100 Days of Useful Homesteading Skills: Day 23 – Make Candles

light-glowing-group-night-dark-celebration-1002115-pxhere.comCandles are easy to make. They can save you money and you can make use of old, odd bits of candles that you would have otherwise thrown away. They also make great gifts for your family and friends.

One of my favorite things to do is pick up candles from thrift stores and yard sales for very little money and refashion them into something more attractive. Just make sure you don’t mind the smell of the candle you buy because that can rarely be masked.

There are two basic methods for making candles dipping and molding. Both are pretty easy, though molded candles are easier and less time-consuming in my opinion than dipped candles.

There is a third method that can be used with sheets of beeswax, rolling. In this method, a wick is rolled inside a sheet of beeswax until the sheet is completely rolled up. This is very simple but also very expensive.

Dipped candles are made by dipping the wick in hot wax and allowing the wax to partially cool before redipping it. This is done repeatedly until the desired thickness is achieved.

Molded candles are often made in jars or sometimes specific shapes. The wick is secured to the bottom of the mold and tied off to something suspended above the mold opening. Hot wax is poured into the opening and allowed to cool. The wick is then trimmed to length. If the mold is sprayed with a release agent, the candle can then be released from the mold. This is our preferred method.

You will need:

  1. Cardboard, newspapers, or old towels
  2. Hot soapy water
  3. Jars or molds
  4. A spray release agents if you plan to remove the candles from the molds
  5. Fragrances or dyes
  6. Wax
  7. Wicks
  8. A double boiler

This process can become very messy so we advise that you put down cardboard, a thick layer of newspapers, or old towels in the area you will be working. Warm soapy water is also handy for cleaning up spills.

Prepare your double boiler with water in the lower half and begin shaving your wax into smaller pieces. It will melt more quickly and evenly if it is cut up into smaller bits. If it is already scented, you may not want to add scent, it might not turn out well.

Add the wax to the top of the double boiler and allow it to begin melting. Affix the wicks to the bottom of the jars with a drop of melted wax and tie off the top of the wick to a pencil or other small, thin object to keep it in place above the jar. When the wax has completely melted, pour it carefully around the pencil into the jar.

Allow the wax to set for 5-6 hours. Remove the pencil and trim the wick to 1/4 inch.

Have you ever made a candle? If not, this is the perfect season to do it, show us your results.

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