Making Your First Candle

An easy how-to guide for deliciously scented container candles

The trade of chandlery (candle-making) dates back thousands of years, when having a light source was a true necessity. Nowadays, although no longer a real necessity for the most part, there’s nothing quite like a beautifully scented candle dancing away while fresh citrus scents or warm sugary notes fill the air.

So how do you make your very own homemade container candle? Luckily for you, with this simple guide and step by step instructions, it won’t be hard at all!

Candle on dinner table

With any great project, it’s important to have all your candle-making supplies to hand. Before you start, make sure you have the following:

  • 220g Paraffin Wax – This is the traditional wax that’s been used for candle making for hundreds of years and the most popular type of wax. We’ve chosen it here simply because in our experience, it’s the easiest to use.
  • 30cl Candle Container
  • 12 to 22ml Fragrance Oil (of your choice)
  • Dye Chip (colour of your choice) – half of 1 of our diamond shaped dye chips would be perfect for this project
  • 200mm Candle Wick – A nice long wick can be trimmed at a later stage, but too short of a wick can lead to many issues. Always be safe rather than sorry!
  • Double boiler
  • Accessories – including a thermometer, spoon/spatula, pencils or wooden peg, wire rack (optional)

Now that you’ve got everything you need, let’s get started.

How to make your candle

Preparing your work station

To begin with, you’ll need a large, flat surface to work on. It would be advisable to cover the area with paper towels or a newspaper and move anything that you wouldn’t want any wax to land on.

Pro Tip: Usually, I also like to lay out all my equipment and tools (so that’s all of the above supplies) – this will be handy when you get further along in making your candles.

Melting the wax

Measure out the wax needed and melt it using your double boiler on medium heat– make sure you put enough water in the bottom pan. Gently and thoroughly stir the wax using your spatula. Also, use your thermometer to ensure the temperature of the mixture does not exceed between 76 to 81 degrees Celsius – if it does take the boiler off heat.

Pro Tip: Due to the nature of the wax, paraffin wax can be hard and may need to be broken down – it’s easiest to do this by applying pressure to it with a hammer and the pellets should easily come apart.

Adhesion of the wick

While your wax is melting, you can centre your wick in the glass container using an old candle makers tip. Quickly dip the bottom of the wick base into the melting wax and secure it in the centre of the glass container. Once the wax hardens, it should be set in place.

Centering a candle wick

Preheating Glass Containers

As the wax is melting, it’s a perfect opportunity to preheat your glass container – ensuring it is warm will allow for better side adhesion when your pour in the melted wax at a later stage.

Adding fragrance/dyes

Making sure the temperature of your mixture has not exceeded 80 degrees Celsius, add your fragrance oil and dye chip (if desired). If you don’t add a dye chip, the candle will be in its natural white colour.

Pouring & Securing the wick

After this, you should let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes – once it has got to approximately 65 degrees Celsius it’s ready for you to start pouring. Bear in mind although you have already adhered the wick to the container, the hot wax may cause it to melt and come loose.

Gently hold on to the wick, but don’t pull too hard on it. Once you’ve poured in the wax, you’ll need to secure the wick once again, as it could move position in the hot melted wax. Do this with a washing line peg or two pencils – sandwich the wick in the middle and allow the pencils or peg to lay across the top of the container.

Clothes peg wick center

Cooling

Now all you’ve got to do is sit and wait! You should allow the candle to cool for at least 4 hours in room temperature conditions on a wire rack preferably as this allows for uniform cooling – a baking wire rack will be perfect.

Pro Tip: Don’t force cool your candle in the fridge or freezer – doing so will lead you to having wet spots (this is when parts of your candle hasn’t adhered to the container) – it won’t look aesthetically pleasing to say the least!

Wire rack wax cooling

Trimming the wick

Finally, the last step is to trim your wick. Once your candle has cooled, trim your wick down so it is approx. ¼ inch.

Pro Tip: Don’t make it any longer as it will affect the burning quality of your candle.

And that’s it fellow crafters – your very first, home-made container candle made from scratch!

We would love to hear how you got on and see photographs of all your beautiful creations. If you had any trouble or need some expert help, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!