Making perfect container candles is fun and easy but there are a few things you need to know and even some tricks to getting things perfect. You'll love making container candles once you learn the ins and outs of making a great smelling scented candle.
Read these instructions carefully before you begin your candle making project and even consider printing them out for future reference. The first thing you'll need to do is be sure that you have the proper candle making supplies and necessary equipment on hand before you begin. All of the equipment you will need is listed on our "Getting Started Guide" on our "Items Needed For Successful Candle Making" page. All of our candle making guides are packed with great information about candle making, as well as tips and tricks to save you money on your candle making craft.
All of the candle making supplies that you will need are listed and explained in detail below. (I am assuming that you have already read and have on hand the "Items Needed For Successful Candle Making").
Once you have all the supplies on hand, ensure that your work area is clean, safe and be sure that you have the necessary tools and supplies arranged in a work friendly manner. If you're working inside your home you will want to place foil, paper towels, or old newspapers on your counter tops and underneath your work area so you can clean up easy. We suggest that you also get a cheap plastic floor mat to place on the floor where you will be working. Candle making can be a messy hobby.
I receive allot of emails that ask me, "What is the best wax for making container candles"?
I always suggest that you can answer this question yourself by doing a little research reading to decide which of our quality container waxes you want to choose for your candle making project. We have very detailed information on our candle wax page regarding all the various waxes for making container candles so that you can make an informed decision as to which wax will work best for you. You'll get an idea of which wax will serve your purpose best as you read about them. Our most popular wax for container candle making is our IGI-4630 and IGI-4633 one pour container wax. The wax you choose will be the main ingredient(s) of your candle formulation. We tested every brand of wax we could get our hands on before we chose to offer our customers the highly regarded IGI brand candle making wax(s). All of the IGI candle making waxes are manufactured specifically for candle making and there simply are no better waxes on the market with regard to quality or consistency for candle making.
When making our candles, we use a formulation of 2 waxes. Most everyone that tries our container candle making formula agrees that it is the top formula for making consistent, highly scented container candles. We use 60% of IGI-4786 container wax and 40% of IGI-4633 one pour container wax to make a blended wax that offers a wonderful melt pool as the candle burns and an exquisite scent throw. With that said, it is not necessary for you to start out with two waxes. Using this blend of two waxes is an extra expense, and really isn't necessary to produce great scented container candles. Either wax, the IGI-4633 or the IGI-4786 will produce an excellent candle for you on its own. The only reason that I gave you this container candle formula is because it is exactly how we make our candles.
Just in case you're wondering, when using only one of the waxes, most people choose the IGI-4633 or the IGI-4630 wax as their choice for container candles, both waxes are similar in consistency and produce a similar finished product.
Just a quick rundown on the various waxes we talked about above, the IGI-4786 wax is IGI's original container wax. It is a wonderful wax that makes a beautiful container candle, however this wax is slightly harder than the IGI-4630 and IGI-4633, so it will require a repour (second pour) to level the top of the candle out after it hardens, the wax will sink in the middle of the candle as it hardens.
IGI-4630 and IGI-4633 are similar in nature. Both are a true one pour wax which means that neither of these waxes will require a second pour. Any choice you make, we're certain you will be happy with the highly fragrant candles that you will be making using these quality waxes.
1) Measure out the wax you will need and begin melting your wax. Be sure you keep a reliable thermometer clipped on the side of your melting container so that you can keep a close eye on the temperature of the wax at all times. Regulate your temperature so that once the wax melts it will stay around 170 degrees, and not more than 180 degrees.
2) If you are going to use a glass jar to make your container candles we suggest that you heat the jar(s) to about 150 degrees before you pour your wax into them. This keeps the glass from cracking and will also help reduce the wet spots on the container once the candle dries. To heat your containers to 150 degrees place them on a cookie sheet and set inside the oven on "keep warm".
3) You will need a couple more items handy that are not listed on the supply page. They are popsicle sticks (you can get at any craft store) and a glue gun. Drill a small hole in the middle of each popsicle stick. Have these two items close to you for use shortly.
4) Once your wax melts and you have your temperature regulated right around 170 degrees, you will add your candle dye to the wax. We offer 8 basic liquid color dyes that are formulated to work with candles. Our dyes are very concentrated so be sure to add small amounts until you get your desired color. To test a color use a white ceramic square or a white napkin and drip a few drops of your wax onto it and let it dry. This will show you fairly adequately what your candle color will look like.
We offer a candle making color chart that shows exactly how many drops of dye we use to make our various colors and candles. Be sure to stir your color with your wax for a full minute or two so that your color will bind with your wax properly.
I am often asked, "Can't I just use a crayon or food coloring to color my candle?" You can use a crayon but there are some problems with that choice. The pigments used to make a crayon can clog your wick and prevent your candle from burning properly. Another problem, crayons are very expensive and normally have only 1 color of each to a pack, so it's just cheaper and better to use a dye that was formulated especially for making candles. You can't ever use food coloring. Food coloring dye is water based. Water and wax don't mix, your candle will fizzle out and not burn if you try to use food coloring.
We suggest that you use 1 oz of our 100% pure fragrance oils per LB. of wax to produce a HIGHLY fragrant candle. Some people weigh 1 oz of fragrance oil on a scale while others simply measure 1 oz of fragrance oil in a measuring glass. Either way works for me, but just keep in mind that all fragrance oils are sold by weight, not volume.
Before you add your fragrance oil to the wax, check your temperature again and be sure the wax is around 170 degrees. Add 1 oz of fragrance oil per pound of wax. Pour in your pre-measured amount of fragrance oil and stir in slowly for two full minutes. This will allow the wax, fragrance oil and color to all bind together. Next you want to keep a close eye on the temperature and keep it regulated at around 170 degrees. Fragrance oil will begin burning off at about 205 degrees, depending on the type of wax, and fragrance oil, so be careful you wax does not get too hot. Naturally, we recommend a combination our candle wax, candle dye and fragrance oil to give you the best possible scented container candle. One thing you should know is that we guarantee each of our fragrance oils to be 100% Grade AAA, pure uncut fragrance oil. All of our highly concentrated fragrance oils have been tested extensively to ensure their compatibility. Our fragrance oils are highly recommended for use with all types of candle waxes.
You're almost ready to begin pouring your wax mixture and make your first container candles. You can already tell how wonderful your candles will be by the highly fragrant wax simmering in your wax melting pot. Be sure to keep your wax temperature regulated at about 170 degrees while you prepare your candle making glassware for the liquid wax.
Now is the time to remove your glassware from the keep-warm oven. You may want to wear some light gloves when handling the hot glassware as it will be hot to the touch. Next step is to take a wick and add a liberal amount of hot glue on the bottom of the wick tab and center the wick in the middle of the container.
The best way we've found to set the wick in place is to use something like a firm straw. (we use very thin copper tubing) Slide the wick into the tube, hold the tubing upside down and add a liberal amount of glue to the bottom of the wick tab and then place the wick in the center of your container by guiding it with the straw or tubing. When you remove the straw, the wick should be glued down firmly in place and centered. The wick you select for your container candle should allow for a full melt pool of wax across the diameter of the container. The only way to know which wick is best for your container is to test several size wicks and see which one you like best.
We offer various sizes of candle wicks for container candles. For most containers we suggest either the 44-24-18z or the 51-32-18z. You will have to test wicks to see which will work best with your container candles. As a starting point, I will tell you that we use a 51-32-18z wick for the 12 oz mason jar candles that we make. Some wider containers may require two or three wicks, depending on the size of the container.
Now you're ready to pour your candles. Again, be sure your wax is about 170 degrees. You can use a glass pyrex measuring cup to pour your wax from your melting pot into your containers or you can use one of our aluminum wax pour pots. Just be sure you heat your pouring pot a little before you use it, otherwise the wax will harden on it. If your temperature is correct, stir your wax one more time for about 20 seconds to be sure everything is all mixed together properly. Then dip your warm pour pot into the wax and pour the melted wax mixture slowly into your containers. We've found it helpful to angle our containers slightly when we pour, but it's not necessary. Just be sure to pour slowly allowing as few bubbles as possible when you pour. Fill your container to the level at which you want your candles to be and set the container down on a flat surface.
TIP: The less wax you spill on your container and counter the easier your cleanup will be, work smart, not fast when making candles. After you pour your containers take any leftover wax off the heat.
As soon as your pour the hot wax into the container you will notice that the wick(s) seems loose and flimsy in the container. The wick now needs to be tightened because as wax cools it will contract and form a sink hole in the middle of your candle. If your wicks are not tight, they will be permanently pulled crooked as the wax cools. In order to tighten the candle wicks you will need the popsicle sticks we talked about earlier, with a hole drilled in the center of each stick. Take the wick and thread it thru the hole in the popsicle stick and allow the stick to rest on the lip of the container. Then take a wooden clothespin and secure the wick at the point that it comes thru the popsicle stick, making sure your wick is centered where you want it. Using the popsicle stick and clothespin will prevent the wax from pulling the wick crooked as the hot wax cools and turns hard.
As your wax hardens there is always the possibility that air may be trapped underneath it. That is why we ALWAYS poke relief holes in our candles. (People that use a one pour wax such as our IGI-4630 & IGI-4633 can skip this step.) If you are using our wax mixture of IGI-4786 and IGI-4633, or if you're using only IGI-4786 as your container candle wax, after a few hours (4-5) you will notice that the wax is forming a sink hole in the middle of the candle as it cools. This is perfectly normal. This is also the time you want to take an object such as a skewer stick and poke your relief holes. Poke several holes around the wick(s) in your container.
If you're not utilizing a one pour candle wax, always be sure that you leave yourself enough wax to do a second pour on your candles. Once your candle completely dries you will see a sink hole in the middle of it. You will do your second pour for two reasons. To fill the sinkhole and to also fill any air pockets that you might have exposed by poking relief holes. TIP: Be SURE your candle is completely cool before you begin your second pour or you will develop another sink hole after it hardens! Depending on the size of your candle it will take anywhere from 6-16 hours before your candle is ready for a second pour. Heat your wax again. This time heat your wax to about 180 degrees. Once your wax gets to 180 degrees stir it for at least a full minute. Then pour your second pour just a hair above your first pour. Pouring the second pour at 180 degrees allows the first pour and the second pour to bond properly making it impossible to tell that there were two different pours done on the candle.
Once your candle is completely cool, clean it up nicely with a paper towel or old clean rag. Trim the wick down to about a 1/4", label it if you have a label and it is ready to use!
CONGRATULATIONS! You have successfully made your first container candles! Relax and Enjoy your creations! I hope we've helped to save you a little time, money and energy and frustration with these candle making instructions.
We appreciate you allowing us at Cajun's Candle Making Supplies to be a part of your candle making experience! Best of luck to you and let us know how your candles turn out!
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