It's easy making candles right? melt some wax, pop a bit of fragrance in, add a wick to your jar and pour. Well kind of, but there are some key points to factor in to really make a candle that's going to be safe, smell great and burn correctly.
Wax - I always say making candles is a bit like baking, to get the best candle always use the best ingredients you can afford. Using a good quality soy wax goes a long way to helping you create a candle that burns cleanly, is long lasting, and has a good hot scent throw (the scent you smell when the candle is burning). We recommend Golden 464 soy wax for its reliability, especially when you're starting out.
Temperature - all waxes give some indication of what the perfect melting temperature is, and the correct temperature to add fragrance. Get this wrong and you could have a candle that just doesn't smell of anything. So invest in a thermometer, and read the instructions on your wax to gauge what temperatures you need to adhere to.
Fragrance - the most expensive part of creating a candle. I always tell our candle workshop attendees that this is one of the most important things to get right. However it can be costly to figure out which fragrance oil to buy when you're choosing online. I always recommend buying the smallest amount as a sample before committing to a larger batch of fragrance. Lots of candle supplies companies offer a variety of fragrances, but they all offer samples. You can also blend your own essential oils, but be aware this can be costly - so pick oils which aren't too expensive to start with. Some essential oils can be as much as £50 for 10ml! In our class we cover blending oils based on fragrance notes to create a really balanced scent - it's an important part of creating a rounded fragrance. Make sure you also consider flashpoints if using essential oils especially, where fragrance can flash off if added at the wrong temperature. A quick google search will help you with that.
Wick - we use both cotton and wood wicks, the key here is to use a good quality wick that will help the candle to burn cleanly and consistently. Cotton wicks are best to start with, wood wicks are harder to size. Sizing is really important, getting the right wick for your jar is critical to ensure a good burn, with limited tunelling and the right amount of flame. It can be so dangerous to over wick a candle, so bear this in mind when choosing your wick. Wick size is based on the diameter of your container, and most suppliers should give you guidance on a wick that will suit a certain size of jar.
Stir - a gentle stir for about 20-30 seconds ensures the fragrance will be thoroughly blended with the wax. Don't stir too vigoursly as this can cause air bubbles and affect the setting of the wax. Again, make sure you're adding fragrance at the correct temperature!
In all, it's not a process to be rushed. So think through each of these elements, do some research and get the right kit to get started. Our candle making kits are good for people starting out, and have everything you need to get started. But essentially just have some fun!