So you want to learn how to make a candle? If you have never made a candle before, and you’re ready to give it a go, we are here to help you! Keep in mind that while it isn’t hard to put a wick and some wax into a container and call it a candle, successfully making a candle that burns properly takes a little education, testing, and most of all patience. That being said, we are going to start with a simple container candle.
The first step is choosing your wax. You need to make sure the wax is meant for container candles. I know many people want to use 100% soy and while that is ok, 100% soy can be tricky as there are a few issues that are harder to control in a 100% soy blend particularly for new candle-makers. The first is the ability to hold a substantial fragrance load as it will often “sweat” or “leach” fragrance. Sink-holes, frosting and wet spots are also harder to control with 100% soy. We prefer vegetable blends, like our Coconut Soy and our Apricot Soy waxes which are excellent for container candles, have the ability to hold a high fragrance load, and are much less challenging than working with 100% soy wax.
Choose your vessel. Make sure your vessel is a safe option to contain a burning candle. That cute paper mâché bowl won’t be suitable! As far as size, a good place to start would be a vessel that is between 2.5” – 3” in diameter and 3”- 4” tall.
The next step is choosing your wick. Of course we think wooden wicks are the best! You will want to refer to our Wick Companion Guide for suggested sizes. This is probably the most important step in candle making – choosing the right wick for the candle wax blend and vessel to achieve optimal burn. There are many factors that determine how a candle will burn including wax blend, fragrance load and type, dye, additives, vessel diameter, the temperature the wax is heated to and poured at, wick size, ambient room temperature, air circulation and this is only a partial list. You are always going to want to try a few different wicks and then conduct a burn test to see which is most ideally suited to your candle project. Any change at all (for example a different fragrance, even at the same load) can have a direct affect on the burn, sometimes minimal and other times quite substantial.
OK, let’s make this candle!
What you will need:
- Candle fragrance
- Wooden Wick, wick clip, wick sticker
- Pouring pot
- Heat Gun (optional)
- A good attitude!
- Cover the area you will be working on just in case there are any spills or mishaps.
- Clean your vessel and set the wick by placing a wick sticker on the bottom of the wick clip and attaching it to the center bottom of your vessel. In the case of wooden wicks, there is no need to attach the top of the wick to a wick bar as wooden wicks are rigid and will remain straight as long as the wick tab is affixed to the bottom of the vessel.
- Melt your wax in a double boiler in a wax pouring pitcher or wax heater until liquefied (no more than 200 degrees F).
- When the wax cools to the Mix Temperature (the suggested pouring temperature for your wax type refer to manufacturer’s instructions – this is extremely important as if not followed it will result in issues with your candle.) It is time to add the fragrance. Make sure to spend a couple minutes briskly stirring the fragrance into the wax. Your fragrance load (percentage) will depend on your fragrance, wax type and it’s ability to hold fragrance as well as the desired strength you are looking for in both cold throw and warm throw
- Slowly pour the blend of wax and fragrance into your vessel.
If you are using 100% soy you might need to poke relief holes as the candle is cooling. Once the candle is fully cooled (do not refrigerate), depending on the type of wax used, you may need to do a re-pour to level out the surface. If not, we suggest using a heat gun – being very careful not to burn the wick – and quickly wave above the surface of the candle for a perfectly smooth finish (do not use a hairdryer as that will melt and blow the wax creating a big mess.) Obviously, there is so much more that goes into making a candle and this is only the beginning, but it should be enough to get you started! Be sure to keep checking our website as we introduce more candle making supplies, candle making kits, and wholesale candle supplies.
Want to start experimenting with Wooden Wicks? Purchase a Sample Kit today!