Candles can help create the right mood or fill the room with a wonderful aroma. And to be honest, who doesn’t like them? The problem is that most candles are horrendously overpriced. The good news is that they’re incredibly easy to make yourself on a budget!
First, let’s start with what we’re going to make the candles in! At AK Studios we focus on sustainability, so we think this is a perfect opportunity to reuse things that are already in your house! Mason jars, cut wine bottles, beer bottles, a jam jar—the list goes on and on. However, all you really need is a heat resistant vessel to put your wax and wick into. Ceramics, steel, or glass will all work just fine.
wax and wicks
Next you need to gather your supplies. There’s plenty of wax and wick kits online. You’re going to want to use soy wax as a natural neutral base. The brand really doesn’t matter. If you opt for Beeswax, you’ll be getting a wax with some natural fragrance, which is totally fine. Pick whichever one suits your needs and the candle you’re trying to make. Some of these kits come with a thermometer, which is certainly helpful and I would recommend using, but you don’t need one to make candles.
You’re going to need something to melt the wax in, if you have an old pot laying around this could be a perfect new life for it, otherwise you can pick up something cheap like this online. When melting wax, you’re going to want make a double boiler of some sort. All this means is you’ll be melting your wax in a pot that’s sitting in another pot of boiling water- not directly over the stove. Regardless of what you choose to melt the wax in you’re going to need a big pot to put it and the water into.
The last thing you’ll need it a scent! You’ll want to buy some fragrance oils online to get a good base start, but don’t feel afraid to try putting other ingredients into your candle wax as well such as orange peels, honey, cinnamon etc. The beauty of making your own candles is that you can experiment. Try small batches and then work up from there. We recommend getting a notebook and measuring out how much and what kind of fragrance you’re putting into the candles; this will help you out a ton when you’re doing your second round of candle creation.
Now, on to making your candles. First, you’re going to want to start melting your wax— again, use a double boiler. You want the wax melted, but not smoking. If you’re using a thermometer, look up what temperature works best for the wax you've purchased. Next, you’re going to want to prepare your containers for the candles. To do this you’re going to dip one end of the wick into the wax and then adhere it to the bottom of your container make sure the wick is longer than you need— you’ll trim it down later. If you’re having a hard time getting the wicks to stand tall, try putting a pencil across the lid and attaching the wick to the pencil. Once all your wax is melted, you’re going to want to add your fragrances and thoroughly stir them into the wax so that the smell is spread throughout the entire life of the candle. Now, to pour the wax into the containers. Make sure your work area is clean and has some protection down. Newspaper works great for this. BE CAREFUL, you’re pouring hot wax into (typically) small containers! You do not want to spill or get any hot wax on yourself. This can cause pretty bad burns, so again, be careful. Having everything clean and ready for the pour makes it much safer! Remember, prior planning prevents piss-poor performance!
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After you’ve poured your candles let them cool off. Then, trim the wicks and you’re ready to go. Homemade candles are not only cheaper than off the shelf, but customizable to your preferences. So experiment!
Hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial!