Now that you know everything you need to know about candle-making, the time has arrived to put all that knowledge to use and make a candle.
To make your own candles, you will need a block of wax, wicking, molds, a candy thermometer, and a double-boiler setup. While these items will work fine on their own to create candles, other things can (and sometimes, should) be added. Some options are color blocks to add color to your candles, scent blocks or oils to add fragrance, and special additives that change certain characteristics of the wax itself.
First, you need to break your block of wax into smaller chunks. This can be done by placing the wax into a large plastic bag, place it on a table or other hard surface, and hit it with a hammer or chisel it into smaller pieces. The idea behind breaking down the large block is that the wax will melt more quickly and evenly.
While you’re working on the wax, get your double-boiler going. The water in the bottom of the double-boiler should be at a simmer – not a full boil. This will ensure that the wax doesn’t get too hot or scald during the melting process. If you don’t have a formal double-boiler, you can create one by using a large pot for the bottom, and a smaller pot or metal mixing bowl for the top. Another option is to use a fry daddy with adjustible heat. The benefit of melting your wax in a fry daddy is that you get to control the precise heat of the wax. Just be sure to keep the heat on a very low setting until the wax is fully melted.
At this point, you add the wax to the top of the double-boiler and let it slowly melt. While the wax is melting, prepare your molds and wicking. It may be a good idea to lightly coat the insides of your molds with a silicone spray or coat lightly with vegetable oil to ensure that the finished candle will release itself from the mold easily. You can also place the molds into your refrigerator or freezer once the candles have completely cooled and set up to help release the candles.
If you use prepared wicks, simply place them into the mold prior to pouring the hot wax. For unprepared wicking, cut to desired length and dip each length of wicking into the hot wax for a few seconds, then remove and hang straight until cool. The wick will then be rigid and will stand on its own in the mold. The wick should be at least 1/4 of an inch longer than the candle.
Once you’ve prepared your molds and wicking and melted your wax, use a small ladle or metal pitcher to pour the wax into each mold. Allow the candles to cool at room temperature for several hours before attempting to remove them from their molds.
As you can see, candle-making can be fun, easy, and rewarding. All you need is the know-how and supplies and a bit of creativity.