How Can You Make Candles At Home?

Making your own candles is a lot easier than you think and there is nothing like candles to bring warmth and light to a room. Candle making is an exciting craft that's easy to get started with, with just a few simple ingredients and some basic tools and equipment (that you probably have in your kitchen or garage) are all you need to begin making beautiful, fragrant candles.

Let's Get Started Making a Basic Container Candle

Setup for Container Candles
We're going to use a container candle "classic" - the jelly jar. For this project, you'll need:
·Containers of some sort - I'm using 8 oz. standard jelly jars from the grocery store
·A container blend wax - I'm using Astorlite J-50, but there are many great ones to choose from.
·Appropriate wick for your jar and wax - I'm using a 51-32-18z, zinc core wick (though there are several wicks you could use)
·Color and fragrance as desired
·Wick bars or a plastic straw to keep the wick centered
·Basic candle making equipment
·and a basic understanding of candle making safety.

Setting the Wick

Using a straw to hold the wick, dab a bit of hot glue onto the bottom of the wick tab and press it firmly into the center of your container.
It's important that it be centered well or the candle will not burn well.
You can also use the double-sided "glue dots" or "wick-stickums" - they work the same as the hot glue, but are easier.
Attach your wick bars, or plastic straws to keep the wicks centered.
Pre-heating the Jars

One thing that everyone who makes container candles in clear glass jars battles is "wet spots." They're actually not "wet", it's just a place where part of the wax has separated from the jar, and part is still sticking. There is no way to completely prevent them, but one way to minimize them is to pre-heat your jars. If you're just making one or two, you can zap them with the heat gun. If you're making more than that, just put the jars on a cookie sheet and place them into a lightly warm oven - about 150 degrees is just right - warm enough to heat the jars, cool enough to not melt the wicks.

Weigh the Wax

Weigh out the wax and melt it your melt pot.
If you need to figure out just how much wax you'll need for your particular container, use this Handy Container Calculator. Each of these 8 oz jelly jar candles took about 6.8 ounces of wax.
Heat the wax to about 180 degrees.
Add color and fragrance

When the wax is completely melted and reached 180 degrees, add your color and/or fragrance oil. I used a wax "chip" - it took one chip for each pound of wax, and I used about 1 oz. of fragrance oil per pound of wax.
Stir in both the color and fragrance well.
Let the wax cool down to about 150-160 degrees.
Pouring the Candles

Take the jars out of the oven.
Place them close together in a grouping on the counter. This helps the jars to cool more slowly - which also helps combat the "wet spots."
Slowly pour the wax into the jars. Be careful not to overfill them - and be sure to leave a little extra wax in case you need to do a second pour. (This will depend on your wax and temperatures.)
After pouring, make sure that all of your wicks are well centered.
Some candle makers put the candles in a shoe box (or the box the jars came in) to cool. (This works fine, but sometimes the wick bars can get in the way.)
Keeping them Warm

Let the candles cool slowly. You can wrap a towel around the group to help them cool more slowly. Be careful not to move your well-centered wicks.
Depending on how cool it is in your candle-making room, you may want to poke some relief holes near the wick once the top has cooled and formed a skin over the top. This will prevent your candle from having any air pockets. If you don't do a second pour, you can always smooth the tops of the candles by Topping Off with a Heat Gun.

Finished Container Candles

Once the candles are fully cooled - several hours/overnight - trim the wicks to about 1/4". Let the candles cure for a couple days before burning them to get the best scent throw and burning.