Do you like candles? Personally I love them. I love making my space smell good. I don't know if it's true but I feel like during the colder months the little heat from candles makes my space a little warmer. Candles are just a nice touch to have around but they can get really expensive. I also don't really like to reuse the vessels that much. I always see hacks on cleaning and using them for other things but I always feel this waxy layer that I can not get rid of even through the dishwasher.
On top of the containers, I HATE the prices. Candles are expensive! As a crafty person though, I've seen many candle making kits and always was interested in it. As an adult I don't like the kits though. They are cute for those that don't do a lot of crafting or making stuff at home, but I prefer to figure it out and get only what I think I need. Mostly all I need is wax and wicks, so it's an easy thing to start doing as long as you have containers for the candles!
Awhile ago I was lucky enough to be gifted some wax from my best friend Bree. She bulk bought two bags of soy wax and gave me one since it was so much. I have made a few candles with this wax but as a large bag, it took some time to get through it all. Since my last candle had burned out last week it was time to make some new candles and hopefully finish off this bag so I don't have to store it anymore.
How to Make Candles!
What you will need:
- Candle Wax (Like I said I got soy wax but use what works for you. Different waxes burn at different rates. Personally I stick with soy and if I feel fancy I'll mix in some bees wax or use bee's wax on its own. Look for bulk online or at supply stores.)
- Wicks (Buy actual wicks. I've tried baker's twine and hemp wick. Both burned too fast and did not work well. Buy some candle wicks from the candle section of the craft store or a candle making store***. You can also use those newer wood wicks. I love them and have been switching mostly to them.)
- Melting Container (If you look at kits or tutorials they use a big metal melting container. I did not want to invest in that I instead cleaned a Prego jar and just use that. Just don't shock the glass or it can crack or shatter. I've had no issues with this method. Plus I just leave extra wax in there for next time!
- Stirring Tool (I use a popsicle stick. Simple, cheap, easy.)
- Candle Vessel (Reuse one's that you finished. If there's a lot of soot on the sides I do a quick wipe with a paper towel or you can fully wash but I don't mind the little bit of remains from the last candle.)
- Scents! (I use essential oils for most of my candles. Sometimes I include dried flowers for extra scent. I prefer a lighter scent but if you want something strong invest in some small bottles of candle oils. They are a lot stronger and really will get the scent across like a store bought one.)
Other Things to Consider:
- Candle Color (I don't mind white candles. If you want to add color you can buy it. Personally I find it useless for my own use. Only worth it if making them for gifts.)
- Wick Anchor (I have gotten away without this. I will wrap the wick to a stick across the top of the container and when it get's low it will fall and burn out. If you want to invest you can get some holders to keep the wick up. Some of the candles I reuse have a reusable wick holder so I just pull the old one and place the new one or the wicks come with them.)
- Wick Glue or Stickers (Again this anchors and holds the wick to the center of the container. I never use these and have had no issue.)
Method of Prep:
Take a small sauce pot and fill halfway with water.
Place the wax into the melting container and place in the water.
Heat pot over medium until small bubbles form then reduce to maintain a low simmer.
Allow container to heat and melt wax. This can take a bit of time depending how much you are melting. If using flakes like me, they will reduce in volume as they melt. I add more as there becomes space but make sure to stir in or they will clump and take even longer to melt.
Once wax is melted, place scent oil into desired container, more oil = stronger scent. If using wick anchor, place before oil and wax.
Pour melted wax into container.
Position wick as needed and secure if floating with a stick.
Allow candle is cool, undisturbed, until top has solidified and locked in the wick. At this point you can easily move it but do not burn or store until fully cooled.
Once candle is cooled it can be stored or burned wherever you want!
*** Some areas have candle supply stores. I discovered one in Saint Louis and it's great to easily avoid shipping and the time to ship supplies. There are many stores that do ship though so it's easy to find a bulk candle wax supply.
Few things I have learned along the way with making candles. First off the wax can take some time to melt. I always do these while having other things to do. That way I can walk around while the wax is melting and make something else or clean. Once it's ready I can jump back to it and keep going.
Second, let them rest and cool completely. The wax may start to look set on the outside but can be soft in the center. Since I use them I don't mind pressing the top to see how set it is but if it's greasy or soft, let it cool more. You don't want a hole to form and wax to get anywhere else. I like to let them set 1 day to be 100% sure.
Lastly, don't be afraid to re-melt wax. Sometimes the scent isn't strong or the wick is weird and it doesn't fully melt. If you have left over wax in a container just re-melt and use it again! If you look at the pictures you'll see one has a lot of red wax still in it. It didn't burn the full sides so I just filled it with more wax and kept going. I've had wicks burn a hole straight through (when I did hemp wicks) and all this extra wax is left. Pop in the oven, turn to a low 200F and let it melt. Add more wax and a new wick and now I have a new candle. Wax can be re-melted so don't worry about messing up since you can still reuse those mistakes and make even more candles!
Now go have some fun making candles. Give them as gifts. Make them for family and friends. Make them for yourself. It's a lot cheaper and less wasteful in my opinion so it's just a fun things to do at home on a rainy day and then you get something nice out of it!