Last month, I was able to get to Nashville to attend a conference. Having been there several times, I wanted to experience the city in a way most tourists don’t, so I choose some fun experiences. One of those experiences was a candle making class at Paddywax Candle Bar. It is well established that I have a candle buying problem – especially the fall variety. It was cool to see the process of how candles are made + to get to bring home one mix + poured by me! I also learned how to make candles last longer which is always a plus.
Candle Making at Paddywax Candle Bar
The candle making experience at Paddywax Candle Bar is so wonderful! First things first, they call these classes candle pourings. I did mine at the East Nashville location which was a great spot + the store was so cute. It was full of candles (duh) but also cute gifts, candies, and accessories. The team was awesome + made the whole process of candle making easy. If you don’t live in Nashville, no worries! They have locations in Charlotte, Austin, and Dallas. You can also purchase candles on their website+ at stores like Urban Outfitters, Whole Foods, and Francesca’s. Some of these locations sell beer + wine. They also allow you to BYOB for a small uncorking fee so you can enjoy rosé during your class!
The first thing you need to do when you are candle making is to decide on your vessel (what your candle goes in) + your scent. I choose a white Glow candle which I filled with a vanilla + oakmoss fragrance. One thing to know about me is that I hate the smell of a blown-out candle so a vessel with a lid was very important to me. Once you make your decision, you sit down with the rest of the class + are guided step-by-step by an instructor.
The candle making process isn’t too involved as a student. The wax is already warmed so all you’re really doing is measuring, pouring, and mixing. There is a handy chart that tells you exactly how much fragrance + wax you need. This is important because more fragrance ≠ a better or stronger candle. Paddywax Candle Bar uses Paddywax which is a blend of soy and food-grade paraffin. The paraffin allows your candle to burn at a higher temperature which in turn makes it last longer. While you’re pouring your candle, the staff offers you tips on how to make your candle last even longer. Lucky you, I’m sharing them below!
How to Make Your Candles Last Longer
- The obvious way to get longer-lasting candles is to choose those made from high-quality wax like soy. Remember, you get what you pay for!
- The first burn is the most important. If you’ve ever noticed how your candle burns heavy on one side + leaves wax on the other, it has to do with how you let it burn the first time. Candles have “muscle memory” + always burned the same way as their first time. Be sure to burn them long enough that the liquid wax is evenly on the top to make your candles last longer + use all the wax.
- Trim your wicks! The little black soot tip can fall into the candles + mess with the consistency which reduces the burn time. Paddywax Candle Bar even sells this gorgeous wick trimmer to help you.
- Don’t burn for more than 4 hours at a time. When too much of the wax becomes liquid it can affect the wick + cause it to sway. If the wicks get too close to the vessel, it can even be dangerous.
- Wind is your enemy. If you want to make your candles last longer, avoid putting them near drafts, vents, fans, and anything else that will blow air + mess with the flame. This can cause black smoke + risk soot falling into your wax.
- Keep the lid on (or the dust cover). Like soot, dust getting into the wax will mess with the consistency + how the candle burns.
- Recenter your wick. If your wick slumps over (which it shouldn’t because you are trimming it + not burning it for too long), move it back to its original location to keep the burn pattern the same.
- Store your candles in a cool dark place. You don’t need to keep them in a cabinet – I know I like mine as part of my decor. However, you do need to keep them out of direct sunlight which in the south could make your candle soft + too warm.
Next time you’re in Nashville (or Austin, Charlotte, Dallas + coming soon Philly + Madison, WI) stop by Paddywax Candle Bar for your own candle pouring class!