While it’s true that it may be both faster and easier to buy store-bought candles, there’s something decidedly fun about making your own. Yes, making your own candles means you get to choose exactlywhat color, size, and shape the candles are in addition to being choosy about things like, well, what kind of wax you want to use. Typically, paraffin, beeswax, and soy are the best kinds of wax to use for candle making, but it really all depends on your goals for the candle. Either way, you’re sure to have fun. And remember: if the candle doesn’t turn out like you expected the first time, don’t worry! There’s always room for improvement. This candle making guide is perfect for beginners to learn how to make candles the right way.
Now get ready to indulge in what just might be one of your favorite hobbies–candle making.
Step 1: Choosing a Candle Wax
First, it’s important to know that there are several different types of wax within each category. The main thing to look for is what is called the “melting point” so that you know, for instance, to purchase a wax with a higher melting point if it’s going to be put in a warm room, or that you you can get away with a lower melting point if it’s colder. There are, it should be said,, several types of wax but in my opinion three of the very best are paraffin, soy, and beeswax. Here are the main differences between the waxes:
Paraffin is the most popular type of candle wax and it also happens to be the cheapest (probably part of the reason it’s so popular!). Paraffin is a petroleum based wax and, like other waxes, can come in either blended or non-blended form.
As a note, lots of people prefer blended wax and, because both prep time and the likelihood of making an error are reduced, it’s probably best for the beginner. Non-blended wax, on the other hand, is great for a more skilled candle maker.
Beeswax is more expensive than paraffin, but I happen to like working with it myself. Many people, however, find it a bit of a hassle–the wax is sticky and the melting point is low, for instance–but it all really depends.
On another note, the color in beeswax tends to vary in comparison to paraffin wax, so if you’re aiming for perfection or if you’re a beginner, paraffin may be the way to go. However, if you’re out to have fun and to get a bit messy, you may want to consider beeswax instead.
Soy is slowly becoming a popular candle wax due, in part, to the recent boom in environmental sustainability–which is exactly what’s so great about soy wax! It’s renewable and biodegradable. It is, however, a lot softer than the other waxes, so you want to make sure to add hardener as well as to use a container. That said, soy wax is a great choice for many candle makers.
There are, it should be noted, other types of waxes as well–gel wax, for example, though I’ve personally never used them. Stay tuned for the rest of the articles in the series, which will teach you exactly how to use your paraffin, beeswax, or soy.