Making soy wax candle tarts.
I love the aroma given off by burning candles, particularly candle tarts. For those not in the know, these are small , almost disc like candles or rather tarts, that do not have a wick. Typically highly scented, you place them in a wax burner, a tealight places inside the burner warms the wax, quickly turning it into a pool of warm scented liquid which fills your surroundings with the most delightful smell.
You can purchase these wax tarts in a variety of candle, craft stores, or click on the link to purchase here on ebay! There are a great variety of scents, shapes and styles to suit your needs. However, you are limited to whatever is on retail - make your own, and you are free to let your creativity explode. You can experiment with different scents to match you mood, personality or the season, try different colors or shapes - the options are limited only by your imagination!
Gathering your supplies.
You have a number of options when getting started. A number of companies make starter kits, that contain everything you need from the actual ingredients that will go into your candle, to the hardware needed to create them. If you plan to make this a venture, and produce multiple candles for yourself, for resale and for gifts, this is a great way to go, and once you have offset the initial cost, you have everything you need to continue with your venture - click Wax tart starter kits - to explore the variety of options available here on ebay!
The basics you will need are as follows:
- melting pot / double boiler that you will use exclusively for candles
- stir sticks
- A thermometer
- Wax - I recommend buying in bulk - start with a 10lb bag of soy wax candle chips
- A variety of dyes
- fragrance - you can use either synthetic fragrance or essential oils
Making your Wax tarts
Now to begin!
Clear your work area, and you may want to put down some old newspaper in the area you plan to work in as wax in notoriously hard to remove from surfaces!
Now to begin, get everything ready and close to hand - your wax, moulds, fragrance, color, so you have everything close and ready to use when the time is right!
Step 1 - melt your wax.
Soy wax does actually lend itself to be melted in a microwave, however, I prefer the stove top method as it allows you to be more in control and can observe when the process is completing!
You want the heat high to begin, fill the lower half of your double boiler with water and bring to the boil - then reduce heat to low and add your chips - start with a pound or so as this will be easier to work with on the first time. Slowly allow to melt not cook or bubble!! You can stir with the wooden stick to help merge all the chips and allow for a more consistent melt.
Step 2 - adding your dye.
This is where the thermometer helps - you want to make sure your wax is fully melted and at the 185 - 190 degree mark, before you add your dye. If there are some solid peices still in the mix, this will cause inconsistencies in your color.
Add slowly, a few drops at a time, this will allow you to control the depth of your color. You are free to mix different dyes to gain the desired effect and it helps to consider your fragrance when adding dye. For example, if you are making a gingerbread candle, you would ideally want a ginger color to give the total presentation of gingerbread.
Another tip, if mixing dyes , is to do so before adding to the wax, so you get your general color beforehand...mistakes are harder to correct once your color is in the wax!
Step 3 - adding your fragrance.
For this point you want to make sure your wax has cooled a little, with slightly cooler wax, it will allow you to be more aware of the scent!
Use the thermometer and wait until you hit between 160 - 165 degrees, slowly add your scent. Be aware that if using pure essential oils, they are much more concentrated so a little goes a long way. You want a subtle scent not overwhelming fragrance!
Step 4 - pouring into your moulds
Almost there now!! This is the point you want to make sure you protect your surroundings and your clothes! Make sure your moulds are clean, dry and free of any substance that could affect the final result!
There are various ways to pour - but as your molds for wax tarts are small, and the pan big - and the fact you are dealing with hot wax, you can minimize risk of spills and injury by either using a ladle with a lip or transferring some of the mix into a clear, dry jug (again one you will use exclusively for candle making) and then using this to pour into your mould.
I find it useful to set the moulds on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and then pour your mix into the mould. The leave to dry.
Step 5 - Finishing your wax tarts.
Almost there. You want to leave your wax tarts to completely dry at room temperature. Never put in the fridge as cracking will occur! I suggest at least a complete day - longer if you can. Theh you simple pop them out of the mould. This should occur quite easily...if not, you can pop them into the freezer for a few minutes only which may make them contract and pull out with minimal force - but if you can avoid this, it will be better for the finished candle!
At this point - congratulations....you are done. You can use these in your wax burner or wrap up in pretty cello to use as gifts. Be careful as these are soft, prone to damage and heat effects.
You are now free to experiment with scents, color, texture and shape - your imagination is your only boundary. It is a fun hobby, that will make your home smell delightful and is is relatively cheap to get started!
No more trips to the candle store and these are much cheaper to make, besides a lot if fun and the pride you can take for something you created!!