Friday, January 04, 2008

How to make candles....

Many moons ago, before I started writing and procreating, I made candles. I got tired of paying $20 plus on candles that didn't smell good unless you stuck your nose right down into them. I found a beginners kit online and I was off. Of course my first couple candles were a total disaster but I kept at it, experimenting with different jars, scents, wicks, and colors. Before long I had people begging to buy my candles. If you've ever considered making your own candles here are a few quick tips to get you started.

1) Pick a container. You are going to want something that can withstand wax at high temperatures. Glass is best. I used jelly/canning jars that I picked up at a discount store.

2) Hot glue your wick to the bottom of the jar. Make sure you get the wick exactly in the middle or when you burn the candle your burn pool will be off which will result in a lopsided burning candle.

3) Melt your wax. These days you can choose between soy wax and paraffin wax and who knows what else. I always used paraffin. I started making so many candles at one time that I had a huge roaster that I melted wax in, but an old saucepan will work just as good. You have to be careful that you melt the wax but you don't want to get it too hot or you'll learn about something called the flashpoint. You don't want to learn about the flashpoint!

4) Add color and scent. This is the fun part. You'll have to experiment a bit with the color because it's hard to always get it right. A good guide for scent is usually one ounce of scent for every pound of wax you use. I always picked the food scents, some favs were banana nut bread, sugar cookie, pumpkin pie, cinnamon roll, and hot cider.

5) Pour mixture into your room temperature jar. Allow several hours to cool and don't be tempted to mess with it or you'll break the surface of the candle and it won't look very good.

When I was making candles I worked with 150 women and I would get absolutely mobbed when I bought candles in for sale. Everybody loves candles. I loved having them on hand for last minute gifts. It is a messy hobby and it can get smelly, but if you are a candle addict, it may be worth it to you to try it yourself.

My favorite supplier was a place called The Cajun Candle Company. They have an amazing beginners kit that will give you everything you need. If you are interested check them out,

If you love candles, but have absolutely no desire to mess up your kitchen, I finally found a good brand sold in stores. The brand For..Every..Body.. is awesome. The throw (a fancy candle term for how far the scent reaches) is amazing. I just bought some for 50% at Kohl's the other day.
Are you a candle addict? If so, what's your favorite scent?
Congrats to Dona on her release!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What I'm reading....Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Revenge of the Homecoming Queen, OUT NOW!


Simone Elkeles said...

This was a great post! Thanks for the websites, too. I love chocolate fudge and chocolate chip cookies and christmas tree (even though I'm Jewish :)

Smelling them is way less fattening then eating them!

TinaFerraro said...

Wow, Steph, this was fascinating! I'd never heard how to make them before. And I've always been crazy for scented candles, too, although I admit I rarely light them, just leave them in their original form around the house.


Chelsea said...

How neat! I want to make some. I tried a couple of years ago, so I could give candles around Christmas. The candle set was really cheap and the scents were bad, but it was fun to make! Of course, they came out horrible and I decided NOT to spread them around under people's Christmas tree. That would have been embarassing...

But I may try it again!

Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

Steph: That SUCH an awesome hobby! I wish I was coordinated enough to make them, but I have a feeling I'll just burn off my hair...where do you get the scents?

I do agree with you, I hate paying $20 for a nice big candle and then I smell....wax.

Great post!

The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick said...

I'm a total candle freak, too! Although, I'd never attempt to make my own. I do have one company from which I'll buy my candles and only that one company now. The owner is a nicest gal and quit her corporate day job to launch her dream career and company. You can locate her at What's great about Carla's candles are that they aren't too perfumey smelling, yet they have a fragrance that you'll catch a whiff of when you walk into a room, even if it's not lit. Definitely not overwhelming, though. And the added special element is that each candle type has a fun name and a quote on the label that mirrors the theme of the candle name. You can find a candle for just about everything -- including a Candle for Writing and Calling Up The Muse. :-) Great gifts! What can I say? I'm hooked!


danetteb said...

Candle making sounds like fun, I'm picky about scented candles because of my allergies. It would be nice to make a light scented one personally.

Alexander said...

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Anonymous said...

Wow, Steph, I'm totally impressed that you're so creative. I love candles, but I always just buy them from people having fundraisors. This is also how I buy pies and doughnuts. It wastes a good bit of money. :)
And this is Bethany- this thing doesn't want to give me a name...

Me said...

Awesome, Steph! I've never made candles, but I had an oh-so-brief foray into soapmaking. Idea? Great. Execution? Not so much. I think these kinds of projects require lots of practice (translation: patience) to turn out well. I'm, um, not patient.

I'm dying to know more about flashpoint--mainly because you told me I don't want to know!