DIY: Candle Making
- thermometer - type used for jelly or candy making.
- double boiler - this can be a tall metal juice can in a pan of water, stove or hot plate.
- wax - good candle wax, often referred to as "145 melt point" - it is harder than kitchen paraffin and makes better candles..
- wicking - medium or fine-braided cotton wicking, purchased by the yard.
- sticks, pencils, or dowels for holding the wicks.
- sharp knife
- newspapers for the floor
- pot holders
- baking soda - for safety, have an open bowl of baking soda nearby; it can be used to extinguish fires in an emergency.
Break up the wax into fist size chunks, put them into the top pot of the double boiler over medium heat so that the water is boiling. It will take about 1/2 hour to melt the wax. When the wax is nearly melted, check the temperature. The wax should be 150 degrees. If it too hot, turn it off and wait for it to cool down.
While the wax is melting, measure out a piece of wick that is about the same length as your wax container. Add 2 inches to tie the knot. Tie each wick around a stick. You can put more than one wick on a stick as long as they fit in the pot without touching. **Caution: Remember that wax and fire are a potential hazard. don't overlook basic care and safety. Watch out for loose clothing. Keep pots firmly on the burners. Have potholders ready. You might like to know that wax at 150 degrees will not burn you but the hot water is a hazard. Throw baking soda on any drops near the stove or burner.
Dip the wick into the wax so that the wick, not the knot, is submerged. This is just a quick dip; take it right out and wait a few seconds for wax to harden. Dip again. For the first three or four dips the wick will be crooked and kinky. After about four dips, gently pull the wick straight. Be careful not to pull off the wax. After each dip now you should straighten the candle. In the beginning you can dip in fairly quick succession, but as the wax builds up, it retains heat and you must wait several minutes between each dip. A candle gets dipped about 20 times. You can judge for yourself if it is the right size if it looks like it will fit into a candle holder. When it is the right size, cut off the oddly shaped butt end with a knife and dip it once more into the wax. Let candles "cure" by hanging the sticks somewhere for an hour or so. Cut the candles from the sticks.