Candle making can be a very fun and addictive hobby. Once you’ve mastered the basics you can take your creation to the next level. You can even branch out into making scented candles and potpourri. When you’re first starting out it’s important that you get all of your materials together before you start candle making. Here are a few tips to make your candle making a success.
o Buy the right supplies. Candle making can be very costly, especially if you want specialty candle making supplies. Fortunately, there are many suppliers of all of the supplies you’ll need. Check out local craft stores, candle shops, and online sources. Many suppliers have special candle making kits where you’ll get everything you need in one box, including wax, wicks, and containers. You might even find kits where you’ll get all of the supplies in one place and everything else in another.
o Use clean burning wicks. The most important rule when candle making is clean burning wicks. Any candle making supply you buy needs to be clean burning. Even if it says “flame free”, if there’s any wax residue left over from previous burns, your candle won’t be clean burning. Wicks also need to be checked regularly for cracks or splits, as they may easily catch on fire. Better to spend a little more up front and buy clean burning wicks than to be sorry and purchase damaged goods.
o Use tallow. At least once per candle, consider using tallow. There are several benefits to tallow. It’s a healthier alternative to soy or paraffin, is easier on your heart than paraffin, and is more moisturizing than wax. The only drawback is that candles made with tallow are more difficult to light.
o Use small quantities. Candle making usually involves melting wax in large quantities, and this produces large bubbles. But this can produce a lot of smoke. In candle making, it’s better to use small quantities of wax, because the smaller the melt, the less smoke is produced and the less smoke you’re going to breathe.
o Try out different waxes. This is especially important when it comes to tallow candles. At least once per month, try out a few different waxes. Don’t stick to what you know. Experiment with all kinds of different oils, waxes and molds to find the ones you enjoy the most. You might even discover new scents and colors you’d never tried before.
o Don’t use the same mold every time. For your first candle making projects, try out molds that are wider and spread out. These will be easier to work with. Also, try out molds in colors other than your standard yellow-and-blue candle making colors. Spermaceti wax comes in many different colors; don’t limit yourself to making candles in those colors.
There are other kinds of candle making materials and supplies that you can also use when making candles. If your candles turn out too dense or thick, for example, you might want to consider using soy wax instead. Or you could use gel or jell wax if you’re looking for a lighter wax to use in thinner candles.
There are also different types of wicks for candles. Some candles, called gels, utilize a wick to keep the heat inside the candle while it is burning. Others, called tapers, utilize smaller wicks that give off the heat more evenly throughout the candle. The latter are usually recommended over gels because they burn faster and longer than gel candles. But whichever type of wick you use, you’ll need it to keep the flame moving.
Candle waxes also come in various containers. Depending on the type of candle making supplies and the containers you’re using, some candle making kits come with containers designed specifically for waxes. This makes sense if you’re using gel candles. It wouldn’t make sense to have a container that didn’t allow the gel to cool properly and to burn. Glass jars and plastic jars are common options.
One very important aspect of candle making is keeping your wick from scorching. You can prevent this by ensuring that your container has a good seal to prevent air bubbles from forming. It may seem obvious, but this is one of the easiest ways to help prevent overheating or burning of the candle. Try to buy a container that is the correct diameter for your wax and that allows for good air flow.