Taking-on a project and carrying it out from its outset to its completion is an admirable thing. Sometimes, the projects feel too challenging. They take too much time, skill, or money. The good news is that there’s candle making. It’s one of the most satisfying and easy crafts to work-on. It’s also a nice way to make gifts for special people. There’s always a Valentine’s gift, a Christmas present, or a birthday surprise to think about. What’s prettier than a handmade candle in a flower bouquet? You can also make this the start of a new home-based business. But first, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of the process. Here’s a full guide on how to make candles, with all the pro-tips.
Step 1: Get the Supplies You Need
Here’s a list of the basics:
- Good-quality wax for candle making
- Containers for the candles
- Scented oil, coloring, and aesthetic materials
- A suitable pot to melt the wax
- A thermometer
- A wick of the right size
- Chopsticks, a bamboo stick, or a pencil
- A stick or spatula for stirring
- A measuring cup for accurate work
- Paper towels
Step 2: Read the Manufacturer’s Recommendations
Melting might seem like a straightforward matter. That’s why many people skip the part where they should read the manufacturer’s recommendations. It’s important, however, and it’s one of the best ways to get optimal results.
Step 3: Insert the Wicks
It might come as a surprise to many people that choosing the right wick takes some decision making. First of all, you need to specify the diameter of the container you’re using. Then, you should check the properties of the wax you’ll pour in. These fundamental factors dictate the type and size of the wick. If you put a wick that’s too thin for the container, it wouldn’t burn that well. It would seem too scrawny and overwhelmed in a container that’s too large and out of its league. A wick that’s too big, or that doesn’t match the wax type, would burn excessively. It would eat up the candle quickly and give off dark smoke. Worst of all, it’s going to mess up the scent of the candle. That’s because the optimal scent comes off with a well-matched heat.
Step 4: Prepare the Wax
Pick an environment-friendly type of wax. Prepare an uncluttered working surface, and have some paper towels ready beside you. These things could get a bit messy. Put a suitable amount of wax in the measuring cup. Bear in mind that wax melts to half its dry volume. It’s wise to add double the capacity of your container of unmelted wax. Use a double-boiling pan, an electric pot with temperature control, or any suitable arrangement. Use low to medium-heat for melting the wax. Most types need around 200 degrees to melt. But, check the labels to be sure. Stir often to get a homogeneous mix. It takes around 10-30 minutes to be ready, depending on the wax type and quantity.
Step 5: Add the Scent
Check the instructions that come with the wax and fragrance oil. Read all about the types and recommended portions of scent you can add to the mix. Accuracy pays off here. This step should wait a bit. As adding the fragrance oil to the wax while it’s hot, would compromise its fragrance. Pour in the scented oil slowly, as you don’t want to create many air bubbles. Remember also to keep stirring.
Step 6: Add the Coloring
You can use wax coloring to add some punch to your newly-scented candle mix. Some people use crafts’ products, and some throw in a few crayons. You can also opt for a monochrome look, a grading of hues, or try out a color festival. There’s plenty of room to get creative here!
Step 7: Prepare the Container
Put the wick in the center of the container base. This is best done right before adding the melted wax. You can glue it in place, or add a drop of melted wax to the base of the wick and hold it in place till it sticks. We prefer using melted wax for adding anything to the container at this stage. It feels more unified, as opposed to including superglue. It also means you use what you already have. No need for extra supplies. A pure and simple wax with no coloring or any other visual effects is nice. There’s no trouble at all with creating minimalist candles. However, including some aesthetics could be exciting. The variety gives each candle you create a special memory and meaning. You can add rose petals, glitter, a logo, a sticker, or even a little trinket. These effects are often plastered to the outer perimeter of the candle. Its best to place them on the inner side of the container, before pouring in the wax.
Step 8: Adjust the Wick
Tie the tip of the wick to a bamboo stick, or a pencil. Try to center the wick as much as possible, and adjust the stick accordingly. That should keep it in place as the wax cools off. You shouldn’t have any unpleasant surprises if you do this step diligently. Some people use a double-wick in each container. This arrangement could provide a better burning profile for the candle, a more uniform process up till the end. This arrangement naturally fits the larger candles. A single wick is more suitable for the smaller ones.
Step 9: Pour the Wax Mixture Into the Container
Transfer the wax from the heater to a pouring pot. Then slowly fill up the container with the wax. The most important thing is to keep the containers warm. You don’t want to shock the melted wax by making it bump into a cold surface. That’ll be cruel. The wax could actually separate from the container, or you could see markings on it that resemble snowflakes.
Step 10: Get to the Finishing Touches
As the wax cools off completely, you’d want to polish the candle and give it a final one-over. The wick is the first thing that’ll get your attention, with its end tied to the bamboo stick. It feels like unfinished business. Cut the wick with sharp scissors, and put the bamboo stick away. Don’t throw it away though, you’d need it in your next batch. Leave about two inches of wick above the surface. Get a heat gun and adjust it to the lowest setting. Direct the heat towards the top of the candle. If it’s a mold, then meander around the outer surfaces of the candle. Move the nozzle of the heat gun slowly. This should make the candle look clean and shiny. Another method for manicuring a candle is leaving a little melted wax to the end, then, covering any cracks or holes with it.
To Sum Up
You might be taking up candle making as a pastime, to make a gift for a special someone, or to start-up a business. It’s a wonderful craft that’s easy to learn and fun to do. We hope this guide on how to make candles gave you some creative ideas and inspiration. Who knows what this enjoyable hobby will grow into?