Candle Making Might be a Science

Monday, November 24, 2014

If y'all know me in real life, you know I have a true candle obsessions. Like 6 candles sitting in my nightstand drawer kind of obsession. How long it will take me to burn those 6 candles, I'm not sure, but I have them for every season!

Let's start at the beginning, okay?! One night about three years ago, I was having an average night browsing on Pinterest and saw a post about making emergency candles. I thought it was a really neat and practical idea, so I pinned it. Every so often I would come back to the idea of making candles, more just for fun and to smell good rather than for light in case of an emergency.

Okay, fast forward to this past summer. In August, I asked Suzzy Q if she wanted to make candles with me. (She didn't know my obsession!) So we bought 10 pounds of wax, 4 containers of 4 oz fragrances (Apple Harvest, Cinnamon Chai, Blue Spruce and Christmas Hearth), plus because we spent so much money, we got a free 1 oz fragrance of our choice. I stocked up on mason jars when they went on sale and we were set.

I mentioned this was a learning experience. And I want to make sure I say this was a learning experience because this is not really a tutorial... no DIY here, candle making might just be a science. Suzzy Q and I found many blogs and articles that made this stuff look easy. And if you know what you are doing, it might be really easy. But we just aren't there yet.

So the beginning went pretty well. We measured out our 4 pounds of wax to go with the 4 oz of Christmas Hearth we had. Heck, even melting the wax went pretty well, until we realized we didn't want to use regular utensils to stir the wax because we'd have to eat off of them later. So blue plastic knives it was. And a warning to all of those reading who think blue plastic knives are a good idea. The wax melts at around 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Blue plastic knives will also melt around that temperature. Do not leave the knife in the wax or your blue plastic knife will turn out like ours! 

Okay, so we melted our wax, heated it to approximately 185 degrees F and took it off the heat. That was easy. Whew! Adding the fragrance was also pretty easy.

But getting the wick to stick down in the bottom of the jar... not so easy. The first time we tried getting it to stick with wax. Not the brightest idea because if wax melts at 110 degrees and you pour 180 degree wax on top of the wax holding the wick, it will just melt. So next we tried a cool temp glue gun. Guess the cool temp melts less than 110 degrees as well. Finally I pulled out the big dog and got the super duty hot glue gun to hold the wick in place while pouring the wax into the jars.  

I think our final lesson of the day was to be patient. Even though it seems like it will take forever for the candles to solidify, don't put them outside in 40 degree weather. They will get little air pockets and end up with holes in them. We made that mistake not once but twice. Finally for the 3rd scent, we learned out lesson!

Also things they didn't tell you in the DIY candle making on the internet...

1. How to clean up your pots and other materials used

Answer: If the wax is still in a semi-liquid state, take a paper towel and wipe it out. If the wax is a full solid turn the oven on to a low temperature (about 200) and place your pot upside down on a paper towel lined cookie sheet.

 2. I cleaned up the wax from my pot, but it still smells like my first fragrance.

Answer: Now that you've got most of your wax out of the pot, you should be okay to wash it with your normal dish detergent without harming your kitchen drain/pipes or harming your sewage system.

I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting some other fun things we learned in this first candle making adventure, but it sure was a fun day. Here are some of the random pictures we took during candle making...

Stirring the wax as it melts (with famous melting blue plastic knife)

Pouring Cinnamon Chai scented wax into jars

Wax starting to solidify before we took them outside

Trying to figure out the best way to get the wax around the 3 wicks
I'm hoping our second adventure will go better and we can make beautiful candles for gifts and maybe even to sell!


  1. People don't realize how difficult making candles can be, even though it is fun. :)

  2. My aunt and I always made candles! We would find the neatest containers to pour them in! One trick is to tie the wick to something like a wick or popsicle stick and set it on top of the candle so that it stays in place while cooling! These look amazing! I bet they smell great!