It’s normal to think candle making is simple and straightforward because of how no-frills most candles are. However, as much as it is an art, it’s a science as well. The key is not to underestimate what goes into them but also to keep yourselves from feeling intimidated by what may feel like a lot of information. Making your first batch of candles safely and successfully is very doable with the right guidance. Here’s how:
1. Research is important
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of a candle’s appearance. Candle making is complicated when you don’t know what you don’t know, but that’s why we’re here. Keep calm. Just being on this page means you’re off to a good start.
If you want an easy jumpstart to the craft, purchase candle making kits. It usually comes with all the materials you need, even tools, and precise instructions to make your first batch. However, you should still know all the necessary information, such as terms and candle safety. Hearts & Crafts will help you with that.
2. There are different types of waxes
The kind of wax you use would affect several parts of the process, such as the melting temperature when to mix in fragrance and dye, whether to use a container or not and so much more. It also affects the amount of toxins released into the air, which, in turn, has a long-term impact on health and the environment.
3. Know the right materials to use
Not all wax forms are designed to be burned, such as the wax used in crayons, making them a poor substitute for dye. Also, the wax you choose will dictate the candle making supplies you should have. Certain kinds of wax will only go with certain types of wicks. Learn what matches the type of wax you’ve chosen.
One great hack is to opt for pre-waxed ones, so there’s no worry about whether they absorbed enough wax to burn well by the time the candle solidifies. Please also avoid using perfumes or colognes instead of fragrance or essential oils because they’re a fire hazard due to their alcohol content. Start with candle making kits for a more straightforward way to ease into the craft, hassle-free.
4. Temperatures are meant to be exact
Any action on wax would directly affect the quality of the candle so the temperature is crucial. Anytime one is mentioned in candle making recipes, it’s meant to be exact or within a minimal range. Use a candle wax thermometer every time you make a batch. Follow instructions to the T, and you’ll have the highest likelihood of getting a good bunch of candles the way you want them or better.
5. Starting small is best
Candles are made by batch. Beginning with small amounts decreases the likelihood of getting stuck with too many defective candles. How little is small? A pound or two of wax is an excellent amount to experiment or practice with. You can increase the amount once you’re comfortable with the process and know how to get the result you envision.
6. Read up on the terminology
Do you know that candles don’t merely have a scent throw, but each one has two different types, a cold throw, and a hot throw? Like any field, candle making has its own set of terms that only hobbyists and experts know. Study up on them, so you understand any candle making how-to you encounter to avoid miscommunication and continue making great candles.
7. Curing times and measurements differ
Similar to the temperatures in candle making, the optimum resting period and amount of fragrance vary according to the kind of wax. Meeting these conditions allow for better scent throw and better burn.
Also, adding more oil doesn’t equate to a more aromatic fragrance or a farther scent throw. Instead, it can clog your wick and ruin your candle. Generally, the ratio of oil to wax is 1oz. to 1 lb. However, again, this isn’t always the case. For a successful candle, find out how much oil your preferred wax can hold.
8. Always test against the proper standards
Even when you follow instructions exactly as stated, there’s always the possibility of somehow the candles not turning out the way you wanted. Any small deviation can create a different result, so always test, especially if you’d like to change something like the fragrance oil or the container. How? Make a small batch and burn one candle an hour for every inch of its diameter.
9. Be comfortable with troubleshooting
When testing, always take notes. Keep track of any changes in the formulation or the process you made and details of the resulting candle. Get very specific, especially in terms of the flame height, amount of smoke, melt pool, amount of wax the wick absorbed, and more. As you continue with your candle making the journey and develop your favorites, you’ll be referring to these a lot to save on time and costs.
10. Learn the basics of candle safety
As beautiful or harmless-looking the end product seems, it’s still a flammable product with characteristics that pose risks to people and property. It’s your responsibility to mitigate those, so it becomes an item that brings joy and pleasant experiences.
There are several rules to candle safety, but these are the most basic—some you may already know from growing up. The first is to never leave a candle unattended while burning. Next is to keep anything flammable away from it, as well as children and pets. Lastly, as a candlemaker, you need to place warning labels that clearly state how to light the candles on the containers.
Embrace New Beginnings
Like any other hobby, craft, or skill, it seems overwhelming initially, but learning the essential information is worth the outcome and the peace of mind. Take it bit by bit and give yourself a more than enough timeline to prepare for the start of your candle making. It’s all about starting well-equipped to keep yourself and everyone around you safe as well as satisfied.