Candle Making – Hey Baby, Light My Fire!

Candle Making is a hobby that you can use to give that personal touch to that private candlelight dinner or your next party. Candles complete the dinner table, create a warm glow for the nighttime party while filling the room with a wonderful aroma. Experiment with colors and fragrances to create your own signature mood.

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Candles have been lighting our way for over 5,000 years now. Early candles were mostly made from tallow which was extracted from animal fat. The upper class used more expensive candles made from beeswax which when burned smelled much, much better than tallow. About 200 years ago, paraffin was invented which brought good quality candles to the masses. Of course, shortly after that gaslights and finally electric lighting reduced the use of candles to decorative uses.

Today, they are made from paraffin, vegetable waxes, beeswax, and gel waxes and sometimes mixtures of these. You can make them pretty much any shape, size, color and fragrance that suites your taste. There are elaborate molds that can be purchased or use something as simple as a paper cup!

As with most hobbies, you can get a kit for your first project which will have everything you need including easy to follow instructions. A typical candle making kit will include a starter supply of wax, wicks, a mold, thermometer, and in some cases a double boiler for melting your wax. Feel free to supply your own molds paper towel rollers, coffee cans, muffin tins, cupcake containers or basically anything that can stand the heat of melted wax. Dipping is another technique that you can try.

So, here are some of the items you will want for your first project:

Cooktop or hot plate

Double boiler


Wicks, pretabbed


Scent and color additives


Mold release agent like cooking oil

Make a Votive Candle

Here is a simple candle making project where you don't need a special mold. You can use those tiny little paper cups that most of us have in the bathroom for mouthwash. You start by melting your wax in a double boiler keeping the temperature to around 175 degrees F. Once the wax has melted completely, pour in your additives, first your coloring then smelly stuff. Give it a good mix, but be careful not to stir in any air bubbles as they may hang around and show up in your finished project. Give the little paper cups a light spray of cooking oil. Tie the end of each wick to a small stick, toothpick or anything that will bridge the top of the cup. Make sure the metal tab on the wick just touches the bottom of the cup. You are now ready to fill the cups with melted wax. Do this slowly so air bubbles don't form. Fill right to the top. You will want to save a small amount of wax to come back later and refill as the wax shrinks quite a bit. Cooling takes three to four hours. Remelt that bit of wax left and fill the little hole where the wax shrunk. When the wax has cooled completely you can slide them out of the cups or peel the cup off. Light them up!

Other descriptors include making a candle, make votive candles, parafin wax and find a hobby.

Safety Thoughts:

Please do not leave your wax unattended while melting. If it gets too hot it can cause a fire. Also, keep kids away as melted wax can cause serious burns if inadvertently spilled. Please be careful as I would hate to have this wonderful experience spoiled by an accident.

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