Candle Making​

SUPPLY NEEDS / READ THIS BEFORE MAKING ANY CANDLES

WAX: Purchase in a solid form. Paraffin candle wax is a cheaper alternative to beeswax and better for mould work. The two most common melting points are 55 and 65 degrees.

WICK: Use only cotton candlewick. Wick comes in a variety of thickness. The thicker the candle the thicker the wick needed.

COLOUR may come in two varieties, powder and solid. The powder is a very powerful form; always use gloves.

MELTING WAX

Keep hot wax out of reach of children

Never leave burning wax unattended

Use a proper thermometer and monitor temperature

Clean spilled wax of stove / burners

POURING WAX

Cover floor and bench to prevent mess

Use spouted pouring container (ladle)

NEVER pour wax near open flame

NEVER pour wax down the sink

Set moulds in buckets of damp sand when pouring in to moulds, to contain leaks

IN CASE OF FIRE:

Turn off flame. Smother fire with metal lid or fire blanket until cool.

DO NOT put water on burning wax. Only use chemical or CO2 extinguishers.

FIRST AID:

SKIN: If hot wax hit skin, run cold water over the area immediately.

The wax will harden and peel off. Treat as for burn.

EYES: Flush with cold water

SWALLOWED: Small quantities of wax pass undigested (wax non-toxic)

BASIC STEPS FOR CANDLE MAKING

STEP 1: WAX MELTING PROCEDURE

Select work area with good ventilation

Cover work area with newspapers (this makes cleaning up easier)

Have all equipment you need before you begin; this is so wax is not unattended.

If you must leave your area, turn the stove / burner off.

Break solid wax (with hammer) into pieces small enough to fit in the double boiler. Do not over fill the tin.

Place double boiler on stove / burner and begin heating the wax. Place a thermometer in wax as it liquefies. Monitor wax temperature. Each candle recipe has a recommended pouring temperature for wax.

STEP 2: ADDITION OF COLOUR

Add very small amounts of the powdered dye on a tablespoon add a little liquid wax to the spoon and gently mix, add more liquid wax to the spoon as required. (Using preferably two old tablespoons) Stir into the melted liquid wax pot and gently stir colour in. Wait for several minutes and test. Always use little colour as it is easier to add more colour than to add more wax.

COLOUR TESTING: Either 1.Place a small amount of coloured wax in to a container of cold water and allow to cool completely. This will give you a true indication of the final colour For stronger results, add more dye and mix gently. 2. Dip a piece of paper into the wax pot and allow to cool completely.

STEP 3: ADDITION OF SCENT

Just before pouring wax, add only a few drops of scent of your choice. This is enough for a burning candle to fill an entire room with scent

DIP CANDLE

The dip candle is both the simplest and most time consuming way to make candles.

It is the best way to begin with as it teaches techniques and patience, the two most important assets of a good candle maker.

Melt the wax (do not boil the wax or let it smoke)

Knot or loop the end of the wick. Then cut the wick approx 5 cm longer than the depth of the wax vessel (the inside pot or double boiler)

WARNING!

STEAM WILL BURN WORSE THAN BOILING WATER.

KEEP HANDS AWAY.

SWITCH BURNER OF WHEN STEAM IS PRODUCED.

FIRST DIP

All but the top of the wick must be dipped in the melted wax. Swirl the wick around to help it sink. Pull the wick out of the wax and wait for dripping to cease. Straighten the wick and allow it to cool.

THE SECOND DIP is much easier. Dip all but the top 5 cm of the wick in to the melted wax and remove quickly and evenly. Wait for the dripping to cease as before and allow cooling.

Repeat this process between 10 and 40 times depending on the required thickness of the candle.

PLEASE NOTE: The wax will melt of the candle if not dipped quickly and evenly!

THE WAX TEMPERATURE must be kept consistent for a smooth finish. Turn the burner off if the wax gets to hot.

Level of wax in vessel will drop as candles are made. Be sure to top up level as you go or shorten dipping length to compensate.

USE YOUR IMAGINATION to make several candles at once. Two hands – dip one as the other cools. More than two candles! A cooling rack is required. This can be as simple as clothes pegs or a shelf or a coat hanger.

CUT THE WICK 1.5 cm above candle before lighting.

Simple Candles to Make; this section contains information on some simple methods of candle making.

Basics
Candle making, like cooking, can be very simple or as complex as you want to make it! Like cooking you need a few simple implements – pots or tins to melt the wax in, a thermometer, a tray to catch wax spills, knife and scissors, and some plastic containers for water baths. You don’t necessarily need a double boiler with water or oil in it as the wax will melt directly on a low flame. Don’t heat the wax over 90 degrees C or it might start to smoke. A fan to ventilate the room is also a good idea. You can get some recycled large metal tins from cafes, which are good, if you want to have a few different colours. These hold about 3 kg of wax each. A metal candy thermometer is the best type to use and these are available from catering stores.

Beeswax Candles
The simplest candles to make are rolled beeswax candles. Rolling a flat sheet of beeswax tightly around a wick makes these. It is important to make sure that the wick is firmly in place. Shorter candles can by made by folding the patterned sheets along a line and splitting them into thinner sheets. Rolling additional sheets around the candle until the desired size is reached can make thicker candles.

Dipped Candles
A dipped candle can be made by repeatedly dipping a piece of wick in wax until the wax builds up on the wick and a candle forms. Dipping it in water between wax dips thus cooling it can speed this up. Alternately, plain candles can be dipped in coloured and scented wax to change their appearance, or the wax can be dripped or splattered on for interesting effects. The extra wax on the outside of the candle will also increase the burning time.

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