The art of making candles has been around since primitive times. Of course, as time went by they become much different in design than what they were back then. In the early days, candles were a necessity for heat and light. Today they serve as decorations, wonderfully smelling mechanisms in our homes, and offer light for romantic dinners and baths.
The first known use of candles is not completely known. The remains of clay candle holders that date back to 4 BC have given us the knowledge that they have been in use for a very long time. Those clay candle holders were found in Egypt.
Candles were also used in ancient times in both China and Japan. These candles were made of wax extracted from insects and seeds. The taper candles of India were made from the wax extracted from boiled cinnamon. Candles are not known to exist in American until 1 AD. It is believed Native American’s burned oily fish and the back of the Cerio tree. When settlers came to New England, they used similar techniques to extract wax from bayberries. Many modern candle makers still use that process to make bayberry candles. However, it is quite expensive to do so.
Tallow was the product used to make candles in the 1600’s and 1700’s. This is a byproduct from animal fat. The product worked well but had a foul odor, especially when it was burning. Bees wax and paraffin wax both were introduced in the early 1800’s, and tallow stopped being used.
The dipping process for taper candles as we know it today began in 13 AD. Traveler merchants went door to door from town to town. While there, they made taper candles for individuals in their homes. Around 15 AD the idea to use molds for various types of candles was introduced in Paris. While this greatly improved the candle making process, there were still issues with getting the candles to burn properly.
In the 1800’s, candle makers felt the wick was the weakest area of the candle as well as the cause for defective burning patterns. A braided wick was developed in 1825 that seemed to greatly improve the burning of several types of candles. By 1830, a process was in place to make candles using paraffin wax and molds. These candles were of good quality and burned well.
As gas and electricity were introduced, the candle making process continued to evolve. It became much easier and faster to melt the paraffin wax. It is believed that the reason so many of the elements of candle making stayed the same, including the hand dipping process is because the popularity of candles diminished with the introduction of electricity.
Today, candle making is a well known art form. There are many companies who manufacture wonderful candles with some very unique fragrances. There are also small businesses that still make their candles by home in their kitchen. Candle making is a great hobby and fun activity for the whole family to be involved in.
Candles are now used more for luxury and pleasure than for light or heat. The candle industry continues to grow with new types of candles being introduced all the time. The amount of colors, fragrances, and types of candles to choose from in the marketplace is absolutely amazing.
Candles are a very common home decorating item. They are used to accent any room in your house. They are a common centerpiece for dinner parties and formal occasions. The unity candles that are presided over at many weddings hold a deep sense of tradition in the American culture.
The art of making candles has definitely changed over time. If you are interested in trying your hand at it, choose a candle that is fairly easy to make such as the container candle or the votive. This will allow you the chance to get used to the process. There are several good candle making kits available for a low price as well as books to give you tips and assistance along the way.
Candle making can be a great past time, hobby, or business venture. While the supplies for candling making are remarkably inexpensive, the cost does start to add up over time. There are many ways you can cut back the cost of the candle making supplies, but I caution you not to sacrifice the quality of the products you purchase just to save a few dollars. This is especially important for those who sell their candles. If the quality of the product goes down because you are buying wax and other supplies that are of less quality, you will end up costing your business money over the long haul.
Keep a list of the candle making supplies you use. Include the brand, the price, and the amount of the item you get for that price. This will help you compare the prices with sales you run across and know if you are getting a better deal or not. Many craft stores run sales on candle making items before and right after the holidays. This can be a great time to stock up.
Checking online auction sites including Ebay and Yahoo Auctions can often be an excellent way to find the same candle making products you use at a discounted price. It could be that the seller of the items doesn’t have the time to make candles anymore or they simply have moved on to other things.
If you use a large volume of candle making supplies on a regular basis, consider buying them wholesale. You will pay more up front for your supplies, yet overall you will save a considerable amount of money. You can search such wholesalers on the internet and compare prices. Many online wholesalers offer free shipping as well so that is another area where you can save money if you normally purchase your candle making supplies online. If you know other people who make candles as well consider buying in bulk and sharing the cost as well as the supplies. This is an easy way for everyone to get a discount as well as reduce the cost at the time of purchase.
Some of the discount candle making products on the market are very comparable to the quality products you already use. A good way to tell is to compare the ingredients. You can research the necessary ingredients of each item on the internet. If the discount products contain all the major ingredients as the candle making supplies you already use, then give it a try. It is recommended that you only purchase one or two items at first to test the quality. Keep track of where you purchased the discounted items so you can return to that retailer or online store if you are happy with the quality of the products.
Containers and holders for your candles are one area you should never spend a great deal of money on. I won’t recommend buying them for regular price unless they are for a wedding or other very special occasion. You can buy mason jars, extra glassware, votive holders, and many other containers to use candle making at thrift stores and garage sales for a very reasonable price. You might also check the online auctions to purchase large quantities of candle making container and holders at a very good price.
The supplies used in candle making can cost you a great deal of money over time. To save money on the quality supplies you use, take the time to compare prices both online and at local retailers. Take advantage of discounts and sales throughout the year at craft stores. Be cautious when looking at discount candle making supplies. You want to make sure they offer the same quality that you are already using. Finding supplies at online auctions and buying them in bulk are also great ways to save you money on candle making supplies.endeavor. Once you get the hang of it, the process is quite simple. For those who have the basics down cold, consider experimenting with the art of making hand dipped candles. While these lovely creations take more time, they are stunning. You can use several colors on each candle giving it a unique color scheme.
There are basic tools you will need to make hand dipped candles. Most of them you already use if you have experience in making candles. You will need a large amount of paraffin wax, wick, and a double boiler to melt it in. Other utensils include wooden spoons, bowls, and a good quality thermometer. The colors available for hand dipped candles are too many to name. These colors come in various forms including cakes, chips, powder, or liquid. If you choose to add scents to your hand dipped candles you need to make sure it is pure oil that does not have a water or alcohol base to it.
You will prepare your wax for hand dipped candles that same as you do for regular candles. Let it continue to heat until it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it does, turn the heat down very low to keep the wax in liquid form. Add the color to the wax, using a small amount at a time until your reach the color you want. Add a small amount of scent the mix at this time if you desire. Use scents moderately as you don’t want to have too powerful of a smell. Using too much fragrance can also result in the candle not burning properly.
Next, cut the wick for your candles, keeping it just a bit longer than the candle length you want. If you are making sets of the candles, it is important to cut the wicks exactly the same length. You will want to dip the wicks into the candle wax making sure to coat it properly. This is how you will “build” your candle. After the wicks cool, dip them again. Each time you do, the candle will grow in size. If you want different areas of the candles to be different colors, you will be able to do so by simply having more than one color of wax ready to use. Once your candle is close to the desired thickness you want, shave it with a soft blade, giving the top a pointed look. Dip your candles a few more times to give them a smooth finish.
Creating hand dipped candles is a great hobby or business venture. The process is time consuming, but the creations are beautiful. Learning to make hand dipped candles can be tricky. This is not a good type of candle for beginners to try to learn with. They will quickly become frustrated. To practice without wasting supplies, melt down the wax from the candles you are building and use it over and over again until you have the process perfected.
To make particular designs on hand dipped candles, consider purchasing a book. Most will offer you great color photos with step by step directions for making each hand dipped candle. You will also be able to obtain great color charts for obtaining the best color for your candles. The internet is also a great place to get ideas for the colors of your hand dipped candles.
Gel candles are a great item to make. Not only are they beautiful, but very easy to light. They also burn slowly, giving your candles a long life for you to treasure. Gel candles are very easy to make as well as inexpensive. You can add your favorite scents to them as well. The supplies you need to get started include gel, zinc wicks, fragrance oils if you desire, and dye to add color. Some people love the look of a clear gel candle and prefer not to use any dye. It is important that you only use zinc wicks for gel candles because cotton wicks absorb the gel, causing them not to light or burn well. You can purchase these supplies from a craft store or online.
Gel candles can be made in a variety of holders. Using those made of glass will give you the best results. However, as long as the container is non-flammable you will be fine. To add uniqueness to gel candles, some makers choose to make them in fancy glasses, wine glasses, and vases. To add color and themes to candles, consider using embeds. This can be glitter, marbles, colorful rocks, sea shells, crystals, or anything else that won’t burn.
You will need a hot glue gun to stick the wick to the bottom of the holder you plan to use. Hold firmly in place until the wick sticks. To make centering easier, mark the bottom of the holder with a red or black marker right in the center. The wick should then be placed on top of the mark. Leave the wick long enough to reach outside of the holder. You will trim it later. To melt the gel, cut it into small strips. For best results melt it in a double boiler at medium heat. The gel should be heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. A quality thermometer is a great investment as the gel won’t set properly if you don’t get it hot enough and it will lose the glossy color if you get the temperature too high.
If you desire to add color to your gel candles, add it in slowly. The colors show more vibrantly in gel candles than wax candles so you will need a lot less than what you use if you make wax candles. Stir the color into the melted wax slowly. If you aren’t happy with the color you can slowly add more. If you plan to use embedded objects in the candle, it is suggested you keep the gel candle color very light. Next, add fragrance if you desire. 1/3 teaspoon is all you need for each glass of melted gel.
For best results, heat your container in the microwave for about one minute. This will eliminate those unsightly bubbles that can form on gel candles. Immediately after removing the holder from the microwave, start adding your embeds. You will want to dip them in the hot gel to get them to stick in the holder. You can arrange embeds any way you desire. For best results push them towards the edges of the holder so that they can easily be scene. You can create embed patterns or add them loosely.
It is important not to keep the gel very hot while completing the embed process. Once you have that done, pour the gel into the holder. If you allow the gel to cool before pouring it in the holder you will end up with clumps of gel throughout the candle. Make sure the wick is hanging over the top of the holder before pouring in the gel. Once the gel has set, trim it to the size you desire.
Making gel candles is easy, fun, and inexpensive. It is a great way to make your own beautiful candles for using, giving as gifts, or selling. There are wonderful books with plenty of pictures of gel candle designs you can try, or simply create your own.