Instructables
My mom loves candles. This year for Hanukka, instead of spending 18 bucks for a candle or two from yankee, I've decided to make her some candles! I ended up spending $12 at Joanne's for enough wax/wicks for ~16 candles. I, however, only made two so that she can decide on her own scent/color combination when I make more.

I had a lot of fun making these, and I know she's going to love them.

UPDATE: I gave them to her tonight (12/6/07) and she really did love them, they're burning now.
 
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Step 1: Caution

This project does require a few safety/mess preventions.

*Wax is very hard to clean up from counters. In order to help with cleanup, use as few tools as possible, and cover your work space in newspaper. I wish I had done that.

*Wax is flammable, for this reason, it's very important that you don't use any setting higher than medium on your stove, and use a thermometer if possible.

Wax's flash point is 300 degrees F, don't let it's temperature exceed 250 degrees.

Step 2: What you'll need

Picture of What you'll need
  • Wax - I got mine from Joanne's, a 4 pound block for something like $14
  • Wicks - Got it from Joanne's, too, for $2
  • Crayons (If you want your candle colored)
  • Scent (I used vanilla extract)
  • Olive oil (Optional)

(Joanne's sends out 40% off any item coupons every sunday in our newspaper, check for coupon's from your craft store, they're helpful =] )

*Double boiler (Or two nesting pots)
*Knife
*Molds (I used a soda can, and a dixie cup)
*Mixing Spoon
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oshendrickson5 months ago

I would not microwave wax aethodst ALL! It changes to composition and no longer burns or acts right. doubble boiling or a candle maker are the safest m

linz927 months ago
Hello, I've made many homemade candles and I just stuck wax on low heat on the stove and it melted fine without a double boiler. Also I stuck it in the microwave many times. Good tutorial though. Thanks for sharing :) Are you using oure vanilla extract or artificial? Ive used vanilla oil for scent but I've never used vanilla extract because of all the alcohol in it.
Moe_Tangna2 years ago
Hello!, I want to make a very large candle (like 3-4 feet tall) I have around 4 diffrent colors of melted candles that are each the same brand. how can i make the mold for the canlde and how can i layer it so that when the next color is burning a diffrent scent comes out? ( i have enough candles to make a sizeable candle)

suggenstions?
I'd suggest like a shipping tube or something, I think.
to change scent of wax as well as layer it do not melt all wax at once. melt whatever max you want on bottom first and so forth. add the bottom wax first and let cool/harden. then add next layer and so forth. as for the scent i am not sure this will work (dont use this till ur sure so experiment and get back to me) but try grinding up flowers pine needles or whatever it is you want, and add ing this fine smelling powder to the melted wax and stir. again may not work so test it before useing this method on ur large candle.
well if you take a styrofam cup wood or any material than can hold its shape. you can hollow out your own design. i have not yet tried making a candle however i have melted cans and carved my own mold.....hehe wood + melted aluminum= small fire.
Hey! Yankee is just a brand of candle! They sell them at department stores and some malls have their own boutiques set up. They are very nice candles but they can start to get very expensive after a while!
You mentioned your mom loves candles and that this year for Hanukka, instead of spending 18 bucks for a candle or two from yankee, you decided to make some homemade candles for your mom! Great idea! I’d like to know who is “yankee?” Is "yankee" a good or bad thing? Should I be in fear of "yankee?" Please help me understand. It's extremely important to me. Should I be in afraid because I AM FEARLESS. Enter at your own risk.
Jomskylark1 year ago
Just used this fantastic guide to make my grandmother a candle for Christmas. This was the "Plan B" of gifts but I'm really glad I did it because it looks wonderful. Thank you. :)

Some thoughts:
- Block of wax was $20 for me. I didn't want to shell out that kind of money in case this was one-time thing, so I bought several wax cubes for $6. I used only ten cubes when making my candle; they melted fine.
- I also didn't have a double boiler, so I used a frying pan. Not sure of the advantages/disadvantages here but it seemed to work ok.
- I used a small container for my candle. It looks much prettier I think.
- You. are. not. kidding. about the tough clean-up. I probably spent more time cleaning wax off my pan than I did making the darn candle. One little tidbit of advice I can offer is that the wax seemed to build-up in some areas, and instead of rubbing harshly I tried to scrape it off from underneath. That seemed to be more efficient.

Thanks for posting this! :)
billbuck1 year ago
Hi Bobftx,

I would like to use you and your message as an example to many parts of the world of what a paranoid unintelligent american is. Not only will I explain it on this site but will use this comment on nearly 30 other sites where I give an explanation of the unintelligent, small knowledge based anglo saxon. I too am an anglo saxon American, but for some reason I am able to see our enormous shortcomings. Don't worry bob you're not alone, there are many people like you that I use as examples.
If you follow the instructions there is no reason why you would have hot water, wax and pots flying all over the place and (scare tactic) all over your face, down your throat and through your bones. The people who would not follow the instructions (anglo saxon male americans) yes would probably have a mess on their hands, but even they are smart enough to jump out of the way if two pots explode. However these people do not have the ability (such as yourself) to see the benefits of going through this process to make candles. It is something that you can do for fun with others to create a useful tool. So bob please don't go buy candles, but spend the next 36 hours sitting down in a chair with a candle lit and think about why this is a good thing. If you still cant figure it out, there are plenty of good psychologists out there who became psychologists to help people like you.
lizardpow2 years ago
Hi! I`m making a gift for my mom and i am going to make the candles in jam jars. Can I just keep the candles in the jars or do i have to take them out? and also, why do you need 2 pots???
Weissensteinburg (author)  lizardpow2 years ago
Keeping it in the mason jar is a great idea, go for it. The two pots are to make a double boiler. If you put the wax right on the stove, it will burn. Putting it in a pot, in boiling water distributes the heat more evenly and gradually. The water acts as a buffer to the heat so the wax just melts.
ngadea2 years ago
To straighten you can also just use your fingers.

Lay the wick on something flat, like a flat surface. It dries very quickly and if left undisturbed will not curve on its own.
bobftx3 years ago
This photo is a diagram for starting a house fire. What happened to the double boiler? Also, if you use nesting pots, make absolutely sure that they do not fit tightly together. If steam builds up between them you have hot wax, boiling water, and a hot pot flying all over the kitchen--and all over you.

Maybe just buy the candles.
ngadea bobftx2 years ago
How is this "constructive" bob? Climb out of your bunker already.
izzyk84 bobftx3 years ago
1. (S)he already made them.
2. (S)he decided to make the candles so that (s)he wouldn't have to buy them for a fortune. Nice job reading.
Do you think a straw would work for a center hole for the wick? if you oil it before inserting and if it actually comes out you would wind up with a nice 1/4" hole in your candle.
praise_song2 years ago
Here's what I do: I save up all those little bitty scraps of the ends of candles ... all colors, scents, sizes, etc. Break them in to smaller pieces, if necessary. Store 'em in a clean, 24-oz. pickle jar, with a lid on it. When you have quite a few bits and ends, put the entire jar into a 2-qt. pot, that has about 2"of water in it. You can place a boil-control mechanism under the jar, if you'd like... it helps to keep the "bouncing" down to a minimum, but it'snot necessary. Bring the water to a boil, and turn to med. low, just so the water keeps simmering around the glass jar. It will melt the wax, but will not ruin your cookware. When it's all melted, add your color and any scent you are using to the melted wax.
Using a potholder or two, pour the wax into your clean votives or whatever you're using as a container. Use whatever method you prefer for setting the wick. I use the pre-tabbed/pre-crimped ones, for ease. I buy them for $5.95/100pcs, and they last me a LONG, LONG time.
I am not a true "candle maker", per se, but I hate wasting all those little ends of candles ... once melted down, I can usually get 3 or 4 more votives ... and that's about $12+ , if you buy the Glade ones.
I use this jar-melt method, and I have NEVER had a spill, or any mess whatsoever. Whatever sticks inside the jar ... well, it'll be melted down into the next batch, the next time I make candles!
Oh! ... I also bought a 73¢ plastic, 3ml pipette (a dropper) at Sally Beauty Supply, and use it for my scents. I keep that JUST for measuring the scented oils, so no muss/no fuss w/ the scented oils, either.
davin_x2 years ago
I'd recommend using a small paper cup (they come in shot glass size up to larger cup sizes!) instead of a coke can. Reason being is that the paper cups are cheaper and have a light wax coating inside them as it is. Once the candle wax has solidified, you can just cut the paper cup off and you end up with cool candles.

I also poke a small hole through the bottom of the paper cups, and thread the wick through that (seal it with a bit of wax from another candle).


Example here:
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-wXJQ74Oav8o/RpwqRy1Gl5I/AAAAAAAAAEc/UhMJH_aUNe8/s640/090720073413.jpg

I recall how the industry made those stick-like candles. Basically, first you dip the string in there, take it out, let the wax on it solidify, then dip it again, take it out, solidify etc. It'll build layers of wax upon one another until you get your desired thickness. Any chance to do that instead?
Use candle colorant instead of crayons better results and costs less. No sediment on the bottom of the pot.
sbrown13 years ago
wow !!
hii everyone how is this topic goin?
salt-n-burn4 years ago
Maybe something that would cut down a few steps would be to fashion some sort of base for the wick (A square or circle of thin cardboard, or thick paper, maybe.) You could poke a hole in it, thread the wick through, and tape a small piece of the wick to the underside. Then drop it in your container, and pour the wax over the whole thing. As far as getting the wick to stand straight... Any number of things could be fashioned to hold it centered. (Although I suppose it probably would be best to dip the wick first. I don't know about everyone else, but I have about a billion candle jars/holders lying around. Once the candle is spent, I always scrape out the excess wax and hold onto the container like I'll reuse it some day... Which thanks to this article, I just might! :) No one would ever know it was homemade. (Well, until you brag about it, of course!)
Tea lights pretty much always have a small base like the one you suggest, a small circle of aluminum with a molded hole to hold the wick upright in the center of the candle. They don't get damaged at all from burning the candles, and are completely reusable. You can usually find tea lights at ten for a dollar at the dollar store, or at a hundred for five dollars at Target. (WHAT A DEAL!)
rudegirl3 years ago
i accidentally found out that your metal pots can be clean by soaking them in "white spirit" i left my lacquer brushes in the pot i used to melt the wax for candles and added white spirit so i could wash the brushes clean today and though the brushes still were a pain to clean the wax that was stuck on the pot walls had disolved into a watery substance :D wierd since both substances are derive from paraffine but ti WORKS!
HayIamRhian3 years ago
Hi,
You said that if you were using a glass as a mould then you should grease it to get it out.
Couldn't you just leave it in there so the glass could be like a candle holder?
Hi Great site check this one aswell for more candle making stuff... this so so much fun
http://howtomakescentedpillarfloatingbeeswaxcandles.com/
bowman3 years ago
I nearly forgot.................Pick up a bag of styrene, it's granulated. It will harden the wax and give you a slower burn. Your candles will last much longer and burn more even.
Bad Maxx bowman3 years ago
Could you explain this a bit better? Styrene is vinyl benzene, I cannot for the life of me imagine that burning or melting, however you want to word it, in a candle is healthy in any stretch of the imagination. I know back in the day we had strict warnings about the fumes from heating granulated styrene to form bathtubs, It causing a long list of health problems and is considered a carcinogen. Maybe you had something else in mind?
bowman Bad Maxx3 years ago
Thanks, the post has been corrected.
Bad Maxx bowman3 years ago
No problem! Thank you for clearing that up!
bowman3 years ago
It appears I made a major mistake here................I meant to say to use Stearine for a slower burn, longer candle life, etc. Thanks to BadMaxx for catching me on this.
I get it at Michael's. Yaley Enterprises is the manufacturer, marketer, etc.
ucanBanerd3 years ago
They make a pin for candle making, most times you pour wax twice, because the center where the wick is, sinks as it cools and you get a bit of a hole. The pins go in the bottom of the mold and makes it so after the candle hardens there is a prefectly straight hole through the candle, thread your wick through the hole, then when you repour (make your wax 20 degrees hotter so you don't get a line) it fills the gaps and your wix and your hole from cooling are fixed. I'm going to try to improvise one for pillar candles using a bamboo skewer.
THANK YOU! I've been curious why all of my candles sink in the middle making a big ugly divot! Also makes the candles burn wrong! Now I'm re-inspired to make candles again!
Thanks.
There are some waxes that don'e require a re-pour, but most do, and the second time, your wax needs to be ten to twenty degrees hotter than on the firts melt, so you don't get a line. I've already screwed this up once, lol, but if it's just for home, no one cares. I make the batch a few ounces bigger than i need, then re-melt whats left in the pot for the re-pour after your wax cools the first time. I also noticed that you will get a much worse hole if you try and speed things up by putting them in the frige!
I agree with the fridge making it worse! My first candles had a rather shallow sink-hole to them, then thinking maybe cooling them faster would prevent this, I put my next batch in the fridge. Way worse! Can't wait to try your method.
pbhound3 years ago
i agree NEVER do this! if the wax is too big for the pot; use a hammer to break it into smaller pieces (just wear eye protection)!
Weissensteinburg (author)  pbhound3 years ago
If you read the entire step, you'll see that I put the wax on top to soften it. I then cut it into smaller pieces and used a double boiler to melt it.

There's nothing dangerous about a large block of wax over boiling water. It would take hours, if ever, for the wax to soften to the point of breaking and falling in.
Yes to the hammer but I use a chisels or a screwdriver I don't mind beating on the end of, to break the wax into chunks that fit. Just whacking with a hammer makes a mess. Leave the wax cold to chunk it.

Use candle colorant instead of crayons better results and costs less. No sediment on the bottom of the pot.

I have found that "most" oil based sents(sp!) work in candles. Try Frankincense or Muir... Or both OH so nice. On the oils that come out (evaporate) of the candles to fast I dip the candles in hot wax after unmolding and cooling for a day.

Use tapered molds and after cooling the candles usually just fall out.
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