10 candle making tips you didn’t know you needed

candle making tips

Candle making is such a fun activity and it allows you to create unique and personalised candles for yourself or as a gift. As an experienced candle maker I get a lot of questions about candle making and in this blog I’ll answer a few of those. Here are 10 candle making tips you didn’t know you needed.

1. Choose the right type of wax

As a candle making beginner I didn’t know there were SO much types of wax, each with it’s own properties. After a lot of research and trying different types of wax I decided on rapeseed wax. But other types of wax that you can use for making candles are:

  • Paraffin – one of the most used options. Cheap, holds fragrance well.
  • Soy – eco friendly option as its natural that burns cleanly and slowly.
  • Beeswax – also a natural wax, although it’s not vegan like rapeseed and soy wax.

I already stated that we use rapeseed wax, this has a few different reasons. Most important being it’s produced locally. We’ll tell you more about the difference between soy wax and rapeseed wax in our blog.

2. Sinkholes

One of the most asked questions and the thing that scares of new candle makers at first are sinkholes. When pouring your wax at the wrong temperature, or sometimes just because of the type of wax you use, sinkholes can form. It’s a hole that forms around the wick when a candle cools, leaving you with a not so perfect candle. Luckily this is an easy fix and a totally normal thing to happen. When a sinkhole forms, just reheat some leftover wax and pour this on top of the candle.

3. Choosing wicks

The wick is easily the most important part of your candle. Choosing a wick that’s too small will lead to tunneling of your candle and choosing a wick that’s too large will lead to mushrooming of the wick and more black soot. A few candle making tips for choosing the right wick:

  • Size: The wick size should match the diameter of your candle. A wick that’s too small will produce a weak flame, while one that’s too large can cause the candle to burn too quickly and produce excess soot.
  • Testing: Experiment with different wick sizes and materials to find the best combination for your specific wax and container.

When ordering candle wicks opt for websites that give information about the size of the candle they’ll work for. Usually it also says if a wick is suited for natural waxes or not.

4. Container and pillar wax

Did you know there’s a difference between wax for jars and wax for pillar candles? Container wax is designed to adhere to the sides of a container, making it the perfect option for jars. Pillar wax has an easy release from molds, which makes it great for freestanding candles like pillars and votives.

5. Adding fragrance

Are you looking to start making scented candles? There are a few important things to know about adding fragrance. For example it is important to measure accurately. Don’t use a number of drops, measure in grams to be sure of the outcome every time. Also make sure you add the fragrance at the right temperature. Which temperature that is depends on the type of wax you use. Lastly, mix your wax and fragrance oil thoroughly to make sure there’s an even distribution between the wax and fragrance oil.

10 candle making tips

6. Colour

Sometimes you want your candle to contain some colour. Luckily there are candle dyes that are specifically designed for candle wax. There are multiple types:

  • Liquid dyes – easy to achieve the same results time after time.
  • Flakes or pills – easy to use and gives good colour.
  • Micah powder – not advised for candles as it can clog the wick, but can be used for wax melts.

7. Preparing your workspace

Making candles can get quite messy. Therefore it is important to protect surfaces from wax spills. You can use a plastic tablecloth (easy to clean afterwards). It’s also important to gather all the things you need beforehand. You don’t want to be running around the house when you started with making the candles.

8. Temperature

Temperature control is vital for successful candle making. To make sure the max is well melted you can use the au-bain-marie method or a special wax melter. When melted, it might need to cool back a little before you add in the scent and pour the wax. Don’t pour in a room that’s below 18°C because that’ll ensure your candles cool down to quickly.

9. Pouring technique

Did you know there are techniques to pouring? Neither did I when I just started out. But proper pouring makes all the difference in how your candles turn out. Don’t pour to fast, as it will create more air bubbles. Slow and steady wins the race. If needed you can top off the candle with more wax when the initial wax has set to cure the sinkholes.

10. Curing and storing

Maybe you already read or heard something about curing your candles. This is an important step when you are making soy candles, but it does not apply to all types of wax. Curing means you wait before you burn the candle. In soy wax the curing time is mostly around 2 weeks. For other types of wax it’s usually 24 to 48 hours.

Candle making tips

These are my ten candle making tips. Of course there are lots and lots more tips I would love to give you, but then I would have to write an entire book. What I did do is put all the information you need to make candles in a workshop, the workshop candle making. If you’re looking to have fun and learn a little more about candle making, this would be the perfect workshop for you!

This post is also available in: Dutch

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