Making homemade candles can be a fun hobby, whether making them as gifts or for yourself to enjoy. Candle making usually requires some experimentation, but when you discover how to make those perfect candles, it’s well worth the effort.
There are a few basic supplies needed for making most candles:
- mold or containers
- wax melter
- candle making thermometer
- putty for molds
First decide on a wax you would like to start with, there are three different kinds to choose from: paraffin wax, soy wax, and beeswax. Paraffin wax is most commonly used in candles, this wax is found at most candle making stores. Soy wax is all natural, made from soybeans, and cleans up easily with soap and water. Beeswax is all natural too, and making beeswax candles is often easiest because you simply wrap a sheet of beeswax tightly around a wick then seal it with your thumb, which means no melting is required.
To begin, spread newspapers around the candle making area. First you melt your paraffin or soy wax and it must be double-boiled. Usually you place a large pot that is about half-filled with water on a burner over low-medium heat, place a melter in the water, then gradually place wax pieces into the melter. When the wax has melted, you can add coloring or fragrance as desired.
To make molded candles, cut the wick two inches taller than you want the candle to be, then thread it through the hole at the bottom of the mold, then plug the outside of the hole with putty. Place a pencil or similar item over the top of the mold and tie the top of the wick to it, centering the wick. If the mold is cardboard, plastic, or glass, heat the wax to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. If the mold is metal, then heat the wax to 190 degrees. You can use a candle or candy thermometer to measure this. When the right temperature is reached, lift the melter by the handle and slowly pour the wax into the mold. Let cool for twelve hours then refrigerate for twelve more hours, then your candle is ready to be removed.
To make votives and other small container candles, you can use pre-tabbed wicks by simply placing them in the center of the votive candle molds or containers, then pour the wax mixture over and let stand for twelve hours, refrigerating the votives.
This should give you a good start in this enjoyable hobby.
Jennifer Hall is a writer who provides information on shopping online for Candle Making. When she’s not online, Jennifer’s spending time with her family, gardening, or playing the piano or accordion.