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How To Run A Candle Making Workshop Or Class
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How To Run A Candle Making Workshop Or Class

How To Run A Candle Making Workshop

Candle making workshops offer more than just a creative outlet; they provide a space for individuals to connect, relax, and learn a new skill. Whether you’re an avid crafter, a teacher an entrepreneur looking to add value to your offerings, or simply someone passionate about crafting, How To Run A Candle Making Workshop can be a fulfilling and fun experience. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the essential steps to create an engaging and successful candle making workshop. I’ve been running craft workshops forever and from my years of experience running private events, I’ve learned a thing or two and I am excited to share tips to get you started on your very own candle business!

How To Run A Candle Making Workshop!

Setting the Stage

Before diving into the wax and wicks, take some time to consider the atmosphere you want to create. Choose a venue that is spacious, well-ventilated, and equipped with ample seating and table space. Natural light can enhance the ambiance, but ensure there are also adequate lighting options for evening workshops.

Alternatively, if you are hosting your workshop for corporate events (and have no control over the room you’ll be using), you’ll want to carefully plan the private bookings so that each attendee goes home with a perfect candle and an outstanding experience. Whatever your target market is, you can start How To Run A Candle Making Workshop business easily with just a few steps and prep.

Decor plays a crucial role in setting the mood. Consider incorporating elements like plants, soft fabrics, and soothing music to create a cozy and inviting environment. Remember, participants are here not only to craft candles but also to unwind and enjoy themselves. If you’re traveling to a venue, prep your supplies in advance. Be sure to have an attractive setup or DIY kit for each participant.

Crafting supplies and materials needed to run a private class

Make your own candles with a few simple supplies

Gather all the necessary supplies beforehand to streamline the workshop process. Essential items include:

  1. Wax: Opt for high-quality, eco-friendly wax such as soy wax. Beeswax is a great wax, but typically used for pillar candles rather than containers. These options are sustainable and produce clean-burning candles. Wax shrinks when it is heated, so be sure to bring more than enough wax in case new people attend the class. In my experience, sourcing the highest quality wax makes a huge difference!
  2. Wicks: Choose wicks that are appropriate for the type and size of candles you’ll be making. A properly wicked candle provides better burn times, is cleaner, and evenly distributes the fragrance. Pre-tabbed wicks are convenient and easy to use. You can also use bamboo wicks since they’re a bit easier to use and a great way to help beginner candlemakers enjoy a fun class! Have two wicks ready to go at each seat. Wick size is also important because if you use a wick that is too large, you will get a larger flame, that flickers continually and a lot of carbon output. When purchasing wicks, the wicks all come in sizes. The larger the size, the larger the wick. It is best to test your candles to see which works best. For a medium sized candle, eco 10 works great! But definitely do your own testing!
  3. Fragrance Oils: If desired, provide a selection of fragrance oils for participants to personalize their candles. Ensure the scents are hypoallergenic and safe for candle making. Before running any new workshop, make sure to have a good selection of essential oils for every type and personality. Not everyone loves fragrance candles, so check with your venue or clients before assuming people want scents. If a corporation wants a signature scent, be sure to have that in advance so that the candle makers have everything ready to go!
  4. Containers: Offer a variety of containers such as jars, tins, or tea cups for participants to pour their melted wax into. Ensure the containers are clean and heat-resistant. Do not use giant containers otherwise, you will need to bring a large quantity of wax.
  5. Colorants: Include dye chips or liquid dyes for adding color to the candles. Remember that a little goes a long way, so encourage participants to start with small amounts. Some students will not want colorants and might prefer a natural candle. And…that’s ok, too! Be as flexible as possible!
  6. Tools & extra candle making supplies: Provide basic tools such as double boilers, stirring utensils, and thermometers to facilitate the candle making process.

You will need:

  1. wax melter
  2. place mat or tray (I prefer metal pizza pans make great trays and can be found at the Dollar Tree or Amazon)
  3. Pitcher for pouring wax
  4. Bar spoon
  5. Wick holder or popsicle stick wick holder with holes
  6. Candle labels
  7. Sharpie markers
  8. Wick Scissors
  9. Digital thermometer or standard thermometer
  10. Heat gun 
  11. Glue sticks
  12. Wax adhesive
  13. Scotch tape 
  14. Fire hazard label – always have a warning to prevent legal issues/liability

How to run A candle making workshop

  1. Attach a fire hazard label to the bottom of each vessel.
  2. Warm up the wax at least an hour in advance. If the wax isn’t at the temperature, you will not be able to make any candles!
  3. In order to run a successful workshop, organization is key. But so is the clarity of each step. It is best to teach each step at a time and allow the participants to create each step successfully.
  4. Be sure to bring an expert instructor or train educators in candle making to ensure success. Before sending an instructor to an event, have them shadow you at least twice and then go with them to at least one event to be sure they are running everything smoothly. Be sure to print out step-by-step instructions for your teachers for the rare cases when they forget the steps.
  5. Have participants choose a vessel. When starting, it is best not to offer too many choices. When working with more advanced techniques, you can explore other options.
  6. Have participants choose a fragrance.
  7. Have everything else ready at the participants’ stations (wick, spoon, pitcher, colorant).

Step by step instructions on how to run A candle making workshop

Candle making is simple and fun
  1. Make sure the wax is heated to 185 degrees. If the wax is any hotter, it will create a sink hole at the top.
  2. Place the wax at the bottom of the vessel. Use wax adhesive or a low temp glue gun to glue the wick inside the vessel. In my experience it is best to use the wax adhesive so that the students can do each step on their own.
  3. Have participants fill their individual pitchers with wax
  4. Add oil while the wax is still hot so that the oil can bind to the wax. Stir carefully using the bar spoon.
  5. Add colorant if desired. Mix well using the bar spoon.
  6. Use scotch tape or a wick holder to keep the wick straight. When running a workshop, a wick holder will be the most successful.
  7. Pour the wax almost to the top
  8. Trim the wick to about 1/4″ or 1/2″ 
  9. Let the candle cool.
  10. While the candle is cooling, have the participants create their own labels and packaging. Have plenty of labels and stickers and permanent markers on hand. 
  11. If the participants are done with their label and you still have time to work, it is best to have an alternative activity available for them to work on. I like to stick with the theme and I typically have the students make a custom lip scrub while they are waiting.
  12. After the candle is cool, have the participants use a heat gun to smooth out the top of the candle.
  13. Add labels.

Crafting Techniques

Beautiful homemade candles

Begin the workshop with a brief introduction to candle making and an overview of the materials and techniques involved. Demonstrate each step of the process, from preparing the wax to pouring and setting the candles. Encourage participants to ask questions and offer guidance as needed.

Depending on the duration of the workshop, you can explore various candle making techniques, such as:

  1. Layered Candles: Teach participants how to create beautiful layered candles by pouring different colored wax in stages.
  2. Embedding: Introduce the technique of embedding objects like dried flowers, herbs, or decorative elements into the wax for added visual interest.
  3. Container Selection: Discuss the importance of choosing the right container for their candles and guide participants in selecting containers that reflect their personal style.
  4. Scent Blending: For workshops that include fragrance oils, encourage participants to experiment with blending different scents to create custom fragrances for their candles.

Personalization and Creativity

Encourage participants to unleash their creativity and personalize their candles. Provide a variety of decorative elements such as ribbons, labels, and charms for them to embellish their creations. Emphasize that there are no right or wrong ways to design their candles—each one is a unique expression of their creativity.

Creating a Sense of Community

More than just a crafting activity, candle making workshops offer an opportunity for participants to connect with one another. Foster a sense of community by incorporating icebreaker activities or group discussions throughout the workshop. Encourage participants to share the inspiration behind their candle designs or swap tips and tricks they’ve learned.

Safety First

While candle making is a fun and rewarding activity, safety should always be a top priority. Provide clear instructions on safe handling of hot wax and equipment, and ensure that participants are aware of potential hazards. Keep a first aid kit on hand and be prepared to address any accidents or injuries promptly.

Conclusion

Hosting a candle making workshop is a wonderful way to bring people together, foster creativity, and share your passion for crafting. By following these steps and infusing your own unique flair, you can create an unforgettable experience for participants and leave them with not only beautiful candles but also cherished memories. So, gather your supplies, set the stage, share your experience with us, and let the creativity flow—your candle making workshop awaits!