How do I get started making candles?
There are numerous candlemaking techniques that can be learned. When first starting out, we recommend learning the basics of container candle making before moving onto more difficult techniques. Learning basic container candle techniques allows you to focus on the procedure of candle making while improving your skills.
We have a wonderful candle making video that teaches you the basics of soy candle making, while giving you some helpful hints. From container candles to pillar candles, we also sell a wide variety of candle making kits. These kits come with instructions and the ingredients you need to learn the process of candle making. Be sure to look into the assortment of candle making books and DVDs we offer that demonstrate candlemaking instructions for beginning through advanced candle makers.
How much wax do I need to make the number of candles I want to make?
In order to determine how much wax you need to make a certain number of candles, it is important to know the following:
To determine how much wax a specific container or mold will hold, weigh the container/mold (write down that weight). Remove the container/mold from the scale and add water to the container/mold (when using a mold, be sure to securely plug the wick hole when doing this procedure). Place it back on the scale with the water in it (write down this weight). Now, subtract the first weight from the second weight. This number will tell you approximately how much wax you will need for that specific container/mold. Next, to determine how much wax you will need to make the number of candles you want to make, use the following example: You are using a container that holds 6oz. You would like to make 15 container candles using soy wax. Take the number of ounces your container holds and multiply it by the number of candles you want to make 6 x 15 = 90. This is the number of liquid ounces you will need (90oz). Now, divide that number of ounces by 18 (which is 1 pound of soy wax in liquid form) 90 / 18 = 5. This is the number of pounds of soy wax you will need to make 15 of your 6oz container candles.
Tip: Always figure a little high for your final measurement (it’s easier to have some left over than to try and match the same color)
How do you calculate the burn rate of a candle?
In order to calculate the approximate burn rate of a candle use the following procedure:
First, find out the weight of your wax. For a freestanding candle, simply put the candle on a scale and that is how many ounces the candle weighs. For a container candle, weigh the finished candle. Then, subtract the weight of the empty container from the weight of the finished candle. This is how many ounces the candle weighs. (For example, the finished container candle weighs 16.5oz. The empty container weighs 6.5oz. 16.5 – 6.5 = 10. The weight of the wax is 10oz.)
Next, burn the candle an hour for every inch of the diameter. Be sure to use the diameter of the widest part of the candle. (For example, if the diameter is 3.5 inches, burn the candle for 3 1/2 hours straight to get the most accurate assessment). Write down your beginning time and ending time. Using this burn method, a properly created candle will burn a full melt pool to the edges. If the melt pool reaches the edge sooner, then the wick might be too large for the candle. If a full melt pool is not formed, then the wick is probably too small. At the end of your first test burn, weigh your candle again (for a container candle, be sure to subtract the weight of the empty container from this new weight). Write down the weight of the wax after your test burn and the total minutes burned. Let the candle re-harden and then begin the procedure again. Once the candle has been burned three or four times this way, you’ll have a good idea of its burn time.
Note: The burn time won’t be accurate until you have burned several of the same candles all the way through. To get an estimated burn time from your 3-4 test burns, total your minutes burned. Now, subtract the ending weight from the beginning weight (this is the total ounces of wax that were lost from the beginning of the first burn to the end of the last burn). Divide the total minutes by the total ounces burned. For example, if you burned the candle a total of 720 minutes and you lost 0.5 ounces of weight in the candle, the candle burned 1 ounce every 1440 minutes (720 / 0.5 = 1440).
Next, take your answer and multiply it by the total weight of your wax from the beginning. 1440 x 10 = 14,400 The total minutes of burn time for this example candle would be 14,400 minutes. Divide 14,400 by 60 to get 240 hours of estimated burn time. Be sure to be accurate, keep good notes, and most importantly observe.
How do you make the perfect candle?
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the “perfect candle.” Candle making is an art. It takes time to test and refine candle making skills in order to achieve a beautiful candle that burns how you want it to, and, even then, no two candles will ever be identical. Given that you adequately research the products and the candle making steps, thoroughly test the items, and apply your own quality control procedures, you will be able to create and enjoy gorgeous, safe hand-made candles. If you do run into some problems, be sure to reference our candle making troubleshooting guide for assistance.
Can I use food coloring for my candles?
Food coloring will not work in candle making. Food colorings are water-based colors that will not mix with the wax. Instead, we recommend using Liquid Candle Dyes or Candle Color Dye Blocks. These colorants are oil-based and work great with many different waxes to create beautiful, long-lasting colors.
Can I use crayons to color my candles?
Crayons are not recommended for use in candle making. It is true that crayons are mostly dyed paraffin wax, but the other particles that make up a crayon could clog a wick, cause sputtering, or other numerous problems. When using a crayon to color a candle, you will not achieve the optimum burn. We recommend using liquid candle dye or candle dye blocks. These colorants have been specially created for the function of coloring candles, and they are ideal for creating a wide range of shades and colors.
What is the ideal burn pool depth of the wax as a candle is burning?
For container candles, the ideal burn pool depth to achieve is 1/4” to 1/2” within about 4-5 hours.
Can I use a Plastic Tealite Cup in my tart warmer?
Plastic tealite cups are made so that you can see the beautiful colored wax through the plastic. They are not to be used inside any enclosed holders such as tart warmers, tealite lamps, or tealite houses. The heat could build up and melt the plastic cup.
How long should you let a candle cure before burning it?
Candles should always be left to cure undisturbed at room temperature (about 70° F) for at least 24 hours before being lit. Candles should remain open during cooling. Larger candles may require longer times.
How long should you let a candle cure before shipping it?
Candles should always be left to cure undisturbed at room temperature (about 70° F) for about 4-7 days before shipping.
Can large candles such as a 12” x 12” be made?
Yes, an enormous candle such as that can be made. Pour the candle as you would normally. Due to the large size of the candle, you may have to do more than two pours. To find a wick, practice with some smaller candles first (this will save you time, money, and energy in the long run). Once you find a wick that gives you the burn, flame size, and quality you are looking for, measure the diameter of the burn pool for that wick. When you design the wick pattern of the large candle, overlap the burn pool diameters a tad to get an even burn. Be sure to leave about a half-inch wall on the candle as it burns down.