Making candles is a fun and easy craft that you can do at home. With a wide variety of options in scents, colors, and molds, there are plenty of opportunities to let your creativity shine through with this fun activity.
The first step in any project is to gather any materials and supplies you need. For candle making, the materials and supplies include the following: a double boiler (this can consist of two small pots), wicks, soy or paraffin wax, toothpicks, a thermometer, and molds. Optional materials include food coloring and essential oils, if you desire colored or scented candles. The wicks, wax, and oils can all be purchased at your local craft store, and you likely have the other materials in your kitchen at home.
Most candle making supplies are simple and straightforward. However, choosing a mold can be both intimidating and fun. The purpose of a mold is to hold the wax in shape as the candle cools and hardens. As such, your candle will be shaped like the mold. Molds in a variety of materials and shapes can be purchased at your local craft store. The cheapest molds you can buy are plastic molds. Although these are cheap and easy to clean with soap and water, they are likely to become brittle over repeated uses. One popular material for candle molds is aluminum. Aluminum molds are very durable and the absence of a seam results in a candle with a smooth finish. To clean, you heat the oven, place the heat resistant molds inside, and let any remaining wax run out of the molds. For flexible choices in candle molds you can use silicone or latex molds. These molds produce candles with no lines on the finished product. Due the flexible nature of these molds, candles are easy to remove, and there is little cleaning involved. While these molds are a dream to use, they are the most expensive. It is wise to wait on purchase of these until you are sure candle making is going to be a regular hobby. A slightly cheaper flexible mold would be made out of polyurethane. However, these molds are not as convenient to use and can impart a strong and undesirable odor of polyurethane to your finished candle.
While you likely have some of the supplies for candle making in your kitchen already, molds can be the most expensive part of your crafting adventure. Those who are new to the candle making process would likely prefer to invest less cash into the craft at the outset. Rather than purchasing new, project-specific, molds, you can use materials you have around the house. For example, glasses, jars, even chip cans can be used as candle molds. Get creative and have fun!
Once you have gathered all your materials, the candle making process is rather simple. First, remember to lay down plenty of newspapers in your work are. Then, using the double boiler set-up, heat your wax over low heat to 170 degrees. While your wax is melting, place your molds over the newspaper covered surface. Have your wicks cut to the appropriate length and waiting beside the corresponding mold.
When your wax has melted, remove it form the heat and add a drop or two of essential oil (if desired) and food coloring to your desired color. Center the wicks in the molds and then pour in a small amount of hot wax, just enough to hold the wick in place. Once this wax has hardened, fill the mold completely. Now all you have to do is wait for the wax to cool and harden, remove it from the mold, and enjoy!