So, last weekend I got to sample a FABULOUS idea for a hen party – candle making!
The Tweedy Gift Company makes candles and the lovely Tracy, who runs the company, runs candle making workshops to teach you all she knows.
I arrived at 10am on a Saturday (she does this once a month for a maximum of 6 people at a time but will do bespoke dates if you have a larger party; six was just right I thought) at her lovely Victorian terraced house in Darlington. She has parking at the rear for one car, two at a push; or else there’s free street parking but you might have to move your car, and there’s plenty of parking in Darlington itself, just a short walk from Tracy’s house. Or take public transport, then you can make the most of being in this wonderful market town with plenty of independent shops to browse!
Greeted with a nice cuppa, we all chatted and got to know each other and learn what we would be doing throughout the roughly four hours we’d be there. Then we spent what seemed like days (but was, in fact, around 15 minutes) sniffing oodles of scents for our candles.
You can do a one scent candle, or a layered two scent candle. Either way, you’re going to end up with two full sized 20-hour-burning-time soy candles.
My one scent Nutmeg and Ginger candle, complete with adornments!
The fun bit!
Tracy sets up 6 mini crock pots ready for melting our natural soy wax chips. It takes around 15-20 minutes and a bit of stirring before a clear yellow liquid appears in my pot, ready for colour if you like (or you can just leave it and you’ll have a white candle) and scent. You need to let it cool a little so the scent doesn’t burn off as soon as you put it in, so Tracy offers us her husband’s favourite toy – an electronic point-and-press thermometer (I called it ‘the nose’) that immediately tells me my wax is a toasty 138f. We need to let it get it down to under 123f. I am not a patient person!
Finally I can add my scent – I chose nutmeg and ginger – and pour my candle into my prepared glass holder with a secured wick.
The whole time we’re doing this we’re getting to know the group, chatting and telling stories and generally putting the world to rights!
Quick cuppa break and we’re on to candle two. Our wax has been melting while we’ve been chatting and we’re ready to do it all again, or separate into two portions if we’re doing two colours or scents.
While the first layer is cooling (I chose Robin Red Breast and a red bottom, topped with a white Sparkling Snow) we are invited to Tracy’s dining room where the most amazing afternoon tea, complete with fizzy, has been laid on. Delicious sandwiches, a huge walnut and carrot cake, scones, clotted cream and jam and a stunning vintage teapot and teacups. My tummy rumbled and my eyes popped out of my head!
While we were enjoying the spoils, Tracy was keeping a keen eye on our creations and regularly popped in to grab one of us to add colour or scent or to pour.
With our bellies full we headed back to the kitchen only to find a crafter’s dream – a HUGE box of ribbons, stickers, labels and adornments for us to decorate our candles.
This choice took a while too, for once committed there was no turning back! Eventually we all chose our decorations and finished off our candles.
The lovely ladies on my candle making course
Tracy provided a fabulous gift bag for us to pack everything away in, complete with instructions if we want to try it ourselves at home and a reminder that they have to go away for a month to fully cure before we can burn them! Oh, and lots of lovely wax melts made from the wax left over from pouring our candles.
A plethora of wax melts (those who know me well know what they’re getting for Christmas). I cannot describe how lush these all smell!
What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. You could use it to make your gifts for your bridal party, or the wax melts would make wonderful favours. All the time, you’re spending some great quality and fun time with your bridesmaids or book it with your Mum and soon to be in-law – they will love it ♥