Candles often summons up images of an older and more archaic time. I mean, candles are candles, right? Well, nowadays, candles are actually pretty big business. Just look what we scramble for when the power goes out. Flashlights are great, but candles are built to light up a room and that’s what they do best. This is not to mention the aromatic candle market, which services aromatherapy clinics and romantic couples the world over.
It may sound surprising but candlemaking is actually pretty easy. It should be no surprise since everyone used to learn it, along with soapmaking and sewing. It’s gradually become a lost art in the public domain, but quite a few hobbyists indulge in it and earn a pretty penny doing it. Here’s a few tips if you want to go into the candlemaking hobby.
To start out you are going to need a double boiler. It may sound like some fancy technical cooking item, but it all boils down to a clean coffee can set inside a large low bowl with water in it. Of course, there are actual double boilers that can be bought on the market but if you’re looking to save a little, what I described should do the trick. The important things is to have the water level at somewhere that the coffee can doesn’t just float. It should be there in the middle, steady as a rack.
If you’ve got that ready, here’s what you look for next: some molds for your candles. Candle molds are also publically available and can be bought, but if you’re really aiming for the home-made style, a few bowls or some cups should do the trick. If you’re looking to make those tall, long candles that you often see sold, well, then you better go for those molds, but candles in unique shapes are more fun. Just make sure that the mouth of your mold is wide so that the candles would be easy to extract once they harden. Smearing vegetable oil on the inside of the molds should help a lot in this.
Next on your list is the material components: wax and wicks. You can get commercial paraffin wax at any well-stocked department or specialty store. They’re usually sold in large half-pound chunks and one should be enough for your needs. Thick cotton string should be enough to use for wicks. It would be good to prepare the wax and wicks before hand; the wax by chopping it into smaller, easy to manage chunks, and the wicks by cutting two inches longer than your mold.
Now that you’ve got all of your materials, here’s what you do.
1. Set up the double boiler on the stove.
2. Place the wax chunks in the central can as the boiler heats up. This should weigh down the can enough so you can place more water in the outer bowl.
3. Wait for the wax to melt. It should take about thirty or so minutes for all of the chunks you placed into the can to become fully liquid. Constantly mix it with a wooden stick or spoon.
4. Keep a tight watch on the boiler. Wax is flammable and if you see it starting to simmer or boil then it’s time to turn off that stove. If it does catch fire, place a lid on it and turn off the stove.
5. After turning off the stove, let it cool for one or two minutes.
6. Use tongs to pour the wax into the molds. Always pour in the direction of the mold so as to avoid spillage.
7. Place the wicks immediately, then let the wax harden and settle for a few hours.
And there you go, seven easy steps to make your own candles at home. So what are you waiting for? Go out and make a little light in your life.