Candlemaking Ingredients
Class 1 - Class 2 - Class 3 - Class 4 - Class 5 - Class 6 - Class 7 - Class 8 - Class 9 - Class 10

     In this class, you will learn about the different ingredients that are used to make paraffin candles.  You will allow learn how to achieve candles that have a stronger scent throw.  We have also included a troubleshooting guide that will help you in case you encounter any candlemaking problems.  At the end of this class, you will learn how to properly price your candles for both wholesale and retail.

Wax

     Natures Garden works very closely with some of the most experienced wax experts in the industry to be able to offer our customers the highest quality candle waxes on the market today.  Many of the waxes found below were developed exclusively for Natures Garden.  

Paraffin Wax:   there are several types of this kind of wax.  Low melting point (126-132)-this type of wax is used for container candles, carved candles, and modeling.  Medium melting point(135-145) - this type of wax can be used for dipping, floaters, molds. High melting point (145-150) - this type of wax is used for hurricane candles.
Microcrystalline Wax:   there are 2 types of micro:  Hard micro is used in the proportion 1% with paraffin wax to strengthen candles and make them slower burning.  It can also be used as a dip to produce mottled candles.  Its melt point is over 200.  Soft micro is a low melting point wax that is combined with paraffin wax to make modeled wax.  Adding about 10%   or 1 1/2 oz. per lb. to paraffin wax for container candles to make them stick to the containers better.
Beeswax : More expensive, but wonderful to use!  Can be used by itself or add 5-10% to paraffin.  Beeswax when added to paraffin will improve the candle's color and the burning time.
Natures Garden's Joy Wax
Natures Garden's Soy Wax

Exclusively sold at Nature's Garden!  Joy wax is a blend of just the right amount of vegetable waxes, food grade paraffin, and other proprietary ingredients.  Thousands of candle makers have switched to this wax blend!  It allows candles to smell stronger and does not provide candles with the rough flakiness that 100% soy wax does.  It is the best wax that we have ever used.  

Directions for use: Melt joy wax (using a double-boiler method) to 200F. Add coloring to your specifications. Drop the temperature to 175-170F. Add 1 ounce of fragrance oil per pound of joy wax. Pour into containers at 165-160F. Wick your containers, and allow to cool at room temperature. We have found that zinc-core wicks work the best in this wax, however, HTP, CD, Hemp and Performa wicks may also be used with great success. As with any wax, trim your wicks before lighting candles. We invite you to try our Joy Wax, put it to the test against your regular wax, and SMELL and SELL the difference! You too will want to do a JOY DANCE!

100% all-natural soy wax. This wax is for container candles. Environmentally friendly, burns clean, burns evenly. Candles have a natural mottled look on top.  The problem with candles made with all soy wax is that they may not have as strong of a scent throw as candles using a different wax may have.  The tops of candles made with 100% soy wax will appear slightly flaky.  

     Melt soy wax to 175 degrees F.   Add color and mix thoroughly. Allow temperature to drop to approximately 130 degrees F and add fragrance ( 1oz - 1 1/2 oz. per pound of wax). Pour soy wax at about 110 degrees F to allow for smoother candle surfaces. Soy wax naturally provides a rough mottled appearance on the surface of the candle, however, if you would like for the surface to be flat, use a heat gun to smooth out the surface. NOTE: Soy wax can also be mixed with joy wax  in equal proportions to provide a candle with stronger cold throw, and a smoother surface.

Natures Garden's Dream Wax
Natures Garden Mottled Wax

Exclusively sold at Natures Garden.  DREAM WAX is a specially formulated paraffin one pour votive wax. It can be used to make votives and pillar candles. It is NOT a one pour wax in pillars; pillars will require a second pour. Votives made with DREAM wax may have a very slight dip in the middle. Melt point is 152-155F. Wax is white and very hard in consistency. Directions for using Dream Wax: Please be advised that the pour temperature of Dream wax is very important! Melt wax to 200F. Add color. Drop your temperature to 185F. Add 1 to 1.5 oz. fragrance. Pour into votive cups or pillar molds at 180F. Pouring to hot will create a larger dip in the candle. Allow candles to set up at room temperature. They easier pop out of the molds once set up.

Mottled Wax is a specially formulated paraffin wax that has a rustic  (snowflake pattern) appearance. It can be used to make votives and pillar candles. It is NOT a one pour wax. Melt point is 140F. Wax is mottled in appearance and very hard in consistency. Directions for using Mottled Wax: Please be advised that the pour temperature of mottled wax is very important! Melt wax to 200F. Add color. Please note: If you are going to use a heavy fragrance oil, add 2% stearic acid to your wax to reduce seepage (2% would be 2 tsp. stearic acid per pound of wax). Drop your temperature to 175F. Add 1 to 1.5 oz. fragrance. Pour into votive cups or pillar molds at 170F. Pouring to hot will reduce the mottling appearance. Allow candles to set up at room temperature. They easier pop out of the molds once set up. Please note: Mottling wax does tend to produce some fragrance seepage.

 

     Like one of my candle makers said one day, "Making candles is an art, not a job!"  It takes time to become good at making candles....but why not start off on the right foot instead of making a lot of mistakes!?!

  1. VOTIVES:  when making votives, we have  use the stainless 2 oz. molds or the new 3 oz. polycarbonate molds  which you can use forever!  The wax will come away from the mold easily without spraying them.  We use a medium melt point pre blended wax for votives.  The polycarbonate molds allow the outside of your votives to have a nice shine.  Votives are actually very tricky! 

  2. Make sure the environment that you are pouring your candles is not too cold.  This will cause your molds to become too cool.  If your environment is cool, try warming your molds prior to pouring, otherwise you will get what they call, "jump lines" on your votives  instead of a smooth surface.  This happens because the wax closest to the mold cools too fast, while the wax in the center of the votive has not had a chance to cool.

  3. Pour your votives at about 160.  Don't get your wax too hot!  Wax will take on a chemical smell if heated too hot. 

  4. Add your fragrance right before you pour your candles.  If you allow the fragrance to sit in the pot for a long time....it will evaporate...your candles will not be as strong! 

  5. When pouring votives, save enough wax to top your candles off on your repour!  We suggest waiting at least 3 hours before topping your first pour off.  Do not add fragrance or anything to the second pour.  This will cause the top of your candle to be lighter in color.  We pour our second pour at 160 also.  Some people tell you to make your second pour a little hotter, but my experience has shown that this may cause discoloration to occur.  So be careful! 

  6. By the way, we use 44-28-18 zinc core wicks with a 20mm tab for our votives.  If you do not want to use the zinc core wicks, you can also use the CD-5 wicks for votives.   These wicks are pre tabbed so they save a lot of time.  They also stand up straight, so all you have to do is wait until your votive starts to look a little cloudy, and then center your wick and straighten!  Easy!  Beats trying to tie a string to the top....and all that jazz!  We have also never used wick stickums.  In my opinion, it is just extra cost that you just don't need!  Spend your money on good fragrance and wax!

  7. Be careful when adding additives such as vybar to your wax!  While vybar will indeed increase the smell of your candles, adding too much will prevent scent throw!  There is a fine line.  If we use vybar, we use 1/4- 1/2 tsp. per pound of wax.....never more than that!

  8. Here's something to avoid!  When you do your second pour on votive candles, only pour to the point of your first pour.  Why?  If you go beyond that first pour point, the wax will create small bubbles on the top of your candles...which end up being small holes! 

  9. What is wax's worst enemy?   Water!  Whatever you do, make sure that when you are pouring your candles that you put all of your molds on the edge of the counter that you are pouring on and move them back as they set up.  If your pouring pot drips water into molds....you will have big holes!  Not a pretty site!  If you get water in your wax, make sure the water has a chance to evaporate out of the wax before using the wax.  

  10. 15

    Do not remove the votives from their mold until they have set up at least 2 hours.  Removing them too fast will cause the outside to have rips in the wax.  Allow them to set up at room temp for best results.  Never place them in a freezer!  This will cause them to crack while cooling.

  11. If you make votives and they appear to have white flakes in them....this is a sign that you poured them at too low of a temperature or you used too much fragrance.  This is a sign of an unstable candle.

Candle Additives

Additives  / Colors  /  Fragrances

Additives -  There are various additives sold for candle making.  Stearin is added to wax in the proportion of 10% stearin to 90% wax (or 1 1/2 oz. stearin to 1 lb. wax).  Stearin helps molds release because it makes the wax shrink upon cooling.  It also increases the opacity of candle wax, and enhances dye colors.  Vybar is the alternative to stearin.  This also helps the scent throw of your candles.  We use 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of vybar to 1 lb. of wax for the very best results.  Adding too much vybar will trap your fragrance....so be very careful!  Petrolatum is added to wax to increase its oil content and make it creamier so that it will adhere to containers.  This also aids in reducing the wax melting point.  We use 1-2 oz. of crisco shortening per pound of single pour wax to achieve a better scent throw.  We have found that the crisco works better in some container waxes than the petrolatum does.  If you would like to achieve a mottling effect to your candles, add 3 Tablespoons of mineral oil per 1 lb. of wax.  Pour at 160 degrees, and do not use a water bath to cool the candles.
Colors -  Candle color comes in various forms.  You can choose from liquid dyes, powdered color, cakes, or chips.  In my opinion, the color cakes will provide your candles with the best results, but the problem with the cakes is that it is very hard to be absolutely consistent with your colors.  We bought a gram scale at one time to measure out our colors perfectly, but this takes alot of time to do.  We have tried the color chips, but in my opinion...once again....you have to weigh them out ...plus they are quite expensive.  We use the color cakes when we desire a deep colored candle.  Otherwise, we use liquid dyes.  The problem with liquid dyes is that they have a chemical smell to them.  Therefore, I would suggest using the liquid for lighter colored candles...and the cakes for the darker ones!  RULE OF THUMB:  Never use more than 10 drops of liquid dye to achieve your desired color, or you will be able to smell the chemicals in the dye.
Fragrance -  When making candles, make sure that you are using fragrance oils designed for candlemaking.   This fragrance must not contain alcohol or water!  Concentrated fragrance oils will allow you to use only 1 oz. of fragrance per 1 lb. of wax.  You may also use essential oils to fragrance you candles, but you will have to add an additive to your wax so that the essential oils will not settle to the bottom of your candles (this additive is called polysorbate 80).  Essential oils are the actual oils extracted from plants.  They are very very expensive to buy, but if you desire to make true Aromatherapy Candles, you should use the essential oils.  All of the fragrances sold at Natures Garden are designed for candlemaking, and a host of other applications.  All of our concentrated fragrances are created for Natures Garden by a master perfumist.

Troubleshooting Guide

Problem Possible Causes What To Do
Candle is smoking when you burn it
High oil content, your wick is too large, your candle may have air pockets
Decrease your amount of fragrance oil, try a smaller wick size, pour your candles at a hotter temp
Candle is not Throwing enough scent
Your fragrance is low quality, you have not used enough fragrance, you have added too much vybar, you left your wax on your heat source for too long allowing the fragrance to evaporate, you are using a wax that is not porous enough
Use a better quality fragrance, use 1 oz. of fragrance per lb. of wax, only add 1/2 tsp. of vybar per lb. of wax, pour your candles right away after you add your fragrance, use a more porous wax
Fragrance oil is settling to the bottom of the candle
You used too much fragrance, you are using a wax that is not porous enough
Use 1oz. of fragrance per lb. of wax, use a more porous wax.
Second pour is not blending well with your first pour
You have poured your second pour too cool
Try to do your second pour when your candle is still a little warm.  Be careful though, if you pour your second pour too soon, that repour will sink just like your first pour did!
Candle wax is not burning evenly all of the way down
Your wax may be too hard (too high of a melt point), your wick may be too small
You may want to use a softer, lower melt point wax or try using a larger wick diameter.  Zinc core wicks tend to burn hotter...try these!
Candle wick is drowning out
Your wick size is probably too small for your candle diameter
Try using a larger wick size
Candle will not come out of your molds
You may have poured your candles too hot, you may have poured your second pour over your fill line, your wax is too soft
Try using a harder wax, use mold release, pour your candles at a lower temp, do not pour above the first pour line, try putting your candle in the refrigerator to help it pop out.  I don't suggest putting candles in the freezer as they may crack
Candles getting jump lines (visible lines on the outside of the candle or container candle)
Added too much stearic acid, your container or mold was too cool when you poured your candle, you poured at too cool of a temperature.
Try to warm your molds or containers prior to pouring, pour at a hotter temperature, use less additives
Candles are getting small air bubbles which lead to small holes
Got water in the wax when you were pouring, on your second pour you poured above the first pour fill line, your candles cooled too fast, you poured your candles at too cool of temp
Make sure you never get water into your wax when pouring!  Water is wax's worst enemy!  Pour at a hotter temp, do not pour past the first pour fill line...air will get trapped and will not release before the candle has already set up.  Make sure your molds and containers are warm and your working environment is not too cool

Pricing & Selling Your Candles 

Pricing

  • Before you decide on a price that you will charge for your merchandise, you must first figure out your total costs for making your candles or crafts.  In this cost analysis, make sure you include: cost of materials to make the candles or crafts, cost of utilities to make the candles or crafts, cost of office supplies such as labels, ink, ect., cost of labor paid out, cost of packaging, cost of advertising, and an estimate of what your time is worth per candle or craft made.

  • Once you have your total cost per unit figured out, you will want to sell your candles or crafts at (cost X 2) for wholesale, and (cost X  3 )  for retail.  Make sure you do a market analysis before you decide on your prices.  Pricing your products too high will lower your demand unless the quality and packaging is exceptional, and pricing your candles or crafts too low will also lower your market because customers will think your products are lower quality (that is unless you sell them at an outlet store or a similar type setting).

Selling

  • Here are some ideas that candle makers and crafters have used in the past in order to market their candles and crafts. 
    (1) Selling candles or crafts to country stores or gift shops on a consignment basis.  This means that when the candles sell, the owner of the shop gets an average of 25%, and you keep the rest.  
    (2) Selling candles or crafts to local country stores or gift shops at wholesale prices.  In this situation, the shop owner buys the candles from you at 40-50% off and they resell the merchandise. 
    (3) Craft bazaars- setting up a booth at a local function such at a flea market, church sale, craft show and sitting there while customers purchase your candles or crafts at retail. 
    (4) Home parties- In this situation, you would have sales consultants who are actually independent contractors or you can do this yourself.  They would go to homes and present the candle or craft products to guests that the hostess has invited over for the "Home party".  They would take orders from the guests, send the orders into the candle company or craft company, and the company would fill the orders. 
    (5) Fundraisers- Offering to allow local non-profit organizations and schools to sell your candles or crafts for a fundraiser.  The organization would receive 35-50% of the sale.  
    (6) Craft Malls- In this situation, you would be responsible for seeing that a booth in the craft mall is filled at all times.  The owner of the craft mall receives an average of $25-$100 month to maintain your booth for you and to handle sales.  The craft mall owner also receives a small commission per sale...7% average.  You will in return receive a rundown each month of your total merchandise that was sold; with an accompanying check for your sales minus your dues.

 

 
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www.naturesgardencandles.com
(candlemaking supplies at wholesale prices)

Natures Garden offers Ohio wholesale candle making supplies for candlemaking. We also offer wholesale soap making supplies for soapmaking. In addition to candle supplies and soap supplies, we offer incense supplies and cosmetic supplies. Wholesale fragrance oil in Ohio.

 
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