Most people think that making candles at home is difficult and requires a lot of spending. That is not true if instructions are properly followed.
There are a lot of articles available that feature step-by-step instructions in candle making. Even beginners can make homemade candles. More and more people are getting into candle making because it is an enjoyable activity and a good source of extra income on the side if you want to sell candles.
The materials needed are also easy to find. Candle shops sell candle-making kits that include a manual on making candles at home and basic materials such as wax, wick, dye, and essential oils. Other materials can be found in the kitchen such as a melting pot, a thermometer, and molding jars.
Table of Contents
Things to know before start.
Choosing Candle Wax
There are different types of waxes in the market, soy wax, beeswax, and paraffin. But I would recommend soy wax. Soy is a natural wax it’s derived from soybean oil, so it is considered a clean-burning wax which means that it does not emit chemicals into the air as paraffin does and it is also much less likely to sit than paraffin.
You will find several kinds of soy wax in the market and you may be wondering what is the best type of soy for your container project more than likely they will all work fine but you have to choose the best for you, some soy waxes are a hundred percent pure and some may be blended with other vegetable waxes as well, some features when choosing a soy wax would be a high fragrance load, around 10 percent or higher, so make sure that your soy wax is going to be capable of producing a highly fragrant candle.
The next step is choosing a container, soy works well for container candles but you want to keep in mind that soy burns at a high temperature, you need a container that can resist a lot of heat, glass, ceramic, or metal is a suitable container for your candle, plastic is not suitable it is prone to melting, it could catch on fire and at the very least it emits some yucky chemicals into the air, materials that are porous such as wood or maybe terra cotta is not going to work well for your container candles either.
The next step is to choose your wick, you can run into a lot of troubles when you’re looking for the perfect sized wick, there are lots of different wicks that work well, you can use a wood wick, paper, or cotton core wick, if your wick is too small it will not be able to achieve a full melt pool and not able to consume all the fuel, that will not burn the whole candle and that is a real bummer so this is caused by a wick that’s improperly sized but this can also be caused by an improper burning technique, larger wick creates a larger flame which gives you a wider melt pool, that is important in burning your candle because that ensures that your wick can melt the candle to the edge of your container, but larger wicks may also cause some issues like you will notice that the flame is pretty tall and moving around and you might get a lot of mushrooming or carbon buildup, the oversizing of your wick may also lead to a weak scent throw so that can be problematic.
The next item that you will need for candle making is a wick holder to hold the wick or wicks and place after you pour your liquid wax into your container. You may get custom wick holders to use or cotter pins for your container, and also there are many instances where you can use a clothespin I will do that as well I love using clothespins not only are they so cheap to get but they’re so so easy to use.
This is actually where you put the wax to melt it down to pour into your vessel, I would not ever recommend filling it up to the top right, you should fill this up about halfway, the further and the higher you fill it up the heavier it is and the less control you have when it comes to pouring. The ideal pouring pitcher should be lightweight and has a handle that means when you set it into your double boiler, that handle won’t get too hot.
The next item for candle making is to use a double boiler, but avoid something shallow because of splashing. You should use a pot that you are not using for cooking so whether that is an old pot that you already have or if you want to go to buy a used pot that should be suitable for boiling, so what you would do with this is you would fill this pot with about a half an inch of water and you would put the pouring pitcher into it, that way it will boil the water which will slowly melt down the wax from the inside, that is the most common beginner method called the double boiler method.
The next item that you will need is a thermometer, if you have a commercial-grade thermometer, you have to put that in melting wax to tell you about the temperature, but if you have a digital thermometer, you should just point and click and that will immediately show you the temperature on its reader.
The scale is a non-negotiable, not debatable item for candle making, this ensures that you are using consistent measurements from your wax or fragrance, it is really important to go by weight versus volume in candle making to make sure that you’re using the appropriate amount, for measuring out your wax you can use a shipping scale or a kitchen scale also, both will work fine, but for fragrance oil, you should use a digital scale so you will easily get the decimals. the reason why I do not recommend measuring your fragrance oil on a kitchen scale or a shipping scale is that these are not necessarily designed to measure out light items.
Fragrances are undoubtedly the most exciting part of candle making. one thing you have to think about is to make sure that the fragrance oils that you use are specifically formulated for candle making and do not have ingredients that are flammable like alcohol or dye propylene glycol those would be dangerous and they will not bond well with your wax. mix around 6% or 1 oz. of fragrance per 16 oz./1 lb. of wax. Most wax manufacturers have a recommended fragrance load of 6-8% with a max of 10-12%.
Steps involved in candle making
The first step is to measure candle wax depends on how many candles you want, so let’s take 2 pounds of soy wax to put that into the pouring pitcher, Keep your pouring pitcher into the double boiler pot, you can use different types of methods to melt candle wax but I think the double boiler method is the easiest way to use. one of the reasons I recommend the double broiler method is that you can easily monitor the temperature closely and this would allow you to melt the wax completely without overheating, melt that under 200°F otherwise, it can start to yellow or discolor.
When the wax melts and reaches 180°F, you can add the fragrance oil using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, I like the silicone because it will not absorb any fragrance when you incorporate your fragrance oil into the wax, stir that gently but continuously for about one to two minutes. After that let it cool down to the proper pour temperature, which may vary according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, but in most cases, 135°F is the ideal point.
Take your candle container and glue dots or wick stickers to adhere your wicks to the bottom of your container. You can use different types of wicks such as wooden wicks, paper, or cotton core wicks if you are using wood wicks that can stand up on their own but in case of cotton wicks that start to lean, so you have to use a wick holder to keep that upright and centered when the wax is in the container, you may also use chopsticks, popsicle stick, clothespin lots of easy options to secure those wicks.
When you are done, make sure that you set your candles aside and allow them to cool completely for at least 24 hours without touching them, and make sure they are in a nice temperature-controlled room.
One of the most common issues you may face is called frosting, frosting looks like tiny little snowflakes on the surface of your wax certainly if you are using a dyed wax if you are using plain natural soy wax you may not face it as much, there is not a way to fix it if your candle has frosted, so don’t try to fix it because this is an aesthetic issue common with soy wax.
Another issue that you might face is something like sinkholes on the surface of your candle caused by air pockets in your wax or caused by stirring too quickly or it could be caused by pouring too quickly. You can fix this using a heat gun to heat over the top and smooth that out, the other option is to use some of the leftover wax to give it a second pour.