How To Make Scented Candles: Here's Why You Should Avoid Making Your Own
Candle making might not be as simple as you think. Learn more about the dos and don’ts of creating a DIY candle, as well as the potential dangers involved in the process.
When you think about comforting home decor, one of the first things that likely come to mind is candles. The way they smell, light up a room, or just set the mood is truly unmatched when it comes to creating a homey environment. The warm glow of a candle can really spruce up any space.
Choosing the right candle can be hard, which is why many people turn to trying to make them for themselves. While there are plenty of ways to make your own candles at home, they come with their own set of obstacles.
A Short Candle Making History
Candles have been around for a very long time—ancient civilizations used candles as a light source. They were made out of tallow, which is a form of fat that’s extracted from sheep and cattle. These types of candles burned very poorly and smelled pretty awful.
Much later, candles would be created using boiled cinnamon and yak butter to create a pleasant smelling candle. These kinds of candles were used for religious gatherings.
In the 18th century, people made candles out of whale oil. These types of candles were also unpleasant to smell, but they did the job.
During the 19th century, candles were made for industrial use. After the invention of the light bulb, candles were no longer needed as a source of light, so they became more of a luxury item. Now, there are much cleaner burning options for candles, such as soy, that have allowed candles to become so popular today.
The candle making process is quite complicated. It requires a lot of materials and extra time. Making a batch of candles takes about an hour (or longer, if anything goes wrong), and getting the correct results might not happen on your first attempt.
To begin, you’ll need:
- A vessel for the candle
- Wax flakes
- Hot glue
- A melting pot
- A mixing spoon
- A thermometer, paper towels
- Some kind of fragrance.
The types of materials that you use are up to you, but certain varieties and brands may work better than others.
Choosing A Vessel
There are a lot of containers that you can put a candle in. Some people like traditional candle containers, while others get a little more creative. You can use a drinking glass, a mug, or a mason jar. Just make sure that you pick a vessel that is safe for heat. You don’t want your candle to melt its container.
You should also make sure that the container you use won’t catch fire, leak, or crack. Sometimes porous materials like ceramic flower pots can soak up wax and cause a very large flame that can be dangerous. If your vessel leaks, it can cause a huge mess on your shelf or countertop that can also be a fire hazard.
You may also want to consider the shape of the vessel that you choose. If it is wider at the top, it will get hotter as it burns and may crack. If you want, you can recycle an old candle container and reuse it for this process. If there is any leftover wax, you can remove it by soaking the container in boiling water and wiping out the remaining wax.
Choosing A Wick
The wick you choose can determine the burn time of your candle and the fragrance throw. When you pick the correctly sized wick for your candle, the melting pool will extend to the edge of the container, and there will be almost no carbon build-up. The flame should also be about one inch tall and not flicker too excessively. The size of your wick should be based on the diameter of your vessel.
This part of the process may take a lot of trial and error. The only way to find the best wick is by testing each one out on a different candle and letting them burn. Once you find the wick that burns evenly in your container, you can continue making your candles with that type of wick.
Types Of Wax
The next factor to consider for your candle is the type of wax that you want to use. One of the most popular types is soy wax. This is a natural type of wax that is made from soybean oil. You can buy this kind of oil in many different forms. It’s non-toxic and is a clean-burning fuel source that is colorless. It generally makes for a more pure, clean burn.
Another common wax type is paraffin wax. This is the least expensive type of wax and is commonly used for taper candles. It is petroleum-based and made from decomposed plants.
The choice of wax is up to your personal feelings about scent throw and burn time. There are benefits to both types of waxes, and it ultimately comes down to preference.
It Takes Practice
Making your first candle might be exciting, but you may not be able to enjoy it for long. Even if you follow all the steps and do everything you’re supposed to, something can still turn out wrong. It might not burn properly, or it might overheat too quickly.
You may have to try several vessels, waxes, and wick combinations before perfecting your craft. This can be frustrating for people who are simply trying to save time and money on buying candles from professionals.
Not only can candle making be extremely messy, but it can also be dangerous. If you don’t follow all of the safety precautions when creating your candle, you could end up with a serious injury or a fire in your house.
You should always keep safety equipment within reach when making candles, such as baking soda and a dry chemical fire extinguisher. Make sure that you use pot holders or pliers when you are handling the hot materials. If you get any of the hot wax on your skin, wash your skin under cold water immediately.
Cleaning up your wax after making your candle is one of the greatest challenges. You might end up scraping hardened wax off your tables for a long time. Lay down protective surface covers before you start pouring wax.
Leave It To Us
Honestly, candle making might not be worth it in the end. There’s a lot of other things that you can spend your time doing that don’t require as much time and energy to perfect. Wicksly provides you with hand-poured elegant scents that are delivered to your door monthly. Our candles are 100% soy, non-toxic, and lead-free. They’re made with essential oils and have a 40 hour burn time. They are also crafted right here in the United States.
Here at Wicksly, we don’t believe that you should have to save up for a luxury candle experience. Life is short, and you should be able to enjoy amazing candles every day. Each candle that we make embodies elegance and simplicity all at once. The candle is only five ounces, but it lasts longer than any other candle its size because of the quality of the ingredients.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up for our subscription candle today to receive a new luxury scent at the beginning of every month.