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?
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.
Featured image – Boho Weddings
I love cake, I love corsets and I love being involved in a charity event.
Astra from Timeless Couture has a close friend, Robyn, who has recently been diagnosed with cervical cancer. She is only in her mid 20’s. One of the charities who has been very supportive and helpful to Robyn is The Mercedes Curnow Foundation who promote awareness of the early detection of cervical cancer in young women and funding private screening & hpv tests. They are fighting to lower the age of cervical screening in England from 25-20. This is something Robyn feels passionately about.
To show support and love for Robyn, Astra decided to organise an event that would involve her family and friends and to hopefully raise funds for The Mercedes Cunrow Foundation. Corset design is a love of Astra’s and her exquisite, bespoke pieces combine vintage inspired details and modern contempoary shapes. She partners Rachel at Timeless Couture and together they create beautiful bespoke wedding dresses, two of which you can see in the main photograph above . Robyn was one of the models in our photoshoot with Timeless Couture earlier in the year, see the gorgeous girl on the telephone above…so it seemed perfect to combine a corset photoshoot with afternoon tea at a special venue.
It was a ladies only day (for obvious reasons!, as Astra put it “no smelly boys”) and all the guests had the opportunity to be involved in the photoshoot.
This idea grew into producing a corset calendar which would be sold to raise further funds.
Stancliffe Hall in Darley Dale offered us the use of their venue, completely free of charge, which was an incredibly generous gesture. It is an outstandingly beautiful privately owned Hall, set in over 50 acres of stunning parkland in the heart of the Peak District.
The photography and styling for the shoot was left in the hands of Emma from Ms Honey Boudoir, who also owns Emma Cleveley Photography. She donated her time, talent, sexy props & experience for the day.
Tineke kindly supplied all the flowers for the day and there were lots of raffle prizes donated by local businesses.
Darby & Joan provided the afternoon tea for the ladies and we donated two days to set up the venue and supplied our vintage china.
Some of the ladies were hesitant about stripping off and posing, but before Emma knew it there was a queue of ladies desperate to be transformed into a sexy siren for a couple of hours. It was credit to Emma’s skill and easy going presence that made the shoot such a success, guiding the girls through poses to flatter their figures and enhanced their best bits. Hopefully we can share some of these photographs with you soon.
Another charity who had been tremendously supportive of Robyn was MacMillan Cancer Support. Most people are familiar with the amazing work they do on a daily basis, providing practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care. A spokesperson from the charity attended to talk about their role in helping cancer patients and their families. Some of the funds raised on the day were donated to MacMillan.
Pimms, afternoon tea, a room full of great ladies having a well earned sunny Sunday afternoon to themselves, a beautiful venue, pants and bras flying around everywhere, laughs and tears and raising money for two amazing charities.
A good day.
Photograph of Robyn – Yvonne Lishman Photography
Main image – Emma Case Photography
Apologies for the pun on the title of this post – I am cringing myself, but it is better than the others I thought of…
Darby & Joan were invited to cater for an afternoon tea party at Kedleston Hall at the beginning of this month. The guest list was made up of 125 textile artists from the Second Turning Textile Group. The group had just opened their new exhibition at the Hall which is open until 22nd September.
Very broadly, the work & exhibition was inspired by the architecture, collections and landscape at Kedleston Hall and showed how rich, lively and versatile textiles can be.
Our menu was what we do best – finger sandwiches, teetering high layer cakes, fresh out of the oven scones, rich chocolate brownies and lots of tea. A simple menu, but one that we knew would be enjoyed and appreciated.
We had two areas to serve. We set up camp in the Orangery and had a handful of guests seated with us in there and the rest of the group were served in a marquee.
The weather was kind, the guests were very lovely, the atmosphere gentle and it was another great success.
Thank you to Kedleston for inviting us to work with you – it doesn’t get much better than working with The National Trust.
Not forgetting a huge thank you to Emma Cleveley Photography for capturing the day so beautifully.
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