The three main steps to candle making.
Well there are more steps than just those three, but it is pretty simple to create or recreate candles to your liking. As most of you know I am an upcycler, a DIY enthusiast and I will try and do anything at least once. My most recent obsession is candle making, I love the aroma’s, colors, and look.
Last Christmas my fiance gifted me a candle making set and while I tried it once or twice when I first received the present, I didn’t fully commit to this hobby until very recently. On a rainy day when I was cleaning up my hobby room and found the open box of candle making supplies, I figured hey why not make another candle, I had enough supplies to make at least two so I can toss the box and not clutter the 2 inches of space it took up and at least I will have two new candles in my home.
During my process, I really got into it, I thoroughly enjoyed using my essential oils and creating new fragrances and finally getting the perfect shade of blue and burgundy to match my living and dining room, I am never able to find the perfect colors to match my decor accents. After I had finished up and was waiting for the two candles to cool down and conform to my candle mold I got to thinking, I have dozens of “old” candles that were on their last wick (get it, last wick, haha I crack myself up sometimes) anyways, I figured instead of tossing them I would burn them down and make my own candles with new fragrances and maybe a new color.
The following process is a simply one but you need to be careful, spilled wax isn’t a fun clean up! Gather the following supplies,
- Wax Chunks, Shavings, Old Candles, or even a block of wax at your local craft stores
- Boil Bags or heat resistant container
- Essential Oils
- Food coloring
- Candle Mold
- Lighter – to light that baby up at the end
Place the Wax Chunks, Shavings, old candles, or block of wax into the Boil Bags or Heat Resistant Container in a larger pot. Reminder: you cannot put candle wax directly on hear or it will catch fire or evaporate. Turn the hear up high and watch that water boil, the boiling water will slowly start to melt your wax. Please keep in mind that the wax can be difficult to clean up so maybe investing in a cheap, heat safe, pot designated specifically for making your candles would be your best option.
I usually wait until the wax is completely melted before taking it out and pouring into the candle molds but the following temperatures are ideal for different types of waxes,
- Paraffin wax should be melted until it reaches between 122 and 140°F (50 and 60°C).
- Soy wax should be melted until it reaches between 170 and 180 degrees (76.6 and 82.2°C).
- Beeswax should be melted until it reaches roughly 145 degrees (62.7°C). You can go a little bit higher but try not to exceed 175 degrees (79.4°C).
- Old candles should be melted at around 185 degrees (85°C). Remove the old wicks with tongs.
After the wax is completely melted, its time to add scents to it, the fragrance you choose it entirely up to you! Scents such as essential oils can also be found at your local craft store. Be aware that some scents are stronger than others so slowly put a couple of drops in and add more if you don’t feel the scent is strong enough, stir the scents in well.
Now to add the coloring, you can keep your candle white if you would like, or you can purchase oil-based dyes because normal food coloring is water based and will not work well with the wax.You can generally find specific candle dyes. Read the bottle for the proper amount of dye to put in to achieve a certain color. Add drops of coloring until you have reached your desired color. Stir well.
Now before you pour the melted wax in your candle mold, you need to place a wick in the center of the candle mold. You can use tins, mason jars (my favorite) old teacups, really any thing that will withstand the heat. The metal containers are the safest to go but honestly anything that can withstand the heat of the melted wax will do. I typically put down old newspapers or bills (just kidding about the bills part) under the candle mold so if wax does spill as I am pouring my work space/tabletop is protected. The wick should be in the center of the candle mold with about two inches sticking out of the candle. Loop the end that will be out of the wax around the center of a pen or pencil or really anything that will keep the wick in place ( I sometimes use the wooden shish kebab sticks. Rest the pen or stick across the top of the mold you will be pouring your wax into and make sure the wick hangs down straight into the center of the mold.
Pour the melted wax into the mold. Pour slowly so that it does not spill over. Make sure not to knock the wick out of the mold accidentally. You are the judge of how full you want your molds to be. Beeswax will shrink a little once it has cooled so keep that in mind when pouring it into your molds.
Once the wax is poured into the candle mold, it needs to be cooled, and typically it takes about 24 hours for it to be completely cooled down. The longer you let it cool, the better the candle will look. Once its completely cooled down and the candle looks completely set its time to remove the wax from the mold and trim the wick to a quarter inch of the top of the candle. Keep in mind the longer a wick the taller the flame will be, be cautious and keep the wick smaller so its not so out of control when burning.
Finally you are able to light the wick, burn your candle, and enjoy the perfect homemade candle!