Candle Making Techniques
Although most people are intrigued by the art of candle making, many of them shy away from taking up this art simply because they are under the misconception that it is messy and time consuming. However, this is not always the case. There are several different techniques that are used to make candles and some can be amazingly easy to do if you have the right materials and tools.
Candle Making using Beeswax
One of the simplest candle making techniques is making rolled beeswax taper candles. All you need for this is a sheet of beeswax, a wick, and a hair dryer. All these supplies are easily available at any arts and crafts supply store.
Step 1: Decide how tall you want the pillar candle to be and cut the sheet of beeswax so that it is as wide as the desired height of candle.
Step 2: Lay the wick along one side of the candle, ensuring that there is sufficient wick sticking out through both ends of the candle.
Step 3: Warm the beeswax by blowing warm air from a hair dryer over the sheet. This makes the beeswax more pliable and easy to work with. Set the dryer on low so that the wax does not melt. Before it cools and gets stiff again, roll the beeswax around the wick and seal the end. When the wax cools it will firm up and the candle will retain its shape.
Candle Making using Melted Wax
Using melted wax can be a bit messier than using beeswax sheets but it isn’t difficult. Buy blocks of wax that you can melt down in a pot that will be used for this purpose only. You can either use empty juice or milk cartons to create pillar or block shaped candles or purchase ready made molds if you are looking to create specific shapes or tapers.
Prepare containers by setting the wick in first. It should be attached to the bottom of the container so that it does not move. Tie the top of the wick around a pencil or stick that is long enough to sit across the top of the container or mold.
After you melt the wax in a double boiler over medium heat, you can simply pour the wax into the container or mold. Make sure that the wick is straight and taut. Allow the wax to cool and tear the container away. Trim your wick to ¼” long at the top and your candle is done!
Remember to always keep an eye on melting wax and stay safe when you are making candles.
Making Hand-Dipped Candles
To make hand-dipped candles, you need a wick about 2 1/2 to 3 times the desired length of the finished candles. It is best to attach the wick to a stick or dowel so that both ends dangle from the stick a few inches away from each other. That way the two candles won't touch while they are wet.
Now you need a pot of melted wax. This can be paraffin wax, soy wax or any other wax that is used for making candles. Dip the two dangling wicks into the pot of melted wax, then let the wax cool. You will have a thin layer of wax on each wick. Repeat this process until the candles reach the desired size. Each time you dip them they will gain another thin layer of wax.
If you want to get fancy with your dipped candles, you can use different colors of wax so that there are three or four different layers of color inside the candle. These layered dipped candles can be hand-carved to show the inside layers as shown in the picture. This is something you can try once you get good at making the candles. It takes a lot of practice!
More Candle Articles by Beth Parker:
- Floating Candles
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- Beeswax Candles
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- Votive Candles
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- Pillar Candles
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