Candles brighten any
along with an increase in popularity has come a corresponding increase
in cost. But, if you make the candles yourself, you can give the gift of
illumination without breaking your budget. It's surprisingly easy –
and a lot of fun – to make beautiful candles.
can purchase large slabs wax at most craft stores, or, for a better
price and a more manageable size, visit the canning section of the
Additives...There are wax additives available to improve the
quality your candles. For instance, stearine flakes can be added to make
your candles burn longer. These additives aren't necessary; you can
certainly make beautiful candles without them.
Color....You can purchase specially formulated candle colors at
the craft store, or go with a less-expensive alternative – crayons! In
addition to being readily available and inexpensive, crayons come in a
much broader array of colors.
Scent....Candle scents are often available at craft stores. An
alternative to specially formulated candle scents is perfume. However,
unlike the previous alternatives to
specially designed products; perfume is frequently the more expensive
Wicking...Wicking is available at any craft store selling
candle-making supplies. There are many different kinds of wicking, and
what you should purchase depends largely on the type of candles you're
planning on making. Check with the sales people or read the information
on the packaging to decide which type is best for you.
Molds....Molds made especially for candles can be purchased, or
you can improvise with household items. For instance, individual sized
paper milk cartons are good for square candles and juice glasses can
make nice column candles.
Boiler...Wax should always be melted in a double boiler to
prevent it from overheating and igniting on the stove.
you're using household objects to mold your candles, coat the insides
lightly with vegetable oil. This will help release the cooled candle.
Remember, if you pick a mold that's wider at the
bottom than the top, you won't be able to remove the candle!
Position the wick in the mold. Most candle molds are designed for easy
wick positioning. With household objects, often a piece of scotch
tape will hold the wick to the bottom. Tie the top of
the wick around a pencil or thin dowel laid across the top of the mold
to hold it upright while the wax dries.
the molds are prepared, begin melting the wax in a double boiler placed
over a medium to low-medium burner. Wait until the wax is completely
melted before adding any additives, colors, or scents.
the wax into molds. Do not work over the kitchen sink unless you have
lined it thoroughly with newspaper. As the wax begins to cool, it will
probably get a "dimple" in it. Pouring another 1/4" of
wax in the mold can fill this.
your candles have completely cooled, remove them from the molds by
gently tugging on the wick. Most candles take about six hours to cool
completely, depending on their size. If you're in doubt, let them cool
you've released your candle from the mold, trim the bottom wick flush
and the top wick to about 1/4".
The above steps make the
most basic of candles. There are many variations you can introduce into
the basic process to make even more personalized and creative candles.
Below are a few to help spark your imagination:
Candles with leaves or
pressed flowers Make candles following the basic process. After you have
unmolded your candles, affix dried leaves, leaf skeletons (available at
craft stores if you can't find them locally), or pressed flowers to the
candle by painting a thin coating of decoupage medium on the back of the
leaf or flower. Once coated, press onto the candle in your desired
design. Larger stems can be glued down with undiluted craft glue. Apply
a coat of decoupage medium over the entire surface of the candle,
including the leaves and flowers, and let
dry. White glue thinned slightly with water can be substituted for
Make candles following
the basic process. While the wax is melting, crush ice cubes in your
blender or food processor. Just before pouring the wax, fill the mold
about 3/4 full with crushed ice. Carefully unmold over a towel or sink
to soak up the melted ice.
Coffee bean and
These candles are both
extremely popular and expensive to buy ready-made. Coffee beans,
cranberries, and dried flowers are just a few of
the things you can add. Before beginning mass production, test one of
the items you'd like to add to your candle to determine if it sinks or
floats. Floating objects should be used in candles where the top of the
mold is the bottom of the candle, and sinking objects should be used
where the top of the mold is the top of the candle. From there, it
couldn't be easier. Just follow the basic process, but
don't fill the mold completely when pouring. Then, add enough of your
chosen item to fill one-eighth to
one-quarter of the candles' depth, depending on your preference. Cool
and unmold as usual.