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The Basics of Candle Making: Hand Dipped Candles

Making candles is a great hobby or business endeavor. Once you get the hang of it, the process is quite simple. For those who have the basics down cold, consider experimenting with the art of making hand dipped candles. While these lovely creations take more time, they are stunning. You can use several colors on each candle giving it a unique color scheme.

Hand-dipped candles require very basic candle-making tools which, if you have experience making candles, you probably already have. You will need:

  • Paraffin wax
  • Wicks
  • A double boiler
  • Wooden spoons
  • Bowls
  • A high quality thermometer
  • Wax coloring (optional)- colors can come in chips, powder, or liquid
  • Oil scents (optional)- make sure the scents are pure oil and don’t have a water or alcohol base.

Begin by heating your wax until it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it does, turn the heat down very low to keep the wax in liquid form. Begin stirring in the coloring, slowly adding more until you reach your desired shade. If you’re making scented candles, mix the scent in now. Make sure to use these moderately so the smell isn’t overpowering. Using too much fragrance can also result in the candle not burning properly.

Next, trim the wicks, keeping them just a bit longer than the final height of the candle. If you are making a set of candles, it’s important to cut the wicks exactly the same length. Now dip the wicks into the wax, making sure to coat it evenly. This is how you’re going to ‘build’ your candle. After the wicks cool, dip them again, cool them, and repeat. As you progress, the candle will grow in size.

If you want multiple different colors in your candles, you need to have all of your colors ready at once. You’ll then go back and forth cooling and dipping into different colors. Once your candle is close to the desired thickness you want, shave the top with a soft blade to give the top a pointed look. Dip your candles a few more times to give them a smooth finish.

It’s important to note that this isn’t the best process for beginners to try and learn with. If you aren’t familiar with candlemaking already, it can become frustrating quickly. To practice without wasting supplies, melt down the candles as you finish making them and reuse the wax until you have the process perfected.

About the author

Michael B.

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