Candle making is easy, fun, and a great way to put you own twist on a fragrant décor piece.
Candle making is something I have always been curious about but the process of starting something new can always be intimidating. Especially when it comes to something I have not tried before. But I do like a challenge, so I thought, why not make some candles.
There were two types of candles that I wanted to try making. One was inside of a glass jar while the other was a free more candle that was removed from the mold entirely. The glass jar candle is much easier to make but all the candles turned out fantastic!
For this project, I gathered the following supplies:
- Cylindrical Silicone Mold + Vegetable Oil, for freestanding candles
- 4 Glass Jars plus lids, for in jar candles
- 4 wicks
- Painter Tape
- 9 cups plain Wax
- Red and Green wax coloring
- Vanilla and Peppermint Extract
The colors and extracts are optional depending on what aesthetic and smells that you prefer. Vanilla is a standby classic.
Prepping the containers
Before I started to work with the wax, I wanted to make sure my containers were in tip top shape! This meant cleaning any extra gunk off the glass jars and lining the silicone molds.
For the glass jars, I had to do two different steps to clean off the jars. One of them was perfect. Two of them still had the label stuck to the sides, and the last one was covered with paint. I used an adhesive remover for labels and a paint thinner to remove the paint.
The adhesive removed well with a little bit of scrubbing. The paint peeled right off which was really interesting because then I had weird paint discs. But at the end, I had four perfectly clean jars!
For the silicone molds, I used an oil spray to line the mold. I did not do this for the first mold and had a very difficult time getting the candle out of the mold at the end. The oil allows for the candle to slip out a bit easier so I would highly recommend using it
Melting the Wax
To start making the candles, first you need to melt the wax. I used a flake wax to start. I found that each 8-ounce jar needs about a cup and a half of raw materials. I also was not shy about adding more raw material in the middle of the process.
To melt the wax, I like using a double broiler situation because it helps control the heat and prevents the wax from burning. Burnt wax is not please. Would not recommend.
I also added in some coloring specifically made for using with wax. The material does need to melt in the wax. I like adding it early because it gives more time for the color to melt and doesn’t cause the wax to overcook.
Then I removed the wax from the heat and added in a tablespoon of extract. This is not an exact science. More extract equal more powerful smells. That’s all I got. Just add what feels good to you! Stir in the extract to make it evenly permeate throughout the wax mixture.
Setting The Wicks
While the wax is melting, take some time to set the wick. I like using painter tape to help position the wick at the top of the jar. The painter tape was stretch across the opening with small hole place in the center of the tape to thread the wick through.
I tried to attach the bottom of the wick to the jar, but it was always successful. I would dip the bottom end of the wick into the wax and set it against the bottom of the jar. The wax, being a small quantity, dries quickly and (typically) sticks to the bottom of the jar.
This helps center the bottom and the top of the candle. Although the bottom anchor can become a little looser after the wax is poured making the top anchor very important.
pouring and waiting
The last step for making candles is pouring the wax into the jars and, or molds. This can be a little messy so I would recommend putting something under the pour area that can absorb the wax. I like to fill up the jar to bottom of the top rim.
After pouring the wax, I readjusted the wick if it was needed to make sure the positioning was right. Then it was time to wait. And wait. It took the candles about 12 hours to fully cool and hardened but then it was ready to be enjoyed!
I enjoyed making candles. There were some surprises throughout the process, mainly the color and scent, but it was a super easy process that created a pleasant solution. For the candles that were made in the mold (i.e., freestanding), I am curious what would happen if they were carved of sculpted. The question is if they would hold up well.
the changes in color
The one thing that caught me off guard was the color change as the wax solidified. Somewhere in the boiling, I forgot that the wax was white and not clear. So just think about that when adding in colors. How much red is needed to get it truly red? Well, I only put in enough to make it a light pink.
There is a lot more to color mixing than I expected. This is something I want to do more experimenting with as it feels like an artform. And you have to put in a lot of effort to get an artform just right.
Intro to Candle Making
- Painters Tape
- Cylindrical Silicone Mold & Vegetable Oil for freestanding Candles
- 4 Glass Jars for in-jar candles
- 4 Wicks
- 9 Cups Plain Wax
- Red and Green Wax Coloring or any desired colors
- Vanilla and Peppermint Extract or any desired scents
- Clean jars as desired or, if using a silicone mold, spray generously with vegetable oil
- Using a double broiler, melt the wax and any additional color until no flakes remain. Remove from heat and stir in any extracts or essences for scent.
- While the wax is melting, dip the bottom end of the wick into the wax and secure in place to the bottom of the vessel. Use tape or other setting tools to secure the top of the wick.
- Pour into the desired vessel (glass jar or silicone mold). Allow to cool and harden completely. If using a silicone mold, remove the candle from the mold.
- Cut the wick as needed.