Crafts-Hobbies Vivian | 03 Mar 2011 10:26 am

The Joy of Learning How to Make Your Own Candles

Although most people have been seeing candles their entire lives, many have never tried to make them. When you make your own candles, you have the chance to experience fun and self gratification. Candles represent a simpler time when the world moved slower, and neighbors had time to visit and share with each other.

To start candle making as a hobby, you will need to collect some items you may not have or designate items you do have for the purpose of candle making. If you plan on using pots from your kitchen, you will need to stop using them for food preparation.

A double boiler is the preferred way to melt wax. The reason for this is to keep direct heat away from the wax because of the combustibility. Also, there is a better control of consistent heat, and the wax doesn’t heat too fast. If you try to just melt the wax on a cook top, there is a good chance it will scorch or, worse yet, catch on fire. You can use two sauce pans of different sizes to achieve the same results, but if you are going to make candles many times, you should invest in the double boiler.

You can’t deal with hot wax without a cooking thermometer. There are critical temperatures that have to be maintained with wax. Guess work is not an option.

For pouring the hot wax into the molds or containers, you will need a pitcher or large dipper. You may want to use both.

There are many kinds of wicks to consider. The basic wicks used for container, hand dipped, or tower candles are braided cotton with a hard core. The core use to be lead, but this has been banned in the United States because of lead poisoning concerns. Zinc is usually the center now, along with synthetic materials and hard papers. The dimensional size of the wick is important based on the candle you are making.

Along with the wick, you will need clips for the bottom. These keep the wick in place when you pour the wax. Some people get by using metal washers tied to the end of the wick.

Long stirring spoons for the hot wax are necessary utensils. Most candle makers prefer to use wooden spoons, but plastics will suffice if that is what you have as long as they can withstand the heat of the wax. You want to melt the wax, not your plastic spoon.

If you choose to make container candles, you will need to have enough containers on hand for the amount of wax you are using. The greater majority of containers are tempered glass, but you can use almost anything from tin cans to stoneware, as long as the container can withstand the heat of the wax without breaking or melting.

For tower candles you will need molds. If you are only going to be making a few candles, don’t invest a lot of money into these. You can always purchase additional molds later if you decide to continue your candle making hobby.

If you decide to make your own candles, be sure to allow a block of time to devote solely to the candle making. You should be relaxed so you can fully enjoy the experience.

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