CandleMaking – Beginner Basics

by thecraftaholic

Thanks to a yahoo group I belong to, I am reposting these directions for candle making!
I did not write this article, I’m just reposting, for your crafty pleasure.
Ps-If you wrote this, please let me know, so I can give you credit!

CandleMaking – Beginner Basics

~~*Setting up*~~
Setting up your work space properly will make a large difference in
the final results of your candles. It’s recommended that you work in
the kitchen for ease and convenience. The following items are needed
to prepare your work space: heating element, paper towels, pot
holders and waxed paper.

1) Cover any surface that you will be working on with waxed paper.
This will protect your work space and allow spilled wax to be reused.

2) Place additional sheets of waxed paper underneath candle molds and
containers. Make certain that all items are within your reach.

3) Never allow wax to drip onto heating element. It may ignite upon
contact and could cause a fire.

*~~Using Molds~~*
Supplies Needed:
Candle thermometer
Craft scissors
Double boiler
Empty soup can
Metal pouring pot
Mold: pillar
Mold release
Mold sealer
Mold-blend paraffin wax (1 lb)
Primed wick: square-braided

1) Prepare work space.
2) Melt wax in double boiler until it reaches 194-198 degrees. You
can do steps 3 and 4 while the wax is melting.
3) Cut appropriate sized wick to length.
4) Prepare mold, using the following technique:
a) Lightly coat inside of mold with mold release
b) Thread wick through hold in bottom of mold
c) Cover hold and secure end of wick on outside of mold with mold
to prevent any leaking that may occur when the wax is poured.
d) Tie opposite end of wick around a pencil. Place pencil on top of
of mold. Make certain that wick is centered and taut. If wick is not
taut, tighten wick around pencil.
5) Using pouring pot, pour melted wax into the mold until mold is 90%
Allow wax to set. Make certain to set aside a small amount of that
particular wax in empty soup can to top off the candle.
6) As wax cools, an indentation will form around the wick. Top off
using the following technique:
a) Remelt remaining wax and fill to the top of indentation, making
that wick is still centered. Try not to pour wax over the top, as this
will set a line in the the candle. Allow the wax to set.
b) Repour wax as needed for an even candle. Allow the wax to set.
7) Remove candle from mold, using the following technique:
a) Remove pencil. Remove mold sealer. Tip mold upside down. Candle
should slide out on its own. If it doesnt work, place mold with Candle
in freezer for 5-10 minutes. Remove from freezer. Tip mold upside
down. Candle should slide out on its own.
8) Trim wick at top of candle to 1/4″. Trim wick at bottom of candle
with the base.

**~Basic Candle Making~**
There are some excellent and easy-to-follow craft books available in
libraries and stores on the subject, but here are some unusual ideas:

First off, I seldom bother with strings of wicks, unless I need a
thick one for extra large candles. I’m not sure if this is available
where you live, but I buy packs of *el-cheapo* (grin) candles which
cost next to nothing, because they have nothing added – no colour, no
scent, – just purely functional. I break the wax off those and melt
it in a pot, but keep the wicks for re-use. They’re much easier to
work with that way because they already have a wax coating and retain
their stiffness. For colour, throw a piece of wax crayon into the
melting pot. For scent some essential oil, but wait until the wax is
slightly cooled, if possible.

Nice, frothy-looking candles, esp for Christmas, are made by taking a
plain white ‘el cheapo’ candles and securing them on a saucer/holder
with a few drops of melted wax. Melt some wax chunks in a saucepan or
clean tin . Remove from heat. Just as this starts setting, take a
whisk/beater/ hand mixer, and beat it till frothy. Now you need to
work quickly so it doesn’t get too hard. With a fork, apply mixture
to prepared upright candle. Before it is completely set, you can
sprinkle some glitter, herbs etc on for decoration.

Another method I like to use makes imaginative “ghostly” looking,
swirled candles. Here you incorporate movement into the making, which
seems to freeze it into the work, like some sort of Baroque

Secure an upright candle into a deep-ish saucer or holder. Melt some
wax in pot with a bit of colouring. Take the whole works to a kitchen
sink or bucket filled with cold water. Pour the melted wax into the
deep-ish saucer and then plunge the works into the water. As you do
so, keep your hand moving in circles (in a deosil pattern if you
like). You may chant simultaneously, but that chant is likely to turn
into a scream, as it requires a little practice to avoid the hot wax
getting onto your fingers. Never mind, it soon blows over. These
candles are very conducive to the imagination – it’s easy to *see*
all sorts of shapes in them.

Here’s another : use those strong cardboard food containers which
have a waxy inner lining (we get dairy products in them ). Make a
small hole in the bottom for wick, and close it up again (Prestik
works), or clay or anything to stop wax pouring out. The top of the
wick is turned around a pencil which rests across top of container.
On each of four sides you can place pressed flowers, pictures,
whatever you like, then pour wax and let it set. What also looks nice
is crumpled up small pieces of tin/kitchen foil pushed into wax (but
keep these towards the outer edges as they might start burning rather
violently in centre).

You can decorate candles by sticking anything onto them with a bit of
melted wax. Any container which can stand the heat can be used,
providing it is well greased. Baking utensils in star-shapes etc are
nice. Sandwich 2 candles together with more wax.

Heavy tin foil makes imaginative moulds. Form it into any shape you
like, embed in a bucket of sand (to give stability) and pour wax in.
Its also an idea to crumple it first, so that when you pull it off
again later, little bits of the foil have become embedded in the
outer layer of wax.

*~*Cleaning Candle Molds*~*

Molds should always be kept clean in order to provide the best
results. Candle molds should be clean and free from old candle wax
before using. Do not scrape or scratch inside of molds when cleaning
them, it will mar future candles. Candle molds can be cleaned using
the following three methods.

Method 1
1) Fill sink with hot water and a small amount of liquid dish soap.
Allow candle molds to soak for 15 minutes.
2) Wash candle molds, being careful of any sharp edges. Dry molds
thoroughly. Dry seamless candle molds upside down on a cookie sheet
covered with paper towels.

Method 2
1) Place candle molds on a cookie sheet covered with paper towels in
a 200 degree oven for 7-8 minutes. The paper towel will absorb the
melted wax.
2) Wipe off any remaining wax from candle mold immediately.

Method 3
1) Use cleaner designed for metal molds, following manufacturer’ s

~*~Clean Up~*~

Candle cleaning kits can be purchased to aid in removing stubborn
stains and wax buildup from equipment and supplies. Following are a
few mtethods to help in cleanup after candlemaking.

1) Pour excess wax into an old pan lined with waxed paper. Never pour
down the drain. It will cool and clog the drain. Unused wax can be
melted and reused.

2) Place supplies such as molds and metal spoons in boiling water
until wax melts. Using tongs, remove items from water. Using paper
towels, wipe items clean.

3) Discard old metal soup and coffee cans, and other replaceable

4) Place glass items in freezer. Wax will shrink and easily pop out.