Top 10 Tips for Home Candle Making
Candles can easily be made at home, and can be a great, inexpensive way to decorate and light a property. When beginning to make candles, it is important to understand issues such as the type of wax that needs to be used, as well as how to safely heat and melt wax, and how to ensure that the finished product does not contain any imperfections. Candlemakers should also make sure that they are following safety precautions, and that they know the best ways to correct any mistakes. Some of the top 10 tips for home candle making consequently include:
1 – Selecting the Right Wax
Most candles are made from paraffin, which is the cheapest and often the most efficient form of wax. Beeswax is another option, but is more expensive. Candles can also be made from soy extracts, and from the output of natural palm oils and plant mixes.
2 – Knowing Your Equipment
Before making candles, it is important to have the right kind of equipment. A double boiler is recommended for ensuring that you can regulate the temperature of your wax, and should be portable enough to be used without taking up a lot of space.
3 – Be Careful When Heating Wax
Wax should be heated to around 200 degrees before being melted and poured into a mould. Do not let wax become too hot, as the chemicals emitted can be toxic. Use a thermometer to ensure that you don’t overheat. If your wax does catch fire, use a chemical extinguisher rather than water to put it out.
4 – Make Sure You Add Any Extras at the Right Time
Colors and scented candle dyes should be added to the wax while it is still being poured into a mould, which will allow the mixture to take on distinctive characteristics.
5 – Cooling
Once the wax has been poured into a mould, it should ideally be cooled at room temperature.
6 – Refining
Any imperfections in a candle can be easily removed during the cooling process. Uneven parts of a candle can be cut away by hand, or can be buffed using different tools. Any excess wax can also be scraped away when the candle is cooling. Heat guns can also be used to reheat and adjust the bases and tops of a candle.
7 – Disposal
Don’t throw away excess wax, as this can be reheated and used for other candles. Similarly, never pour molten wax down the drain, as this will lead to blockages.
8 – Decoration After Cooling
Once the candle has set, you can draw and decorate its surface with patterns.
9 – Using Your Candle
Most candles will be housed within special containers, and will be able to stand upright without extra support. Pillar candles can often be stood upright without needing a container. Make sure that any container used is fire resistant and not liable to cracking as the result of wax extracting and contracting.
10 – Learning From Mistakes
Candle making can be a tricky process, so try to learn from any mistakes in the melting and pouring process. Once you’ve mastered the basic stages of making a candle, think about how you might introduce more unusual dyes and patterns to a design, and consider using different types of wax to achieve particular effects.
~ Written by Christina Appleworth, Freelance writer