Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pretty Gel Candles!

This month I decided I needed a kick away from winter. I am thinking sunshine and summer here! It's a long way away yet but these candles are pretty and remind me of the warmer months that will come again in the spring! Gel candles are not as common as they once were, but they are so pretty and when made correctly burn beautifully and smell terrific! 

This months project are very basic to make but really look like a million bucks and smell terrific! Wax Embed Gel Candles!


Presto Kitchen Kettle to melt the gel
Digital Scale
Metal Spoons
Pyrex Measure Cup
Liquid Candle Dye (optional)
Wax Embeds

**(Embeds can also be made using
IGI 1260 wax and our Embed Molds)
Low Density Candle Gel

GelWix Candle Wicks
**Gel Aroma Fragrance Oils
(Gel Fragrances MUST BE GEL SAFE!!! Please see
Safety info regarding how to check this by clicking here)

1/2 Pint Square Mason Jars

Instructions for making wax
  1. Pre-wick your jars using the wick stickums or high temp hot glue on the bottom of the round metal wick tabs. Stick them down in the center of your jars and make sure they are secure.
  2. Melt the gel. We recommend using a Presto Kitchen Kettle for this
  3.  Use the thermometer to keep track of temperature. Once temp reaches about 210, add your liquid dye (optional). Very little is needed to tint the gel, but this will depend on how faint or dark you want the tint. We recommend using a toothpick to dab a tiny bit of dye on the tip, then swirl it into the gel. Add more as needed.
  4. Next add your scent. Penreco recommends using no more than 3% (1/2 oz per pound) in Low Density gel. We recommend using a digital scale for accuracy.
  5. Stir well and check temperature with thermometer. Once gel is approx. 200 degrees it is ready to pour. The cooler you pour, the more bubbles your gel will have. To minimize the bubbles, you can pour a little hotter at around 220, but we do not recommend any higher temp.
  6. Pour from your Pyrex cup into your jars slowly and steadily. Pour it about 1/2 full. Wait about five minutes and using a hemostat or a long tweezers place the embeds.
  7. Set in your embeds where desired.
  8. Re-heat the remainder of the gel to about 180 and pour the remainder of the gel candle slowly and steadily. Keep wicks as straight and centered as possible.
  9. Gel does not shrink, therefore your finished candles will require no re-pour and will be ready to burn in just a couple of hours!

I will be revisiting some more gel projects in the coming month! This months project is simple and will certainly look different than the rest! :)

Happy Candle Making!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Easy Travel Soaps!

Every year I go on vacation and I detest using hotel/resort soaps. They are usually the cheapest soaps out there and they do nothing by dry my skin and make my skin feel gross.

I figured out a solution! Make the soaps in clamshell molds! Take it out, break off a piece and use it while you are there. Such an easy solution for a problem that has plagued me for years!


Supplies Needed:
Melt and Pour Soap Base *I used Goats Milk
FD&C Dye *I used Blue
Cosmetic Glitter or Mica Optional
Clamshell Molds

Fragrance *I used Angel Type
Digital Scale
Pyrex Measure Cup

Melting the Soap Base

  • Microwave Method: Cut the Melt and Pour Base on the score lines and place it in a microwave safe dish. (Pyrex measuring cups work nicely) Place the dish in your microwave. Using full power, heat the base for one minute at a time until it begins to melt. Once it has started to melt, decrease this to 30 second intervals until it is fully melted stirring often. OR
  • Stove Top Method: Cut the Melt and Pour Base on the score lines and place it in a sauce pan. Turn the heat on Medium and stirring constantly, allow the soap to melt fully. Be sure to stir constantly to avoid scorching!

*The melted soap should be between 145-160 F.

Adding the Dye

  • FD&C Liquid Bath and Body Dye is the appropriate dye type for Melt and Pour Soap. Once your soap is melted, just add the dye a drop at a time, stirring after each until you reach your desired shade. The amount used will vary.

Adding the Fragrance:

  • For Melt and Pour, it is safe to use up to, but no more than ½ Weight Ounce of fragrance per pound of
    soap base. Each block of Melt and Pour Base is Two pounds. For one full block of soap, you would use up to 1 ounce of fragrance. Stir well after adding the fragrance oil to the melted & colored soap base. Be sure that on the IFRA declaration for each fragrance it is at least 3% safe to use 1/2 oz. per lb of base.

Pouring into Molds:

  • Pour your scented and colored soap base into the molds. Use a fine mist spray bottle filled with Rubbing Alcohol to lightly mist the tops of each of the just poured soaps to remove any bubbles.Try pouring into the clamshells at 150*, pouring much hotter can cause them to melt!

*You can place the mold in the freezer for a few minutes if removal is difficult but I typically suggest waiting longer instead before resorting to this method.

Make and market these to local hotel gift shops, to campers etc. This is the easiest way to bring soap with and not have to tote back a mess!

Happy Soap Making!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree!

I love Christmas. I love making things that smell like Christmas. I love decorating the tree and the house, I love the faces of the small children and the way they light up when seeing Santa at the mall or the way they squeal in delight upon opening that coveted gift! Christmas cookies and candies and spending time with those you love! It's just purely magical! 

This month, I will be making a soap that is perfect for the Christmas Holiday. Put a bar in the bathrooms and another at the kitchen sink and let all of your holiday guests enjoy the scents of the holidays too! This mold could be used year round for a manly soap or one scented in pine! This project was tons of fun and could be made by the kids this holiday too using Melt and Pour in place of the Cold Process Recipe I used today!

Supplies Needed:
Fir Tree Tray Mold
A Northwoods Christmas
Olive Oil
Palm Oil or Lard (From a local grocer)
Coconut Oil

Sodium Hydroxide
OR if you want to do melt and pour versus cold process soap use
Mango Butter Melt and Pour Soap Base

First, mix your soap oils and get your lye solution ready. I found this mold took about  30 total ounces between the soap oils and lye mix. 

My recipe was as follows:
10 oz. Pomace Oilve Oil
5 oz. Coconut OIl
5 oz. Palm Oil or Lard
For the lye solution I used 3.05 oz lye and 5 oz water

Mix lye solution per standard safe practices.
When the lye solution and the oils reach about 100* combine them. DO NOT use a stick blender. Just use a small whisk.

Blend a small amount of the soap and color it green, enough to do the trees. 

Then add a bit of the brown and do the trunk portion
it will now look like this when you turn it over
Once you are to this point split the remaining raw soap and color a few oz a bright, red and do an in the pot swirl and pour into the molds.
Your finished soap slab will look like this: 

This is a truly fun project! Make them yourself for resale or to have in your own home this holiday or use melt and pour and make it a fun for the whole family project!

Happy Soaping!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Christmas Tree Ornies!

It's nearly Christmas once again! This year, make something fun out of your Aroma Beads, make Christmas Tree Ornies! They are absolutely adorable, easy to make and best of all fun!

What you will need:
Liquid Candle Dye 
Fragrance Oils
Aroma Beads
Cookie Cutters
Optional Mica, Glitter and Puff Paint tubes.
Cello Bags

First, make your Aroma Beads following these instructions:  
  1.  Scoop out the desired amount of beads and weigh them on a digital scale.
  2. Once you know the weight of your beads, you can weigh your fragrance oil.The beads will hold up to 30%. I personally find 25% works well with most scents and absorbs fairly readily. For every ounce of beads, using 25% you will add 1/4 oz. fragrance by weight. So for example if you are using 1 weight oz of beads, you will use .25 weight oz of fragrance oil.
  3. If you wish to color your Aroma Beads, you will need to add 1 or 2 drops of liquid candle dye to your fragrance oil and swirl it around until it's mixed well. *Note: Food coloring or B&B dye will not work!
  4. Then add the beads to your colored fragrance oil.
  5. Stir the beads around with a stir stick until the liquid is dispersed evenly.
  6. Then put the lid tightly on the jar and shake! It can take anywhere from 1 day to over a week for the beads to completely absorb all of the oil, it will vary with different fragrances. So keep shaking the jar every few hours! At first it will seem soupy and look as if it will not soak up the oil... but be patient! The oil will eventually soak in! Some fragrances may take longer than others... for example, the Red Hot Cinnamon took 1 day to soak in, but the Vanilla took 2 days, and some take over a week. If you run into a fragrance oil that is not soaking in after a week, try adding more beads and shake very well. Once the beads have absorbed all of the oil they will feel dry to the touch and will not seep or bleed!
  7. Once the oil is absorbed, you are done! Try making a second color & scent, and layering them! You can also add a bit of our White Mica Powder to the clear beads too for a shimmery, pearly effect! 
Next, make the Aroma Ornies from the finished Aroma Beads with these instructions:

  1. First make your scented & colored Aroma Beads as directed. Choose metal cookie cutters in the shapes & sizes you want for your ornaments. Lay them on a metal non-stick cookie sheet. Fill each shape with the beads, completely covering the bottom with a layer about 1/4" deep. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 - 10 minutes or until you can see that the beads have melted together. Baking times will vary with different ovens.
    Watch them carefully!
    *Note: They will not be smooth like glass, they will be bumpy.
    *If you want a hole in the top for hanging, stand a flat head nail on it's head where you want the hole to be.
  2. Remove from oven with pot holders, and set on stove top to cool. A small amount of smoking is normal when they first come out. Allow tray to cool completely before touching! Next, carefully remove the cookie cutters.
    *I prefer to cool mine in the freezer for a few minutes, which helps them release from the cookie cutters easier.
  3. Once you remove the cutters, your ornament will be stuck to the pan, but it will peel off the non-stick metal fairly easily. Don't be alarmed if it feels stuck. They may feel like they won't budge at first, but once you start to pull it up it will peel off.
    *Note: I peeled this one off after setting the tray outside in the snow to cool, so the cold may help release them easier! Try putting the tray in your freezer!
  4. Peel the shapes off the sheet, and they are done! You can use a sharp tipped object like a nail to make a small hole near the top, and string some thin cord through to hang it with. Or try using a paper hole punch for thicker ribbon!

Now that you've done this, you have the most amazing Air Fresheners/Car Fresheners/Tree Ornaments! I choose themed fragrances for mine. You can add some glitter or mica or puff paint to them for more interest. This is a cute and fun project even the kids can participate in. This is an exceptionally fun idea for a Sunday School class!

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Introducing EZ ParaSoy™!

Bitter Creek North introduces the most amazing new wax in candle making today, The EZ ParaSoy™!

What makes this wax so special? Well we are glad you asked! We have for years known that the blend of paraffin and soy was like a marriage made in heaven.

Paraffin waxes have long been known for their beautiful, creamy appearance and their ability to easily accept most fragrances with amazing hot and cold scent throw. Paraffin candles also have amazing, vibrant, bold and beautiful color and can use literally any type of dye. But paraffin wax can tend to soot some.

Soy is a bit more selective with fragrances and most certainly with colorants. Soy tends to pit and grow if exposed to temperature extremes or it will do so if not poured at the correct temperature. Soy can also tend to frost which to some is unacceptable, but it is so clean burning and that's the beauty of soy!

We have found that this hybrid blend of paraffin and soy creates the very best of both worlds!
EZ ParaSoy™ creates a candle that is smooth, creamy and beautifully colored weather it is a pastel, bright, bold or dark color. EZ ParaSoy™creates a candle that is cooler burning and reduced soot like in soy candle! EZ ParaSoy™has PHENOMENAL scent throw both hot and cold! It's the perfect marriage between two waxes!

Look on our shopping cart for this wax coming this week to Bitter Creek North! It works excellent with the CD series wicks, sizing is similar to soy and works great with the wood wicks as well. Sizing for those is more like the soy as well! We are sure you will love this wax as much as we do!

If you have any questions about this wax or need help with wick sizing, let our Tech Support know and we will be more than happy to help you out!

As always we strive to bring you ONLY the best products available in the market!

Happy Candle Making!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tropical Snowmen!

This Christmas, have some fun with your product! There are so many cute ideas out there. The one I am focusing on this month is Beach Bum Snowmen! For those of you that live around the beach, in a tropical climate, have you ever noticed sometimes it just doesn't seem right to market the same "snowy" Christmas products as the rest of the country sells? I know you all wish for that one night of snow on Christmas or Christmas Eve that melts before morning but let's face it, Texas isn't exactly known for the frosty white stuff! 

Here are a few ideas for some fun products to sell this holiday season in the tropical areas of the United States!

As shown in our photo, Beach Bum Snowman! I found this graphic for $5 on a graphics website, there are tons out there for sale, reasonably cheap OR take your own! I loved the idea of the ocean and a "snowman" made of sand on the beach! It just makes this northern girl giggle with delight to see it! I used the Jack Frost Scent from BCS for this particular bottle. This is made with the Lotion Base from BCS, the Labels from BCN and the Bottle and Cap from BCS. I thought it still played on a traditional Holiday scent and yet was fun enough to sell on the beach! It's about fun! Make your products fun, make them different and people will buy them! 

Other ideas: A Palm Tree decorated for Christmas and then scenting it in Coconut or Coconut Lime! A friend of mine does Reindeer Poop and Snowman Poop. To me those are funny but best suited to wax melts! Fill the clamshells just so the cavities are filled with white and or brown wax accordingly. For Snowman Poop, Try the scent Homespun Sugar! For Reindeer Poop, how about Creme Brulee! You could also make these scents into candles! Try any of the same scents in a jar with a cute label too! This is fun....have fun with it!

If you live in a cold climate you can still have fun with this idea! Montana could do a camo snowman with a deer rifle! You could do a Redneck Snowman and his wife, in Camo and Blaze Orange! The sky is the limit with this! People love uniqueness! Things that are different sell! Grab their attention this year by labeling your products uniquely and fun! These are GREAT stocking suffers! People love to buy silly cute gifts around the Holiday!

Happy Candle and Craft Making!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Glittery Frozen Goodness!

This Holiday season the HOTTEST thing is Frozen, the movie from Walt Disney. It's not just girls, it's boys too! I have three kids, girls who are 17 & 19 and a son who is 11. They are fanatics! I can't tell you how many times I heard "Let it go" in the car, at the dinner table, on the sofa, during the movie! It's everywhere! My niece who happens to be turning 4 in a few months however was my real inspiration today. I kept thinking "What would a little girl like?" when it comes to something in body products. 

When our office sent me the list of scents on sale in October, I KNEW I had a winner! How about Frozen inspired solid perfume and body & room spray?! I think so too! 

Here is everything you will need to make these great products that will have ever little girl cooing for more!

Body & Room Spray
Holographic Glitter

Frost Bite Fragrance
Clear 4 oz Bullet Bottles
Black 2 & 4 Oz Spray Caps

Add 1/2 oz. of Frost Bite Fragrance to the bottle, then fill with Cyclomethicone and add a small pinch of the glitter. Place the cap on the bottle and shake well. Label and it's ready for sale! 

Solid Perfume Sticks
Lip Balm Base
Holographic Glitter

Frost Bite Fragrance
White Lip Balm Tubes

For 6 tubes melt .9 weight oz of base in the microwave just until melted in a small pyrex measure cup (1 cup size works well), add .05 weight oz of the Frost Bite Fragrance. Add the glitter and allow to cool until it stays suspended then pour into the tubes. Label and it's ready for sale!

Hopefully this project makes for a happy little girl in your world too!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ghosts, Goblins and Candy Corn!

I am maybe a bit fanatical about my Candy Corn but this time of year is my favorite because of it! Did you know that October 30th is National Candy Corn day? It's a day set aside for others like me who can't get enough of the sweet candy treat. I really can sit down and eat the whole bag ;)

So this months project is a simple one but one you can sell starting now through the end of October and even until Thanksgiving, Candy Corn Melt and Pour Soap. This a simple project and when Halloween is over, you can change your scents and make them for other holidays as well. Layered soaps have always sold well for me and attracted a crowd.


Melting the Soap Base:

  • Microwave Method: Cut the Melt and Pour Base on the score lines and place it in a microwave safe dish. (Pyrex measuring cups work nicely) Place the dish in your microwave. Using full power, heat the base for one minute at a time until it begins to melt. Once it has started to melt, decrease this to 30 second intervals until it is fully melted stirring often.
    *The melted soap should be between 130-140̊ F.

Adding the Dye:

  • Once your soap is melted, just add the dye a drop at a time, stirring after each until you reach your desired shade. The amount used will vary. For the yellow part, just use the yellow the white can be left uncolored and for the orange, two drops of yellow to one red until you reach your desired shade of orange.

Adding the Fragrance:

  • For Melt and Pour, it is safe to use up to, but no more than ½ Weight Ounce of fragrance per pound of soap base. Each block of Melt and Pour Base is Two pounds. For one full block of soap, you would use up to 1 ounce of fragrance. Stir well after adding the fragrance oil to the melted & colored soap base.

Pouring into Molds:

  • Pour your scented and colored soap base into the molds in layers. Use a fine mist spray bottle filled with Rubbing Alcohol to lightly mist the tops of each of the just poured soaps to remove any bubbles. Allow to cool, then re-mist the tops with the rubbing alcohol jsut before pouring the next layer and again spritz after to remove air bubbles and repeat. Allow the soaps to cool at room temperature until completely cooled, about 4-5 hours then remove from the molds. You may need to pull the edge of the mold back to get the soap to release.
    *You can place the mold in the freezer for a few minutes if removal is difficult but I typically suggest waiting longer instead before resorting to this method.

    This fun theme can be carried into jar candles, wax melts, pillars etc! Its fun to layer different scents into jars that coordinate well too! Have fun with this project and enjoy a handful of candy corn for me!
Happy Candy Corn Eating!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

An Apple For Teacher!

It's that time of year again, back to school! That means fall and all of it's fantastic fragrances. This month I will be making a few simple gifts for the teachers in your lives scented of course in Apple, more specifically Enchanted Apple which is also on sale in September at BCN!

I am always looking for $5 gifts for teachers, something to say "Thanks for what you do every day!". In the past I have found lip balms, room sprays, hand sanitizers, lotion and  sachets were great little gifts!

We will make two products this month. Corn Cob and Aroma Bead Sachets. Both are great but as you will see they are totally different. 

Supplies List:
Crushed Corn Cob

Aroma Beads
Liquid or Powder Red Candle Dye

BNL Enchanted Apple Fragrance Oil
Sachet Bags
Cello Bags for packaging
Envelopes (I got these at a local Scrapbook/Stamping Store)

How to make Corn Cob Sachets:
  1. Put 1 cups corn cobs into jar and add 1/4 oz fragrance. This ratio is just a good starting point and can be adjusted according to your desired strength.
  2. Cover the jar and shake it often for a couple of days to allow the corn cob to absorb the oil and to give the fragrance time to cure.
  3. Once the corn cob is dry, you can place it in the Sachet Envelopes and package in Cello Bags. DO NOT DO THIS BEFORE THE CORN COB HAS ABSORBED ALL THE OIL! It will leach through the paper and make a mess. :)

How To Make Aroma Bead Sachets:

  1. Weigh out 3 ounces of Aroma Beads
  2. In a Mason Jar, with a lid weigh 1 ounce Enchanted Apple Fragrance Oil.
  3.  Add 8 drops Red Fragrance Oil or a half a Smidgen Spoon of Red Powder Dye. 
  4. Pour the beads into the Mason Jar with the Fragrance, seal well and Shake to distribute the oil and beads. 
  5. Shake often as you walk by the beads to speed up the process. Once the beads are done, they should be dry to the touch. 
  6. Place in Sachet Bags, package in a cello bag and they are ready for giving!  

I hope you will make some of these for teachers this year weather it be to sell at shows or to give as gifts. Both will let the teachers know they are the apples of our kids eyes!
Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The perfect pedicure, at home!

The perfect pedicure, at home!

A trip to the nail salon is fantastic but often, it’s not in the budget! I worked in a full service spa for a few years. You can do your own salon quality pedicure at home, any time, for a fraction of the cost. You can also make the kits to sell to others for the same! I spend average with a tip, of about $55 each time I get a pedicure. Imagine being able to get 4-5 for the same price! It’s possible and I am going to show you what you need to be able to make a kit for you and your customers alike!

The Soak: This part is actually more important than people may realize. It does more than soften the feet, a foot soak, of Epsom Salt and warm water soothes aching feet, reduces swelling, removes odor and other impurities and softens the skin!
  • To make a foot soak, use 2 cup of Epsom salts. Add fragrance (or essential oil, but be sure to research your EO choice or contact a reputable Aromatherapist to suggest the best and safest choices!) to this to scent. You can also color the salts for visual appeal in the package. I recommend our Lavender Fragrance for this, lavender is very relaxing!
  • To use the soak, fill a foot bath, wash pan or professional foot spa with warm water. Add ½ cup of the Epsom Salt Mix (Foot Soak). Soak feet as long as you want, about 10-15 minutes is typical. Rinse feet and dry. A foot soak precedes a pedicure to cleanse and soften the skin.

Prep the Toes: After the soak and drying off the feet, you will want to take off any remaining
nail polish. Be careful doing this if you have acrylic or gel nails and only use non-acetone remover. That will only remove the polish, not damage your expensive manicure!  Include in your kit a bottle of non-acetone polish remover & some cotton balls or cotton pads for this. Once this has been done, trim and file the nails. It may seem like something we should all know but many people in fact do not know how to trim nails correctly here are the basics of doing the job right!
1.      Cut straight across
2.      Use appropriate toenail clippers
3.      Leave nails a little long
4.      Cut nails when they're dry, not wet
5.      Make a few small cuts
6.      Try filing
7.      Don't cut cuticles
You may want to include a nail file (Files are not all created equally. try various ones to find the ones you prefer.), and an orange stick as well as a small bottle of cuticle oil. This product is generally made from Sweet Almond, Jojoba, Avocado or even Macadamia Nut or Sesame oil orblends with any of these great oils! If you can find small nail polish bottles online, this is the ideal packaging but any small bottle, even a 1 oz PET bottle will work fine. Just blend the oils with a bit of fragrance, I will again use lavender. 

Exfoliate: This part can be done two ways. First by taking a bit of the Epsom Salt and rubbing it directly on the skin OR by adding some oil, (I recommend Rice Bran or Grapeseed) to the salts and making a Salt Scrub and applying this to the legs from below the knee down to the tip of the toes and massaging it around to remove any dead skin. Once this has been done, wash the legs & feet using our Aloe Body Wash and rinse. Follow by massaging the legs again from below the knee down to the tip of the toes using our Hand & Body Lotion. This will leave the legs looking and feeling their best!

Finish: Now add the oil to the cuticles and using the orange stick, push the cuticles back to
make the nails look their best. Give the nails a quick buff to remove any ridges and finally wipe the nails off with a bit of nail polish remover to remove any residual oil. Now apply a base coat, two coats of nail polish and finally a top coat allowing each coat to dry between layers.


Bitter Creek South has Stand up Pouch Ziplock Bags that are EXCELLENT for packing the Epsom Salt. There is also a cute Wooden Scoop that they sell which is perfect for that finishing packaging touch as well! The Bottles & Caps for the Aloe Body Wash and Hand and Body Lotion as well as for the oils can also be found there. Bitter Creek North has Jars for the Salt Scrub, the Fixed Oils for the scrub and the Cuticle Oil. They also carry a good variety of cute Frosted Gift Totes to package the finished kits in and Loofah and Pouf Scrubbies to fill in.

If you have never had a professional pedicure, I strongly recommend having one done at a quality salon to show you how they do things. In the long run, there is no reason to spend the insane amount that they want every few weeks. Hopefully this kit will help you to save a few bucks and pamper yourself like you deserve! Even men can enjoy a good pedicure, your feet are every bit as important as the ladies! Just skip the polish. Nice looking feet look good on everyone!

Enjoy your pretty feet!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pretty Palm

Pretty Palm Pillars. What more can I say? Palm makes some of the most visually appealing candles I have ever in my lifetime seen. 

Looking for a wax that is sustainable, eco-friendly and virtually soot free? Do you want that same wax to be unique looking with excellent hot and cold scent throw? Our palm waxes may be for you! Our Feather Palm wax creates a unique crystal structure within the candles interior and exterior during the cooling process that creates patterns that look similar to a feather. Our palm waxes come from RSPO sources and are made from 100% natural palm based raw materials and contain no paraffin/polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. Feather Palm Wax 5601-A comes in granular form for easy weighing and storage and can be used to make pillar candles, votive candles, wax melts and taper candles. A very versatile wax with an exceptionally unique look!

Since the "Wick Your Wax" fragrances are on sale this month at Bitter Creek North, I choose to use the Perfect Storm fragrance for my project. 'Looming clouds cast a dark shadow over windblown fields of green. Budding hyacinth, captivating cyclamen and entrancing jasmine come together in the heart of the anticipated storm. Gentle moss lies at the base with petals of newly bloomed violets.' A hauntingly beautiful fragrance!

I have put together a list of all of the items you will need to create your own beautiful Feather Palm Wax Pillar Candle. This is one candle you don't want to skip creating yourself! :)

Supplies List:

Wax: Feather Palm Pillar WaxDye: Liquid or Powder is preferred and does not interfere with the crystal structure.
Mold: I used a 3 x 6.5" Seamless Aluminum Mold and Auto Wick Pin
Wick: #1 Square Braid Cotton Primed in IGI 1260 and tabbed with tab wta37791

You will also need to use a Presto Kitchen Kettle or similar to melt; Pouring Pots; Thermometer and Mold Sealer Putty and Plugs depending on your wicking process.

Instructions for use:

Palm wax is best suited for use in seamless aluminum molds. Liquid, chip and powdered dyes seem to work best in palm waxes. Other dyes may interrupt the crystalline structure and appearance of the wax.
Heat wax to 205-210* add dye, blend well and then add fragrance and blend well. Feather palm wax will hold up to 6% fragrance by weight. Pour the wax between 200-205* into heated molds for best results. This wax will require repours. 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 and fill with reserved wax heated 10* hotter than the first pour. Repeat this process as needed. Palm waxes should be cooled a slowly as possible to inhibit the crystal structure to form fully. This can be done in a Styrofoam cooler or other insulated box. It is advised to use mold release when making palm candles in any mold.
For this particular candle because of the layers I did things a little differently. First I used a seamless mold with a wick pin versus pre wicking the mold. Either would work fine.
This particular mold holds about 24 weight oz. So for each pour I used 5.9 oz. wax and .2 oz. fragrance. (remember when using Wick Your Wax fragrances, you use half as much!) 
Heat your wax as recommended above and pour into your clean mold at about 205*. Because you are pouring layers, you will NOT be heating the molds. When your layers become crusty and crystal like, it's time to pour the next layer. DO NOT LET THE WAX START TO SEPARATE FROM THE MOLDS BETWEEN LAYERS! Repeat the process for the first layers to the last layer.
When you get to the last layer, it will look crusty crystal and have some holes. Poke relief holes down into the candle all around about 3/4 of the way down the candle to remove any possible air pockets!  
Then heat your wax back up (you will have a small amount reserved after the last pour) to this area. This will fill in any gaps, holes etc. in the candle interior so that there are no air pockets within.

Once you are finished with this, allow the candle to fully cool, remove from the mold, and insert your wick into the hole left by the wick pin. Allow Palm candles at least 48 hours cure time (scent can take up to two weeks!) before burning. 
There are tons of fun ideas when making Palm Candles.

Elya in our office made these a while

back from the feather palm. They are simply beautiful even in a single color! Palm just is unique and customers are attracted to things that don't look the same! :) 

These are very "sparkly" and will make excellent candles for the Christmas Holiday season! Try a red in Old Fashioned Christmas or a Green in Mistletoe. I will guarantee your customers will embrace them!

Happy Candle Making!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Saving Time = Making More Profit!

With “Silly Season” just around the corner I thought this month I’d share some tips on the most efficient way to make your products to minimize the time spent making them. This should help you to maximize your profits. I also will provide some tips on displaying product for retail sale. I personally do about 95% wholesale and I no longer do craft shows but I did them for many years. This will help the person doing smaller shows, larger shows, home parties and especially those wholesaling their products.

To start, master-batch everything you make! This will save SO much time in the long run it’s crazy! The second thing is never make a single one of anything. I have what I call the rule of three. If I am making anything, whether for wholesale or retail, I always make three. That means three of the exact same product. For example when I sell my candles wholesale, I require a full case purchase and you must order in multiples of three. That rule of three has saved me so much time I can’t begin to tell you!

For soap making, I master batch my oils. Instead of measuring & melting a batch worth of each of the oils in my recipe, I FILL a bucket that has a lid (I got this from soap oils years ago) and I fill it with enough of the blended oil to make 16 batches of soap at one time. Think about this. If I were to weigh & melt oils for one batch of soap, the time spent wouldn’t be much different than doing it for 16 batches and then when I go to soap, the oil is ready. I just have to scoop and weigh what I actually need. I also do the same when making my lye solution. Instead of weighing out for a single batch, I take one to two full 2 pound cans per pitcher and make them up so I have plenty of lye for each soaping session, not just for one batch! This really speeds things along when making soap! The photo above shows a single session of soaping for me, on this particular day, I made 23 logs of soap that each have 3 pounds of soap oil in them.

When making candles and melts is is the same thing, I make everything in three. If I am making pillars, jars, melts. It's three of the same size in the same scent. It really takes no more time and then I have the extra on hand OR in the case of wholesale I saved time by NOT making one of a kind. Big companies don't let you buy ones and two of an item wholesale and small companies should be no different. You will end up spending far too much time making and not enough earning a profit! Profit is the name of the game! For candles, to best maximize time and profit be sure you can melt enough wax quickly enough. For the small crafter, a few Presto Kitchen Kettles will do a fine job. They each melt about 7-8 lbs of wax every 15-20 minutes. If larger, you are best off with a commercial wax melter ranging from 80-300 lbs depending on your daily volume. (Bitter Creek South sells a full range of commercial melters!) Here is an average batch of pillar candles for me. Note, three of each size/scent and two sizes of each. It makes it SO much easier to be able to do this in volume! So much faster!

Now that we've got the how to make it it's about how to display it! When you walk into a store, have you ever noticed how appealing a "FULL" shelf is versus an "EMPTY" or picked over shelf? It's true, people LOVE to see more, not less of an item. A full store is a happy store and happy stores make for happy shoppers! The same rule I have for three's also applies to stocking your product for craft shows and in stores. Always make in threes, sixes etc. and display the same. Full shelves! It also helps to use sales tactics to get people to buy in three. For example, if you have ever been to the large chain bath and body store...they like to sell a buy three get three free. Use these same tactics! They work! I always did jelly/mason jar candles and found that if I did buy one for $10, two for $9 or 3 for $8 each I 95% of the time sold three. Now I made a few bucks less but I made up for it on volume! The same applied to lotion, body wash, soap...everything! It really works great!

I hope all the BC customers are all having a safe summer and that the current show circut is doing great for you all. Remember to order you supplies for the Christmas rush early! We don't often run out of things but it's hard when we do. Ordering early will ensure you and your customer always have what is needed!

Happy Crafting!