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New to this...Need help

Posted by armygirlvet (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 26, 08 at 0:06

Hi all!
I am loving this website! I just found it today while searching for some gardening info.
Anyway, I have been interested for a long time in making my own soaps and candles but have no idea how to get started. Help!
Lisa in Brigham City UT

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: New to this...Need help

Lisa, there are many reputable candle supply suppliers that have kits..

I believe Peak is probably the closest to you, and there are some in California and Texas.

What kind of candles are you interested in making?

RE: New to this...Need help

I am new to this forum, I usually post in tole painting and crafts. I am also interested in learning to make candles. Hobby Lobby has candle making supplies-would this be a good place to start? I saw a container of gel and the directions looked simple. Also need to know about wicks. Thanks for any help.

RE: New to this...Need help

I agree that kits are a good way to start either candle or soap making. A kit will have all of the materials you need to start, as well as instructions. Bear in mind, that there are still a couple of your own things you will need, like a container (small pot or Pyrex measuring cup) to heat soap or wax. If there is a large craft store in your area (such as Michael's or A.C. Moore) that is a good place to start.

RE: New to this...Need help

I would start making candles by making only container candles, then you don't have to worry about steric acid and the hardness of the wax, etc. Make candles poured into containers. The softer the wax is, the more it "throws" a scent but doesn't last as long. Figuring out how much steric acid to use to make it hard enough to stand on its own after molding can be complicated, as well as determining how hard the wax is to begin with. Container candels are so much easier, just melt, colour, scent and pour.

First put in the wick attached to something metal to hold the bottom down, like a heavy paper clip. SLowly pour the melted wax into the mold, let it harden, then top up because it will sink in the middle as it hardenes, a bit.

Scented candles should have lids. You might be able to get some of those little tins with lids at second hand stores or dollar stores or garage sales. Crayons can be used for colouring candles but you have to melt those too, carefully - chop them up first (and take the paper off). Cheap crayons are softer than brand names. You can often buy bags of wax pieces from a candle factory, as well as scent. You won't know what kind of wax it is or how hard it is, but if you're making container candles, it doesn't matter.

AFter you get comfortable with simple container candles, then you can move one to adding steric acid and making stand up candles and get fancy. My mother used to make those ice cube candles with whipped stuff all over the outside for Christmas. I, personally, never moved past the container candles.

Just a warning, anything you make candles in won't be usable for anything else afterwards. Get an old pot from a garage sale and keep it just for that. Ditto for whatever you melt the crayons in. I would use the double boiling method for that. Sit the crayon container inside another pot with boiling water, don't put it directly on the heat.

Good luck starting out. It's a lot of fun. Just be careful making candles. Never leave anything melting without watching it and hot wax can burn you very badly!

RE: New to this...Need help - Soap

Soapmaking is an entirely different matter. Why do people lump candle making and soap making together when they are a completely different process with completely different ingredients and methods?

I would start making soap with a small batch in a blender. Search the interent and you can find recipes that just use regular grocery items. Most do use coconut oil, however, and it's expensive and not always easy to find, but you won't get a thick, rich lather without it, unfortunately. Other than the coconut oil, you don't need expensive special oils, you can make excellent soap with just canola or cheap veg oil and shortening/lard.

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