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Hello everyone!

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Quick background:

I'm 23, and a stay at home mom, with a husband in the (ch)Air Force.

Well, I used to spend close to $250.00 a month on candles (I'm obsessed with pretty votive wall sets) when my mom suggested I try making my own.

I blame her for the bug!

I went to Michael's and got some stuff to try out, however I found my electric stove doesn't get hot enough to up the temp for repours using the melting pot and water. So I went looking, found the Presto Pot setup and it lead me here. I've been lurking for about a week now!

I did a few candles, however, I seem to suck at repours. I got the wicking down on my own, plus pre-tabbed (god bless pre-tabbed) and even got the right colors!

I was using straight paraffin, and having zero scent throw. :(

Are additives really necessary for a good throw?

I see most of you are using FO's. Are the scent blocks of wax that great? That's what I've been testing with.

Also, I'm having lots of bubbles with the straight paraffin as well. Another additive issue?

I do have to say, though I got me a nice heat gun. It's a brush style hot air curling iron, and the end snaps off and it works like a charm! For $9.95 at Wal-Mart, though it only has low and high heat.

Sorry for the bits and pieces, I tried to use search, but typing in the simple search terms brought TONS of unrelated threads!

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Welcome to the Board.

My first suggestion would be stop using those wax scented block they are worthless.

Since you are making votives get yourself a votive wax kit, Peak Candle supplies sells a very good votive kit. That would give you everything you need to make some really nice votives.

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Wecome, welcome! It's always nice to see another Colorado person here! :cheesy2:

A few questions to get some more information.....

What temperature are you adding your fragrance? You generally need to add at or above 170. For the very short period of time that I used scent blocks (Yaley's) I wasn't adding at the right temp and although I could smell the candles cold I couldn't smell anything while burning! :rolleyes2

If I remember correctly, straight paraffin really doesn't do that well, so you do need to look at either a blend or additives.

The bubbles may because you are either pouring too cool or stirring too much right before you pour and incorporating too much air. Try tapping the votive molds gently with a fork/spoon/knife handle after you pour -- that can help work out the air bubbles.

Like Vicky said, check out Peak! If you can drive up from the Springs you can save on the shipping cost.

Hope that helps!

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Thanks for the welcomes! :P

The highest temp I can get on my stove is 175. So I've been adding the Yaley's scent blocks from Michael's at that temp. Something I've found out from reading the forums here, is that my candle thermometer may be a bit wacko, it suggests minimum of 210 for Metal molds (no it's not upside down! :) ) And of course doing 2 repours at 10 degrees hotter than the last layer, the 3rd total pour would be at least 230!

I have a HUGE wishlist at Peak already! :) Saving on shipping is always nice!

I just did some melting of a scent I got from Wal-Mart, Mainstay I think is the brand. Bunch of left over pillars. I removed the wicks and melted them down for some votives and they were bubbleless and for the most part, I didn't have the 'layer' look on repour, so I'm thinking it might be junky wax on Michael's part, or the fact it's just straight paraffin. They are very nice and smooth, but I self wicked them and to me, those look worse than the pre-tabbed with the high melt wax on the wick. There are no bubbles either that I can see, especially like the others, all over inside and out.

I did see a thread that said to tap, so I tapped away gently and seemingly got all the air out, but poof, it'd come right back!

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There's nothing wrong with just using straight paraffin. I use it a lot and hace gotten great looking votives!!!!!

Additives do have their advantages though, but they are not always necessarily. I live in the UK, so don't know what michaels is, but from what i've heard from here, it's not very good, maybe better quality wax might be better (don't ask me what - the types we have in the UK are very different to what you have in the USA!!!).

Additives themselves don't creat a better scent throw, but they allow the wax to hold more wax, so you can use more FO. Never heard of these scent blocks to comment, but I've gotten great scent throw from using fragrance oils. You add them (usually at 6%) to the wax just before you pour it (i think it's about 180f). That may give you a much better scent throw.

As for air bubbles, from reading this board and my own experience there's several culprits. The main one is pouring the wax too quick - if you pour it slowly and carefully there's less chance air will get in the wax. Air bubbles can also come from adding the FO when the wax is too hot and from mixing the wax to much. I usually the wax stand for about a minute after you've mixed in the FO - this helps remove some of the air bubbles. Also if you pour it too cold, the wax sets too quickly and the air bubbles aren't given chance to rise to the surface.

Tapping the mould is a great way of getting rid of air bubbles - but you have to do it quite hard and several times i find for the air bubbles to dislodge.

Another great way of getting rid of the air bubbles is using your heat gun. Direct it at the area where the air bubble is and it should help melt the wax and dislodge those darn air bubbles!!!!

As for getting a starter kit - you may or may not need one. They are quite expensive for what you get, so you may find it better to get the items in seperately - sounds like you've been making a great start already!!!

(and i never go off the temp guides on thermometers - they're just crazy!!!!)

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Michael's is a craft supply chain in the US. They're okay I reckon...nothing too special though.

If you're getting a lot of bubbles, it's likely because you're pouring right after a vigorous stir! You could try some Vybar 260 to help stop the bubble problem. Also, scent blocks are a waste of money...go for proper fragrance oils, you'll have much better results. Also, watch out for "candle nose"! :D

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Thanks for the great input!

For the other Colorado artists out there, have you found the altitude to have an effect?

I usually let the wax sit for around 2-4 minutes after stirring in my scent, I add the color while the plain wax is melting. However, I think I might be pouring the wax too quickly. That's a great info tidbit. I also might bang a bit harder on the mold. I was afraid of doing it too hard so it was just some light taps!

Also, do any of you pour 'down the side' like filling a beer mug, or would that affect the outside?

TIA, and thanks for all the great info! :)

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If you poured down the mould, but weren't filling the whole mould with wax it would leave left over wax on the side which is a pain to get rid of. It's especially annoying if you're doing different coloured layers!!!!

If you're filling the whole mould with one pour, then yeah, i see no reason why it wouldn't work fine.

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