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Candle Recipe

Wick Selection



Tint & Color


Basic Candle Making Supplies

Optional Supplies

Making Tapered Candles

Making Jar Candles


Decorating Candles

Some Sayings

The Candle - poem

Stencil Painting on Candles

The most important consideration in making candles is safety & fire prevention. Although candle making is safe when done correctly, it is hazardous when it is not.  Be sure to never put wax directly over an open flame.  Follow all instructions carefully, and read and follow any manufacturer's instructions.  Wear gloves to prevent burns.

Candle Recipe
Candles are often made with a mixture of ingredients, normally referred to as a recipe. As with cooking, accurately mix the formula.  Recipes can be found in candle-making books and on many websites.

Wick Selection
The proper size wick is determined by taking into consideration the wax formula as well as the candle's diameter.  Refer to the candle recipe or instructions.

Molds can be made or purchased. To make them, use household items (items that do not melt) or make the molds from clay or green ware.  Many craft stores sell candle molds, acrylic molds (expensive) and heavy plastic snap-together molds.

Use paraffin, beeswax, or canning wax. Never melt wax over an open flame or directly on top of a burner; instead use a double boiler, or create the same effect by putting a pot of water on the burner and put another pot (with the wax in it) on top of the water pot.  Wax is flammable, but it gives no warning before it bursts into flame.  It will flame just like a grease fire.  However when this method is used, the water pot should keep the wax from igniting. Never leave unattended wax on the burner.

Tint & Color
Candles can be tinted or colored with food coloring, crayon bits, or candle coloring (available at craft stores). Add the color after the wax has melted, and just before the candle is made.  The longer the colored wax is heated, the more the color will fade. There are some pre-colored waxes available, however, and those normally do not fade.  Candle glaze can be added for a glossy effect.

Add scents using herbs, essential oils, specialty candle scents, or simmering potpourri. Do not add anything that is alcohol-based or it will evaporate (or ignite) when it comes into contact with heat.

Basic Candle Making Supplies

Optional Supplies







sharp knife


wax (plain or pre-colored)

glass jar

double boiler or two pots

tape or glue

heavy object or drying frame

stearic acid 

mold (home made or purchased)

mold release

requires stove or heating element

candle glaze

wooden spoon/stirrer that will never be used for food

flowers or shells

candy thermometer or a specialty candle making thermometer

metal wick attacher

to color wax -- food coloring, crayon bits, or candle coloring

ribbons or fabric swatches

for scent -- herbs, essential oils, specialty candle
scents, or potpourri

temperature resistant ice tray

Making Tapered Candles
First, melt the wax in a taper mold.  Dip a wick in the melted wax briefly, to coat it. Let it dry, then place the wick quickly and smoothly into the wax, where it will stay. Remove candle and immediately dip it all the way into cool water and dry it off gently.

Repeat dipping into wax and then cold water. This will form a cone-shaped bottom on the candle; which will be cut off when candle is fully dry.  Repeat the candle dipping process until the candle is the desired thickness, then hang it to dry on a drying frame (or place the length of wick under a plate or heavy object).

Let dry for approximately 30 minutes.  Then trim the wick to size, and cut the conical bottom off with a sharp knife.  If the bottom is not level, just hold it to the bottom of a warm pan for just a few seconds, and let it melt until it is even. Continue to level the bottom by using more heat, or if necessary add wax as needed and use heat again.

Making Jar Candles
Melt wax and pour it into a glass jar which has been warmed by putting the jar in a pot of water and heating the water with the jars inside.  Leave on the burner until the water reaches the temperature of the wax, then carefully dry the jars -- they will be hot. Then pour the wax into the jar, carefully, evenly, and slowly.  Wear gloves to prevent burning. Let the wax dry about thirty minutes; as the wax dries, it will form a conical indentation in the top where it has shrunk; poke a small hole (with an ice pick, or something similar) in this depression and fill the depression to the top with wax.

Repeat until the wax dries level with the top of the candle. There are several ways to insert the wick: heat the ice pick, punch it through the candle and then insert the wick after the candle has dried, attach the wick to the bottom of the jar using either a metal wick attacher, or tape or glue it to the bottom, making sure the tape or glue doesn't react with hot wax, or pour a small layer of wax and insert bottom of the wick, suspending the wick from the top (tie the wick to a pencil and place pencil across the top of the jar to suspend wick). Let this layer dry thirty minutes to an hour, and then pour the rest of the candle. Let dry thoroughly.

Create small wax shapes of various colors (pour in pan and cut like brownies for squares, mold warm wax, break wax into bits, pour into temperature resistant ice tray) and arrange these in the mold, then pour clear/white wax over them to create a candle with multi-colored chunks inside. Flowers or shells can be arranged inside the mold.

Dip ribbon or fabric swatches into wax and stick it to the outside of candles that burn down on the inside and leave a wax shell on the outside (e.g., pillar candles or box candles).

For twisted tapers, mold warm wax with hands. Twist tapers after they have been dipped and are still warm.

For a sand candle, pour sand into bowl, make shapes in the sand, and pour the wax into the shape.  Depending on how hot the wax is, the sand may not stick, but if it doesn't, brush off all loose sand, re-warm the wax and try again.

For stripes of color, pour a layer of wax into jar or mold and let it dry 30 minutes.  For hazy color variations, allow less dry time.  Then pour another layer, and so on until the desired candle size has been reached.

To remove a candle from a jar (if desired), add a mold release to the wax or first coat the jar with a thin coat of oil (canola oil or peanut oil work well). Variation:  if the mold was purchased, it will typically have a place to insert the wick, and will include instructions.

Decorating Candles
These are very simple to make and there are several different options here.

Buy pretty napkins and tissue paper, then take the napkin apart (most have 3 layers).  Decide which parts of napkin and/or tissue paper you wish to use to decorate the candle, and cut or tear out that section.  Apply it to the candle with a light coat of Decoupage Glue.  Be careful because the top section of napkin is very thin and tears easily.  Optional:  add glitter when the Decoupage Glue is still wet (the glue dries clear) or sprinkle glitter onto double sided tape and apply the tape around the base of candle.  There's also a glitter tape that can be used around the candle at top, bottom, or where desired.

Anything with a sticky back can be added to the candle.  You can also stick old pierced earrings or pins into candles, which would be removed prior to burning.  This is a great use for the pair of earrings where one was lost and never found.  You can glue flat buttons onto candles, and if they have a shank merely snip it off first with wire snips.  Beautiful Victorian candles can be created by gluing lace, tissue paper and antique buttons to the candle.

To incorporate sayings or verses, just type out your poem or saying and attach with Aleene's tacky glue.  Glue on some sequin flowers.  Add a ribbon or raffia.  You're only limited by your imagination!

For candles wrapped with verses, print short sayings or verses on parchment or any thin, pretty paper.  Cut them into thin strips, wrap one around each candle, then tie with raffia. Ex: give a candle to a friend and when the friend is sad they can light the candle and think of you.

Some Sayings

 Light fades... Stars appear... Evening angels gather here.
One whose face gives light shall become a star.
When you are feeling sad or blue, light this and know that I love you.
When life throws fire at you, light one back at it!
Fire is a powerful thing, hope the fire of this candle gives you
You Light up my Life.
Our friendship glows as warm as this candle.
A flicker for your thoughts.
A candle will warm your heart and soothe your soul.
Take a candle break today.
A reflection of your thoughts, as you ponder the warm glow.
Y2K safety and security light.
Y2K emergency light.

More Sayings

Plus, there are many bible verses with the word light.  You can look them up in a Bible Glossary.  Or type out the Ten Commandments and affix to the candle, using one of the above techniques.   Wedding invitations can also be used for this.

And, for a Big Candle, a poem...  you may have seen another version of this poem

The Candle

A candle's but a simple thing,
it starts with just a bit of string.
When dipped and shaped with patient hand
it gathers wax around the band.
Until, complete with glowing light
it gives a warm and peaceful sight.

Our lives start out just like those strings.
Then we do good and simple things
for others who are on life's strand,
we work with patient heart and hand
to gather joy, make dark days bright,
and give at last a lovely light.

written by Jeanne

The paper and decorations would be removed before burning the candle, but most people would choose to keep it in its original condition and not burn it.  Plus, all of these ideas can be used on glass or other candle holders, and then the candle itself may be burned and refilled.

You can sprinkle glitter onto double sided tape and apply the tape around the base of candle.  There's also a glitter tape that can be used around the candle at top, bottom, both, or anywhere desired.  The same goes for stickers, in fact anything with a sticky back can be applied to candles.

Glue lace around the base of candle so that it sticks out around bottom edge, or glue the entire bottom of the candle directly onto the middle of a lace doily.

You can also stick old pierced earrings or lapel pins into candles, which would be kept that way for decorative use and then removed prior to burning.  This is a great use for the pair of earrings where one was lost and never found (if you ever find the other earring, remove the one from the candle... cause after all, a little wax never hurt anybody's ear).  [Bad joke I know, but I couldn't resist!!]

You can glue flat buttons onto candles, or if they have a shank merely snip it off first with wire snips (careful cause the shank may fly clear across the room when you do this).  There are probably hundreds of embellishments you can think of to make candles uniquely yours!

I've made Victorian Candles by gluing lace, pearls, Victorian tissue paper and antique buttons / jewelry to the candle, and they turn out great.   Plus, all of these ideas can be used on glass or other candle holders, and then the candle itself may be burned and refilled.

Stencil Painting on Candles
In preparation for painting, spray the candle (s) with matte acrylic sealer (any brand).  This should prevent any candle wax from disturbing the outside of candle, when candle is later used.

When sealer is fully dry (after 24 hours), apply stencil to outside of candle and trace lightly with a pencil or stylus inside all areas of the stencil design outline. This makes slight indentations into the wax.  If some indentations are not quite deep enough to see, repeat the process for those areas only.  Simple stencil designs without a lot of ornamentation work
best for beginners.

Remove stencil and paint all areas inside the indentations, being careful not to go "outside the lines."  Completely fill in with paint, using various colors to shade (freehanded) as desired. If in doubt about shading, just shade a thin line slightly below as well as to the right of main design with any medium dusty gray paint.

Two to three coats of paint may be needed, depending on color of candle and color of paints used.  After the paint is fully dry, add a coat or two of varnish to outside of candle, and let dry.  After 24 hours, your project is done.  There is no danger in lighting the candle, but remember that lighted candles should never be left unattended.



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