Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Holiday Santa Candles!

~Holiday Santa Candles~


Christmas time is once again nearly upon us, as we prepare for the busiest time of year. 
Family, friends, wintery bliss... what's not to love about the holiday season?!

Whether you prepared early for the holiday rush, or if you are still searching for those perfect items to make for family, friends (and customers), one item in specific here at Bitter Creek is worthy of a shout-out at this certain time of year. Our Glass Santa Jars! 
10 ounces of Christmas perfection topped off with a matching bubble lid. Do I hear jingle bells?!
Anyhow, let's get started :)


Materials you will need:
~Christmas Garland, Candy, Confetti to fill the lid (optional)



For the first step, prepare your containers. To make sure your containers are completely clean, wash them thoroughly with soap and water. This will guarantee your wick to hold firmly to the bottom of the container once the Wick Stickum has been applied to the tab. Also, so that there is no trace of dust or debris that you may not see with the naked eye.  Be sure to dry your jars thoroughly before attempting to make your candles. Water will not mix with the wax.







Once your containers are cleaned, go ahead and measure out your wax. EzSoy comes in flake form for easy handling, and can be melted by either melting pot, the double boiler method, or even by microwave! Heat your wax to approx. 175°-180°F.






 While your wax is melting, finish preparing your candle jars, by attaching the Wick Stickums to the bottom of the wick tabs of each wick, then securing the wicks to the center of each jar. Once each jar has a wick, you can then place your Round Black Wick Centering Tools around each wick to hold the wick centered as the candle cools.


















Once  the desired temp. has been met, remove from heat. Immediately add your choice of Fragrance, along with your choice of Candle Dye. Dye Chips, Flakes, Blocks and Powders work well in EzSoy. Be sure to mix thoroughly!






 



A good fragrance usage level to use when making candles with EzSoy wax, is a 6% usage rate per pound of wax.For this "Christmas" theme, I chose two of our best selling "Spiced Cranberry" and
our new "Alpine Cheer" fragrances.






It is recommended to allow your wax mixture to cool to about 105°F before you start pouring, to avoid white "frosting" , and to achieve a smoother surface on your finished candle. I let my wax cool to roughly 140°F, as I was looking to achieve a bit of frosting on these specific candles.)






Patience is the next step! Allow your candles to completely cool. Do not attempt to remove the Wick Centering Tools before the wax has hardened, as the wick will be likely to fall aside and off-center. 







As your candles are cooling over the next couple hours, you can dress up the bubble lids a bit by filling them with some fun items that will go along with the candles. Each lid has a removable plastic fitment, that can be snapped back on once you fill your lid. I used a bit of holiday tinsel garland to add a shimmery Christmas look. They turned out really cute with hardly any effort!








Once your candles have completely cooled, remove the wick centering tools and trim the wicks to roughly 1/4" in height. If you notice a rough frosted look on the surface of your candles, that you were not wanting, a quick run-over with a heat gun clears up that issue rather quickly. 





^Before Heat Gun

^Heated up with Heat Gun





After all candles have their wicks trimmed and are just the way you want them, snap the lids on the jars and admire your work! The Santa Jars are the perfect size to fit right in your hand. Not too big and not too small; just a very perfect gift for the Christmas season. :) 








If there is ever a fun Candle or Bath & Body product that you would like seen made, we would love to hear from you!
Please send your requests to info@candlesupply.com.

Happy Candle & Soap Making!
-Elya










Friday, September 29, 2017

Wax Brittle Gift Boxes!

~Wax Brittle Gift Boxes~


It's that time of year again! Everyone is looking for what's popular and the latest "trends". The hunt goes on for the perfect gifts to make and items to display on their store shelves, all to make it through one of the busiest times of the year... the Holiday Season!

This blog will walk you through step-by-step how to make popular Wax Brittle, using the NEW EcoSoya Q230 Soy wax, to fill those cute wax brittle boxes that fit perfectly in your hand. 


Materials you will need:
*Pan & Tinfoil
*Labels & Ribbon (optional)


First start by melting the wax. The NEW EcoSoya wax comes in pastille form, rather than blocks and is able to be melted right in your microwave for even easier handling, due to it's lower melt point, making small batches very simple to make. :)











While the wax is melting, prepare your pan (or I used a deeper plastic tub to be sure nothing would spill or over-flow), and line the bottom with tin foil, about an inch up all sides. 






Once the wax is melted, go ahead and add your choice of fragrance. A simple combination of 1oz of fragrance per lb. of wax works well. Our New "Be thankful (Yankee Type)" fragrance has been a HUGE hit since we started offering it, and it is the absolute perfect scent for the Autumn season. Give it a try! You won't be disappointed! :)






Right after adding your fragrance, go ahead and add your choice of candle dye. Or, you can keep a natural look, by not coloring your wax at all, leaving it an off-white cream color. This always looks great as well. As soon as you have completely mixed both your fragrance and dye into the wax, slowly pour the mixture into the foil-lined pan to prevent too much wax splattering on the sides.








You can make the wax as deep as you'd like, but keeping it right around 1/2" makes it easier to break into "brittle" like pieces. You can keep the wax one color, or you can let the first layer cool just a bit, then pour a second layer of wax into the first, but a different color. The possibilities are endless. Mixing and matching colors to fit the fragrance you chose can be pretty fun.I poured a second pour of plum colored wax, on top of the kelly green layer, making it more Autumn colors. 














Allow the colored wax to completely cool. You don't want the wax to be "bendy" at all, since this will make it harder for the wax to break apart easily. Tossing the pan in the fridge for a couple minutes helps the wax be cooled enough to break apart easily. 


Once your wax is cooled and ready, take the foil out of the pan and start breaking it apart into small pieces. It is supposed to resemble "candy brittle", so you don't have to worry about all the pieces being the same size. It is going to be unique any way you chose to do it. 












As you break the wax apart, you'll be able to see the colors come through all the pieces. Multi-color wax adds quite a bit of character to it for a little extra surprise. Putting the small pieces into a container nearby, also helps keep the mess down and makes for an easy clean-up. :)












After you have all the wax broken up, your hands should be smelling amazing right about now :). But anyhow, now you can start preparing your brittle boxes. Labeling is one of the most important steps of selling your product. These boxes are the perfect size to fit our 2.5" round labels, which we offer in both White and Kraft, to offer a nice clean finished look. Tying twine or ribbon around the boxes would add even more eye-appeal. 


Simply mentioning a little instruction on the label, helps customers picture what exactly your product is for, making it easier for them to purchase. 










Once your boxes are labeled, start filling those 4x6 Clear Cello bags with the wax brittle and seal the bag with a twist tie. The 4x6 size seemed to be the perfect fit for these boxes. They fit really nicely :)


















When done, seal the box and that's all there is to it!












Even when not melting, the NEW EcoSoya Q230 wax has an amazing cold throw as well as hot throw! You'll be able to smell these strong melts even if they are just sitting in your warmer when it isn't on. They look really nice and "rustic" too! Especially in our "Tall Green Ivy Wax Melt Warmer"










I hope everyone enjoyed this blog! I have been told about the Wax Brittle for quite some time now, and though this month would be a great time to show you how it's done!








If there is ever a fun Candle or Bath & Body product that you would like seen made, we would love to hear from you!
Please send your requests to info@candlesupply.com.

Happy Candle & Soap Making!
-Elya









Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Halloween Incense Sticks!

~Halloween Incense Sticks~



Incense has long been used for numerous applications, varying from therapy, meditation, as well as even a simple deodorant. Bitter Creek offers a variety of direct-burning incense sticks. Direct-burning incense (or "combustible incense") is lit directly by a flame and then fanned or blown out, leaving a glowing ember that smoulders and releases fragrance.


You can make your own hand made incense in your favorite scents! Make incense to match your candles, soaps and bath & body products for great gift sets! It really is easy!


Materials you will need:
*Glass or HDPE container (I used a 16oz glass jelly jar)










Bitter Creek offers a wide variety of colored incense sticks to choose from, as well as charcoal incense sticks. You can match colors to products that you already have, a certain season, or just plain charcoal sticks. They all turn out amazing! Here are examples of just a few of the colors that Bitter Creek offers:






     Charcoal                              Purple

      
         Blue                                      Yellow 









Start by mixing 1 part fragrance, to 2 or 3 parts incense solvent liquid (DPG), and stir well. I used one of the incense sticks that I was already planning on using, to stir the mixture together. 


Before completely mixed


After completely mixed




Any of our fragrance oils can be used for incense, regardless of flash point or soap/lotion safety, etc. 
 


*Note: Do not use alcohol in place of DPG, as it does not work well. Also, be sure to not use straight fragrance oil, as this will make excessively smoky incense!






Stir until you can no longer see any swirls left behind from fragrance that is not mixed in with the base. Depending on which fragrance you use, the mixture may not always be crystal clear, as fragrance oils range in a variety of shades, from clear, to light yellow, to even pink. (examples shown below). This will not affect your incense sticks at all. Just be sure to mix completely :)



Apple Flower (BBW Type)


vs.


Black Raspberry Vanilla






Soak the incense sticks in scent mixture for 24 hours in a glass or HDPE container. Soaking takes patience, but is necessary to allow the incense to fully absorb the oil. A shallow glass baking pan works well to lay sticks in and submerge in the oil. Or you can soak the sticks while still bundled in a tall glass vase or cylinder. Label each container if you are making multiple scents.

























After soaking, pour the leftover oil mixture into a glass or HDPE plastic bottle, such as our fragrance bottles, for storage. You can use this again to make more incense, it doesn't go to waste! Don't forget to label your containers so later on, you know which fragrance you used.








 



Lay sticks out on a screen or drying rack with a few layers of paper towel underneath, or simply a few layers of paper towel to soak up any drips. If your sticks are still bundled, you can hang them to dry on a hook with paper towel underneath. Be sure to put them where they will get air flow to help them dry (you may use a fan to speed the process).



*Note: Do not bake the incense in an oven or microwave to dry it! Incense must be allowed to dry completely for at least 48 hours before burning. If incense is still wet or damp, it will not burn properly! Be patient and allow it to fully dry before using for best results.  It is also important that you make sure the incense is totally dry with no wet or damp spots before packaging in plastic bags or tubes, etc.! Fragrance oils are very strong and can melt or eat through many types of plastic!


Wet incense sticks


                                                                 Dry incense sticks




Once you have allowed your incense sticks to dry at least 24 hours, you can package them in plastic zip lock bags, paper tubes, or arrange them freely in glass jars. They smell amazing even when they are not burning! *Label the containers with a sticker or tie a label on, with the fragrance name on it, so customers know what they are smelling :)















*Tips*
~16oz of scent mixture should make approx. 500 or more sticks. Properly made, fully dried incense should burn for approximately 45 minutes to over 1 hour.

~Incense is very popular and a great seller at flea markets, craft booths, etc. Especially with the younger crowd! Most people package their incense in bags of 20 sticks, usually selling for about a dollar or more. That's about 3 to 4 times your cost, a great profit! Let the customers mix & match, they love variety! You may also want to offer a bulk package of 100 for a savings to your customers, and more volume sales for you! For a professional looking package, try printing your own "labels" on Avery business cards, and fold the card over top of your bag and staple it. Use a hole punch to make a hole in the top of the card to hang on a rack :)



















If there is ever a fun Candle or Bath & Body product that you would like seen made, we would love to hear from you!
Please send your requests to info@candlesupply.com.

Happy Candle & Soap Making!
-Elya