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Brand new to candle-making

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Hello, everyone.


I'm looking for general advice as I want to start candle-making as a hobby. The flame and scent of candles has always enamored me since I was a young child, and I light a candle at least once a day. I caught the "candle-making bug" when a friend of mine invited me over to make some beeswax candles this month. I did some research on the candle-making process beforehand, and while we were making them I kept having thoughts like "He should have taken the temperature of the wax," and "I would have weighed/measured the wax and fragrance," and "These need bigger wicks!" But I was too polite to say anything. Lately I've been watching my homemade candles burn, and noticing what I should have done differently.


I quickly realized that I was interested in making and perfecting my own candles.

I'm not interested in a huge endeavor; I'm fairly frugal and don't have any grandiose ideas of running a candle-making business. Instead, I want to make them for myself, and as gifts for others. (I'm getting tired of waiting for Bath & Bodyworks sales.) I also use candles sometimes for ritual/spiritual reasons.

I guess I'm just looking for general advice. My plan is to get some beginning candle-making supplies from Candle Science (pouring pots, wick bars, FOs, etc.) and start making my own candles at home in very small batches. Initially I wanted to start with beeswax since it seems so lovely and earthy, but I'm starting to wonder if I need to go with soy for $$$ reasons. What's your favorite soy wax type? I have already seen the advice on the forum to stick with one wax, one container. I imagine that candle tins are a good place to start... but is there a reason I shouldn't start with tins? Is there an argument for glass?

Thanks for your time! :)

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52 minutes ago, Darbla said:

There's still time to save yourself....

29 minutes ago, GoldieMN said:

OMG, you are too funny!:lol:


So funny, and yet... SO TRUE.

 @zeldazelda Welcome! I'm a bubble head, as in I violate fats... (My, my doesn't that sound nefarious!)

I make soap (shrugs) so I can't really comment too much about candle making. My general estimation would be that whichever one of the 2 containers is least expensive would be the choice option. While I would think the tins would be cheaper, if you master a glass container (e.g. no dancing flames, no sooting, no tunneling, etc...) ANYTHING else should be a piece of cake to make.  

Craftserver is the locus of all things candle. It's also a real fun and friendly place, ( they've tolerated me for heaven's sake... "WHY CAN'T I USE PAINT STORE PIGMENTS!!!!!!?"



The Executor of Bad Ideas and Sundry Services 

Edited by Sponiebr
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I don't use soy, so I can't help you there, but as far as containers, it's really about your personal preference. I use glass canning jars, simply because I live out in the boonies and they are easy to get a hold of. And I like seeing the flame through the glass. :)

Your idea of choosing one wax, one container, and one wick type is good, too many variables in the beginning will cause frustration. My big piece of advice at this point would be to get a variety of wick sizes, because the one size you need will be the one size you don't have. 😆

I would encourage you to also look around the forum and read everything, even if you think it doesn't pertain to you... You never know what you might learn! I use the search function at least once a day, it's sooooo helpful!

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I was poking fun at your sincere request, so to give you a sincere answer I'll tell you it can easily become an extremely expensive hobby, both in money and time.  When I first started this 10 years ago, all of it was a bit less expensive than it is now and I just can't afford a lot of supplies now like I used to.  It's not just the wax and FOs increased in cost (and at times decreased in quality), but shipping costs are outrageous now.  You haven't been around like the rest of us to see so many suppliers of this stuff going out of business, so it's not been good for them either.  Plus all this, it can take a whole lot of time and room in your house. 


If you stick to really small batches of just a couple of different items it's not bad, but most of us get adventurous and start branching out and trying new projects and scents and it starts taking over.  Once your friends get a whiff of what you're doing (pun not intended), you're going to get requests from them and that's going to lead to buying more materials.  My husband used to complain of the strong scents and the clutter from my projects so there's that bit of contention.


I stick with it now because I have the basics to continue creating candles and soap and I use them for gifts, but in a way I wish I'd never started it or just stuck to something simpler like tarts.  :2cents:

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Candle Science is a great place to start. They have everything you need to buy to start making candles. Learning how to make candles takes time and lots of patience.


There is some truth in the pun about getting out while you can. Just beware that candlemaking can become very expensive and that is before you even learn how to make a great candle. If you are prepared for that you should be okay. Candlemaking can be fun and extremely addictive.


Your best bet is to first read about the waxes and select one to work with. Then decide what kind of candle you want to make. Then go for it. Get your wax and container and also purchase a few sampler wick packs of different series of wicks. That means read about the wicks and select several types. The sampler packs are best because you get several wicks for each size that comes in that series. Not all wicks burn the same so you will want to test more than one kind of wick. If you find the wick series you like then the next step is to narrow down the size of the wick. Once you have this done then try any fragrance oils you like. Best is to buy 1oz sample FOs to test out on your candle application to see which ones work with it and scent well.


Good luck and have fun on your journey! And don't forget to ask questions if you need help.


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