Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Crafty Book Review: The Scented Candle Workshop

You guys! The most frustrating thing about candlemaking is choosing the correct wick size. It's the most frustrating part of the process because so often you DON'T choose the correct wick size--or at least I don't--and then all your work is wasted on a candle that you're embarrassed to show anyone else because it burns so super wonky.

If you're using one of the popular waxes--soy wax is super popular right now, for instance--you can generally find a lot of information about it online, perhaps even enough info to get you started with the correct wick size right off, but I really like beeswax, which is already a tricky wax for candles, and every batch of beeswax is different and burns a little differently.

The only way I knew how to choose the correct wick size was trial and error, as in I'd make the entire candle with a wick, it'd burn and look crappy, and I'd have to remelt it and try again. Big bummer, and not conducive to much candlemaking.

Then a publicist sent me a review copy of The Scented Candle Workshop, and in it is a type of burn test that I've never seen before, and it's actually quick and efficient, totally doable, and waste-free!

Y'all, I set it up immediately:

My favorite thing about this project is that the authors suggest doing the burn test in a disposable aluminum baking pan. We've got just a few of these kicking around in case I ever get it into my head to make some freezer meals (as if!), and I was happy to sacrifice one to the cause.

Here you can see my burn test just getting started:

I set it up with all of my current wick sizes, even the ones that I already happily use for specific candles. I've got the tiny braided cotton wick that I use for my rolled beeswax birthday candles, the larger braided cotton wick that I use for my rolled beeswax taper candles, an ECO-10 wick, ECO-12 wick, ECO-14 wick, and an unlabeled wick that came with a separate candlemaking kit.

The kids helped me keep track of the candles as we went about our school day:

And when their burns were finished, I had an exact depiction of exactly the diameter of burn I could get from each candle wick! When it was cool, I peeled the beeswax away from the aluminum baking pan (it's now unsuitable for food, but can be used for more candlemaking projects) and stored it until I'm ready to make my next candle.

And now that I've written them down, I know exactly what candle wick that I want to use to make a rainbow beeswax candle in a Mason jar:

Now that I've seen this burn test, I think I'm actually going to change the wick size that I've been using for my upcycled vintage Coca-Cola bottle candles, too. It's amazing the knowledge that proper science can bring!

I have two more projects from The Scented Candle Workshop on my list to try, now that I've got all my wicks sorted. Stay tuned for an emergency candle in an Altoid tin and a Mason jar candle scented with my favorite essential oils!

I was given a free copy of The Scented Candle Workshop, because I can't write about a book unless I've spent an afternoon burning beeswax in a pie tin at its direction!

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