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OK, back to basics....testing

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Before I part with any candles then, I need to test them.

Can I ask, do you make 3 identical in every way and try them. Or do you make one (making notes of weights, FO etc) burn it, and then if ok, do exact same one again?

Hows it actually work, testing?

I'm going to be making notes now and writing down everything I should be doing and hopefully how, right from the start.

Please take pity on a poor numpty, who has a hunger for candlemaking :D

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I'm sure everyone has their own method but here is how I do it. Do a search first and try to find what others have used with your jar or sometimes the manuf will recommend. I have several different jars so I pour enough to fill all of them with the same fo and test them all at the same time. If the wick is not working after appropriate time, I pull it out with needle nose pliers and stick a different one in until it looks right. Then when I think I have the right wick, I pour another batch with wick adhered to bottom and burn it all the way down. HTH

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actually thinking about it, until I get my votive moulds, (there'll be 6 of those) I'll only have one of each mould. (soz, never thought of that). Although I could make 3 the same seperately.

I will be looking for some cheap jars, I'm in the UK, but was thinking of trying IKEA.

I'm mostly going to be doing individual pillars and chunk pillars, but also votives and melts.

I've been wicking them with multi-purpose hobbycraft wick, (not even sure of the size) by tying it around a chop stick and dangling it in.

I've got such enthusiam, but just don't know where to start, its all going round in my head now :(

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its all going round in my head now :(

Ooooh, I know that feeling.

Writing it all down helps me to get organized. When it comes to testing, I make one item using a formula and a wick that I think will work best. Taking notes while it's burning will help to familiarize you with how your candles are doing. When I first started, I made 2 or 3 testers together and watched for the differences.

It might also help to make a chart. List each fragrance. Then list each item you want to make it in. Fill in the chart as you go along and evetually you'll have all of your formaulas done. HTH

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If you can find some friends that can be total honest to help you test your candles would be great. It is hard to be judgmental or critique yourself, because naturally you want it to be a success. From my experience, from the business aspect, I created a survey about the candle (ie, Did you like the label, the color, how long did it burn, did it burn even, did you trim the wick before you lit the candle, did it smoke, did it throw a great scent, did you avoid putting the candles in a area with a lot of drafts, etc..) and put it towards research and development. Testing can get expensive over time. You will be surprised what you can find out. What you may consider insignificant may be a determining factor for another in purchasing your product. It is hard to test especially if you make many different scents in a day. I like to write notes also to help in creating a new design from what worked and what did not. I hate to use my good jars to test in but, unfortunately it is the only way. I also take pictures of the candles to put with my notes (sometimes not matter how hard you try, you will never be able to recreate the masterpiece but you can come close to it), helps to build a portfolio of your accomplishments.

For votive molds-- I have used the 3oz Dixie cups, they work great (a trick I learned from a few of the "Well Known Candle Makers who shall remain nameless". It is hard to tell the difference from the other high price molds. Also, at Walmart, the "dip" metal cups work just as great also to make votives.

Hope this helps.

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Check out this web site


Down the right hand side is a list. You will want to read most of them. About 2/3 of the way down is Candle Test Sheet. You will definitely want to print this out. I use a modified version of this sheet. Also print out Candle Burning & Safety Tips and Dictionary of Candlemaking terms. To be honest I printed them all out. They became the basis of my candle notebooks.

I make 'canes, containers, votives and wax melts so can't help you with testing pillars. I'm in the testing stage myself. I make one at a time for testing trying to figure out wicks and additives.

Have fun but be educated and safe.

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