There are a variety of methods which may be employed to make candles. This article outlines the most common method which is both simple and economical.
- Moulds – plastic or flexible – or metal
There are Five basic steps in making candles, these are:
- Mould preparation:
Select the mould you wish to use and makes sure that it is clean. Cut a length of wick at least 4cm longer than the length of the mould. Thread the wick through the hole in the mould and seal around the wick aperture with wax so that molten wax will not escape when poured in – some people us blue tack for this but a piece of warmed and pliable wax is best. At the open end, lay a small stick across the top of the mould and tie the loose end around the stick – the wick should run centrally through the mould.
- Wax Melting:
‘Paraffin wax’ melts at well below the boiling point of water. It is best – although not essential – to use two pans one pan inside the other. The outer, larger pan is filled about half full with the inner pan inside it. Place the wax in the inner pan and heat until molten then add the stearin (1 part stearin to 10 parts wax). Stearin improves the burning quality of the candle but it is not essential to add it, if using pure beeswax instead of paraffin wax, leave the mixture pure and do not add stearin.
Add a colour dye if required a little at a time until the required intensity of colour is achieved. A candle fragrance could be added if required.
DO NOT ALLOW THE MIXTURE TO BOIL OR BUBBLE!
Pour slowly (a lipped pan is best for this) and try to avoid any air bubbles. Pour until the wax almost touches the wick rod.
- Removing from the mould:
As the wax cools it will contract slightly leaving a slight depression at the solidifying base – if necessary this can be topped up with a little more molten wax. Once set, cut the knot from the wick end as close as possible to the knot so that there is sufficient wick left to light the candle. Remove the wick rod/stick from the open end of the mould and extract the candle. Trim any excess wick from the base. If the candle does not come out of the mould, place it in a refrigerator for 10 minutes or alternatively run hot water over the outside of the mould for about 30 seconds.
It is best to let your candle set for 24 hours before using.