Candle Making Process & Procedure

So how do I get started in candlemaking?

Candlemaking is an easy and rewarding hobby. But it can be stressful and frustrating if you don't know what you're doing. My advice to those who want to try their hand at candlemaking is to keep it simple at first. Don't spend a lot of money, and you don't need much to get started. But you should buy materials and supplies that will make you good-looking candles and make your effort worthwhile.

I have provided on our website a list of candle making supplies that may be acquired in your area, as well as project ideas, candle making resources, and directions on general candlemaking

I believe the best way to get started is to make a simple molded candle from a waxed paper cup (you can find the directions in our how-to). There are other types of candles to try, but if you're a beginner, you should start with the basics. Remember, candlemaking is a skill that you will have to develop. Don't get frustrated if your first project is not what you expected.

Variations in pouring temperature, additives, scent, color, and type of wax used will produce different results every time. Experiment to discover what you like. Remember, you can always melt the candle down and start over.


Why do holes form in the candles I make?

This is supposed to happen. Wax shrinks as it cools around the wick and along the sides of your candle. As the candle cools a well will form in the candle. Pierce the well with a dowel or skewer and refill until the well is gone. This is where much your time will be spent. Keep filling until the well is gone. Remember to make enough wax for these additional pours. I like to pour a couple of Dixie cups for this purpose before I pour so I won't use up all my wax when I first pour.

Where can I get wax?

For small amounts, try finding paraffin wax at your local supermarket in the home canning section. Here in Florida it is boxed in 1 pound quantities as Gulfwax and goes for about $1.60 a box. For larger quantities, try a local petroleum distributor. For wax distributors in the United States, try researching wax in the Thomas Register. Bulk wax comes in 10-11 pound slabs, 55lb boxes, and up. I buy Amoco R-145 and add additives to my liking.

Why is my wax shrinking and forming a well around the wick?

Wax shrinks as it cools, away from the mold and forms a well around the wick. This is a normal occurrence in making all types of candles. Poke the candle with a skewer or knitting needle to release surface tension, be careful not to disturb any designs you may have made on the candle surface. It is important to relieve this tension, as cavities can form on the sides of the candle. Refill the well as the candle cools.

Can I use crayons to dye the wax?


  • Yes, but use crayons sparingly. Use only to a crayon per pound.

  • Using more than that will impair the burning quality of your wax, and dirty your wick

  • Using too much will also color your candle unevenly, and may sink to the bottom of your mold.You can only get pastel colors with crayons.

  • Crayons are used best in candlemaking as a color enhancer, for adding a little to your wax already dyed by a candle dye to get the color you're looking for.

  • Use quality crayons, like Crayola! Cheap crayons do not work well in candle wax.

Troubleshooting


  • white flaky finish on candle surface
    Wax was poured at too cool a temperature. Wax can cool rapidly when removed from heat. Leave the thermometer in the melting pot until right before you pour and make sure you are pouring between 180 and 200F.

  • snowy appearance(interior flaking)
    Additives were not completely dissolved. It might be necessary to heat plastic additives separately on direct heat(be very careful!). A good method is to melt additives first in the melting pot and then add wax. Remember to stir well so additives will blend completely with your wax.

  • bubbles in the wax
    Wax was poured too quickly or stirred too vigorously. If you already poured too fast, slowly stir the wax inside the mold with a large knitting needle or wooden skewer to release as much air bubbles as you can and let the mold cool slowly.

  • candle cannot be easily removed from the mold
    Wax was poured too hot. You may have damaged the mold. If candle cannot be removed be gentle prying, place mold in the refrigerator for no more than an hour. The candle surface may be marred, and if the inside of the mold was damaged, subsequent candles will have the same surface marks.


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