Candlemakers mold candles out of wax and wicks for personal enjoyment,
decoration around the home and gift giving. From photograph candles to Christmas
candles, there is a candle for just about any occasion or theme. And when
old candles become boring or visually dated, makers can simply recycle them.
Did you know that electric light is only about 100 or so years old? Prior
to that time, homes were lit by gas jets, oil lamps and, of course, candles.
Nowadays, the lighting of a candle usually signifies a special occasion
of some sort. But more and more people are finding out about the magic of
candles in everyday use, and some are even making candles at home themselves.
Candles are simple to make and require few special tools or materials.
They come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes and scents.
Besides creating light, candles also serve many purposes, including creating
atmosphere, celebrating a special occasion and decorating.
The first thing to learn about candle-making is that it should be fun.
The rules are made to be broken; failures aren't tragic and remember that
experimentation is a big part of the process.
You don't have to be overly creative either. Beth Lube is a novice candlemaker
who says she is not at all creative. "Candle-making gives me an outlet to
be creative without having talent. It's fun mixing the colors, using different
scents, and choosing different moulds."
Candles are usually made in one of three methods:
dipping wicks into melted wax again and again to make tapers.
rolling up beeswax sheets around a wick.
pouring melted wax into a mold with a wick in the center.
Of the three, rolling beeswax sheets is probably the easiest. Some people
find dipping too time consuming (and REALLY messy), but others enjoy the feeling
of really making the candles from scratch.
If your preference runs toward moulded candles, you can incorporate herbs,
oils, flower petals, metal stars or just about anything you can think of into
the candle itself. Also you have more options in color and scents with moulded
Besides getting to use your creative side, Lube finds making candles very
relaxing. "It takes away all your cares and worries."
People of all ages and abilities can make candles since it is easy, fun,
inexpensive and can be done anywhere. While some people may take a class to
get started, most just jump right in -- either by buying a kit from a craft
store or finding instructions in books or on the Internet.
Making candles is more than just having fun or relaxing. You are actually
creating something that is both useful and beautiful.
Beth Lube didn't expect to experience a thrill when she finished her first
moulded candle, but she did. "It was like I had created a baby all by myself.
I couldn't wait to see what it looked like."
One of the best things about candle-making is how inexpensive it is to
get started. You can buy a kit at most craft or department stores for around
$20, and even buying the individual items you need won't set you back that
|Beeswax||$1 per sheet|
|Paraffin wax||$12 to $20 per slab|
|Dye blocks||$1.15 to $1.55 per block|
|Scent||$3 to $7 per bottle|
|Wicking||$1.15 to $4 per five meters of wicking|
|Metal wick tabs||$1.30 to $2 per 20 pack|
Depending on the type of candles you want to make, these items will probably
get you started. Buy the cheapest supplies at first, until you become more
knowledgeable about candles and exactly what you want to make.
When you go to the craft store, ask lots of questions. They will be more
than happy to help, and may even have some free brochures with instructions.
And this recreation is only going to grow. More and more people are realizing
how important it is to create a positive living space and are using candles
to do just that. Many novice candlemakers have even turned their hobby into
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, you can start
out small by selling your candles at craft fairs or through word of mouth.
The best way to get started is to go out and buy a few supplies with some
friends, and then bring everything home and get creative. Remember, the best
thing about making candles is that if you don't like the finished product,
all you have to do is melt it down and start again!
If you still don't know where to start or where to get supplies, contact
the National Candle Association for a list of retailers who carry candle-making
supplies in your area.
National Candle Association
870-1030 15th St.
The Candle Cauldron
Candle-making info, tips, ideas and resources
Candle and Soap Making
Links to various candle- and soap-making sites
This site has step-by-step instructions for making all kinds