Making your own candles is a wonderful endeavor. My favorites are the multi-colored, layered candles. They take a little more time than your basic one-color candles, but the end result is spectacular and well worth the extra effort.
As always, there are certain safety measures you need to take when working with hot wax. Wax can catch fire when heated at high temperatures. It is advisable to use a medium-low flame when melting your wax. Using a double boiler also helps reduce the risk of overheating. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can place your wax in a metal can and set it into a pot of water. This works as a great substitute.
The materials you need for your candle include wax, wick, something to melt the wax in, molds, and a stick or pencil to keep the wick standing until the candle is made. You may also want essential oil for scent and you will need candle dye, which can be found at most craft stores. You will most likely have a choice between two kinds of wax and three-wick styles. There are more than this, but these are the most popular.
Beeswax is the more expensive of the two waxes. It burns slower and, therefore, any candles made with it last longer. The odor is a pleasant honey scent that requires no additional scents added. Beeswax is difficult to remove from molds and you will need to add stearin, a binder, to it. This wax is completely natural.
Paraffin wax is inexpensive and accepts both scents and colors well. It releases easily from molds. Candles made from paraffin will burn more quickly than those made of beeswax. It is also likely you will need to add a bit of stearin to this wax to make it sturdier.
Wicks come ready made and are generally one of three types: flat braided, square braided or wire core. The choice is yours, depending on the size of candle you will be making. You will need to prime your wick before using it. This process consists simply of dipping your wick into melted wax and allowing it to dry. This helps the wick burn better and stiffens it, which makes working with the wick easier.
Your materials are gathered and you have chosen which wax and wick you are going to use. You have also primed your wick. Now it is time to create your candle. The first thing to do is attach your wick to a pencil or other stick and place it in the center of your mold.
Next, divide your wax into portions equal to the number of colors you want to use. You will need to prepare each color separately. Place candle dye and one portion of wax in your pan and melt it slowly. Candle dyes will naturally spread evenly through your wax. It must be noted that colors tend to fade once the wax hardens; make sure you have enough color to compensate for this. If you are adding scent, do so at this point.
Once the wax is ready to be poured, very gently pour it into your mold. Be careful not to get any on the sides of the mold as they will taint future layers. Let this layer sit until a skin forms across the top and it feels rubbery to the touch. Then repeat the above procedure with each of your other colors. If you pour new layers before they are hot enough, white lines may appear where the colors merge. Make sure you don’t hurry the process to keep this from ruining your candle.
Once your final layer has been poured, place your candle into a bowl of cold water to cool it completely. It is important that you do this only after the last color is added. Doing so sooner will cause the layers to separate. Once your candle has completely cooled, it is time to unmold it. Should this prove to be difficult, place your candle in the freezer for ten minutes. This will cause the wax to shrink and make it easier to take out of the mold.
You have just made your first multi-colored, layered candle. These make such wonderful gifts for most events and are a beautiful addition to any room. Enjoy your creation.You have just made