We have been making these lovely things for four years now and still love it. We had a day of making them with Becky from Butterworth Photography and Chloe Adlington from Adore recently and here are the results…
We use recycled containers, natural ingredients, and it’s also very budget-friendly if you make your own. Sounds like an all around winner, yes?
In case you wanted to buy some – we sell them for around £12 for a vintage teacup candle and they are really popular for dressing wedding tables or they can be a sweet additional gift for your bridesmaids. A few brides have asked us to make them using the fragrance from their flowers and colour them to match their decor.
We use all kinds of containers – glasses, jam jars, sugar bowls, trifle bowls, teacups, shot glasses, kilner jars…the list is endless. If it can hold wax, we’ll use it!
We use the best quality soy wax flakes which are eco friendly, last longer than traditional paraffin wax and the product is so soft that it is very easy to wash out with soap and warm water – something that isn’t possible with paraffin.
We have found a super duper supplier of high quality oils which offer a beautiful range of fragrances to choose from. We tend to stick with light, floral and feminine fragrances that can be burnt together without one over powering the other. This type of fragrance works perfectly with the vintage containers that we use.
What you need….
- Soy wax flakes.
- Cotton wicks with a metal disc on the bottom.
- Wax dye chips if you want to colour your candle.
- Essential oils. Please ensure you buy candle wax oils, not soap or home fragrancing.
- A large pan.
- A large metal bowl.
- A thermometer (I use a food one).
- Lots of newspaper to minimise the mess (if possible!).
- Wooden spoon.
Cover every available surface with newspaper. Melted wax gets everywhere. Wear an apron for the same reason!
Weigh your wax. From hours spent experimenting I now use one pound of wax to four tablespoons of oil. For me this is the perfect ratio, but you might find a different one works better for you. Just be warned that if you put too much oil in there, you will have greasy “wet” spots on the top of your candle and it may ignite.
Pour boiling water in your pan, sit the metal bowl on top and pour in your wax flakes. Simply melt wax in this double doiler method.
Heat the oil to 180 degrees.
Take the bowl off the heat and add your dye chips if using. They are usually very highly pigmented so you only need a very small amount. Stir, stir, stir.
When the temperature of the wax has dropped a little, pour in your oil. Stir, stir, stir.
This is really important as you want the dye and the fragrance to be even throughout the life of the candle.
When it has cooled to around 150 degrees you can pour into your containers.
Pop in your wick and balance it in the middle of the container. I use small chopsticks, pegs, teaspoons – whatever fits!
It will take a few hours for the wax to fully set.
Trim the wick to 1/4 inch and that’s it!
I think it is worth me mentioning a few pitfalls – because we have been making them for a while now, you can have the benefit of our hours and hours of experimenting!
- newspaper everywhere.
- don’t get any water near the wax.
- watch the temperature of the oil as if it heats too high it could ignite.
- don’t be tempted to add loads more oil to make a stronger scented candle. The ratio of wax to oil is important. Too much and you will have “wet” spots on the top and it might be dangerous.
- stir, stir, stir.
- if you find that the candle sets and there are little air holes on the top, or it is uneven then don’t worry,
- just blast it with a hairdryer to melt the top and it will set fine. (the best tip ever for candlemaking!!).
- always trim the wick to 1/4 inch, this applies when you are burning it too.
Hope you find this helpful – it would be nice to hear from some of you who have given it a go.
Thanks to Butterworth Photography for our photographs
Thanks to Chloe Adlington for organising us!
Saturday 7th July was a good day.
These events are always amazingly well organised, are filled to bursting point with the best suppliers in the area & are always good fun & the venue really is very special. Over the past couple of years I have got to know several of the exhibitors & it is always nice to catch up with them, especially those who make their own products & who have a real passion & talent for what they are doing.
Rachel from Tattered Rose was there with her beautiful handmade jewelery, art & keepsakes.
Becky from Butterworth Photography was exhibiting & took some great photographs of the day for us.
For those who really love to be crafty, Chloe from Adore by Chloe was there to offer advice to brides to be, party planners or aspiring domestic goddesses.
As always, the girls from Polly’s List were there with their kids corner, providing some entertainment for the younger customers.
Finally, there was one lady there whose products helped me through the day & provided much needed support when help was needed – a special thank you to Clare from Clarette Wines who was superbly positioned next door to the kitchens…!
Please contact this amazingly knowledgeable girl if you are interested in wine, like drinking wine, want to learn more about wine or have equally strong feelings about Port or Champagnes. She has spent a decade working with the best of the best in London & has just set up her own wine consultancy.
I had the busiest couple of weeks I have ever had (ever) in the run up to the day…baking, packing, planning, ordering, baking, storing, wrapping, baking…I had three or four mornings where I crashed into bed at 4am & I will admit that I lived on coffee, the occasional wine, adrenaline & very little sleep for the week leading up to the market.
Deb had invited me to play a big part in her market way back at the beginning of the year & despite thinking “aaaaaaah, this is the biggest thing I have done & can I do it??” – my philosophy since starting Darby & Joan has always been to say yes to any opportunity that looks exciting, fun & will push the business forward – so it was an immediate yes & over the subsequent months I plotted & planned how to put it all together.
On the face of it, our tea room provided tea & cake – how hard can that be? But the Fabulous Places are always incredibly well attended & we were offering refreshments to a lot of hungry & thirsty shoppers – a lot!!
There was a huge area to fill – the library at The Roundhouse is an impressive space – but luckily there was a large work area “pod” that we used as our serving station which worked perfectly. I took lots of our old furniture, props & accessories as well as our serving & eating china.
I had a good idea of how to set it all up and the next thing on my list was to find the right staff. And I definitely did. Their attention to detail, customer service, sheer hard work & always having a smile truly made the day run smoothly and made it the success that it was.
The cakes…I wanted to offer good old fashioned layer cakes, cupcakes, brownies, flapjacks & rocky road. I hoped there would be something for everyone on the menu yet keep the menu list brief.
Natalie from Yummy Little Cakes made our cupcakes & Lisa from Food Fairies made our Coffee & Walnut & Carrot cakes (which flew off the cake stands!) We made the rest of the menu & hope that we got it right.
The doors opened at 10am and the event went on until 5pm.
We had a full house with queues of up to 30 people from 10am until 5pm.
Thank you everyone who came to the event, the other fantastic exhibitors, to Deb for inviting us to be such a big part of the market, to our customers & our staff.
I apologise for posting another blog, the second of the day. A bit like a bus, nothing for a while then…
I just wanted to add a few links onto here so any of you who would like to can read the lovely things other companies have posted about Darby & Joan.
I can’t tell you how over the moon I am about how business is progressing, how we are growing and nothing is better than hearing positive, kind & gorgeous things – especially from clients’ and other wedding industry people.
Tineke Floral Designs don’t really need much introduction, they are a multi-award winning florist, owned by Kerry Wilkinson, the creative brains and beauty behind the company. Kerry’s passion for what she does is plain to see and I have yet to meet one of her brides who hasn’t been bowled over by the service, attention to detail and her personality. Kerry was kind enough to write a blog post about Darby & Joan a few months ago…
Whimsical Weddings are one of the best loved, best known wedding blogs in the UK and one of the photoshoots we styled was featured on their blog a few weeks ago – very exciting it was too! Have a read here…
Adore by Chloe is a fabulous blog, showcasing lots of gorgeous little DIY projects, masses of style inspiration and all written by Chloe, who has such a talent for styling and writing that you can’t help but drop by her blog more often than you should. She has featured Darby & Joan on more than one occasion…our Winter Wonderland Wedding and The Ultimate Hen Tea Party…
Brides Up North is the premier wedding blog specifically for the North of the UK and they provide great features. One of them was a blog about one of our favourite photoshoots we have been involved with. The theme was Vintage Elopement, a 1940′s styled affair which was a lot of fun to do. Have a look here …
Thats all folks..
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