Candles add warmth, beauty, fragrance, and coziness to your home. There are a wide variety of products available for the art of candle making, and making your own will save you money and allow you to express your creativity through styles that compliment your home. Home candle making is an ancient craft that can be done easily if the right materials are selected. Throughout history, tallow was the most common ingredient available for candle wax. Because of rural living and the use of animals in daily life, this material was cheap and abundant. People simply had to put up with the high level of smoke and odors if they wanted to use candles. Today there are many more choices available in the way of waxes.
Since wax is the main material in candle making, choosing the right one is important. Paraffin is a common wax that is inexpensive and abundant. Paraffin is odorless, colorless, and burns well. It is a blank palette that any colors or scents can be added to. Any type of candle can be made from this versatile wax. If you choose paraffin, make sure not to purchase the grocery-store variety that is for home canning purposes. Candle making paraffin is sold in 11 lb. slabs. You will need to choose a variety with the appropriate melting point for the type of candle you want to make. For example, paraffin with a low melting point is best for candles poured into jars, cups, or glasses. For free-standing candles such as votive, pillar, or molded varieties, choose paraffin with a medium melting point. High melting point wax is best for specialty candle making, such as hurricane shells or over-dipping techniques.
Beeswax is an environmentally friendly material that has been a popular choice for candle making since ancient times. This material is very long-lasting. It has actually been found in Egyptian pyramids, virtually unchanged over thousands of years. It burns cleaner than paraffin and leaves very little soot. Candles made from beeswax tend to burn longer and emit a particularly clear and bright light. It is also a natural material that contains no harmful chemicals or fumes. Beeswax candles tend to have a lower drip, resulting in a neater candle. Many prefer it because of its pleasant natural aroma and honey scent. Another advantage of beeswax is that it supports the beekeeping industry.
Gel wax is an up-and-coming material in candle making. It has a clear, rubbery texture but works the same as regular waxes. Scents and colors can be added, and non-flammable items can be suspended in it to create a special effect. Three different densities are available, and you need to choose the correct density for the type of candle being made and amount of fragrance you plan to add. Extra care should be taken to achieve the optimal pouring range when working with this wax. One drawback is that it requires a higher temperature to achieve the correct pouring state.
If you are into buying American and eco-friendly products, soy wax is a great option. Most soy products in America are made from soybeans grown in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. This is a versatile wax that is all natural. When shopping, watch brands carefully to be sure you are choosing one that does use environmentally friendly methods.
Palm wax is an inexpensive and common choice for candle making, but it may compromise your personal values if preserving the planet is a concern. Because of growth in popularity, palm harvesting has greatly contributed to the clearing of rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia. This devastates local ecosystems and puts endangered animals at further risk. Recently, organizations have been founded to develop and define the best practices for this industry so that damages can be reduced. You may want to check brands carefully when purchasing palm oil, to be sure the wax was obtained in an eco-friendly fashion.