Friday, February 4, 2011

DIY | Candles

A candle is such a versatile item. It can be given as a gift, used as decoration, burned for relaxation and much more. What makes a candle more than just any candle? When YOU make it of course! I made candles as Christmas gifts for close friends and you could make them for your friends/loved one(s) for Valentines as well. It was a new experience for me that was made easier by my choice of supplier. I ordered online at CandleScience and followed their guide. Hit the jump for supplies and such.

Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Expense: Moderate
Materials (available in craft stores and online):
  • Wax (I used paraffin, but choose the right kind for your project)
  • Pre-tabbed wicks
  • Dye Blocks or Chips
  • Container or Candle Mold (for pillars and votives)
  • Wick Bar to hold the wick during pouring
  • Wooden Spoon for stirring
  • Pouring Pitcher and double boiler
  • Thermometer to check wax temperature
  • Candle fragrance (optional)
  • Decorative materials like glitter or stickers (optional)
  • Warning Labels (recommended when giving gifts)

First, I had to decide what kind of candle to make. With about eight candles to send, I wanted something inexpensive to mail—meaning light and small. I decided upon these really wonderful little jars from The Container Store. They were not terribly expensive. If you want a stand-alone candle, you can easily purchase a mold used to make pillar or votive candles.

I bought pre-assembled wicks online instead of fiddling with the process myself. In the above image, you can see my dye blocks as well as a bubble wrap bag of pre-tabbed wicks and my fragrance (cinnamon for Christmas). Before beginning, I prepped my containers by attaching my wicks to the bottom of my jars. Then, I kept them in place with some quick skewer work. You can get wick bars that keep the wick steady, but I made it work my own way because I didn't realize that until I was starting the project. 

Melt your wax inside of your pitcher over a double boiler. When your wax is warm enough, you can add your scent and dye blocks. Check your instructions for the temperature that works best for your type of wax.

When the wax is melted and the additional mix-ins have dissolved, pour your wax into your containers. Notice my skewered and masking tape "wick bars" and know that I do not condone using my method. The one closest had a small wax drip on the inside of the lid. I was able to get rid of it easily by hand. No worries there.

My wax receded slightly on some candles, so you might need to top them off with another hit of warm wax after they have dried slightly. And voila! you have just made a candle! You can add a warning label to the bottom of your candle if you want to cover up the wick at the bottom of your candle. Now, burn and enjoy.

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