A Makers Guide

A makers guide is our short how-to tutorial to teach you how to make your own beautiful candles. 

How To Make Candles

Start with inspiration. Who are you making the candle for? What do they like? How could you incorporate that into your candle? If you’re making the candle for yourself, what would match your decor? Are you designing for an occasion (eg. a birthday, a wedding, Christmas etc.)? If you can’t decide, start with a minimalist approach. You can always add enhancements to your candle.

Candles are a great way add ambiance into a room. To get started, all you’ll need is wax, a candle vessel, a vessel lid, a wick, and any fragrance/colour you want.

 

Decide on Materials

Paraffin wax 

Pros: Cost effective, easily colored, excellent hot and cold scent throw.                    Cons: Not a clean burning wax, can be a two-pour wax

Soy wax 

Pros: natural wax made from soybeans, eco-friendly, renewable, burns slowly.  Cons: Scent throw isn’t as impressive as paraffin wax, more expensive than paraffin.

Apricot Coco Creme Wax:

Pros: Clean burning, considered vegan as it contains natural wax and a small amount of highly refined food grade paraffin, excellent glass adhesion, great scent throw.                                                                                                              Cons: As this is a highly sought after luxury wax, it is more expensive than soy and paraffin.

Shop for Wax

Select your Vessel

Select a vessel (container or jar) thick enough to withstand the heat of a lit flame. Consider purchasing a lid as well. A lid holds in the scent of your candle, so that it smells as aromatic as the day you created it. A lid also keeps your candle free from dust and debris, and presents well if you are intending to give as a gift or sell.

Shop for Vessels and Lids

Pick your wick(s)

Once you have selected your vessel (jar or container), decide on whether this will be a single or a multi-wick candle. Consult the Guide to wicking for the appropriate wick size. We recommend that you try a single wick candle if this is your first time, but if you’re feeling savvy, go for it! Try anything and everything. There are no mistakes – just opportunities to learn!

Shop for Wicks

Once you have decided on your wick we recommend that you purchase wick stickers to affix the wicks to the bottom of your vessel. You can save yourself some money and affix using a glue gun instead, but it is a longer and messier process that way.

Wick centering devices can also be purchased which will hold your wick secure while your candle is cooling. 

Shop for Candle Making Accessories

Select Colour & Scent

This is an optional part of candle making, but for some people their favourite part of the creative process. Consult the maximum fragrance load for the wax you are using, and make sure you do not add more than the allowable maximum as you can ruin your candle. Generally speaking too much of any additive can spoil your candle, so add only what is necessary and allowable. Make sure you set aside so that your oils and dyes are not to close to wherever your wax is melting. If you decide to add colour remember that you can always add more colour, but you can’t take it away after its been added to your pot of melted wax. 

Shop for Wax Dye

Shop for Scents

Protect your workspace with wax paper

Lay down some wax paper in your workspace for those inevitable oopsies along the way. If you spill on a surface not covered by wax paper, don’t panick. Anything you are not able to clean immediately can be removed with very hot water and a little elbow grease and soap.

Prepare Your Vessel(s)

Make sure you clean you vessel and then completely dry it. Affix your wick to the bottom of your vessel and secure it in place with a wick centering device. 

Cut Your Wax Down to Size 

Using smaller pieces also ensures that the wax melts evenly. It also lets you weight exactly what you need. It is a best practice (especially while you are learning) to melt a little more than you think you will need. You can always use it up on an additional candle vessel if you don’t need the excess for your project.

Use a Double Boiler

You cannot put candle wax directly on heat. It can cause a fire or evaporate. Turn the heat to high so that the water boils. The boiling water will melt the wax slowly and evenly. If you do not have a double boiler, you can use a make-shift double boiler, or a melter specifically for wax. Use a thermometer to 

 Use a Thermometer  and Read Wax Vendor Instructions

You can use a candy thermometer, or buy yourself a thermometer dedicates to candle making. IMPORTANT! Be sure to read vendor instructions. I cannot state this enough. They have gone to the trouble to test their product, and know their respective melt points, and optimal pour temperatures. Add dye, colour, and pour at the temperatures recommended by the manufacturer. Do not go rogue on this point.

Remove Melted Wax from the Heat 

Add color

Do not use food coloring. You will need specific dye or wax chips that are made for the brand of wax you want to use. Stir well and avoid bubbles.

Add scent

Read the vendor’s directions to find out how much scent your wax can safely hold without becoming a fire hazard. If you want less than the maximum amount of scent, just add to taste. Stir slowly and evenly through out the wax for two minutes. Try to eliminate any bubbles you may see.

Pour Melted Wax into Vessel

Keep a steady hand and pour slowly as to not splash wax on the side of your vessel and then allow the wax to cool.

Cooling

Once candles are almost completely set, feel free to add any enhancements that you feel may make your candle look and/or smell special. Enhancements such as clear quartz chips, yellow citrine chips, opal mini chips, lavender buds, amethyst chips and rose quartz chips are available for purchase.

Shop for Enhancers

Trim the Wick & Hit it with the Heat Gun

Once your candle is completely set trim your wick down to ¼ inch (0.64 centimeters). Feel free to hit your candle for a few seconds with a heat gun to secure any enhancements you have added to your candle and to clean up the sides of your glad if you have any splash marks. Most manufacturer recommendation will ensure that your wax is a one-pour experience, but in the case of paraffin specifically you may need to top of your candle with some wax to make for a nice even top. Place your lid on your candle for a finished look.

Shop for Heat Gun and Wick Trimmers

You’re done! For best results, wait at least 48 hours for your wax to cure before lighting.