Candle making is a fun and rewarding activity. Candles are flexible and practical home décor products that are wonderful to have on hand for a number of occasions or even as presents. Making candles at home is a cost-efficient way that can also help you relax and unwind.
Making your own candles is rewarding because it’s a way to encourage yourself to be creative. It can also test your patience because the steps and process take a lot of time. You can also use this as a practice to improve your attention to detail because you really need to pay attention and be intentional when making candles.
What we need to make a candle
To make candles, you’ll need three things: wax, a pot or equipment to melt wax with, wicks. As long as you have these three items, you can definitely make a candle. But if you want to make a specific candle, there are other things to consider. First, you have to decide what kind of candle you want to make. There are candles with vessels, molded candles, and dipped candles. They can come in different colors, or different mixes of colors. You can also make scented candles or keep them without scent.
Types of waxes, and why it matters
Once you’ve figured out what kind of candle you want to do, you need to figure out what kind of wax you need. This is because each candle type has very specific processes and required wax properties. For example, molded candles require molds and wax that has higher melting points like beeswax.
Beeswax has a melting point of 63C compared to soy wax that starts to melt at 45C. The higher melting point means that beeswax won’t melt easily even in warm weather. It also means that it’s harder when cooled so it retains the shape of the mold. This is also the case with dipped candles as they need to retain their shape when cooled. Soy wax on the other hand will melt or soften easily. This is why pure soy candles are usually those in vessels like jars, mugs or cups.
The melting temperature of wax can also differ depending on the methods used to produce the wax. Don’t hesitate to talk to your supplier or the manufacturer about the melting temperature needed for the wax and what their recommended temperature is for binding colors or scents. Keep in mind that experience is also important in how you handle wax to make sure you get the best results.
Now that we have those things sorted, let’s get to the best part!
Hand-dipped candles are really good for beginners. It’s pretty simple and as long as you have a vessel to melt wax in, you can do this process – yes, even deep cans or jars! But it also requires a lot of patience because you need to be mindful of the right cooling pace of the wax so the ripples don’t form on the candle giving it an odd shape.
Molded candles are pretty interesting because you can get really creative with them. You can play around with colors and even make your own molds using whatever you want to! In this video, they used paraffin wax and I want to talk about that.
Paraffin wax is the cheapest and most accessible wax in the market. Most household candles are also made out of paraffin. But, it emits benzene and toluene when burned which are highly toxic. It’s not advised to use paraffin candles, homemade or not, especially if they are scented, because it’s harmful to inhale the toxic fumes. You’ll know that a candle has paraffin when the candle produces black soot.
Candle with Vessels
Soft wax needs a vessel because they don’t hold their shape well enough. Candles with vessels, especially those with covers, are also the recommended candle types if you want a scented candle. This is because the vessel keeps the fragrance from evaporating too quickly. Like in the video, make sure you stir and pour very gently so your candle doesn’t have any bubbles.
Making your own candle takes a lot of time and effort. Sometimes, you’ll need to overcome a few failed attempts to get to the candle that you really want (especially if you’re adding scents and colors). That’s okay! Don’t be discouraged and keep trying! With practice, I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it soon.