How to Make Candles

Making candles is a fun, inexpensive hobby. Don't be intimidated by the process or the cost of candle-making kits. With these simple instructions on how to make candles, you might even find yourself making them as gifts.

Tools. There is no need to buy a lot of special tools. Simply use what is already in the kitchen. You will need two pots of different sizes, a stainless steel or glass measuring cup, scissors and PopsicleR sticks or regular pencils.

Supplies. Sure, buying candle-making kits is easy, but it is more cost-effective to buy only the supplies you need. These essential supplies include pre-assembled candle wicks, candle wax, wax paper and a mold. While stores sell all types of candle molds, an inexpensive alternative is a milk carton. One advantage to making a mold out of a milk carton is that it eliminates the use of a release spray.

Which type of wax should you get? That depends on your individual preference. Choices include soy wax, gel wax, palm wax, beeswax and paraffin. You can even use wax from leftover candles. Just make sure they are the same type.

The candle-making process. Create a double boiler with the pans: The bottom one holds water, while the top one holds the wax. Melt the wax over medium heat.

While the wax is melting, prepare your candle mold, but don't leave the stove unattended. Cut the top off the milk carton evenly. It's up to you how much, as long as you have a wick that is long enough. Dip the metal end into melted wax and affix the wick in the bottom center of the milk carton. Hold the wick in place until the wax hardens.

Now comes the trickiest part of candle making: keeping the wick straight while pouring in the liquid wax. Loop the top end of the wick around a wooden pencil or Popsicle stick, and put the stick or pencil across the top of the container to hold it in place.

Use the measuring cup to slowly pour the wax into the container. Ideally, leave some room -- about half an inch -- at the top. Once the wax is completely dry, take off the stick, trim the wick and peel off the container. To be safe, wait at least 24 hours before lighting your new creation.

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