Homemade personalized candles make great birthday or anniversary gifts. Moreover, candle making is a wonderful hobby with lovely results. Candles enhance the ambiance in the room, and impart a warm feeling.
Candle making is a great hobby and with a little practice and creativity, masterpieces can be created within the boundaries of one’s home. What’s even better is you no longer have to shell out so much money on all those expensive candles sold at the mall.
However, let me caution you that candle making may not come out right in the first try itself and requires practice. Certain techniques such as melting the wax, etc. need to be done correctly, so the more you practice, the better your candles will be.
Materials Required for Candle Making
Making homemade candles is easy!
The first decision to make in candle making is regarding the type of wax. One can either pick soy wax, beeswax or paraffin wax. Mostly all-purpose paraffin wax is used to make candles, which is found in the canning section of the local grocery store. It is also available in any craft or hardware store. Beeswax pellets are also available, which are great for beginners because they are easier to melt.
Fragrance and Color
For imparting fragrance to the candles, herbs, essential oils and various cooking ingredients such as vanilla and peppermint are used. Moreover, spices also work well. For the color various shades of candle colors are available. But if you are a beginner, opt for simple dyes, inks or food colors. Once you master the art you can purchase sophisticated candle making supplies.
Wick and Wick Cutter
The wick is that part of the candle that allows it to burn. These wicks can be prepared at home by dipping heavy strings or cords into warm wax, and then allowing them to dry on sheets of wax paper. Wicks can also be purchased from craft stores. Scissors make great wick cutters and can be used to cut wicks into the required sizes.
This device is used to heat the wax, as it melts. Double boilers make great wax carriers, however, one can even use a saucepan as an alternative. All one needs to do is fill the saucepan with water, and then place the wax in an old coffee tin before heating the saucepan.
Mold and Mold Release
The mold is what gives the candle its actual shape. It is into this mold that hot wax is poured. Cans, hard plastics or glasses are nice simple molds. The type of mold will depend on whether you want a standalone candle or a candle in a decorative container . To ensure the safe removal of hard wax from the mold without ruining the candle, you will need mold release. Peanut oil, cooking spray oil or silicone spray are different mold releases that can be used.
To enhance the beauty of the candle, several accessories such as plastics, herbs, leaves, flowers, beads and other jewelry can be placed in the wax.
Dowels, Spoon and Thermometer
The dowel or pencil is required for each candle. For stirring the wax, a wooden spoon is required. A candy thermometer is also needed.
Instructions for Making Candles at Home
Once you’ve gathered all the raw materials, choose a place where you can make these candles. The area selected should permit quick transport of hot wax from the place of heating. The area should also be covered with newspapers, as dried wax is cumbersome to remove from the floor. Large plastic sheets will also do.
To next step is to melt the wax. For this, it is better you chop the wax block such that you get small pieces. The smaller the pieces, the lesser the time required for melting. This step doesn’t apply to those using beeswax pellets.
In order to melt the wax, you need a double boiler or wax carrier. If you don’t have a double boiler, just take two saucepans. Put some water in one saucepan and heat it. Place the other saucepan on top of the other and into it place the wax pieces. Keep stirring constantly.
When you find that the wax is beginning to melt, quickly spray the inner walls of the molds with mold release and place them safely aside. Keep stirring the wax with a spoon as well. Never let the water in the bottom saucepan boil, because this can cause overheating and scalding of the wax. Moreover, make sure no water droplets fall into the wax.
Keep stirring gently till all the pieces dissolve. It is better to stop stirring when only a few small pieces remain. The heat in the bowl will melt those smaller pieces. This will prevent overheating.
Once the wax has melted thoroughly, additives like scents and colors can be added. One should remember that one teaspoon of fragrant oil or coloring is enough. Continue stirring gently, so that the scents and color blend in well.
The next step is transferring the wax from the saucepan and pouring it into the molds. One should make sure the wax does not fill the molds completely to the top. A margin of at least one inch needs to be left on the top of each mold.
As the wax begins to harden, it is time for wick insertion. Tie one end of the wick to the middle portion of the pencil and gradually drop the free end of the wick into the molten wax. Allowing the pencil to rest on the top of the mold, will prevent the wick from falling into the wax as it hardens.
The wax will take several hours to harden and reach proper consistency. Several experts prefer to allow the wax to harden overnight, before they try and remove them from the mold. Once the wax has hardened, the candle can be allowed to slide out of the mold by tipping the mold upside down. The exterior of the candle can be adorned by ribbons, flowers, glitter, etc. and placed in a decorative tray or box.
These few, simple steps are enough to equip beginners. It may not appear as simple as it sounds, but a little practice will definitely make it easier. However, while making candles at home, one must remember not to leave the melting wax unattended. Also, never heat wax directly in the saucepan: always use the double boiler or can. Since, fumes from overheated wax cause illness, one should refrain from overheating the wax. Moreover, one crucial point to remember is never put water on wax fire. Taking all these precautions, go ahead and make your very own candles.
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