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KIM'S CANDLE MAKING PAGE




MATERIALS

Here are a few items you'll need to get started
-Coffee can
-Sauce pan that you can devote to candle making
-Molds
-Wicks
-A long metal spoon to stir the melted wax
-3" scotch tape
-1" scotch tape
-Scissors
-Wax
-Newspaper


Optional items
-Color chips
-Translucent powders
-Fragrance
-Hardeners
-Protective sprays
-Glitter


PREPARATION

Molds
There are a variety of molds you can buy at hobby stores or arts and crafts stores. Many are plastic with a tab for the wick to fit into and an opening on top to pour the wax. The candles are very easy to remove from this type of mold.

Home made molds
-Small milk containers
-boxes that bar soap comes in
-hostess cup cake containers
-toilet paper rolls
-muffin tins


If you are using a store bought mold follow the manufacturers instuctions. Usually, all you have to do is insert the wick and snap the two pieces of mold together. If you are making a homemade mold tape a piece of cotton twine (it doesn't have to be dipped in the wax first as mentioned below, but it is recommended) to the bottom of your container. You can support the wick by laying a pencil over the top of the mold and tying the wick to the pencil. If the mold has a bottom that isn't totally sealed (like a soap box), then use the 3" tape to tape up the bottom on outside of the box. If you use a toilet paper roll, use the 3" tape and seal up the bottom. Seal it real tight or it will leak.


Wicks
You can purchase wicks in an arts and craft store or make your own by using cotton twine like the kind you would tie a roast with. Just cut off the appropriate length, giving yourself a little extra, and when you melt your wax, dip the twine in and lie it flat on newspaper to dry. You will want to get a variety of thicknesses of wick. If you do a small votive candle you will want a thinner piece and if you do a large candle you'll want to use thicker wick.


Wax
You can purchase sheets of parafin wax at arts and crafts stores which is probably the best buy. I've found that using an oyster knife works best to break up the wax sheets. Start at the corner and do small pieces at a time.




GETTING STARTED

You first want to make a double boiler to melt the wax in. Don't microwave the wax because it can splatter and be very dangerous and also fade the color in the wax. Put about an inch of water in the bottom of your sauce pan and heat on low. Put your coffee can in the sauce pan and add the wax pieces.

Meanwhile, get some newspaper to put your prepared molds on (leaks and spills happen often). Once the wax is melted, you can pour it directly into the molds being careful to keep the wick straight. You can allow it to cool right on the newspaper or semi-cool on the newspaper for about 20 minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator. Don't put in the freezer though, or the candles will crack. Once the candles are cool to the touch you can take them out of their mold. If you are using store bought molds all you have to usually do is pull the two pieces apart and the candle will come right out. If you use homemade molds, peel the tape off first and then tear the molds away from the candle. They usually come out pretty easy.

The only thing left to do is trim the wick on the top of the candle (and the bottom if there is some extra sticking out).




VARIATIONS

Colorings
You can buy color chips at arts and crafts stores to add to the wax after it has melted. You have to experiment on how much to add, but a little goes a long ways, so start out with a little bit. I usually take the wax off the burner after it was melted before adding the coloring. If the wax gets too hot the color will fade.

Fragrance
You can buy fragrance at arts and crafts stores too. You can use the same kind used in making soap. I use the same procedure as with the colorings. After the wax has melted, remove the pan from the burner and then add the fragrance. Again, a little goes a long way.

Glitter
You can add glitter to the tops of the candles after pouring the wax into the molds. Wait about 20 seconds until a very thin layer forms over the top and then sprinkle it on lightly. Gold looks great...especially on Christmas candles.

Chunky Candles
You can create a great effect by making candles with chunks of wax. Just prepare your mold (including wick), and either cut up some old stick candles into about 1/2"-1" pieces or use small pieces of wax that you already have (great way to use up old candles). Place the pieces in the mold and pour melted wax over them until the mold is full. Using white/clear wax to pour over the chunks works best, so the colors show through.


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