Candle-making is the perfect activity to simultaneously enjoy yourself and do something good for the world. Plus, it’s basically chemistry — who doesn’t like that? You can make beeswax candles with scents like lavender or rosemary, or opt for soy if you don’t want to use animal-based waxes. Even better: Many of these instructions are suitable for kids.
1. Start With a Plan
Making candles is a simple process, but there are lots of factors to consider when choosing which type of candle to make and what ingredients to use… [EDITOR’S NOTE: WHAT KIND OF INGREDIENTS?!] … For example, should you use paraffin, which is the most popular type of wax? Or is it worth investing in beeswax or soy wax? And for those with allergies, making your own beeswax candles — which are hypoallergenic and burn longer than paraffin candles — may be the best option.
2. Mix Your Wax
…Once you’ve decided what kind of candle to make, it’s time to mix your wax. One tried-and-true method is the double boiler approach: Fill a saucepan halfway with water and place over low heat; put another saucepan (or metal bowl) on top of this pan (make sure both vessels can rest securely together). Put that vessel’s chosen wax into the top pot/bowl, then stir until melted. (Even easier: Fill a crockpot with water and place on low heat; place wax in crockpot until melted.)
3. Prepare Your Mold
Once the wax is ready, pour it into the mold. You can use any type of container that will withstand high heat (glass or metal containers work well). Then — again, depending on your mold choice — cover it with parchment paper and secure it with string, tape, etc. Make sure to leave space at the top for the wick!
4. Add Your Wick
…Once you’ve poured your wax into the mold, you’ll want to add your wick. Some molds come with holes pre-drilled at one end for this purpose; others require you to drill your own. Then, secure the wick in place by tying it to the pencil or chopstick you’ll use for later… When your candle is burning, be sure to keep an eye on it and extinguish it before any hot wax spills over!
5. Add a Scent
If you’re going for the fragrance-added approach — which is common when making whipped body butter — add scented oil to your melted wax using a dropper. Once combined, pour your mixture into either your mold or a separate container (so as not to dilute scent) and allow plenty of time for it to harden before popping it out of your mold.
Once you’ve popped your candle out of its mold, allow several hours to pass before burning it (candles need time to set). Then, snuggle up with a little chemistry and enjoy the warmth. If you’re feeling really ambitious — or want to be able to share your candles with multiple people — consider adding more scented oil after pouring the wax into the mold… Place scented oil in dropper over wax, then use a wooden skewer or chopstick to mix them thoroughly together without introducing too much air into the mixture. As always, wait for the mixture to solidify before cutting the wick down and lighting a candle.
7. Learn From Your Mistakes
Don’t be discouraged if your first candle looks a little bumpy — it happens to the best of us! If you hate it that much, simply melt everything down and start over. It’s easier than it sounds: Simply place the wax into a saucepan filled with water and heat on low until melted. How do you know when all wax has melted? Look for small air bubbles rising through the mixture; once there are no more bubbles, remove from heat and start pouring the mixture into a new mold.
8. Double Your Fun
If making candles is becoming addictive (as we suspect), consider buying another candle-making kit so someone in your household can join in on the fun… Just make sure they’ve read this article before beginning!
9. A-B-C (Always Be Cleaning)!
A messy work area is a dangerous work area, so keep things tidy and clean up any spills immediately. Otherwise, you risk wax pooling and catching on fire (not to mention ruining your mold).
10. Keep Your Wick Dipped
To get the longest burn time possible from your candle, make sure you dip the wick into the melted wax every few hours or so while burning your candle. This will ensure that it continues to drip… And doesn’t become clogged with gunk!
Do note: Although these instructions are not geared towards making vegan candles, they still show us some important:
1) Beeswax is not crucial to making candles. There are many different types of wax you can use, each one with its own pros and cons depending on what they are being used for — though soy seems to be the most popular vegan option.
2) Beeswax is available in ‘block’ form, which means you’ll need to melt it down before using it.
3) Candle-making kits are readily available online for purchase.
Cande making can be exciting and they make great gifts. If you are interested in Homesteading or Prepping candles are one of the items that must be on your list. They can be pricey but, if made correctly, can last for years. Here is a list of Candle Making Supplies to get started with making your own candles at home.
Cande making supplies:
Molds- most molds come with 8 oz or 16 oz of the finished product or buy both sizes
Cleaner – Make sure whatever cleaner you use does not have any chemicals as the fumes could damage the wax
Wax – Traditionally it was beeswax but there are many different kinds of wax for various purposes available these days. Many people use soy but use whatever suits your needs.
Wick – You will need to have the wick ready before you start pouring your wax into the mold because it can be tricky to work with once inside. Polyester wicks are one of the most popular for candle making as they are inexpensive and easy to work with
Scent Oil – These are available at any craft store or online at Amazon There are many different types of scents so do a little research on what ones would be best for your candle type.
Fragrance Oil – This is a concentrated form of scent usually in a glycerin base – This works well when you want to add a deeper layer of aroma.
Essential Oils – These are natural scents that your body will react to in a positive way. They come from plants and can be used for making candles or just for aromatherapy in general. Again research before starting so you know what works best with which wax type.
Wick Stickers – Most people use these when making container candles but they can also be used on pillar candles as well
Beeswax sheets – If you need small amounts of beeswax they sell the sheets already prepped for use in candle making kits
Candelilla wax – This can be used as a substitute for beeswax and has the added benefit of being non-toxic
Vybar – This is a synthetic compound that hardens candles. If you want something more environmentally friendly check with your local craft store as they may have some on hand. Also, if you are looking for preppers this is something to stock up on as it can be used in many different types of projects.
Wick dippers – These allow you to safely strip wicks after they’ve been dipped into the melted wax without getting burned by molten hot wax
There you have it, 10 easy steps to candle-making that everyone can do! Follow these instructions and you’ll be creating homemade candles like a pro in no time.