How to Make Top Quality Candles

By Gary Fish
Customizing candles can make great holiday gifts for friends and family.

Candle making has been done throughout history from the earliest Qin Dynasty in China to present day. Candles first emerged as light sources and timing devices, but they are now are used more as decorative pieces in offices and homes. Today, more people are becoming interested in the hobby of candle making as a way to combat the ever-rising prices of manufactured candles. By making your own candles you can customize the scents and colors to your specific desires. Producing quality homemade candles can also help you start an at-home business if you are looking to supplement your income.

Making Top Quality Candles

Beeswax candles are the best choice for new candle makers to start with.

Decide whether you want to make your candle out of beeswax, gel wax, paraffin wax or soy wax. Beeswax is more commonly used because it is pollution free and has a neutral scent. Paraffin wax, although common, is not easy to work with when making candles.

Birthday candles have twisted wicks that burn faster and are not of a high quality.

Choose the wick for your candle. The wick you choose for your candle project is dependent on what type of candle you are making. There are four major types of wicks—flat, square, cored and special oil lamp wicks. To ensure you have a top-quality wick for your candle, choose a wick made of braided or knitted fiber, which makes for a slower-burning and longer-lasting candle.

Be creative when choosing fragrances to create quality candles.

Decide on candle fragrance and color. This is the step where customization really comes into play. If you are making candles for personal use you can choose to use more fragrance, but if you are making candles to sell for profit keep in mind that some people will not like an overpowering fragrance. Another point to keep in mind is that some fragrances add hues of color to the candle, which may eliminate your need to use candle wax dyes.

Jar candles are a popular mold variety for scented candles used in the home.

Purchase the molds for the candles. Molds can be purchased in a variety of shapes and sizes at most craft stores. Once you have been working with candles for a while you will be able to learn techniques for making your own custom molds at home.

Melting wax should be kept below 390 degrees or it can catch on fire.

Use melting equipment and a heating source to melt the wax for candle production. Professional wax melting tanks can be purchased at a craft and hobby store, but you can also use a metal coffee can in a double boiler on your stove and the results will be very similar.

The top-off process will ensure symetrical and professional candle production.

Place the wick in the mold and pour in the melted wax. Let the wax cool overnight to allow it to contract. The wax will slightly sink in the middle of the candle, so pour a small amount of left-over wax into the mold to top it off.

Tip

Experiment with different molds, colors and fragrances to construct the highest quality candle.

Warning

For the candle fragrance, never use more than about 2 1/2 ounces of scent by weight or you may find the scent overwhelming and undesirable.

About the Author

Gary Fish began writing in 1996 and has over 18 years of experience in computers and publishing. He has written for technology blogs and other editorial forums related to travel, culture and family. He earned his Microsoft-certified systems engineer accreditation through an independent-study program.