Friday, September 30, 2016

Autumn Apothecary Jars!

Autumn Apothecary Jars!

Apothecary Jar Candles are a great item to have on-hand for any time of year, with their endless potential. Customize them for the season, or add a personal touch to give as a memorable gift!

So here we go!

Materials you will need:

*Container wax (I used the  EZ ParaSoy)
*Fragrance (I used Autumn Leaves BNL for the green, and Candy Corn for the orange)
*Candle Dye (I used the Hunter/Moss and the Pumpkin/Spice Liquid Candle Dyes)
* Apothecary Jar ( used the 12oz)
*Filling for the Bubble Lid (I used leaves and dried corn) 

First, start by melting your wax to 180*-195*. 

While waiting for the wax to reach its desired temperature, make sure you have an open work space with everything you need within arms' reach. We have a selection of Apothecary Jars to choose from, however for this blog, I chose to use the 12oz size. 

 12oz Apothecary Jar w/ Bubble Lid

When choosing the filling for the Bubble Lid, branch out and be creative! Whether it's candies or tinsel for the holidays, these are going to be so pretty! Being fall time here in the north, I gathered a few colorful leaves from outside as well as some dried corn. It's no wonder why this is my favorite time of year! Talk about beautiful!

Leaves for the Bubble Lid filling

Go ahead and fill the Bubble Lid with the filling that you have collected. The Bubble Lids have a soft plastic cover, so the filling won't drop out. It's sometimes handy to use a butter knife to remove the plastic cover, to fill the Bubble Lid, but not necessary. This is my favorite step of this project :) 

 Bubble Lid with open cover

Filling the Bubble Lid
Filled Bubble Lid

Filled Bubble Lids

 It's always handy to attach the wicks to your jars ahead of time before the wax is ready as well!

Wick secured with a Wick Stickum

By now, your wax should be ready. If the wax has reached the temperature of 180*-195*,  go ahead and add your choice of candle dye and fragrance. Be sure to blend well! This wax should be poured between 165*-180* for optimal results. 

Pouring EzParaSoy wax

Instead of adhering to the jars, this wax will actually pull completely away, leaving a smooth finish around the entire candle. However this wax will most likely need a slight top-off. 

Smooth candle surface without second pour

Once your candle has completely cooled, trim the wick, and replace the Bubble Lid as the final step!

These Apothecary Jar Candles are simple to make, and look fabulous on a shelf or corner table! 
The possibilities are endless!

The finished product!

I hope this has given a few of you some new ideas to try out for the upcoming holiday season! 
If there is ever a fun candle or Bath & Body product that you would like seen made,
Please send your requests to :)

Happy Candle & Soap Making!


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mini Chunk Votives!

Mini Chunk Votives!

I received quite a few requests, to make a blog on these little cuties. As soon as extra time came up over the weekend, I decided to whip up a small batch :)

These Mini Chunk Votives have been one of my long-time favorite items ever since I first started making candles. The inspiration for these, came from the larger Chunk Pillar candles that I absolutely love making.

Let's get started!

Materials you will need:

*Fragrance Oil Droppers (Optional, but oh so handy!)
*Glass measuring cup (I used a Pyrex 2c. measuring cup)

First, start by melting your wax to 190-200*.

Melting IGI 1343 wax

While I'm waiting for the wax to reach its desired temperature, I start prepping my votive molds right away. I don't use any sort of wick adhesive so the wick to keep the wick from moving, since it stays put by itself with a bit of help from the wax chunks (that will be explained shortly).

Once your wax reaches its desired temperature, I start by making the wax mixture for the mini wax chunks. Measure out 8oz of wax in your glass measuring cup.  Once you have measured 8oz of wax, add your candle dye (I used 6 drops of dye for 8oz. of wax to get that nice "cranberry" color). Be sure to blend well! There's nothing worse than wanting an even colored candle, then having it turn out with large dark spots from the dye not mixing in (see below). I usually take an extra minute to make very well sure, that the dye has mixed in 100%. :)

Melted wax with Dye that is NOT fully mixed yet

After you have fully blended the candle dye into the wax, go ahead and add your fragrance. I have always added fragrance at 6%, and it has always worked wonderfully for me. If you are using Cranberry fragrance, I recommend using that amount.

Once your wax, dye and fragrance mixture is ready, carefully pour the wax into each cavity of the silicone chunk tray mold.

*Tip: Each cavity of the chunk tray mold, is fairly small. It is extremely difficult to pour the hot wax directly into the mold, from the glass measuring cup, without making a HUGE mess. This is where the plastic fragrance droppers are extremely handy (see below). Use a fragrance dropper to fill the mold cavities with the hot wax, making clean-up a breeze! Trust me, you will be extremely grateful that you have these!

After filling the entire chunk tray mold, it usually takes about 10-15 minutes for all of the cubes to completely harden within the mold. Once the cubes have completely hardened, go ahead and pop them out of the mold. You'll be left with a pile of great smelling mini wax cubes.

*Tip: These small cubes also make incredible gifts for a wax melt lover :)

Mini Wax cubes

After you've got your wax cubes done, and your metal votive molds all ready to go, start filling the votive molds. As you drop the cubes in, hold onto the top of the wick with one hand, then after a few cubes are in, they act as a wick holder, keeping it nicely in place. I like to fill the molds just a bit under the surface. This gives me room later on, to top it off with a second pour, for a smooth finish.

A Metal Votive Mold filled with Mini Wax cubes

Now it's time for the over-pour. Keep the wax the same temperature (190-200*), and repeat the process of mixing your wax and fragrance, but this time, Do NOT add dye. This over-pour will need to be plain wax & fragrance, so the cubes show through, making up the design. If you pour the wax on the cooler side, the over-pour will cool very quickly around the cubes, making it seem like the cubes were dropped in. Or for another look, if the over-pour is a bit warmer, the melted wax will actually melt just a tiny bit of the cubes, making some of the color from the cubes, bleed into the over pour. Either way, you are going to end up with a gorgeous little candle!

Fresh over-pour over Mini Wax cubes

Now, some may like to leave their Votives with "chunky tops", with the wax cubes sticking out a bit. I do like this look, however I started topping my Votives off for a smooth look, so they look more uniform to one another.

Votives that have been topped off

Being a fairly small item, there are many fun and easy ways to package these for individual sale, or in gift sets. I packaged this votive in a 4x6" clear cello bag, while securing the top with a Silver Metalic Twist Tie. I finished the look off with the the last final necessity... a small Votive Warning Label.

Talk about cute! These Votives cool extremely quickly, which makes them a pretty fast project. I've never seen one of these on a store shelf, but I can imagine they would do well with how appealing they are. :)

I hope this blog has come in handy to some who were wanting to see how these were made. If there is ever a fun candle or Bath & Body product that you would like seen made,
Please send your requests to :)

Happy Candle & Soap Making!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Shimmer Palm Creations

Shimmer Palm Creations

This month, it's all about standing out.
And that's just what our Brand New Palm Waxes do!

As soon as they came in, I was anxious  to try out both of them right away, so I started by using the Shimmer Palm Wax in containers. I always love waiting to see the different unique  patterns that are created with each of our palm waxes. 

I often times have customers come into the show room and are immediately drawn to the beautiful palm candles on the display shelf. A very common question that comes up, is "What additives do you need to add, to make that beautiful design?!" The answer is amazingly simple. Not a single one! All of our palm waxes already contain the optimal blend of additives for a superior finished product. You may want to however add UV Color Stabilizer to prevent fading and chemical color change. 

All of our palm waxes create a unique crystal structure within the candle's interior and exterior during the cooling process that creates patterns that shimmer through the finished product. Our palm waxes come from RSPO sources and are made from 100% natural palm based raw materials and releases no polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. 

All of our palm waxes can be used to make pillar candles, votive candles, wax melts and taper candles. There are very versatile waxes with an exceptionally unique look! 

So let's begin!

Materials you will need:

First, go ahead and start melting your wax. One of the big advantages about all of our palm waxes, is that they all come in granular form. This makes weighing and storage an absolute breeze!

Shimmer Palm Wax

While the wax is melting, I like to use this time to decide on dye colors and  prepare my containers by securing the wicks in place with Wick Stickums
I don't know where I'd be without those handy little things lol.

Prepared containers

Liquid Candle Dyes

Once the wax has completely melted and reached a temperature of 205-210*, you can then weigh out your wax using a scale. I find that 5oz of wax by weight, before adding scent or colorant, is the perfect amount for making one single 8oz jelly jar candle. 

Once your melted wax is weighed, add your choice of dye. Palm waxes hold color beautifully!
Liquid, chip and powdered dyes seem to work best in palm waxes. Other dyes may interrupt the crystalline structure and appearance of the wax. Be sure to mix well! 

After you have added the dye, then add your choice of fragrance. 
Again, be sure to mix well!

Melted palm wax with Coffee/Caramel Liquid Candle Dye

Now it't time to pour your melted wax into the prepared containers! 
Be careful, this is extremely hot!
As soon as your wax mixture has reached the temperature of 200-205*, pour into your containers. 
It has been found that heating your containers a bit first, has helped with the crystal formation. However, when I made all of the candles for this blog, I did not heat the jars beforehand. The containers were all at room temperature (about 68*), and every one of them turned out perfectly :). 

Now this is my favorite part of the process! After pouring, it will take just a few moments before the transformation starts to take place, and the crystal formations start to appear. 

The beginning stages of the crystal formation

There aren't words to truly describe how neat this process really is. 
To really try to show you just how intricate and unique the crystal formation is as it begins, 
I turned all lights off and set a flashlight behind the candles. Talk about neat!

 The beginning stages of the crystal formation (shown with a flashlight)

Palm waxes usually require a re-pour, due to sink holes. If you are experiencing sink holes with your candles, wait until the surface of the candle has crusted over, poke multiple relief holes through the surface of the candle around the wick and about 3/4 of the way down the candle. 
The candle center will still be fluid at this point. Top the candle off with wax that is 10* hotter than the first pour. Repeat this process as needed. 

Palm waxes should be cooled as slowly as possible to inhibit the crystal structure to form fully. 

*Note: None of the candles that I made for this blog, required any sort of a re-pour. I let them cool at room temperature (around 68*), and let them set overnight on the counter.

A smooth top of a palm wax candle without sink holes

Once your candles have fully cooled, go ahead and trim the wicks down and there you have it!
A gorgeous Palm Wax Candle!

The finished product!

Happy Candle & Soap Making! :)

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!