Just when she thought her 2020 dreams of learning to make candles were over, Alex, from CraftCourses HQ, discovered London Refinery's home kits with live tutorial so jumped at the opportunity. Here she takes us through her experience...
Soy wax candle making kits being packaged up by Lucy
I had big plans for 2020: it was going to be the year that I finally tried lots of new crafts that I had been drooling over on social media, craft fairs and online for an age. I even committed it to a vision board and stuck it above my desk so I couldn’t forget and was completely accountable.
But then Covid-19 arrived and the well-intended plans for the year ahead moved from being put on pause to being completely thrown out of the window. Along with my plan to complete a new open water swimming race, my hopes of learning modern calligraphy, how to make cold press soap and candle making disappeared (though my intention not to take any flights suddenly became an awful lot easier!).
However, all was not lost, as many tutors quickly got creative (I should have known that they would of course) and developed a host of fantastic craft courses that people could enjoy from the comfort and protection of their own home. One such course being London Refinery’s soy candle making course, which began with a little squeal from me when the beautifully packaged kit for the workshop arrived a few days before…
Kit arrived in beautiful packaging including rose petals (and instructions!)
If I was ever unsure about how the face to face classroom experience would translate into an online, very socially distanced format my concerns were promptly alleviated by the warm Zoom call welcome from our tutor, Lucy, and that she had thought of everything to ensure that we were armed and prepared with all the kit and information that we needed.
Essential oil blends: revitalise (left) and relax (right)
The session started off with an introduction to aromatherapy, essential oils and blending, full of helpful tips on how to plan and create a scent. It really got me thinking about the power of fragrance and some of the wonderful smells that evoke precious memories.
I feel some experimenting coming on…this could be addictive!
For the purpose of the class the students are given a choice of two classic oil blends: revitalise or relax, in the right quantity for your candle size. We all had the relaxing blend of lavender and rose geranium for a bit of inner calm during this stressful time.
Kitchen all set up ahead of live tuition
Lucy then talked us through the process, helpfully allowing us to ask questions as we went through to ensure that we were going to do it right, before showing us how to do it live. Aided by two cameras: one directly on Lucy from the front and one with a bird’s eye view of her work station, it couldn’t have been clearer or easier to follow. I was thoroughly enjoying it and eager to have a go myself. Once we got started it was easy to check in with Lucy throughout who was very reassuring and ensured we did the right thing at the right time, she even shared a few trade secrets with us as we went!
The smell throughout my kitchen was gorgeous – it is worth making candles just for that joy.
Poured candle awaiting wick trimming
Final candle curing for 72 hours
I finished the session with glorious scent combinations dancing in my head and an eagerness to read a book on essential oils by the light of my homemade, hand poured candle! I felt invigorated, inspired and productive - not easy to achieve in isolation! So I will definitely be making more (if you know me – guess what you’ll be getting for your birthday?!) and I would encourage anyone who loves beautiful fragrance and twinkling candle light to have a go. It is incredibly accessible – I couldn’t help but be a little thankful for the lockdown as it would have been a very long round trip for me to attend one of London Refinery’s workshops in person so I actually got to take part in a workshop that I may not have been able to otherwise. Silver linings…
Beautiful candle light
Lucy offers a great range of options for you to try candle making at home from introductory small candle starter kits and large kits for two through to the masterclass with live tuition that I did. Check out the great range of options from London Refinery on our site all prices include postage and packaging, and all you need to do is sit back and eagerly await the postman!
Plus, if you enjoyed reading this you might like to browse through some of our other 'Stay at home' specific articles>