Candles are not only easy to make, they are a wonderful opportunity to reuse jars or even vintage tea cups. Penelope Quinn talks to the experts to find out how – just in time for Earth Hour!
There’s something so atmospheric about a fragrant candle – whether your having dinner, enjoying a quiet night at home or working – it really adds a sense of atmosphere to almost any room. If you’ve ever wanted make your own there is no better time than this weekend– in time for Earth Hour!
This Saturday, March 29 at 8.30pm, millions of people are switching off their lights for Earth Hour, which in the last few years has cemented itself as the largest voluntary action for the environment.
So to inspire you to take part, I talked to candle makers Thomas Hutley and Rebecca Lockwood of Hutwoods – who are living their creative dreams by launching their own brand of environmentally conscious candles in the creative inner-city Sydney suburb of Glebe.
“Ever since I was young I've always loved crafts, and would happily spend hours making things with whatever I could find,” says Rebecca. “As an adult, I soon realised that my obsession with burning soy candles could potentially lead me to another craft I could try.”
After investing in a few starter kits, Rebecca realized her hobby was something she wanted to develop.
Soon, they had their own stall in Glebe Markets where their soy candles, beautifully presented in a recycled jar with a wood wick, were an overwhelming success. Now, they have many repeat customers and stock in shops in the inner west and eastern suburbs.
“Sustainability is hugely important and something we take very seriously,” says Rebecca. “We only use premium EcoSoya® Advanced Soy Wax, which is composed of non-petroleum renewable resources and derived from 100% natural soybean oil.
“Soybean oil is toxic free, biodegradable, free from pesticides and herbicides, kosher certified and also free from any genetically modified material. We also offer our candles in a broad range of re-cycled glass jars and encourage customers to either re-fill their candle jar or enjoy for a host of different uses to minimise impact on landfill.”
So want to give it a try? The easiest way is to buy yourself a starter kit which will come with every thing you need and specific instructions for the type of wax you are using, including temperatures and setting times.. But to make sure your first experience with making candles is a successful one, Rebecca and Thomas have offered up their expert tips.
TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR OWN CANDLES
- Give the process 100% of your attention, and make sure you give yourself enough time. The melting and pouring temperatures vary for different waxes, so be sure to check the properties of the wax you are using. Don’t rush through any of the steps as your candle will not turn out correctly
- Do not over-fragrance your wax, although it would seem that this would make the candle scent stronger, it actually doesn't! If you add too much oil, it won't make the candle smell better, it will actually ruin the candle and it won't burn properly, if at all.
- Experiment with different wicks as this is very important to ensure the wax melts correctly. You will also need to trim the wicks to around ¼ inch after the setting stage to ensure that the flame is the correct height for the ultimate burn
- Don't panic if you spill your soy wax, it can be easily dissolved and cleaned up with warm soapy water
- Make sure you leave your final candle to set for at least 36 hours before lighting. The candle needs to “cure” to give the best burn and fragrance throw
- Practice makes perfect. There is a science to candle making and it will take a few goes to get it right. Be sure to persevere and don't be put off if it doesn't work out first time!
- Take the time to learn about the different types of wax available, as they all vary in regards to melting point and use. There are lots of types available so experiment to see which one you enjoy working with the most
Click HERE to find candle making kits!
For more information on Hutwoods candles and stockists, visit www.facebook.com/Hutwoods
For more information on Earth Hour, visit www.earthhour.org
For more craft tutorials, visit darnsexysecondhand.com