John & Carl’s experiences of making a layered multicoloured candle

We’ve got two things for you today: two candle making stories and a quick request.

With the recent launch of our new candle making kit- Rainbow in a box, and commencement of Pride month, we thought we would share a few Rainbow stories. And hopefully, inspire you to try the craft (if you haven’t already done so) or if you’re an expert chandler to reflect and remember your happiest candle making memory.

The first story is from our very own Marketing Director, John Donnelly, who tells an inspiring and beginner-friendly tale of how he created his very first candle. The second story is from a pair of experienced candle makers, celebrating their first year with one another by doing something they both love. The stories seem to be crafting their very own rainbow with John's adventurous spirit, followed by Carl and Neil's love for one another.

'A beginner’s tale.'

John Donnelly, Candle Shack Marketing Director

Never before have I ever made a candle, so I thought I’d start with a nice easy one. A six layered, 3 wick Rainbow candle from Candle Shack, conceived by Aiste, our Marketing Executive and made by David, our lab genius. All very vogue.

I felt very nervous being in amongst this exalted company, although I’m definitely going to give it a bash.

Laying out all the elements on the table, it looked like it would be a straightforward exercise and the instructions were very helpful (more of that later). No way could I have had a go at this without these. Not as complicated as an IKEA desk it has to be said.

I wasn’t sure if I was making a candle or interviewing for Reservoir Dogs as there was the following layers, and in this order: Mr Purple; Mr Blue; Mr Green; Mr Yellow; Mr Orange; and lastly Mr Pink (three of the original cast members back together). I was hoping this would not be quite as violent as the movie, although I did play the soundtrack whilst making my candle. Quality.

 The prep was fairly easy and setting the wicks (key element number 1 according to David) to the glass (number 2), with the helpful guide to show where they have to be, clearly seen through the bottom of the glass, was fairly easy. The sticky pads made it very simple.

Threading through the first wax cores one per wick was easy, so I was off and running. I’m beginning to get the hang of this or so I thought.

The next step was to melt Mr Purple for 120 seconds in the microwave in a plastic jug. As I didn’t have one, I used a glass jug. Popping out the wax from its tub Note: glass gets very hot in a microwave as I discovered, to mild discomfort, so if using have a dishcloth handy to pick up.

After stirring for 30 seconds with the wooden ice lolly pop stick. I’m sure that there is more technical description, it was now time to insert the fragrance (number 4), Ruby Ruby in this case, using the pipette. Now I don’t know about you but I though a pipette was something you wore when ski ing, but obviously not. After a quick google it was obvious, so I inserted to the fill level in the little glass bottle, pored over Mr Purple and gave a further stir. We’re now ready to go.

The cool bit now. Gently pouring the fragranced wax into centre of the glass between the three wax cores was carefully delivered, and et voile, it spreads evenly and beautifully, forming the base layer.

 One down, five to go.

The good thing about this particular candle is that it takes 30mins for each layer to solidify, so you can go and do something (make more?) for a while. As it was my first ever candle however, I stuck nearby, put on Pulp Fiction to maintain the mood and poured, not wax.

 Next up was Mr Blue, and I followed the same steps as above from the melt element through to the pouring. Once this was complete, I began to feel pretty good about things as that was two layers and you could begin to the see the Rainbow emerging.

The only difference at this stage was to add more wax cores to the to the three previous ones once it had solidified. I wasn’t sure why but after a moment it made sense, to provide strength for the coming layers and to feed the wicks. David knows his stuff.

In reality, it was the same process for Mr Green, Mr Yellow, Mr Orange and Mr Pink. No more wax core though. I was becoming a pro, although without the instructions not so sure.

I took pictures on my phone as each layer was added and it really was fun to see the Rainbow come to life. When complete there was a real sense of achievement as this is no ordinary candle. This is a Candle Shack Rainbow candle.

 Then disaster struck.

As I wanted to get the final picture and I moved the completed candle into the light to frame the shot. One small matter, the wax on the top layer Mr Pink hadn’t quite solidified and as I positioned the candle, wax moved around the top end of the glass. I was distraught. Four hours and no signature shot.

 A tip of this happens to you. I Googled the problem and naturally they came back with the answer: dip a cotton bud in vinegar and gently go around the affected area, and once done use a dry cloth to finish.

So, allowing 24 hrs to dry, another top tip from the Candle Shack team, I did just that. And do you know what, it worked. I got my picture.

 Cutting the wick to 5mm, as recommended by the master, David, I had a ceremonial lighting of the candle at dinner. The scent was wonderful and the whole experience cathartic.

So, I am now the proud creator of a Rainbow, and I feel good. Next step, to become a Shacker.

'Happy anniversary'

Carl Fox, Owner of Fox & Flame

Neil and I are experienced candle makers, we both have our own brand and range of candles. Neil's is a very elegant black and white themed affair, my range is more rustic, earthy, amber jar inspired. We learned very early on (my fault) not to meddle in one another's makes. Long story, but I ended up interfering and ruining a batch. It cost me 1kg of oil and a thousand apologies. So, making a candle together, properly, was a bit of a first for us. Unlike our last joint attempt at making no arguments were had making our big Rainbow three wicker!

Neither of us had ever before attempted a multi coloured, layered candle. Given our anniversary falls in Pride Month, and the candle kit was rainbow themed, it seemed fitting to give it a bash. The YouTube instructional video gave us all of the information we needed, and was entertaining to watch - well done ladies, you make us chuckle whilst educating us on the task ahead.

So off we went, wicks in, cores threaded, first wax in the microwave to melt. Carl got the task of melting, measuring, stirring and pouring, whilst Neil was self-elected chief video/photographer. Any excuse for a photo or a silly selfie and Neil's there with advice on the best pose or angle. I tried to give it my best Blue Steel! 

First layer (purple) poured and we had 30ish minutes to kill. We took a trip down memory lane and chatted about the memories we had made in our first year together. By the time the purple had set and it was time to melt the blue wax we'd barely finished remembering our first date. And so, the afternoon was spent, melting, pouring and reminiscing. It was lovely. A great way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon together. To top it off we have a symbolic, beautifully scented, three wick rainbow candle and  photos to remember our make. 

After a week of curing we lit our anniversary candle. Wow the smell is amazing! Highly recommended for beginner and experienced candle makers alike.

You probably have noticed from John and Carl’s stories, candle making is more than craft. It’s art and it’s science. It’s what brings people together.

As mentioned at the beginning, we have a small request to ask from all of you. Share your candle making story in the comments below. Whether it’s a funny candle making incident, romantic story or a beginner’s tale-we want to hear it all!