A quintessential component of romantic dinners, taper candles are both beautiful and easy to make. While they do require some time and patience, the results are definitely worth the effort.
What you’ll need:
-Taper or pillar candle wax. Premixed wax is the easiest to use.
-Taper candle wicking
-An old wire coat hanger
-Heavy washers or nuts for weights
-Something to hang the dipping frames on. A dowel propped up on two large jars, a cupboard handle, anything that will be able to hold the candles while they cool.
-Melting pot or other tall metal pot for dipping
-Knitting needles, chopsticks, or a large spoon to stir the wax
-Candle dye chips or liquid candle dye (optional)
Gather your supplies and cover the area you’ll be working in with the newspaper. Add about 2″ of water to the old saucepan. This will be the bottom part of a double boiler. Put the saucepan on the stove and turn the heat on to high. Place wax chunks in the melting pot and place the melting pot in the saucepan. Remember that wax expands as it melts, so don’t add too much wax. Using a standard size melting pot, the finished tapers will measure about 4 inches high. If you’d like taller tapers, you’ll need to buy a taller pot or a taper dipping vat. Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the melting pot. Once the water in the saucepan begins to boil, turn the heat down to medium. Do not leave the wax unattended while it is melting.
While the wax is melting, prepare the dipping frames. Each frame will make two candles. Using wire cutter pliers, snip the coat hanger a few inches down on each side of the hook. Bend each side down to form an upside-down “U” shape with the hook in the middle. Use narrow-nosed pliers to bend a hook at each end of the wire. Cut the candle wicking to approximately two and a half times the length the finished candles will be. Tie a nut or washer to each end of the wicking. This is to hold the wick straight while dipping the candles. Loop the wicking over the two hooks in the dipping frame so that it hangs down evenly on either side. The dipping frames are now ready to be dipped!
Once the max has melted, it is ready to be colored if you’d like. Add a bit of solid candle dye or a couple drops of liquid and stir until the dye is well blended with the wax. Do not use crayons, food coloring, soap dye, or anything else that is not specifically approved for candlemaking. This could potentially cause problems with burning the candle, or even a fire hazard. Once the wax is the desired color, you’re ready to get dipping!
Wax temperature is extremely important when dipping taper candles. The temperature should be between 150 and 155 degrees while dipping. Any hotter and the wax will not accumulate properly on the wick. Any colder, and you’ll end up with cold pour lines on the finished candle. Each time you dip, check the thermometer to be sure the temperature is between 150 and 155 degrees.
Take the dipping frame, and in one fluid motion, dip it into the wax and hold it there for a minute or so. This will allow the wax to saturate the wick. Remove from the wax and hang the frame to cool for a couple of minutes, until the wax is dry. If you’re dipping multiple frames, dip them one at a time and hang to dry. After the wax is dry, dip the frame again, but this time doesn’t hold it in the wax–just dip and remove. Try to dip to the same spot on the wick every time. The tapered shape will develop naturally over time.
Once the candle is the desired width at the base, hang the frames and let the candles cool completely. Use the craft knife to cut the weights off the bottom. Drop the washers into the melting pot to melt the wax off them, and they can be reused the next time. If you’d like a more finished, rounded look on the bottoms of the candles, dip them a few more times. If you’d like a shinier finish on your finished candles, dip them in cool water after the final wax dip. Cut the candles apart and trim the wicks to about 1/4 inch before burning.
That’s all there is to it! Now you have your own beautiful hand-made taper candles to use for your next romantic dinner. I hope you had fun, and best of luck with all your candle making endeavors.That’s all there