use a large variety of "natural embeds" for these Wickless Pillars. You can use rocks, dried leaves, dried flower petals, seashells, you name it! 

I collected a bag full of small pine cones from a tree that had fallen down in my back yard last year. 
I knew those little things would come in handy one day! 

Small pine cones

As the wax is melting, prep your candle molds. I used a variety of Seamless Aluminum Molds that are available in many sizes, that can be found on our web site. 

You will need to cover the wick opening on the molds with mold sealing putty, so the melted wax does not leak through once your start pouring the wax into the molds. 

Seamless Aluminum Pillar Molds

Once you have covered the wick opening on each mold with Mold Sealing Putty, fill all of the molds with the Natural Embeds of your choice. I recommend not filling the molds completely to the top at first, as the wax will cause some natural embeds to float above the surface of the wax. I left about 1-2" of space at the top of each mold. Not filling the molds to the top, allows room to top the mold off later on, to cover any natural embeds that may rise above the surface of the wax from the first pour. 

Filled Aluminum Pillar Molds

After you have filled the molds, and the wax has completely melted to the recommended temperature which you should add your fragrance, add your fragrance while following the recommended usage levels. Be sure to always mix well! This is where a scale will come in handy for correct measuring. 

Fragrance & Wax

Once your wax & fragrance mixture is ready, it's time to pour the mixture into the filled molds.
Be very careful not to spill the hot mixture! I like to put down a layer of wax paper in case of any spills. It makes clean-up a breeze!

Pouring Wax mixture into filled molds

Fill the pillars so that every embed is completely submerged. Depending on what natural embeds you are using, some may tend to float above the surface of the wax as the wax is cooling, but don't panic! You will be able to fix that later on in the process. 

The surface of the wax immediately after pouring

The surface of the wax after completely cooling

After the pillars have cooled, the surface will likely be bumpy, and not smooth, due to the wax shrinking around the natural embeds during the cooling process. 

After the wax has cooled, causing a fairly thick layer of solidified wax over the surface, heat wax 10* hotter than the first pour, and complete a second pour. This will make it so your scented pillars will have a nice even base when finished.

The surface of the wax after topping off with a 2nd pour

Just one of the reasons why I enjoy working with the IGI 1343 paraffin wax, is that during the cooling process, the wax tends to shrink just a tiny bit. Enough so that when it comes time to remove your finished product from the molds, it slides right out with hardly any effort, or need for any sort of mold release products. It's a win win!

Once you have let your pillars completely set (I let mine set over night), it's time to remove them from the molds!

Natural pine cone embeds showing through

And there you have it! An absolute one-of-a-kind piece of art with a touch of nature, that smell absolutely amazing! 

Finished scented pillars with natural embeds

A truly unique hand made piece that is sure to steal the attention of 
guests and family within any household! 

I truly hope many of you will find this project as inspiration for creating beautiful pieces of art while incorporating a touch of nature within your home and/or business. 

'Tis the season to get out and enjoy what nature has to offer! 
(And pick up a few natural pieces to make these fun Wickless Pillars afterwards) lol :)

"If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.
~ Vincent Van Gogh

Happy Candle & Soap Making!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Felted Soap Bars!

We were recently introduced to felted soap bars!
We had so much fun experimenting, that I really wanted to make a blog about them.
These are extremely fun and simple to make!

Felted Soap Bars make wonderful gifts, and are a great project that the kids can help with!

Materials you will need:
*A bar of soap (You can use any bar of soap. I used a CP bar for this blog)
*Carded Wool (You can find this at your local craft store)
*A towel
*Hot water

Love Spell scented CP soap bar w/ black wool (above)

Oatmeal Milk n' Honey scented CP soap bar w/white and grey wool (above)

To start, you will need to wrap the wool around the bar of soap. 
Wrap the wool around the bar, both length-wise and width-wise, so all surfaces are covered with a 
layer that isn't too thin, but not too thick. 
I like to make the layer so that once covered, I am unable to see the bar of soap through the wool.
To make your bars a bit more unique, you can make patterns and designs by using additional colors of wool for decoration. 

*Quick tip: Try using Chunk Cutters to make fun shapes on your bar!

Once covered with wool, start wetting the bar of soap by dribbling the hot water onto it. 
Be careful not to add too much water on it all at once (or submerge it in the water) at this point, 
or the wool will likely slide off.

Continue to dribble water onto the bar, making sure the wool is getting wet all the way through.

Once the wool is completely wet, you can start to squeeze it, while continuing to dribble water onto it periodically.

The wool will start to make a wrinkly skin around the bar of soap. Don't panic! 
Keep squeezing it, shifting it around in your hands as you do. 
The soap bar will start to lather up quickly. 
Add more water every so often to keep the bar "lubricated". 
As you keep squeezing and shifting the bar around, you will notice it start to felt and lose the wrinkles. 

This process may take up to 15 minutes or so. 
Be patient!

You will be able to rub your hands over the surface of the bar now, and the wool will not slip off. 
It will also be making lots of soap suds! 
Be sure to rub all sides of the bar!

Once all wrinkles are completely gone from the bar, rinse the bar with water to see if it has felted down to make a fairly snug casing around the bar of soap. If the wool seems a little fluffy yet, 
continue to rub the bar a bit more. 

When the wool is snug around the bar of soap, run it under cold water, to tighten up the wool, and to rinse off more of the suds. 
Gently squeeze out any excess water. 
A few suds will come through the wool, but don't worry about those.

Pat the soap bar dry with a towel, set aside to fully dry, and there you have it! 
You have created your very own "felted" soap bar! 

*Quick tip: To prevent your felted soap bar from getting soggy after use, keep the bar on a raised soap dish to extend the life of your bar.

Happy Candle & Soap Making!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Melt & Pour Party Favor Soaps!

    Making Melt & Pour soaps are one of my favorite items to make when it comes to a craft show or needing party favors for a special occasion. Along with the numerous attractive packaging options, there is very little set up time,
and it's a fairly quick process to make dozens of adorable soaps! 
I was wanting to spruce up my kitchen a bit, so I thought this would be a perfect blog topic! 

Supplies needed:
*Melt & Pour Soap Base (I used the Clear base)
*Cosmetic Liquid Dye (I used the Turquoise and Orange)
*Scale (I used the 13 lb Stainless)
*Glass measuring cup (a 2 cup measuring cup works perfectly for a 1 lb. batch)
*Fragrance Oil (I used Black Raspberry Vanilla and Lemon Pucker)
*Knife (to cut the soap base)
*Tart/Embed molds (I used the Poinsettia tart mold)
*Paper Toweling (this is always handy to have for a quick clean up)

The Clear base I chose is crystal clear and not to mention...Vegan! 
All of our bases come in convenient 2 pound trays and are 
scored in cubes for easier cutting and measuring. 
The base is able to be melted either on the stove top, or right in your microwave. 
For this batch, I used the microwave method. 
I weighed out 1 lb of base using a glass measuring cup and a scale
Once the base is melted (130-140 degrees), add your soap safe fragrance oil, 
amount depending on personal preference (average use is approx. 1/2 oz per pound).
Stir well until completely mixed.

For this batch, I wanted the soaps to have a marbled look. 
To get this effect, I waited until the base cooled down to about 100-110 degrees, then as I poured the base into the mold, I dropped a single drop of dye into the stream about once every other second. 
This created beautiful unique designs! 

*Note: A bit of the dye will most likely run at first depending on how much dye you use,
but don't worry! The soap washes it right away!
If anything, it helps you make sure that you are washing your hands well. :) 

After poring into the molds, wait until the base has completely hardened before removing the soaps from the mold. If the soaps are difficult to remove, set in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes, then try again. The soaps should pop out of the molds easily. 

And the best part... 
For clean up or any spills, just grab a dish cloth with some warm water
and it washes away!

These soaps add an attractive personalized touch to any kitchen or bathroom sink 
and serve as a great conversation starter for guests!

Happy Candle & Soap Making!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Sliceable Mini Bundt Cake Wax Melts!

I love the cute Mini Bundt Cake Molds we sell but they were too small to make freestanding candles for me, my customer wants BIG candles! I have pondered for ages over what to make from them and finally realized with as hot as wax melts are right now, this was the perfect time to try making sliceable wax melts in them!

The next problem was what wax would mold and still be able to slice? Finally, through trial and error testing, I came up with the perfect blend of solid and sliceable that still came out of the molds. It was perfect! For this particular project, which made 4 Mini Bundt Cake Sliceable Melts, I used the following:

4 Mini Bundt Cake Molds
Pumpkin/Spice Liquid Candle Dye
12 Weight Ounces Ez Parasoy Wax
2.5 Weight Ounces Crisco Shortening
1 Weight Ounce Pumpkin Crème Brulee Fragrance Oil

The Crisco may sound odd but it is just soybean oil, the same as the soy in the wax only not as fully hydrogenated. This allows the wax to be soft enough to cut easily! The scent throw from these are amazing as well. I think you and your customer both will love them!
To make these, weigh out your wax, and Crisco and melt together until fully melted. Add your dye, I would add between 2-4 drops to this depending on how deep you’d like your color to be. Once the wax is melted and dye blended, add your fragrance, stir well and pour into the molds.

Allow the wax to fully cool and remove the Mini Bundt Melts. At this point you could package them and be done or you can melt a small amount of plain, unscented wax and pour over the tops as a drizzle icing. Allow the wax to get pretty cool, just above the congealing point before pouring so that it drips and drizzles and doesn’t melt the wax below. 

Now you are done! These adorable wax melts are nothing ordinary and for the lover of all things bakery may be the best thing since a clamshell melt! Try different combinations like the Lemon Pound Cake, Cinnamon Bun, Country Berry Hotcakes to name a few. I am sure your customers will LOVE them too!

Happy Candlemaking!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Fizzing Bath Bombs!

Making Bath Bombs is fun. Or should I say using Bath Bombs is fun? Either way, I love these amazing bath treats and I've discovered a way to make them over the years that cuts out a lot of the "pre fizz" that other methods create. I've broken down my method and created a pictorial for you to follow to make the best Bath Bombs you've ever used! These make a great gift for anyone that loves a good, hot bath and are great for Bridal Shower and Baby Shower favors too!

To start you will need the following items:
1 Cup Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Citric Acid
1/2 Cup Corn Starch
1/4 Cup Fine Grade Sea Salt
1/4 Cup Epsom Salt
2 1/2 Tablespoon Cyclomethicone
2 teaspoons Fruity Loops Fragrance
Bright Blue Gel Tones Color
Bright Red Gel Tones Color

3/4-1 Tablespoon Water or Witch Hazel

First blend together your Fine Grade Sea Salts and the Epsom Salts in one bowl, and split that into two separate Pyrex and add dye and blend them together well.

Now blend together the Baking Soda and Corn Starch and again split in half placing equal amounts in the Pyrex with the colored Salts. Once they are together, blend this mixture super well.

To each Pyrex now add just shy of 1 teaspoon water, 1 1/4 Tablespoon Cyclomethicone, and 1 teaspoon Fruity Loops Fragrance and blend super well. This will create almost a crumbly dough texture. Once blended well, add your Citric Acid. To each color, I added 1/4 Cup. Adding this last prevents the reaction or fizz from happening before they are made and keeping the finished product as fizzy as possible!

Now its time to form the Bath Bombs. You can use our Bath Bomb Fizzy Scooper or any other mold. I used half of a plastic Easter egg to make these. You can also use small tart molds, ice cube trays etc. Just be sure to pack the mixture really good into the molds or they will fall apart. Compressing it is the key!

Once your Bath Bombs are molded, place them on a sheet of wax paper overnight to dry. This will ensure they get hard enough to package well. If you live in a very humid climate, these may be difficult to make without the aid of an air conditioner pulling the humidity from the room. The humidity itself can cause the reaction to happen.

Once your Bath Bombs are dried, it is time to package them. I like using Cellophane Bags, Mason Jars or Shrink Wrap to prevent moisture from the air reaching them. These are super nice feeling on the skin and the aroma is divine! Try using various scents and colors and even mixing more than one color in the mold for layered or swirly Bombs! Kids love these too and darker colors will lightly tint the bath water too! I posted a video of one being placed into a bowl of water so you can see the reaction they make. You can find that video here on our Facebook Page!

Happy Candle & Soap Making!