March 25, 2011

Wax Melts My Heart-Candle Making, The Easy Way

I have always loved candles.  I use to spend $25 a pop at those expensive candle stores in the mall. 

I would also buy them as Christmas gifts and end up spending hundreds of dollars.  Little did I know that I could make candles that were even better at home.  By better I mean higher quality ingredients, more fragrant, and less expensive. : )

Everyone knows that soy wax burns slower and gives off less smoke.  Overall it is a healthier alternative to the average candle.

My candle journey began back in October when I decided to give it a shot. I never knew it would progress to where I am now.  I began selling candles where I work, online & my family members began selling hundreds of them for me by word of mouth.

Now, for the tutorial on how YOU can make your own awesome candles in the comfort of your own home; for yourself, as gifts or even to sell!

First, get some wax! 
I order my supplies from Candle Science

They offer: "An all natural soy wax that holds lots of fragrance oil and helps reduce frosting. A favorite of soy candle makers everywhere!"

I also order wicks, containers and scents from them.  They are reliable and VERY fast to ship their orders. 

Once you have the wax, get a large pot, or double boiler.  I bought a cheap pot at the dollar store that I wouldn't ruin if I dripped wax on it, or got it inside.

You will need a container to melt your wax. I have used Mason jars, or any other thick glass container.  If making a large batch of candles, I use a large vase.  Fill the chosen container with wax.  You will have to eyeball it at first and figure out how much wax you need to melt to fill the candle jar of your choice.

Place the jar of wax into the pot of water or double boiler. 
Melt it on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the wax is completely melted.

Once the wax is melted you can add dye chips or the coloring of your choice (food coloring will NOT work, trust me, I tried it).  Or, if prefered you can leave the wax its original color.

I am making a strawberry scented candle so I am using cinnamon red wax chips from Candle Science.  Just drop the dye chips into the melted wax and they will begin to disolve.

I typically use 2 wax chips for a 22oz. candle (the large jar size if purchased at the 'mall' type candle stores.

After the dye chips or coloring is completely melted or blended with the wax you are ready to add the scent of your choice.  I am using the sweet strawberry scent from Candle Science. 

Normally, I just eyeball the amount, but you should use at least 1-1 1/2 ounces to get a good fragrance ( I like my candles to have a strong, room filling scent).  I also recommend letting the fragrance sit in with the hot wax and heating it up to the same temperature so that the consistency is the same.  Stir occasionally to make sure the color and fragrance is well blended.

While the fragrance and colors are blending you can prepare the jars.  I use pre-tabbed wicks.  You can buy them in bulk or 5 in a pack.  With my hot glue gun I put a dab of hot glue on the bottom of the wick setter and center it in the bottom of the jar.

Once the glue is dry and the melted wax has blended completey with the fragrance and the dye, give it a few more stirs.  Now, you are ready to pour the candles.  Make sure your containers are on a surface that is heat resistant and will not melt.  Carefully pour the wax into the jar. (Another tip is to make sure the jars are not cold.  If they are, once the wax is poured into the jar it can pull away from the glass after it has set.  I had this happen with a few back in the winter when I made several at a time and kept the jars lined up in another room that which was cooler).  

Once your wax is poured you will need to center the wicks so they will burn properly.  You can buy devices that hold wicks until the candles are set, but I always use wooden scewers (for grilling) and they turn out beautifully.
Sometimes if the wick is a little crooked I use a piece of tape, but most of the time I just lay the scewer across the candle jar and it will straighten the wick without tape.

Allow the candle to dry completely.  It depends on the size of the candle as to how long it takes to set.  But, you can typically tell by the color the wax becomes as it dries.

( I didn't quite melt enough wax to make two candles, but that just
means I have an extra for my kitchen!) ; )

I normally wait until the next day until I move the candles.  That gives me time to print lables. Then apply the label to the jar.  You can buy clear or white labels at an office supply store or your local Walmart.  I have had great results with either type label.

It's not necssary for personal use but, I also add warning labels to the bottom of all my candles.  Also available from Candle Science and probably a lot of other websites.

After that, the candle is almost complete!  Just turn it back over and trim the wick to approximately 1/4" and add the lid.  Then its ready to enjoy!

They smell delicious and warm up any room.  Good luck making your own candles and not spending so much money!  Not to mention the fun you will have making your own. 

Please "follow" me, I will be doing many more fun and easy projects over the next few weeks!


ash said...

I really like the soy candles you've given me. Most candles really aggravate my allergies and make me sneeze because of the smoke they give off, but the soy ones don't! :) My yellow cake candle is my favorite.

Natalie K said...

Excellent tutorial! I saw it on Skip to My Lou. I've made soy candles in the past, but had issues with them not being strong enough! Any advice? I'd like to start making some for spring for the family.

Unknown said...

My advice is don't buy cheap scents. You can't expect to get great results with dollar store type scent. The ones from candle science are very potent and go a long way.

Ynaffit said...

Dear Tiffany,
I found you on Made by You Monday... Thanks for the candle post! I SO want to try that someday soon!

P.S. Love the blog name! I used to have an e mail address ( until they wanted to charge me for it.... Then I was a cook one summer at a Bible Camp... I served Breakfast at Tiffany's every day!


Unknown said...

I must admit candles are my vice! I invite you to share your wonderful idea with my followers, please link to my blog bash K.I.S.S. Happy to be a new follower :)

Drop by The Tattered Tag

abeachcottage said...

Thanks for a great tutorial! Love candles and what you made is really sweet, cute name.

Kindra said...

Thanks for the great idea. I made some "baby powder" scent candles in baby food jars for my sister's baby shower over 6 years ago and remembered I still have all the supplies. Can't wait to make some more candles.

Maria said...

What a great project! And I love that you even put your own label on it - so cute!

Rachael West said...

Great tutorial I can't wait to try out the sweet strawberry :+) said...

I LOVE this! Its PERFECT for you to Link up at my Linky PAR-TAY,

Whassup Wednesday!!!

And I have a party button you can grab so your friends can come too:)



Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

I spent a day last weekend melting old candle nubs into 6 new candles.

Some of my candles hardened with a crater in the center near the wick. Do you know why that happens?

Unknown said...

Happy to see your creative idea linked up last week at my K.I.S.S. blog bash. Looking forward to seeing what great project you share this week, remember the link is open until tonight @ midnight {CST}.

Drop by The Tattered Tag

Anonymous said...

Hey Tiff, I know I'm a slow go,but I came here after reading your last post.This is fun too.
I wouldn't mind trying,Is there flameless???