What is that one magic potion that literally lights up your room along with your mood? The answer is – candles!
Is it a date night or a power outage when the dark knight rises, the first old school yet useful method that crosses our mind is the beautiful little candles.
Nowadays, candles are more for ambiance, fragrance, and to brighten up the mood instead of necessity. Being a huge scented candle fan myself, I found homemade candles are way cheaper than the market ones.
Homemade candles are a good source of a DIY gift for your friends, and it also contributes to giving a classy touch to your home or workplace decoration.
So, in this article, we are going to show you the different methods of how to make candles at home.
How to Make Your Own Candles: 4 Easy Methods
There are many ways to make candles. So the ingredients and tools vary from one another. For instance – rolled candles and soy candles will not contain the same amount of products. I am going to describe four easy and handy ways to make candles. The required ingredients will differ from one method to another.
1. Rolling Method
This method is used to make the rolled-up candles that look marvelous on a candle stand or at a date night dinner table. It will give the beginners a headstart since it’s the easiest and the least time-consuming one. The necessary ingredients and tools are (for two candles to 7/8 inches):
- A beeswax sheet(8-inch)
- A braided wick (10-inch)
- Paraffin wax 2 ounces approximately (not mandatory)
- A sharp craft knife or craft scissor
- A straight ruler
Steps to Make Rolled up Candles:
In this section, we’ll walk you through the process of making rolled up candles:
Step 1: Preparing a Workplace
Since you are working with wax, the chances are high that your work will be messy. So before starting, find a large flat surface area to work and cover it with an old newspaper so you can clean up easily once you are done.
Step 2: Cutting the Beeswax
At first, cut the beeswax using a sharp craft knife and a straight ruler. Cut it into 2to 8-inch squares. Remember, the perfect cut of wax you can get, the smoother your candles will become. To soften the beeswax, you can use a hairdryer on low power; otherwise, the heat will melt the wax.
Step 3: Placing the Wick and Roll
The wick needs to be placed in one edge of the wax square and pressed down. Thus, the wick will expand one inch from each side. Then comes the part of rolling where you have to keep rolling the wax tightly around the wick.
A pro tip will be placing a piece of wax paper between your finger and beeswax and make sure you keep doing it fast; otherwise, the wax paper would get stuck in the rolled beeswax. Also, while rolling, always make sure the edges are even.
Step 4: Lock the Candle
When you are done with rolling, make sure you push the edge of the wax by tapping and then seal it. Pressurize the edges using your fingertip.
Step 5: Priming the Wicks
Priming allows the wicks to keep the rigidity of the candle, which means the candles will burn better. So if the wicks are not pre-primed, then you should make sure that you’ve prime the wicks for better light.
The handiest way to prime the wick is to dip it in wax. Just cut two small pieces of wax sheet and place them around the wicks.
Another option can be melting paraffin wax in medium heat and dip the wick ends in the wax for like 5 seconds. But I would suggest using the first one since the latter one requires heat measurement, which is comparatively hectic.
Step 6: Shape the Wicks
To maintain the right amount of wax, it’s better to follow the standard length for burning so that the flame doesn’t burn too high. The standard length will be trimming both sides of the wicks by 1/4 inches so that when you light up the candle, the flames should be about 1 to 2 inches high.
Remember, if the wicks are too small for the diameter of the candle, the wax will spill over, and if the fire is not burning properly, then the wick is too large.
2. Wax Method
Wax is the basic ingredient of any candle you want to make, so obviously, you are going to need wax to make candles here, as the name suggests. There is a huge variety of candles available, for instance – paraffin wax, soy wax, beeswax, etc.
Since the soy wax burns the longest, it would be better and wise to go for soy wax. The necessary ingredients and tools are:
- Large pot
- Glass container
- Heat tolerant container (a mason jar)
- Oven mitts
Steps to Make Wax Candles:
Here’s the step-by-step guide to making wax candles.
Step 1: Chopping Waxes
First, cut the wax into small pieces of wax chunks and then scoop up all of them. Next, place them in a glass container. Try to cut the wax as small as possible, as it will be easier to melt.
Step 2: Filling Pot
Fill your large pot with water in a way that leaves enough room for your glass vessel and sufficient space for the water to get to a boil. Then place the glass vessel into the pot and put it on the stove for boiling.
Step 3: Temperature Testing
While the water is boiling, use a thermometer to keep track of the temperature.
Step 4: Preparing the Wick
To make sure the wick hangs straight, tie a pencil in one end of the wick and a small weight on the other. The weight is going to burn, so don’t use something important. Now use a candle mold to suspend the wick. A mason jar would be perfect.
Step 5: Mixing the Wax
After your wax has melted accurately, take out the pot from the stove, and lift the glass vessel out of the pot. Now cover your hands with the oven mitts and then slowly pour the wax into your mold. Be extra careful while pouring since the wax is hot, and if you do it in a hurry, the wick may not become dislodged in the process.
Step 6: Cooling
Keep the wax at least 24 hours to cool down as the timing may vary for different waxes. That’s why it is better to wait for a day. After the wax is cold, cut the wick approximately 1/4inch, and your candle is ready to be shaped as you want and to lit up your day.
3. Hand-Dipped Tapers Method
This one is a very cheap method as most of the elements that are needed can be found in your home, and the texture of the candles will be very straight and definite. The necessary ingredients and tools are (for two candles):
- Wicking(10to 16inches)
- Beeswax(about 1 pound)
- Small weights
- A coat hanger
- Double boiler
Steps to Make Taper Candles:
In this section, we’ll walk you through the process of making taper candles.
Step 1: Melting the Wax
Put a large pot on the double boiler. Pour the wax and keep a thermometer to check the temperature. When it reads 73.9 degrees Celsius, it is ready to use. Remember to maintain the temperature through the entire candle making process.
Step 2: Cut and Weigh
Cut the wick into 16-inch pieces, and each will give two tapers. To weigh the tapers, put small weights onto each ending side of the wick pieces, and this is just an initial process to get the right weight for the tappers. After halfway process, you will cut the weights.
Step 3: Making a Dipping Rig
Create a rig in your coat-hanger wire using pliers. Thus you will be able to dip the tapers into the wax. You can make two tapers at the same time using this method. Thus you will get a pair of candles, which are of the same size and density. It increases the identicality of the candles.
Step 4: Dipping the Candles into Wax
While dipping the candles in the melted wax, keep at least 2 inches of untaped wick at the top. Then drop your first wick inside the wax very attentively. Remember, the whole process needs to be done very smoothly and simultaneously.
The dip and the pulling need to be done without pausing. After each round to give it some time to cool and then start the same process again. Do this several times, least the wax will start falling off the wick.
Step 5: Cutting off the Weight
When you get the thick and desired texture, and your wick doesn’t need help to taut, you can remove the small weights by cutting them off. Then again, to seal and soothe the ending portion, repeat step 4.
Step 6: Perfect Finishing
After finishing all the previous steps and achieving the desired texture, it is time to give a smooth finishing. Hang the tapers in a place for 24 hours, where they won’t be ruined or destroyed in any way.
When you find the texture strong and smooth after hanging it for a day, cut the middle wick and separate both the candles. The hanging will help them remain straight.
4. Recycling Method
This method is the most eco and budget-friendly one on this list. As per the name suggests, use wax or leftover from old candles and make a new one. This method leaves room to customize as much as you want. The ingredients that are needed are:
- Wicking(10to 16inches)
- Beeswax(about 1 pound)
- Small weights
- A coat hanger
- Double boiler
Steps to Make Recycled Candles:
Here’s the step-by-step guide to making recycled candles.
Step 1: Boiling Water
Firstly take the pan and boil water. Be cautious while boiling the water; you may get burnt.
Step 2: Storing Wax
Take a tin can and fill it with broken wax from the used or broken candles. Now start crushing them into small chunks as this will help them melt fast. Before storing, make sure all the extra ingredients like old wick bases are removed.
Step 3: Melting the Wax
While melting the wax, first pour some water into the pot and then place a tin can inside the pot and cook it at a low temperature since the wax is a very flammable object.
Step 4: Transferring to a Mold
Take the mold and place your wick in the middle of the mold. To keep it in the exact position, secure it with glue or a drop of wax.
Step 5: Pouring Process
Now spread the melted wax in the candle mold to support the wick. Add something to keep it straight. Then wait for the wax to freeze, and your candle is ready to use.
To make your candles more attractive, add colors, or beautiful aromas, or both! The trick is to add crayon colors slowly into the wax while it is molten. In the same way, add your desired fragrance while melting the wax and stir it well.
Be careful while adding color or fragrance as the right proportion is necessary here. If you are using liquid dye, then the proper amount will be:
Off white shades = 0.001%
NOTE: Calculate the dye(a) as a % of soy wax (grams)
On the other hand, while adding fragrance, if the scent is strong, then use 6-8%, and if the scent is average, then use 8-10% of the soy wax.
You can also check this gorgeous candle making book by Monica L. Patton:
Candles made at home will give you the inner satisfaction that no store-bought fancy candle will! Plus, when you are making your own, you are structuring it just as you want it. It is not only affordable but also very appealing as well.
A candle-light dinner is something everyone finds adorable, and if the candle is custom-made, then it goes to a different level of joy. It will not only light up your room but also set your mood right.
So I say give your inner craftsman a shot and try making your own candle today!
Learn even more about candles: