Lisa had the great idea to make some holiday candles for everyone. She gathered the supplies and recruited me to do the grunt work :).
My first tool is my trusty titanium spork, it works great for holding the wicks in place. The next picture is a small bag of store bought wicks, you will need longer ones to do full mason jars. I tried tying short ones together without much luck.
One always use a trusty roll of mustache tape. This works great for attaching the wicks to the sticks to keep them in place in the jars.
Then of course you need your wax, long sticks, dye’s and the clear little jar is the wonderful scent of Christmas.
The first thing we like to do is get the jars ready. We took the wick and inserted it into the jar, you can use a drop of hot wax to stick it to the bottom but we had better luck with just a dab of Elmer’s glue. We let it dry to the bottom, then taped the top of the wick (with mustache tape) to a small tick crossing the top of the jar. This will hold it in place while you pour in your hot wax.
The next step is melting the wax. Use a double boiler for doing this, we improvised and used a metal bowl in a little pan. When melting the wax it is best to have it in smaller chunks as it will melt faster. We used somewhat larger chunks and had to stir a bit more to get it all melted. The melting point of wax is 125 degrees, if you are going to pour into glass jars the best temperature is up to and around 150 degrees, for metal molds you should be around 180 to 200 degrees. Use a wax thermometer (not pictured in any of the pictures) to determine the right temperature.
Get your double boiler setup and add wax, stir it while it slowly melts. Remember working with this stuff is HOT and watch out not to directly inhale over the pot. Ventilate!!
As you can see by the pictures, we added the dye to the wax as it was melting. This worked great and it makes it very pretty to look at while you stir. Once you have a good amount of wax melted you can start to pour it into your mason jars or molds. But right before we take it to pour we added the scent and stirred a little.
Pouring is the most dangerous part in my opinion, it offers the most chance to make a giant mess, and get the crud burned out of you. Grip your hot pan with hot wax carefully, move over to your mason jars or molds and pour.
Having the wicks glued and taped in place keeps them in just the right spot as you pour. You might need to move them back to the center but the wax will still be liquid so it is not a problem. We melted enough wax for one pour at a time, but you could do many if you had a big enough double boiler setup.
Here they are, various colors of poured candles. You can see the rear ones are starting to dry, they will shift through various phases of color even appearing all white as they harden. Give them a good 24 hours sitting out to dry, make sure they are cool to the touch.
One thing we learned is that most store bought candles are poured from the bottom, this is because they tend to form a dip around the center when poured because of cooling. You can correct this in your candles by having a second small pour to fill in the dip, or sometimes it is not so bad and you can just leave it.
Next step decorate! Lisa decided to do some festive glitter and ribbon on the candles. These are cute and fun gifts, very easy to make and minimal cost.
Happy Candle Making!
Lisa & Joe
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