Making candles allows for the personal selection of color, scent, and size, in addition to permitting a choice in the types of wax used. It is well-worth the effort.
Creating your own candles is satisfying, entertaining, and just a little time-consuming. However, it is most definitely worth the effort. This article will deal with the creation of mold-candles, those candles which begin their lives as melted wax and are set to harden within candle molds.
Required Materials For Making Candles
To begin you will require the following items, available at most hobby and craft supply shops:
- candle wicking
- candle molds (you can purchase these, or simply use household objects such as milk cartons, plastic bottles, or metal cans)
- wick tins
- wire rods (pencils can also work, but the rods are better)
- double boiler (for melting your wax)
- wax (paraffin or beeswax recommended; you can also use old crayons)
Preparing For Candle Crafting
Cut your wicks to fit the size of the mold, allowing at least one extra inch, preferably two, above the top of the mold. Place the end of the wick into the wick tin, and bend the tips of the tin down to hold the wick securely in place.
Place the wick tin, complete with wick, into the candle mold. Center the wick carefully, and tie it off with a loop (remember the extra length of wick?) through which you can thread your wire rod. The rod should rest across the candle mold, supporting the wick while pouring your wax. Generally, you’ll want to make sure you can remove the candle easily, so a little non-stick cooking spray is in order. This can be purchased at most grocery stores.
Creating The Candles
Now that your wick and mold are prepared, it’s time to melt your wax. Cut your wax into smaller pieces with a sharp knife and place them inside the double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, a large can in a pan of boiling water will suffice. NEVER melt your wax directly over the stove, as this could cause your wax to ignite.
If you would like your candles scented or colored, now is the time to do so. Colors are available wherever you purchase your candle supplies, in either oil-based or wax form. Either works well, though the wax will have to be shaved or chopped; you can also use a wax crayon, if you have some broken ones lying around. Scents are also available at most craft shops as oils, though I prefer to go to a New Age shop and purchase essential oils.
Whichever form of scent and color you choose, add it slowly and carefully. You want to judge carefully when you have enough. In the case of color, this is done by watching the wax as you add your colorant. When you reach the desired color, stop. Scent works much the same, but you want to be scenting the air just above your double boiler while you add your oil. You’ll get a good idea of what the candle will smell like when burning.
Now that your wax has been scented and colored, remove the double boiler from the heat. Very slowly, and with a great deal of care, pour the wax into the mold. Make sure you’ve protected the surface on which the mold sits, since hot wax can damage some surfaces. Allow the wax to solidify. Depending on the size of the candle, this may take several hours.
Once the wax has cooled, a little cavity may have formed on the top around the wick. Pour just enough melted wax into the cavity to provide a level surface for the candle. Remove the candle from the mold only after the wax has cooled and hardened completely. Your candle is now ready for burning.
Making candles allows for the personalization of color, scent, size, and wax type. Though it may take some time, it is more than worth it in the end.