Guest Author - Angela Webster
Tart melts are an easy project and are used by many people. Unlike candles, tarts do not have a wick. Tarts are melted in a tart warmer and can quickly fill your home with fragrance. There are electric tart warmers or ones that you use with a single tea light candle. Using an electric tart warmer eliminates the need for a tea light and therefore no open flame, which some people feel is safer. I like both types of burners because with the electric burners I don’t have to worry about whether I’ve run out of tea lights, and with the tea light burners I can place them anywhere and don’t have to worry about whether I have a good place to plug them in. Below are suggestions on how to make tart melts using things you may already have for a tart mold.
Please read through all of the instructions before beginning your project.
EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES:
• Double Boiler set up
• Paraffin wax (You can use soy wax as long as it is designed for use in molds)
• Candy thermometer
• Mold release spray
• Warning labels if selling or giving as gifts
• Tart molds of your choice (see suggestions below)
• Tart Warmer if you plan to use your tarts
IDEAS FOR TART MOLDS:
Mini muffin tins - these make cute pie shaped tarts. You could make them plain or you could make them decorative by making them look like real pies. Try making pumpkin pies with a nice dark orange wax - scented with pumpkin pie fragrance of course. After it has cooled slightly, top with a thin layer of whipped white wax that you have scented vanilla or another sugary scent to imitate whipped cream. While the white wax is still warm, you could sprinkle a little nutmeg, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice on top. The whole "pie" goes into the warmer and the fragrances will blend and smell wonderful. You could make any kind of “pie” you like, or you could just scent or color them however you want and leave them at that...a simple tart melt.
Decorative ice cube trays - the silicone ones work great and come in a huge variety of shapes. You still have to use mold release so they come out easily. Some of the ice cube trays I have are pumpkins, skulls, penguins, hearts, citrus wedges, perfect squares, stars, rings, dog bones, grape bunches, jelly beans, and Christmas trees. If they are small you can place two or three in your tart warmer, depending on your warmer’s size.
Disposable plastic condiment bowls - just fill, cool and pop out when you want to use. You could put a lid on it and sell individually. If you are selling these, remember to leave one open so your customers can smell them.
Prepare your molds by spraying with mold release and set aside until ready to use.
Melt your wax and any additives you may be using in your double boiler. Heat your wax to about 180 degrees F. Add your dyes and fragrances and stir until well incorporated. Remove from heat and allow the wax to cool to about 160-165 degrees F before pouring into your mold. If you are going for a smoother look, you could pour at about 170 degrees F and you may also want to heat your molds where applicable. Pour the wax into your prepared molds. Let cool completely and pop out of the molds. If you chose to use condiment bowls, just leave them in there and place the lid on after they are completely cooled.
To speed things up, you could place the tarts in your freezer for just a couple of minutes. Only do this after they have set somewhat so you are not sloshing hot wax around too much while you move them to the freezer. Tarts are small and won’t take long to cool so don’t leave them in the freezer long or they could crack.
Package your tarts as desired and apply appropriate warning labels to anything you are selling or giving away as gifts.
SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN USING TARTS AND TART WARMERS:
• Make sure your tarts are the appropriate size for your warmer so nothing overflows.
• Decide if you want an electric warmer or one that uses a tea light - maybe you want both.
• You can use a couple of mini tarts or one bigger tart.
• Mix a couple of different mini tarts to create your own fragrance blends.
• Use your warmer to melt leftover candle stubs that no longer light. Make sure it’s not too big for your warmer though.
When using tart melts, you may notice that after a while your fragrance doesn’t seem to be as strong as it used to. This is probably because your fragrance has burned off and it’s time to use a new tart. Just let the old tart wax cool and lift it or pry it a little to remove. You could throw the wax chip away or save it as scrap wax for use in another project.
Tarts are a nice item to sell along with your candles at craft fairs. They can be a relatively inexpensive item and depending on the rules at the fair, you may be able to have a warmer going with one of your tarts in it. This will draw customers to your deals like the Pied Piper of Aromaville! Keep the warmer in a safe place where nobody can bump, grab or spill the hot wax.
As with all candles and hot things, keep tarts and their hot wax away from children and pets. Some mini tarts may look and smell like candy to a child (or adult) so store them out of easy reach.