The Year of Fun #19: Candle Making

A somewhat gentler Year of Fun challenge from last week… but not without it’s own risks of mild peril.

Candle making was something that wasn’t actually on my Year of Fun bucket list, until a small brainwave I had a couple of months ago.

Two male friends on separate occasions expressed their irrational love for… candles.

Without going into any gender stereotypes, I’ll just say that I was surprised. I like candles well enough, but really I’m more of an incense gal.

But these guys were very enthusiastic about the waxen light source. In fact one coughed up £30 for a candle that smelled of obscure trees. £30.

Pondering this mystery, the brainwave came to me.

MANDLES.

Candles for the man.

Good eh?

Anyway, I decided I was sitting on a goldmine if I could market this well enough, and I got researching all things candle making.

Like I said, I like candles, not enough to spend £30 on one, but I had never made one before. I have memories of very angry parents after my sister spilt half a pot of wax on her bedroom carpet. Kind of put me off.

But thanks to the world wide web, there are TONNES of resources for newbie candle makers.

It was quite overwhelming actually.

I knew I wanted to go down the soy route, hoping my vegan friends would be some of my first customers. I also knew I wanted the candles to sit in tins: it seemed more manly somehow.

And screwing around with candle moulds sounded like more trouble than it’s worth.

Once I had my shopping list, I found a wholesale candle supply site, added a load of supplies to my basket and looked at the total price.

Yikes. I figured I’d play it safe and may be order a basic all-inclusive candle making kit from eBay, because this Mandle brainwave might – just might – be a flop if I suck at candle making.

Which was wise.

For one, I googled ‘mandles’ only after ordering my kit. Apparently, unsurprisingly, it’s been DONE.

D’oh! Not very well, but it exists and I’m not going to compete over this one.

Still enthusiastic to try my paw at candle making, figuring I could easily come up with another candle-loving-niche, I went to work as soon as my candle making kit arrived.

candle making kit

The kit! This contained more than enough: 5 tins, a melting jug, thermometer, fragrance, sustainers, wick, glue dots and bits to hold the wick in place. Oh and the soy wax pellets!

Step 1: melt the wax…

I got into a bit of a faff over the wick unfortunately, and cut them before I remembered I’d need extra to make them stay in place better.

The glue dots were meant to hold the sustainer and wick in place… Which seemed to be the case… until I poured the wax.

The only wick long enough to be held in place. Hard to see, but that wick would be floating if it wasn’t suspended. The glue dots were a major fail!

At this point I decided that candle making was most definitely not for me.

I know I know, first time etc.

But to do this to a high level of finish that I’d be happy to charge people for – let alone give as gifts – is going to take a lot of trial and effort.

My one successful candle…

The wonky wick brigade

Will I give it another go? Possibly. I still have some wax left, and have always wanted my own teacup candle… So may be that’s worth a try.

Anyway, I’ve learned a thing or two and have a newfound respect for candle makers! If any of you out there make your own candles, I’d love some tips!

Fun rating: 3/10

 

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