Candle Making

At a glance - what you'll need to make candles...

If you’ve never made candles before, the process can seem scary and a little overwhelming! But don't be put off. It’s a relatively cheap crafting project that won’t break the bank - but it's very rewarding. Candles make great gifts too, and are equally lovely to have around the home. Get the whole family to join in on the fun too. Children love to choose whacky colors and scents, their candles will often look like something out of a Dali painting but you will get a good few laughs.

So, fancy making candles? Awesome. Here's a list of what you're going to need.

Wax

The first thing you're going to need is Wax. Which type of wax you use in your candle is up to you. There are natural sources such as palm wax, beeswax, soy wax and even gelly wax. These all burn longer and have a cleaner smell. These, however can be expensive. There is paraffin which is an artificially made wax that is much cheaper but has more soot.

Whatever wax you choose to make your candles with depends on your budget and the type of smell you want. You can buy candle wax from most craft shops, however they can be expensive. The best option for buying wax is to buy in bulk from online retailers. These can be much cheaper, delivered right to your house and in a range of quantities.

Molds

You can choose what type of shape and size you make from a list including:

  • pillar
  • taper
  • tea lights
  • mason jars
  • votives

Wicks

Candle wicks can be a funny one to pick out. The most important aspect of buying a candle wick is getting the right size. The video below highlights the differences between too small and too large wick sizes and how they can affect the burning time.

Measure out what type of jar you’re using and check the information on the wick you buy. The other aspect of buying wicks depends on which wax you’re using.

  • wicks for soy wax
  • wicks for beeswax
  • wicks for paraffin wax

Paraffin wax works great with zinc core, CD and LX wicks. A square cotton wick would work brilliantly with beeswax and the Eco series wicks works best for Soy wax.

 Most wicks can be bought from online retailers at a fairly cheap price. The drawback is you have to buy in bulk which can be frustrating if you’re only making 1 or 2 candles.

Dyes

Choose whatever colors you desire for your new fabulous candle. The natural color from the wax will be milky white but you can change this easily by buying non toxic crayons or candle color blocks. The best ratio to use would be ⅛ crayon for 16 ounces of wax. You can add more crayon to darken the color however much you want.

Scents

You can buy essential oils to get wonderful scents that will permeate your home. Fancy a bit of the seashore smell? Or cinnamon? Or Peppermint? There are literally hundreds of fragrances you can buy. They come in small bottles but size doesn’t matter. I usually use 10 drops of oil per 16 ounces of wax, but don’t think of this as a strict rule. Experiment. Start with a few drops and add in more to increase the fragrance level.

  • fall candle scents
  • winder candle scents
  • summer candle scents

Other bits and bobs you'll need

  • Candle Containers. You can use any size container for homemade candles, whether this being a small tealight to a huge mason jar! Some crafty makers have used old teacups to make candles. Collect, borrow from a friend or buy a new container and clean thoroughly before use.
  • Saucepan. You need something to melt the wax, a simple saucepan will do the trick. Buying a budget pan from the store will be fine.
  • Measuring Jug. You need to measure out how much wax you’re using to get the correct amount of oils and crayon. Once more, you only need something cheap and cheerful.
  • Location: Choose a suitable room for your crafting project. Do you have young children or huge bouncing dogs? Your candles need time to cool in a room where there is no risk of getting knocked. Find a free room or even a spare cupboard in the kitchen to keep them for a few hours.

Next steps...

Once you'e got the kit, the next step is to check out our beginners guide to candle making. The only limit to your designs is your own creativity, but check out these candle designs to give you some inspiration.

Candle making is a great hobby that any crafting beginner can take up. So go out now, buy some wax, get your creative juices flowing and have fun making some candles!

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