Candle crafts | Creative candle making ideas    

Get Crafty! Make Your own
Candles for Centerpieces

Get creative with waxes, and moulds, and watch your own unique candle creations take shape before your eyes. Great fun, (once you've overcome those first anxieties, and uncertainties, of course!)

Rediscover this childlike wonder, while you learn how to mould, or shape by hand, the candles and wax decorations, forming the elements of a centerpiece.

The lessons range from the fairly challenging, to advanced. Pictures illustrate the various stages of these homemade candle ideas. Step-by-step tutorials help you avoid the frustrating, and time-consuming, pitfalls particular to the techniques.

You need no fancy equipment to complete these projects, and can make all of the candles at home, in your kitchen, using a simple double-boiler as a melting pot. Recommended: a knowledge of basic candlemaking skills.

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The Basic Candle Making Procedures, and Wax Mixtures used:

For moulded candles: 90% paraffin wax and 10% stearin. If paraffin wax isn't your thing, use the wax you prefer, to mold your candles with.

Figuring out how much wax to melt: fill the mould with water. Pour the water into a measuring jug. Take 90% of that figure to convert to the gram weight needed for the candle. E.g., the water measured 300ml (½pint). Use 270g (0.594lb) wax.

Overdipping waxes: these are localized and particular to a region. I used pure stearin to overdip some candles. A mixture giving a strong, even coating, was used for vividly coloured candles. Use your favourite waxes. Or your wax supplier's recommendations. You probably have mixtures in your area I don't have in mine, and vice versa. For clear, glossy overdips, use fully-refined paraffin wax, or any suitable glossy sealer wax.

Water baths give your candles a better finish. There'll be less wax residue for you to clean from the inside of the mould, and you'll have glossier, shinier candles.

Use a bucket for tall candles, and any kitchen dish or bowl for shorter, flatter candles.

Before pouring the candle: lower the prepared, (water-proof) mould into the water, and make sure that the water-level is almost up to the mould top.

Ideal water temperature: 10-15°C (50-59°F). In summer, ordinary tap water's fine. In winter, measure water temperature carefully. Add hot if necessary, to prevent cracks in your candles.

To stop floating, place a weight on top of the mould. You can use books, or any metal kitchen object, wider than your mould.

Priming a wick makes for easier candle lighting, and better candle burning. Let the wax you're melting reach 71°C (160°F). Hold the wick at one end. Dangle it into the wax for 1 minute. Pull it out. Let it hang for 1 minute, straightening the ends with your fingers. Let it dry on a piece of wax paper.

Preparing whipped wax: melt the stearin first. Add the paraffin wax. Allow to cool until a skin forms. Whip with a fork or egg-beater until thick and frothy.

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