Candlemaking

Last weekend us *Sticka girls got together for something different, as we occasionally do, and tried our hands at candlemaking.

Behold the ordinary teacup
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Add wick, and optional dried plant bits (rose petals in this case)
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Melt wax chips, stir stir stir
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And voilà, teacup candle. Very in at the moment apparently, and I agree.
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From our very enjoyable experience, we can declare the following.

The first rule of candlemaking is: Don’t use takeaway containers
Because there were four of us and we didn’t want to add dyes to the one melting pan, we were transferring out melted wax into takeaway containers to mix our dyes individually…however for whatever reason the wax cooled very very quickly in those containers and wasn’t very conducive to mixing dyes or pouring into moulds. We eventually learnt that it was easier to just pour the wax into the moulds/teacups and mix the dye in directly.

The second rule of candlemaking is: Don’t use soap dye
We had stuff leftover from our soap making day a while back, so we tried using the soap dyes with the wax…the laws of physics didn’t allow the soap dye to mix with the wax, but instead the droplets of colour just formed blobs and sank to the bottom. Which has its own merits too…
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That’s the underside of one of my candles, with glitter dust thrown in for good measure. Next time, what I’d do is thin layers of wax so the blobs of colour can form all they way along the candle, or at least just finish with a thinner layer of wax at the very top so the blobs are still visible once it’s set.

My third candle also didn’t quite go according to plan
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One can clearly see the result of the wax being mixed in a takeaway container first. But also, I was using a proper candle mould, which I forgot sits upside down, so my nice layer of lavendar ended up at the bottom.
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Everyone else had a similar mix of ‘interesting’ results too, but the day was declared an overall success. A couple of points to note though, the middle of some of the candles tends to ‘sink in’ as they set, which you’re supposed to keep an eye on, and gradually add more melted wax to even it out. We didn’t bother with that as we ran out of wax…and we were too busy eating the yummy curry Clare cooked. Also, Gareth agrees that the rose petals are very pretty (another recycled soap making component) but would prefer that I picked out the bits at the top at least, as they’ll probably just end up on fire when we light the candle. He may have a point…

*Sticka is the name of my knitting group; it’s Swedish for knitting. One of our founding members was Swedish, and we just liked the sound of it 🙂
If any Aberdonians are up for some knitting and banter, we meet at the Belmont Cinema bar on Tuesday evenings.

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