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FutureStarrHow to Make a Candleor
Whether you're looking for a few new ideas for gifts or want to find a way to make a home fragrance without a lot of expense, learning how to make a candle might be just what you're looking for. If you're interested, here's how to get started.
While candles add warmth and light to every space, making your home feel cozier, they don't last forever and can be a little pricey. However, you can make them yourself really easily with a few supplies and a little bit of know-how. As a bonus, you can control what goes into them. If you're sensitive to fragrance, leave it out. If you're concerned about keeping the air in your home as clean as possible, use soy wax. Although there are many different types of candles, they all contain three main components: wax, a wick, and a container. With the advent of mass-produced candles in the 19th century (not to mention electric lights), candle making disappeared from the list of regular, ongoing household chores. But machine-made candles just don't have the lovely shapes or the lush colors of homemade candles. And even learning the basics of the craft provides rich rewards. The tools and methods of home candle making are almost as simple today as they were five thousand years ago. Here, you'll learn how to make poured candles using melted wax, as well as rolled and cutout candles using sheets of wax. The results are not just beautiful, but they're also useful and make excellent gifts.
First, you'll need your wax and additives. Good quality wax will burn cleanly and slowly. All-natural beeswax ($19.99, michaels.com) has a gorgeous pale golden color and a faint honey scent. Soy wax ($11.99, michaels.com), made from soy-beans, is another natural option. Petroleum-based paraffin wax ($7.49, michaels.com) is less expensive and sold in bead pellets. Wax is sold in blocks for poured candles and in sheets for rolled and cut candles; sheets are usually beeswax. For poured candles, you can save money by mixing beeswax with a paraffin that has a similar melting point (it will be marked on the package), but use a majority of beeswax to retain its characteristic pale shade. Additives—stearic acid is a common one—are often used to make paraffin wax harder, the colors more opaque, and the candles slower to burn. You can buy wax that already includes additives, and formulations specifically for votive candles, pillars, or other shapes, but a general purpose wax should suit most projects. (Source: www.marthastewart.com)