It’s very straightforward. You need wax, wicks, a few containers, some sort of double boiler, a jug and a thermometer.

I bought my wax and wicks from NI Candles. Cheap and incredibly quick service. It’s soy wax so it’s sustainable and clean. You need to calculate the size of the wick you need, based on the diameter of your container. I’m using tuna cans at the moment and the diameter is 8cm, which is pretty wide for a candle, so the wicks I ordered are quite big.

You calculate the amount of wax you need by measuring the ml capacity of the containers, multiplying that by .77, and expressing the answer in grams. You then melt the wax in a double boiler/bain marie and heat it to about 85 degrees, let it cool to about 57 degrees, and pour it into the containers, into which you have placed wicks. The latter proved to be a bit problematic.

The guides suggest that you need to secure the wick tabs to the bottom of the containers with a dab of hot wax. That’s OK but the problem is that when you pour hot wax into the container, the wax holding the wicks to the bottom of the containers melts and the wicks fall over. To try to prevent them falling over, the guides suggest using chopsticks or lollipop sticks to hold them in place. I tried this but, of course, the hot wax also melts the wax that keeps the wicks rigid, and they fall over anyway. I faffed around a bit and eventually folded the wicks over the chopsticks. That seemed to work but I’ll have to come up with a better solution because the wicks in my candles are probably not centred enough. Anyway, for these experimental candles, they’ll do.

Here’s some pics of bits of the process. First, the wax melting …

The containers and wicks …

The containers filled with wax and my improvised wick securing solution …

Cooling …

And here the are, cooled. I need to leave them to cure for a couple of days before I trim the wicks and try them out.

Candle Making