What do I need to start making candles? | Valley Candles
Candles are a great way to bring light and fragrance into a room, and making them yourself is a fun craft project.
I remember when I first started being interested in candle making and had no idea where to start. At first I thought all I needed was some wax, wicks and jars but then found out how in depth and complicated candle making truly is!
Below we will be discussing in depth about the items you will need:
There are hundreds of different waxes on the market and more constantly coming out.
Some of the most commonly used are paraffin, soy, coconut and beeswax. Each of these waxes come with their pros and cons but ultimately after some trial and error, you'll be able to find the right one for you. We recommend that you buy a sample of a few different types to see what works for you. For us at Valley Candles, we prefer soy wax as it is eco friendly and easy to work with.
The first thing I want to say about picking a jar, is that you need to make sure it's safe for burning a candle in. Some jars and containers aren't made to hold the heat and can shatter or split, therefore causing a major fire hazard.
There's so many nifty jars and tins going around that you are spoilt with choice. Click here to check out some jars from an Australian Candle Supply company.
We recommend that you get a lid or dust protector for your jar so you can protect the wax from dust and other debris.
Once you have picked the right jar, it is then time to pick the right wick. Basically if you pick the wrong wick size, you're potentially not going to get the most from you candle. Nowadays, most candle supply companies will give you a rough guide on their page.
Clicking this page here will show you a very detailed chart on picking the right wick.
This is absolutely my favourite part of candle making, picking an amazing scent to work with.
Some of my personal favourite are Champagne and Strawberries, Watermelon lollypop and Banana Milkshake (as you can see, I love fruity scents)!
Check out the link here to browse Eroma's range of fragrances, I personally believe they have the best quality and prices for fragrance oils in Australia.
You will need an adhesive to stick the wick to the centre of the jar. For this you have three options, either a hot glue gun, wickums (double sided sticker) or a high temperature glue. All of these options work extremely well and it just depends on your preference. We prefer to use wickums as it is easy, no mess and no fuss.
Some people will recommend dipping your wick in hot wax and sticking that down in the jar, please do not do this as the wick will eventually fall over in the jar and therefore create a fire hazard.
The best way to centre a wick while it is cooling is to use a wick holder. A wick holder can be as simple as a pop stick with a hole cut out in the centre or you can buy speciality made ones out of metal.
The scales don't have to be anything fancy but they do need to be accurate. We like to use digital scales as it gives us an easy to read measurement.
A candy thermometer or a bbq thermometer do the trick very well, they're also the most affordable option. Some people like to use digital thermometers too, just make sure that you thoroughly stir the wax before you measure the temperature as a digital thermometer only measures the surface layer.
There are two options for you when it comes to colouring your candles, either chips/blocks or liquid dyes. Please only use dyes made for candles as other types of dyes can clog the wick causing an ineffective burn.
Pots, containers and pitchers
A metal pitcher is typically used to melt the wax in. Many people use the double boiler method by filling a large saucepan half full with water and heating it on the stove and then putting the pitcher in to gently heat up the wax.
A small container is usually used to measure out the amount of fragrance oil.
All you need is something basic that can take the heat.
You may give out these candles as gifts for friends and family, please make sure you put warning labels on the bottom.
Making candles can sometimes be a messy task. For cleaning, we like to use paper towel and rubbing alcohol.
We hope that this article has given you a better understanding of all the tools you need in order to make candles. Please be on the look out for our next article where we will be discussing how to make a standard container candle using soy wax!
From the Valley Candles team