We tell and show you how to make candles with your own hands at home. In our detailed instructions you will find a list of necessary materials, step-by-step master classes and a variety of ideas.
Today we will tell you how to make candles with your own hands, if you are an absolute beginner in this art. Already very soon you will be able to please yourself and loved ones with a wonderful gift that will make the evenings cozier!
How to make candles. Container or mold candles – what to choose?
Container candles are any candles that are in a container, whether it is a glass jar, seashell or orange peel.
Mold candles are candles created in special molds from which the finished products are removed. The shapes can range from classic cylindrical to unusual animal figures.
There is a difference between the two types: container ones are easier to make and more convenient to use. The molded ones give more room for creativity and interior design. We recommend trying both options, but first be sure to research what materials to use, as wax, wicks, etc. may differ depending on the type of candle.
Candle wax: which one to choose
To the question “what are candles made of?” many will confidently answer “from wax or paraffin”. However, wax can be very different, and the right choice is important not only for the environment, but first of all for your health. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each type of candle wax.
A completely natural product that is produced by different species of honeybees. On the inside of the abdomen of worker bees are wax glands that secrete wax in a liquid state. The wax then quickly solidifies, and the resulting wax plates are processed by the bees to create honeycomb cells. Beeswax melts at 62-68°C and becomes malleable at 35°C. It is ideal for molded candles.
Beeswax candles do not smoke and burn for a long time;
when burning do not emit toxic substances, but emit phytoncides that purify the air from bacteria and viruses;
have a pleasant natural flavor of honey;
wax can be used repeatedly;
does not harm the environment.
can cause an allergic reaction in a person prone to allergies to bee products;
quite high price;
the presence of a characteristic color and aroma may affect the result if dyes and flavorings are used;
not suitable for vegans as it is a product of bee exploitation.
A natural product that is made from soybean oil. It has varieties for making both container and molded candles. Soy wax for candle making is one of the most popular materials today.
does not cause allergies;
due to its low melting point, soy wax burns slower and longer (burning time is 2 times longer than paraffin);
ideal for coloring with dyes and the use of essential oils as a flavoring;
does not stain clothes and furniture, easy to clean with warm water and soap;
environmentally friendly and suitable for vegans.
high cost (which, however, is compensated by the duration of combustion);
there is a lot of low-quality soy wax on the market;
requires skill when creating candles, as even different room temperatures can affect the result.
How to make candles. Coconut wax.
A natural product consisting of coconut oil and its products, with the addition of other natural vegetable oils. Coconut wax is obtained from coconut oil by hydrogenation and refining.
has a fairly pure white color and is well colored by dyes;
gives a nice even surface and good adhesion after the candle has set;
has a light coconut fragrance;
suitable for making massage candles, can be added to cosmetics;
does not smoke;
ecological and safe for human health and the environment, suitable for vegans.
has a low melting point, and can melt even from the heat of hands, so it is not suitable for hot regions, too warm rooms, etc…;
only suitable for container candles.
A natural product obtained from the oil palm tree in Southeast Asia. Palm wax is very hard, especially good for making shaped molded candles.
you can get a beautiful frost effect on the surface after solidification (but only when using metal or glass molds with a diameter of the candle itself of at least 5 cm);
during burning does not emit harmful substances and fumes;
easy to color with fat-soluble dyes;
long retains and emits the smell of flavorings.
choice of flavorings is limited if you want to maintain a frosty pattern;
difficult to remove from surfaces and objects;
candles made from palm wax are quite fragile;
more heat-intensive than other types of wax, so you need to be careful and follow safety precautions to avoid serious burns.
Wax-like product of petroleum refining. For the manufacture of candles, food grade paraffin is considered the safest, as it has a high degree of purification and quality. Despite the obvious disadvantages, most candles today are made of paraffin.
universal and suitable for all types of candles;
easy to color with dyes;
durable, so it is easy to transport;
when burning emits hazardous substances for health, so they are not suitable for regular use;
burning time of paraffin candles is 2-3 times less than that of wax analogs;
can give strong shrinkage and harden unevenly;
aroma output is worse than that of vegetable waxes;
to improve the quality of candles pure paraffin needs an addition of 10% to 20% stearic acid (the candle will burn longer, it will be easier to get out of the mold, and the surface will be glossy).
Candle gel (gel wax)
A transparent jelly-like mass made of three ingredients: glycerin, gelatin and tannin. All components are environmentally friendly, so gel candles are completely safe for health. Candle gel is only suitable for container candles.
when burning, the gel does not emit harmful products and does not form carbon deposits
burns slowly and brightly;
does not emit any odors, easy to fragrance.
transparency allows you to create a variety of compositions inside the candle holders.
no shrinkage, so correction of finished candles after complete cooling is not required.
rather high cost;
requires experience and care, because in the process of candle making the gel easily becomes cloudy (for example, when water gets in);
for coloring will need special gel dyes;
fire hazard when working on an open flame, easily ignited.
How to make candles. How to choose a wick for a candle.
It can be said that the wick is a kind of “pump” that pulls the liquefied wax and feeds it to the flame. The right wick ensures that the wax or paraffin burns evenly, so the choice is important.
Most wicks are made of woven, tied or twisted cotton fibers, with the twisted ones being considered of lower quality because they burn much faster (which, however, can also be useful for birthday candles, for example).
The first important rule is that the thickness of the wick should be proportional to the thickness of the candle.
If you see that the candle is constantly fading out and there is a puddle of melted wax at the base of the flame, then the wick is too thin. The candle as if “choked” with wax.
If the candle mass melts too quickly, the wick smokes and twists at the end, forming a knot or loop, then the wick is too thick.
Not having a lot of experience to find the right ratio can only by trial and error. The following recommendations can be used as a guide:
Candle diameter 1-3 cm – thin wicks from 6 to 12 strands.
Candle diameter 3-7 cm – medium-thick wicks from 12 to 21 threads.
Candle diameter 7 cm or more – thick wicks of 21 threads or more.
The second rule: the wick should be made of natural materials (cotton, hemp, wood). If there are impurities in it, the candle will smoke and crackle. Cotton wicks burn evenly and silently, give a bright flame, but if not cut in time, the wick can start to smoke. Wooden wicks produce a pleasant crackling sound, reminiscent of the crackling of wood in a fireplace, but have a couple of disadvantages: if you trim the wick too much, it may not ignite, and in addition, due to the size of the holder at the bottom of the container remains a lot of unused wax.
In form, cotton and hemp wicks are twisted, braided, pigtail. Wooden wicks are straight, round and cross-shaped.
To give stability, cotton and hemp wicks are often reinforced with metal wire or paper thread, and wooden wicks are doubled. Waxing is also important. This is a process in which the wick is impregnated with wax or paraffin and dried. This procedure is not obligatory, but a waxed wick burns more evenly and longer.
A wick holder allows the wick to be centered in the center of the candle, and it also stops the flame from reaching the bottom when the wax burns out, which is important for safety.
How to make candles
Next we will show you how to make a candle at home. This master class will use soy wax and a wooden wick.
You will need:
wooden wicks and holders for them
almond or olive oil
pan and water for a water bath
container for melting the wax
glass candle jar
dye – if you want to make colored candles (do not use gouache, watercolor and food dyes, it is better to take colored wax crayons or buy special dyes in a handicraft store)
fragrance – you can take your favorite essential oils or use ready-made fragrance fragrances.
The wooden wicks can be soaked in oil to improve the burning quality. Simply pour a small amount of almond or olive oil over them and leave them for 20-30 minutes. Then wipe them off with paper towels.
Place the wax in a container to melt and place in a water bath. If desired, you can also melt the wax in the microwave – in 30-second intervals, stirring in between.
Cool the melted wax slightly and add the essential oils. Stir well.
Place the wick holder or glue it with a drop of hot glue in the middle of the jar, and then insert the wooden wick itself. Fill the container with wax and leave to set overnight.
Trim the wick. In order for the candle to give off its scent better, let it “infuse” for at least 2-3 days before lighting it.