Looking to learn how to make candles? You came to the right place! (Jump to tutorial)
Is there anything quite like that warm glow of candlelight? What single, small item can bring that sensation? Candles are the symbols of romance, hearth and home. There is a reason why we put a candle in the window when we are missing a loved one. They connect us to that light of hope and love in our hearts. Making candles connects us to the past and all the people who created them as a necessary tool to hold back the darkness. There is just something spiritual about it. When they are made as a gift, I like to think that they carry that sense of light and love from my home to theirs.
I think there is something especially profound about soy candles, because they:
– Are all natural.
– Are renewable and non-toxic, unlike paraffin made from petroleum, coal or oil shale.
– Produce less soot and burn cleaner than paraffin.
– Are easier to make. They burn at lower temperatures and the wax cleans up easily with just a little warm water.
– Produce a natural, beautiful shade of white, but they can also be coloured or scented as desired.
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You can find many other guides online on how to make candles but below is the simple process that I use.
Start to finish: 12 1/2 hours
- mason jars, votive holders, small flower pots, tea cups (any heat safe container)
- pre-tabbed candle wicks
- wooden skewer
- soy wax chips (double the amount held by each container)
- pouring pitcher, jug or pot (Make sure that it can pour the hot wax safely!)
- oven mitts
- wick bars (or something to hold the wicks as the wax sets like clothes pins or bag clips)
- wick trimmer or scissors
- pitcher style double boiler
- candy thermometer (if you are heating the wax on the stove)
- essential candle oils or other candle fragrance
- rubber gloves
- dye chip to add colour
- decorative details like labels, ribbon, or twine
1. If you are reusing an old candle holder or container, pour boiling water into it and most of the old wax will float to the top. Use dishing liquid and hot water to clean out the rest and any residual soot. Make sure the containers are completely dry.
2. Measure your wick against your container, cutting it with a few cm to spare for the holder. Use a loop of scotch tape to stick the pre-tabbed wick to the bottom of each container. Use the skewer to press down on the tab. Some people recommend using a hot glue-gun, but the wicks can sometimes come unstuck. Place the wick in the wick bar or holder, across the top, checking to make sure that they are as tight and perfectly centered as possible.
3. Use each container twice to measure out enough wax chips. Melt them over boiling water in a pouring pitcher or pot that is good for pouring to 85°C or 185°F. Remove from heat right away and do not overheat the wax, or it could actually cause a fire! You could also use a microwave for this step by heating the wax for 1 minute then stirring it. Repeat. Repeat again, this time heating for only 20 seconds. Keep adding 20 seconds, stirring each time in between, until the wax is fully melted. Use oven mitts to handle the hot container.
4. Stir in fragrance or dye if desired. There are special essential oils that are specifically formulated for making candles. Use rubber gloves when adding the oil, because it isn’t supposed to touch your skin.
5. Pour a little bit of wax into your chosen containers and let stand 10 minutes to set the wick. Then, fill the rest of the container and let it cool at room temperature for at least 12 hours, depending on how large your containers are.
6. Remove the wick holder and trim to about 1.3 cm or 1/2 inch long. You can use special wick trimmers or just scissors.
7. Decorate as desired with labels, twine, ribbons or whatever you like. Again, be creative.
Shopping List For Making A Candle:
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If this is your first time making candles then we highly recommend the soy candle making set from Candle Science above. It has pretty much everything you need in the guide above and contains enough material to make about 12 candles!
Credit for featured image at top of post goes to Crïs via Flickr