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Everything you need to make homemade candles

Everything you need to make homemade candles

Published by N-essentials Team on 26th Feb 2021

To make our homes cosier, we use candles as they help add warmth, light and character to any room. However, they don't last forever and can be a little costly. Well, you landed in the right blog as we will be introducing candle supplies and equipment you will need to help you create homemade candles with your own personal touch.

For decades, candle-making has been practiced and enjoyed by many individuals. It is an art that has stood the test of time and today remains a very successful craft project. With a few materials and a little bit of know-how, you can very easily make them yourself. Plus, you are able to control the ingredients that’s added into them tailored to your preference. If you're fragrance-sensitive, skip it. You may even want to use soy wax if you're worried about keeping the air around your home as clean as possible. There are many different types of candles but they all have these three key materials in common; wax, a wick, and a container. So, what are the other supplies you need to start making candles at home? Read through this blog to know more.

What candle making supplies do you need to make candles at home?

First and foremost, there are three main types of candles, namely, pillar candles, votive candles and container candles. Pillar candles require hard wax since they are free-standing and are not created in a jar. The most common type of candles are container candles as they are the simplest to make for beginners. Votive candles are small in size and usually sits in a jar when burning.

As a beginner, you'll need to get started with some basic candle supplies. And just like most crafts, you may increase and experiment on materials, as your knowledge and experience grow. But here's our rundown of basics for now.

Wax for candlemaking

You should consider the kind of candle you want to make and also the kind of wax that will best help your project before you rush out to the nearest candle supplies store. For various reasons, some candle wax are more common than others and each have different characteristics. You’ll have to consider the price, allergies it may cause, and burning time.

Paraffin wax is the market's least expensive form of wax. Yet it has become unpopular these days because it is a crude oil commodity and there are more natural and eco-friendly alternatives available. Also, when you burn them, they often create soot and smoke. Paraffin wax, however, is better for small candles, such as votives, rather than pillars. It melts rapidly and can be coloured and scented easily.

All-natural and chemical-free, beeswax is a by-product of the process of honey-making, and has a naturally sweet scent because of this. It is more costly than paraffin and can be bought in blocks or slabs. For individuals with allergies, it is a commonly used and a popular dripless wax as it doesn’t agitate such condition.

Palm wax and soy wax are other all-natural alternatives. Palm wax burns for a long time and is smokeless. It’s also considered the most expensive. Palm wax is perfect for pillar candles. Soy wax is made from soy beans. It is slow-burning and produces a clean smoke.

Recycled wax is the last, but certainly not the least. When you mix old candles and upcycle them into a new and useful candle, recycled wax is what you get. It’s a perfect way to minimise waste, reuse, and recycle candle wax. But of course, keep in mind that when using recycled wax, there’s not a lot of room for experimentation as the wax have been used a couple of times.

Fragrance oils and essential oils for candle scents

Having the right candle scents is as crucial as any other candle making ingredient. You may choose from fragrance oils and essentials oils to add more personality to your candle. Both adds enticing aroma as they are highly concentrated compounds of synthetic and natural scents from plants.

When using fragrance oils, you may choose from many wonderful scents. About 30ml of fragrance oil per 450g of wax is an average quantity to start with. You may choose scents from strawberry, vanilla, cocoa therapy, ocean breeze fragrance oils and more! Fragrance oil candles win if you are looking for the most powerful fragrance per unit.

Because each fragrance oil consists of different molecular compounds that dissipate at different rates, it is difficult to tell how long each scent will last. For candle makers using fragrance oils, it is believed that the average shelf life is 12 months. If left uncapped and exposed to air, fragrance oil candles can maintain their scent for around one year (depending on the candle, of course).

When using essential oils, be ready to transform your space into the many fruity, earthy and floral scents that this oil offers. However, caution still has to be practiced as they contain the strongest scents of a plant, root or flower. Essential oils have a more concentrated and intense aroma. The most popular scents added in candle supplies are lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, pine, and cinnamon essential oil!

Essential oils tend to keep the scent much longer than fragrance oils. To help do this, cover the candle with a tight lid in between uses. Candles with essentials oils can have a shelf life of 12 months or more.

Colour for candlemaking

In creating DIY candles, colour is a very important factor. Colour grabs our eyes, changes our mood, and evokes emotions from days long gone. There are a variety of candle dyes on the market, but some beginners are curious or tempted to try to create candles using crayons and food colouring. Well, you may opt for these materials but they may not result in the candle you’ve been expecting.

Using crayons to colour your candles seems an obvious choice because what could go wrong? Crayons and candles are both made from wax! So, here’s the thing, crayons are made specifically of paraffin wax and they contain pigments or powder colourants which means they are denser. These colourants can cause the wick to clog resulting in a poor burning candle. Plus, a candle made with crayons will affect how it will smell.

Food colouring, on the other hand may contain a large amount of alcohol, corn syrup, gycerine, citric acid and so on. These ingredients do not bond well with candle wax. Either it will fall to the bottom or it will bead up on the wax. It will also be impossible to try to stir or whisk it in.

There’s also another colourant some beginners have tried using and this is the Mica powder. It is popular among skin care products as it contains skin-safe minerals and ingredients. However, mica powder also clogs the wick as it is also dense. The candle may burn for a few minutes then struggle to do so and may flicker over time. On another note, mica powder works just fine when used as colour to wax melts since it doesn’t need a wick. Mica powder also looks amazing when melting in a wax warmer as it has a bit of sparkle and shimmer .

In candle making, dye chips and blocks and liquid dyes are best to use. Here’s the good news, there are a number of candle dyes you can try to effectively colour your candle as they are specially formulated for candle colouring. Because dyes are water-soluble, it doesn’t clog candle wicks unlike crayons or pigments.

Candle dye blocks. Looking like chocolate candy bars, this candle dye is non-toxic, safe for animals and safe for the skin. Dye blocks come in a great variety of colours and are non-staining. If you happen to inadvertently get stained on your clothes then wash away with hot water and it will come off easily. To create a pastel candle colour, blend with white dye blocks. To darken the colour, add the same colour as much as you like. Record the amount of colour dye blocks used when you have achieved the colour you desire so you may be able to duplicate the results next time.

Candle liquid dye. Liquid dye is the way to go if you want to achieve bold, brightly colored candles. It is a super-concentrated oil designed for unbelievable saturation of color. Similar to liquid food coloring, you'll find it comes in small dropper bottles. The dropper bottles are a must for candle liquid dye since you only need a few drops to stain candle wax. Liquid dye is easy to mix with many other colours. However, keep your liquid dye sealed and stored in a designated bag or container so as not to stain anything it comes in contact with. Also, always wear gloves and use newspaper to cover your work area to avoid mess.

Candle dye chips. This type of candle dye is a smaller variant and is great for adding colour to small amounts of candle wax. Nonetheless, remember to be cautious when using this type of dye as it can contain paraffin wax. Add them at high temperatures to help dissolve dye chips faster and prevent lumps of pigment from forming. Candle dye chips are also great for creating pastel colours.

Wicks for candlemaking

Perhaps the most critical candle making decision you can make is choosing a wick. It's mostly because picking the right kind and size affects how well your flame will light. Consider the type of wax, the amount of fragrance, and if you add colour - all influence the performance of the wick. To promote a slow and steady burn, most high-quality wicks are made from braided, plaited or knitted fibers. Twisted wicks are usually lower in consistency than braided or knitted wicks. They burn even quicker because their loose construction makes it possible for more fuel to hit the flame easily. However, for such uses, such as birthday candles, twisted wicks are useful.

Flat wicks. For a self-trimming effect, these flat-plated or knitted wicks are very consistent in their burning and curl in the flame. They are one of the most commonly used wicks and are often used in pillar candles.

Square wicks. Also curls in the flame, this type of wick is more rounded and a little more robust than flat wicks. They are favoured for use in beeswax candles as they can help inhibit wick clogging, which can occur with some kinds of wax formulations, pigments or fragrances.

Cored wicks. To hold the wick straight or upright when burning, this type of wick uses a core material. This wick has a circular cross section where core materials are in place such as cotton, paper, zinc, or tin. Cored wicks can be used in pillars, votives and devotion candles in jars.

Wooden wicks. In recent years, wooden wicks have become famous for the visual aesthetic they provide and the soft crackling sound they generate. Wooden wicks are available from 100 percent wood, semi-wood, fibrous fiber or blends of cotton and wood as single-ply, multi-layered, curved and decorative shaped wicks.

Specialty wicks. These wicks are specifically made for particular candle applications, such as oil lamps and insect repelling candles, to satisfy the burning characteristics.

Moulds or Containers for candlemaking

From glasswares, coffee mugs to mason jars, anything that can hold out against heat can be used as a candle container. Also, the kind of container to use (or whether you will need one or not) will depend on the kind of candle you want to create. For beginners, candle tins or glass jars are highly recommended. This is because tin containers have opaque sides, giving you less worries on how the finished candle will look. With glass jars, you are able to secure your candle in place and you may also add dried flowers and leaves to decorate the sides of your jars to make it look all fancy! For free-standing pillar candles, make sure to pick a smooth mold.

Scales used in candlemaking

This equipment is for measuring your dry and liquid materials, to ensure proper computations of ingredients. Pick out a good scale and you’re good to go.

Pots or Saucepans for candlemaking

This is for your wax to melt. You may use a double boiler system by filling a big saucepan half full of water and heating it on the burner. Place your wax inside a smaller saucepan and set it down the larger pan. Make sure that no water reaches the small pan. Heat the wax to the appropriate temperature and, as it evaporates, add water to the bigger pan until the wax completely melts.

Thermometer

Have this equipment on hand to check the temperature of your molten wax. In candle making, there are certain wax temperatures where it’s safe to add fragrance, when to pour wax in containers and so on.

Our takeaway

Creating your homemade candles sparks your creative side and help decor and transform your home, or even better, makes someone feel special by gifting your very own creation. However, remember to first secure your candle making supplies and make sure to source them from a trusted supplier. Be guided by a reliable candle making tutorial and follow the appropriate ingredients and equipment to get the best results.

Where I can I find candle making supplies near me?

Now, if you’re eager to give DIY candles a try, you need not search anywhere else as we, at N-essentials, have a wide range of DIY materials to help you stock in your candle making supplies. We provide everything skin, body, home and environment-friendly quality raw ingredients to ensure you and your surrounding’s safety is not compromised. Contact us via this email info@n-essentials.com.au to know more. 

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