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Make Your Own Candles

Published: October 20, 2009

Turn an ordinary gift into a sentimental one by making it yourself or with your family.

Candle wax, wicks, and molds are available to purchase individually or in complete kits at most local craft and hobby stores.

Candle wax, wicks, and molds are available to purchase individually or in complete kits at most craft stores.

Handmade Votive Candles

Materials*:

  • 1 pound premium candle wax
  • Metal votive mold(s) (make sure they are clean of any dust and wax residue)
  • Candle scent (we used vanilla)
  • Pouring container
  • Wood dowel (for stirring)
  • Candle thermometer
  • Wax dye
  • 3 3-inch pre-waxed wicking with clip

Before beginning, place newspaper or wax paper on work surfaces.

Set up the votive molds on the work surface, placing them 2 to 3 inches apart.

A double boiler and wax thermometer is used to heat wax to 200 degrees. Wax is combustible at high heat, even in the absence of open flames. Do not leave heating wax unattended.

A double boiler and wax thermometer is used to heat wax to 200 F. Wax is combustible at high heat, even in the absence of open flames. Do not leave heating wax unattended.

If wax is a slab block, use hammer to carefully break wax slab into smaller chunks. Melt wax over double boiler using thermometer to gauge when temperature reaches 200 F. At this stage, add the candle dye. (You can also melt a piece of crayon, 1/4- to 1/2-inch long, into wax until desired color is reached.) Then add candle scent until desired intensity is reached. If you are using scented shavings, stir until completely dissolved. Make sure wax is 190 to 200 F and pour into votive molds. Let stand for 5 minutes. Insert pre-wicked clips into molds and let cool. If after 20 to 30 minutes an air pocket has formed, use a pencil to poke holes on either side of the wick. Refill the holes with wax at the same temperature of the first pour. Let cool for several hours.

When cool, remove from the mold using the wick to gently pull the votive out. Trim the wick to leave 1/4 inch at top and place into a votive holder.

* Materials are available at major craft stores. We recommend beginning with a candle-making kit that includes all of the above materials. Kits cost between $25 and $35.

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