Make Your Own Candles

Making candles is easy and cheap. When you make your own candles you can guarantee what goes into them and avoid any harmful chemicals. You can also mould them into interesting shapes, using old tin cans or homemade moulds.

Getting Started

You Will Need:

  • An old saucepan or double boiler
  • Paraffin wax
  • Stearic acid
  • Candle mould (with a hole in the bottom)
  • Wick
  • Vybar
  • Colour block or liquid dye (optional)
  • Candle fragrance oil (optional)

To measure how much wax you will need, fill your mould with water and measure it. Use 85g wax for 100g water. Place the wax in your saucepan or double boiler and heat gently, until the wax is liquid and runny.

In the meantime, prime your wick, which involves covering it with a thin layer of wax to make it easier to light once it is in the candle. Place the wick into the melted wax in the saucepan and remove it, using a pair of tweezers. Then pull the wick straight and leave it to dry.

When the wick is hard, insert it through the hole in the mould and pull it through. Secure it around a pencil to hold it straight and plug the hole with a mould seal or large piece of tack to prevent the wax from leaking through it.

Then add 3tbs stearic acid and 1/2tsp vybar to your wax and stir well, ensuring they are fully dissolved. Then add your chosen colour, a bit at a time. If you have any fragrance oil, add at few drops just before you pour the wax into your mould.

If your mould is made from metal, preheat it before pouring the wax in. Then pour the wax into the mould, being careful not to splash any on your work surface. Tap the sides of the mould to release any trapped air bubbles. Then when wax has nearly set, poke small holes in the wax around the wick. This will prevent further pockets inside the candle. Leave your candle to set for a at least four hours. As wax cools, it retracts, so you will need to add any left over wax to fill in the dip. Simply re-heat it in the saucepan.

Finishing Touches

To make the bottom of your candle level, simply heat the saucepan and gently place the candle in it. Rub it over the base of the pan so the uneven areas melt and the bottom of the candle becomes smooth. Carefully remove the candle and allow it to cool.

Allow 48 hours before lighting the candle to ensure it sets properly and to bind the scent in the wax.

Making your own candles is a very satisfying hobby. You can be as creative as you wish, using colours, moulds and scents to your own tastes. You can also give your candles to friends as gifts, Why not try using soy wax instead of paraffin to make your candles? You can also recycle old candles by melting them down in a pan and pouring the melted wax into a new mould.