MAKING YOUR OWN CANDLES
Love Candles? Love Crafts? Combine Your Two Interests
What You'll Need To Get Started
You can make almost any type of candle that you can buy. Therefore, deciding on the type or types of candles you'd like to try making is the first step. Once that's determined, you'll be able to plan for the supplies you need. You can check out candlemaking books at your local library, or purchase one or more online or at your local craft or book store. Full instructions, supply lists and other tips for most any type of candle will be available here. You can also find many online sources for directions and supplies. Here are a few online sites to get you started.
They offer a beginner's guide to making just about any type of candle you would want, including votives, container and pillar candles. Along with the instructions, you can also purchase the supplies you need to make your candles, or you can purchase candlemaking kits, too.
Along with candlemaking supplies, they include instructions for making votive candles, pillar candles, container candles, and variations on these types of candles, including marbled and rainbow effects.
Along with the supplies comes instructions for many candle styles. Their specialty is soy candles, but they also offer tips and supplies for other types. Just go to their web site and click on the "Instructions and Projects" link at the top of the page.
Go to this web site and select "Craft Class," then "Candle Making." This site is loaded with instructions for your candle making interests, including safety instructins as well as directions to make almost every type of candle imaginable, plus more information on the types of candle wax, molds, the different types of molds available, using household objects like milk cartons for molds, and more.
- Peak Candle Supplies
Carries everything you need to get started in this fun new hobby. They also sell candle-making kits for around $50 which contain everything you'll need to create your own candles. See the next section titled "Candlemaking Supplies" for more information on what you'll need.
Along with the instructions, there will be some supplies you'll need to make your candles. The above-named candlemaking sites will also be able to give you a supply list, which you can purchase at your local craft store or through one of them. You can buy the supplies in kit form, or buy each one separately. Here's a run-down on what you'll need to make your candles.
Probably the most important, and most major ingredient to making your own candles. You can find several types of candle wax, from the standard paraffin wax to beeswax, soy wax, and gel wax.
You'll pour your melted candle wax into a mold to get its shape. You can use most anything from milk cartons to tin cans for a mold, as well as those purchased from your candle-making supply outlet. You can purchase votive molds, pillar molds, and molds in a variety of shapes and sizes for novelty candles.
This is what makes your candle burn, so you'll definitely want wicking. Most suppliers offer wicks in pre-measured sizes to fit the type of candle you are making.
Candle Dyes and Fragrances
You won't be happy with a plain-colored candle, so you'll probably want to invest in some candle wax dyes. And you'll probably enjoy scented candles too, so this is where the fragrance oils come in.
While we've listed the supplies you'll need, there are other necessities you'll need as well. You'll need something to melt your wax in. Never put the wax into a container and melt it on the stove. Candle wax has a "flash point," and can burst into flame without warning. Melt your candle wax in a double-boiler or a Presto Kitchen Kettle which you can buy at your local Walmart or other retail center. You can also buy a wax melter, but these are usually more expensive than the double boiler or Kitchen Kettle. You'll find a candle thermometer to be indispensible, too. You will also need a "Pour-Pot", which is what you'll use to pour the melted candle wax into your molds. This can be a glass pyrex pitcher, a clean tin can, or you can buy one from the same place you purchase your other supplies from. A Kitchen Scale will come in handy to weigh the candle wax before melting. Any kitchen scale will do, as long as it weighs up to ten pounds. And finally, you may find a hammer works best for breaking up the candle wax so it can be melted. Most candle wax, especially the paraffin kind, comes in large blocks.
You might find it easier when you're just starting out, to purchase a candle-making kit rather than go through and pick up what you need piece by piece. You can do that later on if you decide this is a hobby you'd like to stick with, or perhaps a hobby you can turn in to a money-making business. For right around $50 you can purchase candle-making kits from Peak Candle Supplies which contain ten pounds of candle wax, melting pot, thermometer, molds, a variety of fragrances and dyes, and of course complete instructions.
There you have it, everything you need to get started on a fun new hobby. If you're a little nervous about buying all of these supplies, remember that you can purchase what you need in the way of candle-making supplies, in kit form when you're just starting out. For right around $50 you should be able to buy a basic candlemaking kit. And if you're really looking for a cheap way to create your candles, there are plenty of alternatives, such as using tin cans and clean milk cartons for the molds, tin cans or pyrex pitchers for pouring pots, a double boiler to melt the wax, and other cheaper short-cuts.
Have fun with your new hobby, and if you enjoy this one, you might want to look into soap-making as well. We also feature an article about making your own soaps, so check out the index under our Hobbies category.