Candle Making Basics: Getting Started

Candle Making Basics: Getting Started

Many accomplished candle makers will tell you that candle making is a very easy process that requires little or no effort. This might be true, but only when you’ve stayed consistently long enough in the business.

At the start, many candle-making wannabes often make the mistake of hurrying into the business without learning all the basic steps and getting the required knowledge to be successful in the business. You need to know about the types of candles, categories of candles, the materials you need to make the candles, the equipment you will need to buy at first, and so many other things.

It could be overwhelming at first, but relax, this article will help you get started. We’ll discuss all the candle making basics you need to know before going into the candle making business.

What you need to know before making candles

According to Wikipedia, “a candle is an ignitable wick embedded in wax or another flammable solid substance that provides light and sometimes fragrance.”

A candle is a combination of a wick and molten wax with fragrance. The wick is sort of a straight wire which can be ignited and forms the core of the candle. Most modern wicks come pre-waxed to ensure that they burn for a longer time.

The wax is the hard substance that surrounds the wick and is larger in mass than the wick. Wax can be made from a wide variety of substances, and the types of wax commonly in use today include paraffin, soy, and beeswax.

Most candles, especially those meant for decoration and social purposes, come in a jar or container that is resistant to the heat provided when the candle is burning.

Materials you need to make candles

You need a set of materials to make candles, just like you need the necessary ingredients in the recipe to make a special type of dish.

There are two types of materials or equipment you need to make candles: renewable and non-renewable. The renewable ones are those that you only need to buy once (the first time you make a candle). They are very durable and don’t require replacement after use for a very long time. They include the pouring pot, wax heater, candle molds and jars, and the thermometer.

The non-renewable materials in making candles are those that are completely used up during the candle-making process and need replacement or renewal each time a new candle has to be made. These include the wax, wick, fragrance, wick tab, color blocks and candle dyes.

Pouring pot/wax heater

This is usually a large container in form of a pot or pitcher that is used to melt the wax used in making candles. The pot must be heavy, large and heat-resistant in order to be able to withstand the high heat required to melt the wax.

Some candle makers use the pouring pots as a double boiler by filling a large pot first with water and then placing the pouring pot in it. This allows you to raise the heating temperature to a point that will safely melt the wax fast enough.

Candle molds/jars

Candle molds are the equipment that actually determines what kind of candle you produce in the end. The shape and size of the candle jar subsequently determines the shape and size of the finished candle. It is important to get the correct type of candle mold for the type of candle you’re planning to make—more on the types and sizes of candles later.

Candle thermometer

While melting wax, you have to be careful about the temperature at which the process is carried out to avoid over-melting it. A candle thermometer is the right tool for determining this temperature firsthand. It is very important in the candle-making process and shouldn’t be overlooked at all.

Candle wick

A wick is totally necessary if you are planning to make a candle at all. As explained above, it is the part of the candle which you ignite. You have to be careful when choosing wicks for your candles; you need to consider the candle type, size, shape, wax used, and fragrance, because the usability of the wick is dependent on these factors.

Candle fragrance

There are currently more than 200 fragrances for candles. Fragrance is not necessary for a candle, but it is better if it were added as it will then work both as a light provider and air freshener. You also have to be careful when choosing fragrance to match the amount of wax you’re using for the candle.

Color blocks or candle dye

The use of color blocks should be obvious to you by now; they are used to add color to the candles. If they are not used, the candle will take the color of the wax used. You can also use color buttons instead of color blocks; they all function to color the candle.

Those are the basic things you need to know about materials used in making candles. You also have to know the different types of candles you can make.

Types of candles

They include pillar candles which do not need support for stance and come in a variety of shapes; taper/dinner candles, which are usually fairly long and need a candle holder; gel candles which are similar to the pillar candles but are made from gelled mineral oils; votive candles which are short and are housed in a container while lighted; and floating candles which are designed low in order to enable them float in water. There are other types of candles but they are usually variations of these ones.


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