Instructions for candle making
A few kitchen utensils, various colored packages of glitter and a few pieces of brick-a-brac will also be helpful.
Note: A good quality wick can be made from bricklayers or carpenter chalk-line, available at most home improvement stores. A braided cotton cord will work just as well or simply purchase ready made wicks at the craft supplies store.
After you have decided on your wick material, soak it for about 10 hours in a solution of one tablespoon of salt, two tablespoons of borax and a cup of water. (Skip this step for ready made wicks and follow package instruction if any). Remove the wick and allow it to dry overnight.
Before you pour the melted wax into the mold, tie a washer to the bottom end of the wick and tie the top to the center of a clothespin or pencil. Place the wick in the mold, with the end tied to the pencil across the top. Almost anything can be used to mold candles. For tall cylindrical shapes, with a diameter of about 2 1/2", best results are obtained by taping two empty 12 ounce frozen orange juice cans end to end. Cut out both ends of one of the cans.
Cardboard milk cartons, ice cream or cottage cheese containers also work well. A kitchen funnel or Jello mold may also be used.
Adhesive tape or electricians tape work best for fastening the cans together. Go around the joint several time to make sure it's tightly sealed, keeping it straight.
Remember, the solidified wax must come out of the mold in one piece. Hot water poured over the mold is a great help here.
When melting wax, use caution because it is flammable. This is where the double boiler or one pot placed inside another is used.
Heat the water in the bottom pot until it boils. Place the wax in the top pot. Meanwhile, place the mold in a shallow pan of cold water, melt the wax, cut small pieces of colored wax crayon, add, and stir carefully. Add crayon until the wax color becomes darker than desired. Do not use vegetable dyes.
Remember to protect your clothing and work surfaces. Wear an apron or old clothing and cover all work surfaces with newspapers. Wax drippings can be scraped up and remelted.
Before pouring, "It's a good idea to let the wax cool until a thin skin has formed. Then place back over the hot water and stir until evenly melted."
While pouring the wax into a deep mold, avoid allowing the stream of wax to fall freely for a distance greater than several inches. Pour down against the side of the mold or down a rod or stick. This prevents the wax from frothing and forming bubbles which may deface the candle surface. Allow the mold to cool overnight before removing the candle.
If you work near the kitchen sink, be very careful to prevent the wax from running into the drain and clogging it.
After the mold has cooled, a slight depression or concave area may form around the wick center. This may be corrected by pouring a little more wax in the center.
Now you are ready for the part of candle making that's probably the most artistic and most fun - decorating. Here's where you can display your artistic talent and creativity. Basically, there are six methods you can use to achieve striking effects.
Whipping, that is giving the wax a frosty snow-like appearance, produces a unique effect. First melt the wax as you would for a mold. Then allow to cool until a thin film forms. The cooling period is hastened if you set the pan in cold water. Whip with an egg beater or electric mixer being sure to start on a slow speed. Beat the wax until it becomes fluffy like cake frosting.
Quickly apply the warm whipped wax to the candle with a fork, knife or spatula while the wax is soft and pliable.
Glitter and sequins can be applied to the wax while it is warm. Sprinkle glitter generously and evenly over the surface for an eye-catching result. Sequins can be placed after the wax has cooled if a straight pin is used.
A drip effect can be obtained by placing the candle upright in a large pan. Spoon small amounts of wax, cooled to the point where a film has formed on the top. Work on all sides simultaneously, moving from one side to another.
Painting with colored wax also gives outstanding results. White candles may be colored on the surface by painting them with colored wax with the use of a paint or pastry brush.
Wax can be carved with common household utensils. Flower petals and other decorations can be molded from soft wax with the fingers.
To make wax figures to apply on the candle, pour a 1/8" layer of wax into a shallow greased pan. When the wax becomes solid, but is still soft and warm, cut the shapes with a knife or cookie cutter. Then press them on the candle while still warm. The pan of wax can be kept warm by placing it in warm water.
Attractive multi-colored candles can be made by pouring various colored layers of wax about one inch deep. Alternate the colors, allowing them to solidify completely before adding the next color.
A more attractive but difficult candle mold is the hearth log.
To make the log, three pounds of wax, brown or tan wax crayons, a small paint brush, evergreens or similar plastic trim are required. Also needed are three eight-inch candles, glitter and glue, and a one-quart empty juice can.
Melt the wax and add color as before. Cut the top from the juice can and pour the melted wax into the can, allowing it to harden before removal.
A realistic log effect can be created by cutting uneven grooves in all sides of the wax log with a knife. To insert the candles, cut three holes in the top of the log, cutting them to different lengths if a tapered effect is desired.
After the candles are in place, pour melted wax around the candles to hold them in place. Using leftover reheated wax, paint the log surface with a small paint brush. Then add suitable trim or decorations.
An unusual flowervine or grapevine effect can be achieved by forming a tall cylindrical mold. For special effects, mount small plastic pieces of fruit and, flowers, or bees and butter-files.
This candle requires about two pounds of wax, glitter and cement, ornamentation items, four one and a half-inch pieces of wire and pliers.
Bend the four pieces of wire into a horseshoe shape. Hold the bent wires with the pliers, heat and stick the hot wire into the candle. Then secure your ornamentation to the wire. Add frosting, glitter or other bric-a-brac.
When making a pair of candles or several pairs, it is advisable to pour the wax molds at the same time so that the shade of color will match.
A snowball can be made by molding two tea cup hemispheres together. Place the wick, long enough to extend through both sides, in one cup. After both have cooled, use a knife to go around the edge and extricate the mold.
After you have put a hole through the other half for the wick and put the wick through, use melted wax to mold them together. Then cover the outside of the ball with warm wax and mold just as if you were making a snowball. When completed, cover with whipped wax for frosty effect. Level the bottom to prevent rolling.
An extremely realistic chimney can be made by using a one-quart milk carton. After you have removed the wax mold, paint or dip the mold into red wax. Repeat this until you have a layer about a sixteenth or eighth inch thick.
When the coating of red wax has hardened, add whipped wax to the top and corners to give it that new fallen look, then, using the sharp end of a can opener, cut in the lines to give the chimney the "pointed out" look. A better pointed out effect can be made by adding white crayon to the wax mold. This accentuates the white cutaway sections.
A drum can be made from molding a cottage cheese container. Color it blue or red. Then cut out white wax strips to trim it with.
Cleaning pots used in melting wax is done by heating the pot and pouring the excess wax into the garbage. Then wipe well with a paper towel until all the wax is gone. Complete the cleaning in hot soapy water.
Remember to store your candles in a cool place such as the basement of your home. Avoid attic storage because of increased heat. Enjoy!