Making Homemade Candles - Dipped Candles
There are many great reasons to consider making homemade candles. First, it is a fun and rewarding activity to consider doing with friends or family.
Second, homemade candles can be a whimsical or elegant gift that you can make on a tight budget. Most people not only love these dipped candles, but they will appreciate the added effort you have put into making homemade candles.
Of course, there are many variations you can use to make your own candles. But for now, consider this a beginner's guide to making homemade candles.
You will often see these dipped candles sold for a high price at craft fairs and specialty candle shops. While they can be burned, many people choose to use them as a home decor items because they look so fabulous when two are connected together.
- Plain Paraffin Wax (1/2 pound):
- Double Boiler:
Use a large coffee can for melting wax in, inserted in a pot filled half full of water.
- Wooden Spoon for stirring the wax.
- Candle Thermometer:
A candy or meat thermometer works just as well.
- An additional metal coffee can for cold water bath.
- Heat source such as the Kitchen stove.
You can find this in most craft and hobby stores in various sizes. The size of the wick is important. The sizes increase in 1/2 inch variations. Use this as a guide. 1/2" wick to 1/2" candle. A 1" wick is suitable for a 1" candle etc.
- Color additive:
You can get this in the form of cakes, chips, powder or liquid which is usually available in craft stores. But we suggest using crayons as an inexpensive and easy alternative.
First, we must remind you that you are going to be working with hot wax, which can be very dangerous when not handled with care. When making homemade candles we recommend that all children are closely supervised if you decide this is an activity that you want to include them in.
- Prepare your double boiler by filling the pot half full of cold water.
- Using a chisel or sharp knife and a hammer, cut the wax into smaller pieces for easier and faster melting.
- Place the wax into the empty coffee can and carefully lower it into the pot.
- Slowly heat the wax on medium heat until it reaches a slight boil. Stir the wax as it melts to help the process along.
- Appropriate temperature for this process is 160 degrees F. You can use the thermometer to help you maintain the right temp.
- Add the desired color and stir it in. Continue to add color until the wax has reached the desired intensity that you want. Take note that wax dries one shade lighter. You may want to test a spoonful by letting it dry on a paper plate.
- Add any desired scent next. Be careful not to add too much, as it can affect the burn quality of the candle. Less is more here.
- Hand dipped candles often look like table candlesticks. To achieve this look you will need to cut your wick the desired length of the 2 candles plus four inches for easy dipping. For example, 2 eight-inch candles plus four extra inches means you need a 20-inch piece of wick string.
- Next use the handle of a wooden spoon or your finger to wrap the wick around at its center point a couple of turns.
- Slowly lower the two pieces of wick down into the melted wax. Be sure to dip the full length of the candles you want to produce.
- Lift the candles out of the wax and allow to cool for a minute before repeating the process.
- Continue the dipping and cooling process. After a few layers, although not necessary, you can speed up the cooling process by dipping the candles in cool water after each wax dip.
- Repeat the process until the candles have reached the proper thickness. If lumps occur, roll warm candles on a smooth surface.
- Increase the wax temperature until it reaches 182 F. Dip the pair into the wax one more time for a few seconds. Lift out then let them cool.
- Using a sharp knife trim the bottoms to remove excess wax and to create a straight edge bottom for you candles.
- Hang your homemade candles to dry. Once they are dried you can cut the wick or leave them connected.
You will love making homemade candles, and if you made them as a gift, you will want to make more for yourself! We would love to see your results!