Thursday, August 13, 2009

How to make Rustic Layered Pillar Candles!


Pillar Candles are all the rage from Primitive to Contemporary! Here you will learn how to create that beautiful one of a kind look that a mottled layer pillar candle gives!

For this project you will need the following: IGI 1302B Mottle Blend from BCN for these candles. I used a 2/0 square braid wick, Mold Plugs, Mold Sealer Putty, Wick Rods, 3"x4" Seamless Aluminum Pillar Molds, 3"x6" Seamless Aluminum Pillar Molds, Cedar & Saffron Fragrance, and dye chips in Autumn Orange blended with Brown Color Block, Hunters Green Dye Chips and Brown Color Block.

First, pre-wick your molds by threading the wicking through the bottom hole in the mold. Tie the wicking off to a wick rod across the top of the mold. Pull the wick tight and place a mold plug into the hole along side the wick, taking care to be sure the wick is tight! Seal the bottom of the mold area around the plug and over it with the mold sealer putty.


After your molds are ready, melt your wax. Heat the wax to 185, add your dye, then fragrance (I used .7 weight oz of fragrance per lb of wax for this particular scent and candle). Allow the wax to cool down to about 165 and pour into room temp molds. After your first layer is in the mold, swish the wax gently in the mold to bring it slightly up the side as shown below. Allow the wax to cool a bit, and poke relief holes around the wick. I use bamboo skewers for this.


Repeat the process above for your next layer.


For the third layer, repeat the same process as for the first layer, except completely fill the mold.


After you have poured the final layer and poked the relief holes, you will need to do a final layer or two. Repeat the process of poking relief holes with each subsequent layer. Do the final repours at 185*.

Have fun with making layered pillars. They are beautiful candles that draw a lot if interest!

Happy Candlemaking!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

4th Annual BC Convention Update!

Our 4th Annual BC Convention was a big success! We had a great group of attendees and speakers, and received lots of great feedback. There was a good mix of previous attendees as well as new people from all over the country. Everyone had tons of fun and loved meeting other fellow candle & soapmakers. I've gotten so many emails from people telling me how much they enjoyed themselves and how much they learned. It always makes me feel so good to know our convention inspires people and renews their passion for their businesses! I really enjoyed the demos and speakers as well. Everyone did such a great job and they were very educational.

It was quite an eventful weekend. The gift swap went wonderfully with many beautiful baskets and products made by our talented customers, and Tangi did a great job running the swap this year. She also coordinated a dinner gathering at Bubba Gump's where we all had awesome food and fun! Between all the yummy food at Bubba's and the Outback Steakhouse, I'm surprised we all still fit in our clothes, lol! There was also a fundraiser for one of our employees who is going through cancer treatments, that was coordinated by Kim, Jules and Sabrina and we thank them for coming up with the idea to do something so nice for Al and his family. The items donated for the raffle were incredible, and between raffle tickets and cash donations the group was able to raise $2,000! We cannot thank everyone enough for such heartwarming generosity!

The weekend did not go on without a twist... as we discovered Sunday morning that one of our trucks full of supplies was stolen from the parking lot. Luckily the majority of the customer orders were in our enclosed hauling trailer, and only some wax and B&B products were in the other truck that was stolen. But we hated to disappoint those who had items missing. Our customers were so nice and understanding, and we shipped out the missing items to them right away, so everything worked out. The police finally found our truck in another town close by, and we recovered most of the contents aside from a few personal items that were stolen. Thanks to everyone for your understanding, patience and support!

We have updated our online convention photo album with some pics from this year's event, and I have many more pics to add soon. If anyone has more photos to share I would love to add some to the album, so please email copies to me at and I will get more added!

Thanks again to everyone for joining us this year, and we hope to see you again next time! :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Price Changes

As you all know, prices on various supply items have been rising recently due to the rising costs of raw materials, shipping, etc. We realize this is difficult for all of us in the industry, especially in these rough economic times. Many of you who have been loyal customers of ours for many years know that we have very rarely ever raised prices in the past, and in most cases when there have been slight increases in our costs, we have absorbed those increases and tried our best to avoid passing them on to you. Unfortunately in the last year or so, there have been some unavoidable increases that we have had to pass on. Many times we receive no advanced warning of these increases, we don't find out until we place our orders from our manufacturers. But we will do our best to notify you of any price increases as soon as we find out, so you have the most notice possible to adjust your pricing as well.

BCN’s prices on metal jelly jar lids & smelly jelly lids will be increasing in the next couple of weeks. Also our price on Love Spell type fragrance has recently increased.

On that note, we do have some GOOD news to share! Our prices on IGI waxes have just been decreased! And our pricing on our AromaMagic™ Wands (our wood diffuser reeds) are also being decreased! We are committed to finding you the best prices we can, so we are constantly checking product sources and trying to negotiate better deals so we can give you the best prices possible on our products (while maintaining the best quality)!

You will sometimes notice some fluctuations in prices between BCN and BCS on certain items, especially wax. For example, BCS’s prices on IGI waxes decreased recently because they had to order a load after IGI’s first price decrease. But at the time BCN was not able to lower our pricing yet as we were still on the load from before the decrease. Now there has been a 2nd price decrease from IGI, and since we ordered at the new lower prices, we are able to adjust our pricing down at BCN to reflect that. Prices on waxes can also depend on the plant it comes from, as some waxes cost a bit different from different IGI plants. Shipping on truckloads also factors into the prices and can cause them to vary from our two locations as well. With the more frequent fluctuations in wax prices lately, it’s difficult to keep pricing consistent and predictable, but we will always continue to adjust our prices based on our current costs and keep our prices as competitive as we can.

We sincerely appreciate your business and value your loyalty to our company. We want to thank you all for choosing BC as your supplier and helping our business grow, and we will continue striving to help your business grow in every way we can ☺

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring Surprise Sale!

Sale starts today (Wednesday 3/18) 12:00 noon central time.
Sale ends Friday night (3/20) at midnight (central time)!*

(No exceptions on sale times, sale prices only apply to orders placed during these times! Sales good on in-stock merchandise only, no rain checks or back orders!)

Orders must include a minimum of $25.00 in regular priced items to be eligible for the following sales:

  • 5% off all in-stock waxes at BC North & BC South!
  • $ .99 cent 1oz Sample Fragrances! (Limit 2 oz per fragrance. Excludes WYW fragrances.) Good at BC North & BC South!
  • Wax Embeds Sale: $4.95 per pound! BC North only!
  • 6.5" BC Bunny Rabbit Sale $2.50 each! (item # aBunny6.5) BC North only!
  • All Milkyway Soap Molds Sale $4.95 each! BC North only!

Enter coupon code "Spring309" in the shopping cart (in the code or comments section) to receive the sale prices!

(Sale prices will not be reflected on the cart, but will be adjusted by the office on your invoice.)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Join us at the 2009 BC Convention!

Just in case some of you haven't seen the announcement on our message board or in our newsletter, we wanted to let you know that registration is open for the 4th Annual Bitter Creek Candle & Soapmaker's Convention!

As with last year, space is limited and registrations are coming in fast, so if you are able to attend this year please get your registrations in soon! We are able to accommodate up to 170 people this year.

We have lots of exciting demos and workshops planned so far, and some are still in the works! For more details and registration info click here:

We had such a great time the last 3 years and enjoyed meeting so many of you, and I hope to see you all again this year as well as some new faces! Looking forward to seeing you in May! :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Soap Floats!!

I love creating soap more than just about anything else. A while back I made my first batch of whipped soap and before I even had it on my site my friends and family wiped me out! I've decided to stick to selling just CP wholesale but the whipped soaps are such fun that I have to retail them!

Here is a tutorial on how to make whipped soap that actually floats!

The supplies are pretty standard to cold process soap making with the exception of one detail, you need to have a stand mixer like a Kitchen Aid or similar. I luckily inherited a lovely 1960's Sunbeam that can be put to use without risk of getting my good one messy!

Recipe for Flickers Whipped Soap:
Castor Oil 2 oz. (6.25%)
Coconut Oil 7 oz. (21.88%)
Olive Oil 7 oz. (21.88%)
Palm Oil 7 oz. (21.88%
Shea Butter 2 oz. (6.25%)
Crisco 7 oz. (21.88%)

The lye used in whipped soap is Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) I find an excess fat range of 6% to be ideal when making whipped soap, the amount of Sodium Hydroxide for this recipe is 4.42 oz. You will add the lye to ICE COLD distilled water. Always be sure to follow proper handling precautions when making any soap from scratch. Proper eye, and hand protection is important. Using a respirator is never a bad idea either. For this recipe I use 12 fluid ounces of water. You MUST chill the lye solution before adding it to the soap. I find a range of 65-70* ideal.

Once your lye solution has reached a good temp, go ahead and line your soap mold. I use a standard 3 lb wood log mold which works very well for this size recipe. Remember since the oils are whipped the volume increases too.

Second, weigh out all your solid oils (shea, coconut, crisco & palm) and place them inside the mixing bowl. You do not need to heat your oils which is the nice part to making whipped soap! Turn your mixer on at this point on low (if you try much higher right away it will splatter!) Increase your speed as the oils begin to smooth out.

After your solid oils are somewhat smoothed out, weigh our your liquid oils (cas
tor and olive).

Now go ahead and slowly add in your liquid fats.

Patience is key when making whipped soap. It does not happen fast. The mixing process can take up to an hour but hey, at least you can put your mixer on auto pilot, right? This is a photo of the oils all blended together but not quite at the smooth point it needs to be to add the lye.

Once your oils are smooth and whipped you are ready to add your chilled lye solution. ADD THE LYE SLOWLY! I turn my mixer down to the lowest speed for this and add just a little at a time. After you are sure your lye solution is blended you can add your fragrance oil. I used two ounces of Dream Angels Heavenly Type (BNL) from Bitter Creek for this particular soap, it smells just dreamy! Here is a pic of your oils ready for lye!

After you've got your fragrance and lye mixed in it's time for color! I needed my base to be colored in blue and white to be a smaller portion of the soap. I scooped out the white into a small stainless bowl and set it aside.

Once I have separated my soap I can then color my base, for this soap I used the Blue Rainbow Mica from Bitter Creek North. I used about 3/4 tsp for this batch. Blend the dyes in by turning the mixer back on low until blended well.

Once you are ready, go ahead and mold! I used blue on the bottom, white in the center and blue on the top for a cloud like appearance. You can swirl, layer and do just about anything you can imagine with whipped soap!

Allow your finished soap to set in the mold for about 24 hours. Remove and cut with a wire. Standard soap cutters and knives tend to break pieces off as you cut. Cure this soap for about 4 weeks before selling.

Happy Soaping!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Website Coming Soon!

A new year... a new look! We have been working on a new shopping cart system and revamping our entire website for quite awhile now, and we're excited to announce it will be ready to launch soon! We are in the testing phase and are trying to work out the bugs to make it as perfect and user-friendly as possible for you. Our new shopping cart system will include exciting new features such as a wish list, product rating system with customer reviews, online order status & history, online gift certificates, and a new BC Reward Points program! This is our 3rd try at a new shopping cart system, as previous attempts didn't work out for various reasons, so we are hopeful that the 3rd time is a charm! We hope this new website & online shopping system will make our site easier to navigate and provide our customers with a much more enjoyable shopping experience, and we thank you for your patience!
Stay tuned for more info & launch date!

Valentine's Day Ideas!

Candle sales have a tendency to slow down after Christmas, and as you all know the next big gift giving holiday is Valentine’s Day on February 14th. So don’t forget to gear up your Valentine candle line now and be ready to put those products on the shelf soon after New Years!

Aside from the common pink and red candles in scents like rose or cinnamon, try something new this year… get creative and think outside the heart shaped box :) Sweets are great but fattening… so why not give a heart shaped box of sweet smelling votives instead? Scents like Pink Sugar, White Chocolate, Strawberry Cream Truffle, Chocolate Covered Cherry, Caramel Nut, Maple Sugar, etc. Make your own unique blends, or think of creative new names for scents you already have!

Rustic paraffin or palm pillars layered in shades of red, pink, wine and plum make gorgeous Valentine gifts. Try making some mini heart shaped embeds to add a little romance to your containers. Red & pink chunk candles are always a favorite. And don’t forget the icing… frosted pillars with whipped wax are the perfect product to attract a sweet tooth! Your local discount mart should have glass heart shaped dishes that are perfect for 2 or 3 wick candles.

Put some passion in your packaging! Tie some pink or red ribbon on your gift bags, use a heart shaped rubber stamp, or add a sprinkle of glitter to make your products shine. You can find cello bags at gift wrap suppliers online with hearts printed on them. Heart shaped baskets are usually available at some of your local dollar stores or discount marts. The heart is not the only symbol of Valentine’s day… mix it up and add some cherubs and kisses!

Candles aren’t the only hot gift idea for Valentine sales… bath products and home fragrance items are a huge hit! Try selling drawer sachets made with scented beads, corn cob, or herbs. You can use organza bags that come in many pretty colors, or use muslin bags and iron on a romantic design with iron on transfer paper. Or even get some cute printed fabric and sew your own sachets if you’re handy with a needle! Scented pillow spray can be a great romantic gift product and is easy to make. Wax dipped roses are another fun idea to win your customer’s hearts.

Branch out into body products and offer some scented lotions this year to match your Valentine candles… people will love it! Heart shaped soaps are a simple addition that can be a great impulse item on your store counter. And since Valentine’s Day is a kissing holiday, don’t forget the lip balms!

Happy Candlemaking,

Doneen St.John