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Juniper
29-01-2006, 09:07
It doesn't really fit in this thread, but does anyone here make their own candles? I was looking for tips and what not

Thanks!!

tarotbear
29-01-2006, 13:01
I have not made candles in 30 years but I bet my stuff is still up in the attic somewhere! They were candles in metal moulds - star shaped, hexagon columns - lots of figure candles, but never made any tapers - it's to easy to go out to the Dollar store and buy cheap ones or a good card shop and buy beautiful ones. 30 years ago a store known as 'American Handicrafts' used to sell candle wax in 10-pound blocks and all the supplies such as wicks, colors, scent oils, and whatnots. That fad died out a long time ago but a large craft store like Michael's or Moore's may be able to help you.

Basically it's prepare the molds with some release spray or silicone spray, put the wick in place, seal the spot where the wick comes through the mold. Melt wax in a double boiler (never boil or burn wax- bad for your health!), add color or scents as desired. Pour hot wax into molds, repour to fill bottoms once wax sets. Allow wax to harden at least overnight, remove candle from mold. And be sure to cover every inch of table with old newspapers and have a bucket of cold water handy in case the mold springs a leak! :eek:

Tapers are made from tying lengths of wick to a dowel, and dipping the wicks repeatedly into wax. It is a long boring process as anyone who has worked on a 'Thanksgiving re-enactment' can tell you!

PS - the boxes of paraffin wax they sell in supermarkets should not be used for making candles: the paraffin melts at such a low temperature that the candles burn themselves away in no time flat!

There was some controversy a few years back about the lead in burning candle wicks being bad for you, (how many years have we been burning candles and now they tell us this?) so I don't even know if you can find wicking with a lead core anymore.

Juniper
29-01-2006, 13:15
thanks for the info! I was looking at a website of craft ideas and they suggested taking thin sheets of beeswax and cutting out shapes with a cookie cutter, then using a blow dryer to melt them together with a wick between the two in the middle, to make all kinds of shapes, and I thought that was neat. So I was just seeing if anyone else had little things to share on candle making.

How fire safe is it to put glitter and stuff on the outside of the candle, it suggested that but I wasn't sure it wouldn't catch on fire???

tarotbear
29-01-2006, 14:11
I have seen taking a sheet of colored beeswax and a piece of wicking and rolling it up like making a jellyroll - to make taper candles.

IMHO - two sheets of beewax with a wick inbetween would burn quickly since there is not much melting wax (which is what feeds the flame) to pool and it would burn through quickly. Sounds like a great idea for a craft for small children - but would you want small children playing with candles?

Yes - using 4-6 sheets of wax thickness would probably made a nice candle- but light pressure should fuse the layers together, too. And metal cookie cutters come in lots of neat shapes.

A lot of commercial candles have glitter on them - but I'd say use it sparingly.

There's also the old 'candle-in-a-milk-carton' trick: Use a ready made taper candle and get some ice cubes cracked into large pieces. Fill the quart-size milk carton with pieces of ice, stick the ready-made taper in the middle, then pour hot wax to fill the carton! The ice cools the wax quickly, and the hot wax melts the ice. Peel off the carton over a sink, letting the melted ice water pour off. You will get cool candles that look like swiss cheese! Kids love 'em! And they don't take a lot of wax - and are easy to do. I have heard them called 'lace' candles.

Juniper
29-01-2006, 14:21
Sounds like a great idea for a craft for small children - but would you want small children playing with candles?

YES. the world needs more small children playing with candles!!! And of couse they will need a pack of matches to light them! JK :)

a_shikhs
29-01-2006, 16:35
Hi,
Even i make candles.. I prefer making my own instead of buying them.. Its fun making candles and trying various designs on them.. You get those candle moulds. Just heat up the wax, pour it in the moulds, put a candle wick and voila.. Your candle is ready to burn.. :) It takes a few hours for the wax to set in the mould. You can even decorate the candle with beads, herbs, etc.. Let your imagination run wild.. ;)

Cielo
29-01-2006, 16:58
Sorry for my appalling ingorance, but since this sounds like a wonderful cool thing I'd really like to try out, I'll ask anyway........

How exactly do you melt the wax??????? Specifically?

lol, I liked your suggestion Tarotbear, with the milk carton and the ice cubes! Hmm...is wicks something that is easy to come by normally? Hmm.....now I am all excited and don't know where to go!!! :D :D :D

Sheri
29-01-2006, 17:05
My husband and I frequently get gifts (Christmas especially) of candles that are in jars. We like them because we carefully pour out the wax as it liquifies and save it to reuse. We have remelted wax in metal or glass containers in pans of water. I bought a couple of molds and wicks for pillars and tapers at a local craft store. We haven't had to actually buy a candle going on a couple of years. The only problem is that we aren't able to pick the colors and the candles tend to burn faster when made with remelted wax.

Have fun!

Juniper
29-01-2006, 17:06
the wax I bought had melting instuctions, basically like someone else said use a double boiler and I just put it on low, it melted very easy. color is easy, it comes in super consentrated wax blocks, just chip off a little and add it and then a few drops of candle scent if you want, they say on them how many drops per pounds of wax.

I got a little floating candle kit for like $6 at a local craft and frabric store, but michaels and things like that should have the supplies, wicks are not hard to find, along with different types of wax (melt and pour, beeswax, gel candle stuff) colors, molds, and secents.

Cielo
29-01-2006, 17:39
emmmm..........what's a double boiler??? :bugeyed: :eek: :D

Juniper
29-01-2006, 17:48
it's a pot that you put water in and then it has another pot that fits on top of it and you put the wax in that one so the hot water from under it heats the wax at a lower temp and speed, putting it directly on the flame could burn it.

works to melt chocolate too, just don't use one pot for both tasks!! I have put a bowl over a pot before I bought a double boiler but it's harder and water can get into the top more that way, and for chocolate that's bad.

tabbycat
29-01-2006, 18:16
I used to make multi-coloured candles - you can pour rainbow layers into a star mould for a very pretty candle - and I'd melt the wax in pet-food cans. Take the labels off and wash them out, then you can get 3 or 4 in a big pan of boiling water. Be careful picking them up - you need an oven-glove or pot-holder to stop the burns. Best bit is that you don't need to clean them out afterwards, which I always found a messy job. I'm sure they could go into the recycling with traces of wax on without any problems.

Juniper
29-01-2006, 18:19
thanks for that idea!

Juniper
29-01-2006, 18:24
oh, I just remembered in school we made candles once, we just put them in little paper cups, it makes a great little votive, and a box of them is way less then a metal mold, and you wouldn't need to put any release on the cup, you can rip it off if it doesn't pop out.

a_shikhs
29-01-2006, 19:24
You can put the solid wax in a container and heat under very low gas. The wax will slowly start to melt and become totally liquidy.. But make sure, the gas flame is really low or else your wax will catch fire. then gently and carefully pour the liquid wax in thr candle mould, put the wick and then let it harden for a few hours. Yeah one more thing. Dont forget to grease the mould with oil. This helps in removing the solid wax from the mould.. :)


A double boiler means you first take water in a small container and heat it on the gas. Then you take a slightly big container and put it on the small one which has water in it.. This method is used for melting chocolates so that the choclate does not come in direct contact with the heat..:)

Cielo
29-01-2006, 19:31
A double boiler means you first take water in a small container and heat it on the gas. Then you take a slightly big container and put it on the small one which has water in it.. This method is used for melting chocolates so that the choclate does not come in direct contact with the heat..:)


hehe...yes I figured as much!! I do it with chocolate all the time, though I agree, one should probably not use the same pot for the wax.......how about the wick-thingie..hmmm I don't know where to get any of those....any suggestions for alternatives??? :)

Juniper
29-01-2006, 19:36
how about the wick-thingie..hmmm I don't know where to get any of those....any suggestions for alternatives??? :)

are you asking for alternatives to wicks? I have never heard of any. They are very cheep and at most craft type stores, and there are online candle supplies sites, just search for "candle making supplies" and the shops online will most likely have beginner kits with instuctions.

a_shikhs
29-01-2006, 19:43
.......how about the wick-thingie..hmmm I don't know where to get any of those....any suggestions for alternatives???


Well you get ready made candle wicks in the market... But if its difficult for you to find them, then one aternative is that you can use some thick kind of wool/thread for it too.. I used to use that initially.. :) It serves the purpose..

Cielo
29-01-2006, 19:44
are you asking for alternatives to wicks? I have never heard of any. They are very cheep and at most craft type stores, and there are online candle supplies sites, just search for "candle making supplies" and the shops online will most likely have beginner kits with instuctions.

LOL, thanks so much!! :D I'm just getting overexcited here....good idea, must check for some on-line help here....too bad these things aren't available around here, though!

Cielo
29-01-2006, 19:45
Well you get ready made candle wicks in the market... But if its difficult for you to find them, then one aternative is that you can use some thick kind of wool/thread for it too.. I used to use that initially.. :) It serves the purpose..

haha, in my excitement I almost thought of butchering an already existing boring candle for the purpose....:eek:......perhaps a more rational approach will be better suited............. :D

Juniper
29-01-2006, 19:47
one aternative is that you can use some thick kind of wool/thread for it too.. I used to use that initially.. :) It serves the purpose..

how do you make your own wick? doesn't it have to have something in it so the thread doesn't just burn away real fast?

a_shikhs
30-01-2006, 02:06
how do you make your own wick? doesn't it have to have something in it so the thread doesn't just burn away real fast?

hmmm.. no the thread doesnt really burn fast.... First cover the whole thread with melted wax. Then put half of the thread in the mould along with the liquid wax.. The thread will also harden with the wax.. :)

tarotbear
30-01-2006, 02:20
NEVER MELT WAX DIRECTLY ON THE HEAT SOURCE - like when you make soup! Wax can burn and the cloud of thick, black, choking smoke will cause lung problems to BRAIN DAMAGE over a long period of time - really.

A double boiler - can be found in many stores or tag sales. It is essentially a bottom sauce pan which you put water into, and then a slightly smaller sauce pan that fits into it so the bottom of the second pan is resting in the hot water - not against the flame. My mother uses wax to seal her preserves and melts the wax in a large juice can that she puts in a saucepan of water.

Buy a large kitchen thermometer to track the temp of the wax, too.

tarotbear
30-01-2006, 02:31
how do you make your own wick? doesn't it have to have something in it so the thread doesn't just burn away real fast?

The amazing thing is that as long as there is a pool of liquid wax to feed into the wick, the wick burns away really slowly since it is the wax that is burning ... not the wick. Have you ever used a keroscene or oil lamp? The wick lasts and lasts as long as there is oil being fed to it. A candle burns down because the supply of wax has to be replenished, not because the wick is burning away.

I suggest you take the candle wicking and dip it in liquid wax a couple of times and straighten it out or let it hang - so that it has some body to it before you insert it into the mold- makes it easier to work with.

If you are filling a jar to make a candle (like the popular ones you see in the stores) drop in an ounce or so of melted wax and stick the 'bottom' of the wick it it. Some stores sell those little metal bottoms, too - not absolutely necessary. Once the wick is stuck firmly - pull it up and lay a nail or pencil across the opening of the jar and tie the wick to that to keep the wick upright- snip off excess wick. Fill the jar with melted wax carefully (another reason not to have burning hot wax! - break the glass!) - you will have to repour the top as the wax hardens - I usually recommend overnight. Trim the wick to about 3/4" and VOILA!

It is also recommended that you leave your candles to 'cure' for at least 72 hours to a week before burning them.

I used to make a cool hexagon pillar candle about 6" tall. First I would pour in pure white wax for 5-10 minutes then drain the liquid core out. I would then tint the wax light blue and repour - drain out after 2-3 minutes, then tint the wax purple and fill the holder. This produces a translucent candle that changed color as it burned down to the dark center.

BodhiSeed
30-01-2006, 04:34
I've always just used an old coffee can to put the wax in, then I put the can in a pan of boiling water to melt it.
:D
Many blessings,
Bodhran

Sheri
30-01-2006, 07:43
I believe my husband used an old coffee can or really large soup can, too. He squashed it on the sides slightly to make a pour spout. We would use wax from jar candles and also put in any broken tapers. He didn't pay attention to the colors so sometimes our candles ended up an unattractive brownish colors as the wax colors would melt together.

I like to use the small party candles that come 20 to a box and wanted to make some of them but was never able to find the molds for them. It is sometimes difficult to find the right colors online.

Ankou
31-01-2006, 07:42
I'm a big fan of the coffe can. I have about two dozen in the pantry. That way I can keep wax chunks of different colors in different cans, until I'm ready to use them. I tried coffe cans with my first dying experiments too but they don't work so well for that! tee hee...

Be aware, candle making can be addictive and messy! ;)

Love and Light,

Ankou

penguinsandtigers
25-02-2006, 07:09
I havent made candles in years, but this thread got me thinking again. I used to make those candles where there were little beads of wax that you just put in a jar with the wick then light them to seal the top layer of wax. Was fun, but boring. Now just look, i have to go out and start making candles again lol thanks guys...

Michelle :)