Introduction: How to Make Candles!

About: I enjoy photography, horticulture and carpentry, and am almost always doing something relating to of those things.

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.

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

  • 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)
*Molds (I used a soda can, and a dixie cup)
*Mixing Spoon

Step 3: Preparation

Turn on your double boiler, and if you have a large block of wax like me, rest the wax over the boiler. This way, it will soften, and be easier to cut.

Lay out newspaper over your work space.

Take the wax off, and cut a chunk off, use the double boiler to melt that chunk of wax. I used about half a pound, and there was some wax left over after making my two candles.

As the wax melts, prepare your molds. Both of my molds were disposable and tear able. If you are using something like glass as a mold, rub the inside with oil on a paper towel, this will make it easier to remove the candle.

Step 4: Additives

I made my candles yellow, and vanilla scented. For my half pound of wax, I put in half a yellow crayon, and a splash or two of vanilla.

This site can help you match colors with scents.

This site can help you make the scents you want.

Step 5: Wicks

Cut off a piece of wick (cotton string) that's about an inch longer than your candle will be. Dip this into the wax, and then take it out. Use two paper towels, tongs, or anything else to pull the string taught while it dries for the most your wick will be straight. You can put the wicks in the fridge to harden while you finish the candles, if you'd like.

Step 6: Pour the Wax

Use the double boiler to pour wax into each mold, then stick the candles into your fridge. This will speed up the cooling process. Once they are starting to firm up, and the top of the candle looks firm, use a tooth pick to poke into the center of the candle. You'll notice that the inside of the candle is still melted. Position the wick straight up, and so that it touches the bottom. Melt a small piece of wax over the wick's hole to seal it. Leave the candle in the fridge until fully hardened. When they are hardened again, either peel off the mold, or slip out the candle (depending on your mold)

Step 7: Clean Up

Wax spills are inevitable. One of the best ways to clean them up is to lay a brown bag over the spill, and use an iron set on high to melt the wax onto the paper bag...voila!

Your tools are going to be a huge pain to clean up. My only suggestions are use few, use hot water, and use a rough brush to scrub it off.

Good luck, and Happy Hanukkah (/Christmas) !

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