Updated: Dec 25, 2020
Each candle that is designed, melted, mixed, and labeled is hand-poured right here in Astoria, Oregon. The candle making process is one that I find to be both relaxing and rewarding. For me, there is something almost magical about starting a project with a handful of raw materials and putting them together to make a stunningly eye-catching product.
When I started making candles I ordered materials selectively but from where ever I could get them and on a very low scale. I still order on a low scale ( in small quantities) in comparison to many other candle makers out there yet now I only use a handful of vendors in which I know provide high-quality products themselves. I like to work with other small businesses - especially here locally- because supporting other small business owners where I can is important to me.
The wicks that I use are made of real wood and dipped in fragrance oil before use.
Each label, although they are designed my me, are printed by another local company in the area Laser Print & Copy. Since I got started in the candle making business I have worked with the Team at Laser Print & Copy in Seaside, Oregon and they have never let me down. If your local to Seaside or Astoria, I would highly recommend using them for your printing needs.
The wax that I use to make all of the candles for SOCC is 100% natural soy. Two types of wax are purchase and mixed by hand before being melted down and made into candles. I hand mix the wax myself using consistent ratios each time. I have found that this special mixture creates a smooth and creamy finish on each candle, has a phenomenal scent throw, and allows for a higher fragrance load when needed. Having a wax that can hold a large amount of fragrance and is versatile has been key to my success in making both candles and wax melts.
Having high quality fragrances are key to having a great smelling candle. A few of the best fragrance suppliers that I have purchased from include; Candlescience.com, Brambleberry.com, and Candlemaking.com. All three suppliers have materials for candle and soap making and are relatively cost affective depending on what your looking to make. Each website also contains fun projects and DIY tutorials for all levels of skills from Beginner to Expert. Candle Science is the first company that I ever purchased fragrances from. One of the many many perks of purchasing from Candle Science is that they use only Clean Scents meaning that they do not supply any fragrances that contain chemicals listed on the California Prop65 list and all fragrances are 100% phthalate-free.
I am personally a huge fan of their labeling as well. Each fragrance bottle (Yes, even the sample sizes) are labeled with the approved fragrance amount per product which is a great way of knowing whether the fragrance oil that your purchasing (or already using) is skin safe and can be used for making soaps and lotions as well. Not all fragrances are skin safe!
-The Candle Making Process -
First I begin by setting up my stations, gathering supplies, and sanitizing everything (Yes, EVERYTHING!). With the Coronavirus in full bloom this can be a time consuming process all on its own yet its the best way to keep everyone safe. I am sure that most candle makers would say that the first step is designing your candle, yet I have found that many of my top selling creations (Beach House) have been created as an Oops or a accidental match up of supplies.
After I have all my supplies gathered and sanitize I begin assembling. I start by adhering all wicks to their containers and end with labelling all that I can at this point. The rest takes only a few moments to complete.
Insert wick(s) and apply labels (applying labels can be done in the beginning or at the end when the candles have cooled).
Heat wax to between 180 - 185 degrees Fahrenheit
Add Fragrance to wax and stir for about 2 minutes
Let wax sit and cool until it reaches about 120 degrees. ( I admit that I vary on cooling temperatures quite often. I have found that some mixtures set better at a higher temp and some do better at lower temps. Its okay to give a little where you need to)
5. Pour wax and fragrance mixture into the container. When the wax is cooling I tend to watch for any sink holes that form and tap out any bubbles that I can see inside the glass.
7. Lastly, I wipe down each container and place any remaining labels, lids or decorations that I did not add place earlier gun.
7. Lastly, I wipe down each container and place any remaining labels, lids or decorations that I did not add place earlier.
*If you are following these steps to make your own candles please know that a lot of things may vary for you depending on your climate, room temperature, wax type, vessel type and size, fragrance and wick. Nothing has to be perfect, just have fun!
I hope that you found my process insightful and if you are a fellow candle maker I would love to read about your own processes as well as tips and tricks on how you do all that you do. For those of you reading this that are new to candle making I hope you found this helpful. I always enjoy seeing the creations of other's who enjoy the art of candle making and encourage all the questions and comments that our community has to offer. Thank you for reading!