How to Estimate Production Costs for Your Candles

Production costing involves estimating the cost that was used to make any given candle. I recently did this with the above hotdog in a bun candle. Although I could have weighed the component parts prior to assembling this product, I chose the expediency of weighing the completed wax product.

The hotdog weighed 6.6 ounces. Six ounces came from the wax. 6/10th’s of an ounce consisted of fragrance.

I used Golden Soy 444 to produce this candle. The wax came in a 50 lb. box and cost $147.52 which includes the cost of shipping. Since I needed to find the price per ounce, I multiplied 50 pounds X 16 ounces per pound to get 750 ounces.

To calculate the cost per ounce, I divided $147.52 by 750 ounces. This gave me .196693333 cents. I rounded this to .20 cents.

Since I used six ounces of wax, 6 ounces X .20 cents = $1.20. The wax used to make this candle cost $1.20.

The fragrances used to make this candle included hickory smoke, beef, and bacon for the hot dog. Everything else used a freshly baked bread aroma. Although I once tried using a pickle aroma for the relish, I found the toe curling aroma of this scent to be offsetting and decided not to use it.

Different aromas cost different prices. Some of these products came from different vendors which resulted in varying rates for taxes and shipping.

The bacon and bread fragrances came from Nature’s Garden. The former cost $19.99 for a 16 oz. container while the latter cost $16.99. Shipping and tax brought the total to $57.29.

The beef and hickory smoke fragrances came from the Candlemaker’s Store. The former cost $22.00 while the latter cost $18.00. Shipping added $23.21 to the total costs. Strangely enough, this store did not charge tax.

Since I chose not to weigh the component parts of this candle which would have allowed me to calculate the exact cost of each fragrance oil that was used, I decided to base my calculations on the most expensive aroma. Although it would seem that the most expensive product was the $22.00 beef fragrance from the Candlemaker’s Store, with shipping and taxes, Nature Garden’s $19.99 bacon fragrance ballooned to a whopping $48.64.

As with the calculation for the cost of wax, I needed to find out the cost per ounce for this product. $48.64 divided by 16 ounces gave me a cost of $3.04 per ounce. Since Golden Soy Wax 444 accommodates 1/10th its weight in fragrance oil, 6 ounces of wax required .6 ounces of fragrance. .6 X 3.04 per ounce gave me 1.824 which I rounded to $1.82.

The three wicks in this candle came from a vendor on Amazon. Each wick cost six cents.

Although I initially used dye chips to color the wax components of this candle, I noticed that as time passed, the colors faded. The hotdog, mustard, and relish for this candle were also originally coated using candle gel. After two weeks the gel seemed to dry out leaving the relish looking crunchy. The hot dog seemed dry and the yellow mustard looked like plaster.

To restore the color, I painted the candle with water based acrylic paint. To restore the luster, I sprayed it with a gloss enamel.

As with restaurants that add a “catch all” production cost to cover the cost of herbs and spices which are often used in such small amounts as to make it cumbersome to calculate expenses, I added $1.00 for the use of dye chips, touch up paint and enamel spray.

The total estimated production cost came to $4.08 which does not yet include the cost of packaging.

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