Friday, September 11, 2009

Candle Making Wicks

When people first begin making candles, they are often surprised by just how many candle making wicks there are available. This can make it a bit complicated to determine the best wick for each type of candle.

Choosing the right wick can be the ultimate difference in whether your candle is a raging success, or a not so subtle failure. Proper wicking makes all the difference when it comes to the life of the candle, how well it burns and whether or not it even stays lit.

Wicks come in one of two options, either pre-tabbed or on spools.

Pre-tabbed wicks are most often used in container candles and votives. They are stiff wicks of varying lengths with a metal base attached. The wick is connected to the tab by a longer metal piece referred to as the wick collar or neck, which also come in a variety of lengths.

The purpose of a wick tab is to stop the candle from burning once the flame on the wick reaches the metal neck of the tab. This extinguishes the flame before it can reach the bottom of the container, which can cause the container to overheat and break.

Spooled wicks are most commonly used in pillars and tapers and can either be used without tabs, or tabs can be attached by hand.

Wicks are available in a variety of materials. From cotton, to hemp, to paper, to those with metal cores, each wick offers different benefits and has certain situations in which they are best used.

Each individual wax may have certain wicks it will or will not work with best. Most wax suppliers will offer this information and make suggestions for appropriate wick choices for each wax. Certain wicks may burn too hot or too cool for the type of wax you are using, so it is important to pay attention to this information if you want to make the best candle possible.

When you first begin choosing wicks, it is recommended that you spend some time researching wicks in either a book about candle making or online at one of the many candle making supply websites. Wicks come in a variety of sizes, described by a series of numbers which can be complex to understand at the outset. Learn what these numbers mean by reading the description for each wick line you may be considering.

The diameter of your candle will help determine what size of wick you will need to use. Typically, the larger the diameter of the candle, the larger the wick size you will need.

When making container candles, you want to make sure that your wick is big enough to melt the wax of the candle completely across the top. You also want to prevent 'tunneling', which is when the wick burns a hole down the center of the candle leaving a tunnel of wax around the sides of a container. You also want to make sure that the wick is not too large which can cause the candle to burn faster than it should, causing excessive smoking or soot as well.

Finally, keep in mind that there is no exact science to choosing proper wicks. While manufacturers may be able to recommend certain types of wicks that will work well, you still may need to experiment to see what works best in your candles. Ultimately, you'll discover the wicks you most enjoy working with. And by testing different candle making wicks, you'll be able to learn which wicks produce your desired results.

For discount prices on candle making wicks.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Candle Making Kits

A great way to get started on the popular hobby of candle making is to obtain a candle making kit. These kits are good for beginners because they include everything you will need to get started, including a good instruction book.

In addition to the instruction book, most kits include a variety of candle molds, waxes, additives, dyes, fragrances, and wicks. You can save money by having all the ingredients and tools already assembled into one convenient kit. Not only do you save money, because they include everything you will need; but they may also inspire your creativity.

Candle making has become an art form, and every person has their own ideas and designs for their candles. Therefore, each candle has the potential of becoming a unique work of art.

Candle making is not difficult; however if you are creating something for your home or as a gift, you want it to be perfect. The great thing about candle making is that if you are not satisfied with the finished product, you can always melt the candle and start all over again.

Candle making kits are also really great for children. The hobby of candle making is a great way to spend quality time with your children and grandchildren and to make memories that will last a lifetime.

There are many popular candle making kits available. You can choose to make gel candles, beeswax candles or marbled candles. It is up to you, so get started on this enjoyable hobby today, and make some beautiful candles for yourself, your family or your friends.

To get started you can take a look at this popular candle making kit from Discount Candle.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Container Candles

When you first begin making candles, the most important question you must ask yourself is what type of candles do you want to make? With all the different candle types to choose from, knowing where to start can be difficult.

Most people begin candle making because they want to be able to make their own candles to fragrance their homes. With that goal in mind, learning to make container candles is probably the best and easiest way to get started.

Container candles are considered one of the easiest types of candles to make. The whole purpose of a container candle is to scent the air. While they may not always turn out looking the best to begin with, it is almost impossible to truly mess them up. As long as you start with all of the necessary supplies and a good set of directions, you will soon be on your way to creating awesome container candles.

Before you get started, you will need to answer a few simple questions. What type of wax are you going to use? What type of container are you going to pour into? What fragrance do you want to use in your candle? Do you want to dye your candle with color or not? Once you know the answers to these questions, you can begin buying your supplies.

To make a basic, single pour container candle you are going to need the following:

* Jar - most people begin with 16 oz. jars because they are to make a 16 ounce candle, making it easy to calculate proportions
* Wax - a 'one pour' paraffin or soy wax is recommended
* Wicks - use a wick that is appropriate for your container diameter and type of wax
* Fragrance - select a fragrance you like and that is appropriate for your type of wax
* Dye - use a dye that works well with the scent and type of wax you are using
* Double boiler - to heat your wax to the ideal temperature for pouring
* Pouring pitcher - to pour your melted wax into the prepared container
* Thermometer - to ensure that your wax is the ideal temperature for adding ingredients and pouring melted wax into your container

While there are many other supplies you could use, these supplies are the essential ones to make a container candle. When choosing your wax, keep in mind that you will want a wax specifically recommended for container candles. Most candle supply retailers will describe their waxes by sharing when and how they are best used. Sometimes you will even find the word 'container' in the actual name of the wax.

Next, you will need good, easy-to-follow instructions.

Typically, the best place to go for candle making instructions is the supplier where you purchased your candle wax. For example, if you purchase your wax from an online candle supply retailer, they will have detailed instructions for each and every wax they sell. Simply look up the specific instructions for the wax you have decided to work with. Many of these sites also offer message boards and instructions on how to select appropriate jars and wicks, and can be a wealth of information.

If you choose not to research or buy online, there are a number of books available on the subject of candle making as well that can guide you step by step in making the perfect container candle.

Making container candles is a great way to introduce yourself to the art of candle making. While you will run into challenges, and may need to make adjustments as you strive to make perfect candles, you'll get better as you continue perfecting your craft. The more experience you gain as you pour container candles, the better equipped you will be to expand your candle making skills into different types of candles in the future.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Selecting Dyes for Beautiful Candle Color

More often than not, candle makers choose to enhance their craftsmanship by adding dye to their candles. While some candle makers choose to leave their candles naturally colored, most crafters want to enhance the decorative aspect of their products by creating vibrant colors. In today's market there are a number of ways to achieve these results. Let's cover the basics of beautiful candle color.

The main thing to keep in mind when dying your candles is that one dye never looks the same in different waxes. Each wax binds with and reacts to dye differently, so experimentation is almost always necessary. If you have used additives to make your candles, this will also affect how the dye appears. As you begin to experiment with dye, keep in mind that it is always better to add too little than too much. You can always go back and add more if need be.

One technique you may find particularly helpful as you begin dying your candles is to keep detailed notes of the amounts of dye and color combinations as you try them. That way, if you achieve a result you are happy with, you know exactly how you achieved it. For example, if you use three drops of navy blue and one drop of purple liquid dye to make the perfect blueberry muffin colored candle, then when you go to replicate the exact same color later, you know exactly what dyes to add and in what proportion.

Visiting any of the candle making supply websites, you will quickly become aware of all of the different varieties of dye available. While you may be able to purchase dye elsewhere, these specialty candle supply sites are the best source for quality products designed specifically for candle making, dyes included.

Keep in mind that no matter what type of dye product you use, each product offers its own unique benefits and it's up to you to determine what type appeals most to your own preferences and needs. Remember that all dyes can be blended to create your own unique color combinations. If you are not familiar with how to blend colors to achieve color variations, you can purchase color charts that will help familiarize you with color blending.

Liquid candle dyes are the most common type of dye used. They are highly concentrated and offer the benefit of being able to adjust the tint one drop at a time. This makes for a controlled process that can be easily duplicated.

Dye flakes are another option. Also highly concentrated, it is best to use a digital gram scale for precise measuring, as the size of the flakes will vary. Dye flakes produce a rich color that is resistant to fading and bleeding.

Pigment chips are another option. Chips are also less prone to fading and bleeding. However, pigments do not actually dissolve in the wax and any color particles not suspended in the wax should not be poured. This can make them a bit tricky to work with for beginners.

Powdered candle dyes are yet another dye option. Powdered dye is the purest form of dye as this is what the other dyes are made from. If you choose to use a powdered dye, keep in mind that they are extremely concentrated, and a little bit goes a very long way.

Because of the highly concentrated nature of candle dyes, they will dye anything they come into contact with. It's a good idea to keep a liquid dye remover handy in case you have an accident.

There is no 'best' dye. Rather, it's a matter of personal preference. Get input from other candle makers to narrow down your options. Then just experiment to find the best option for you.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Making Unity Candles

Unity candles are often a very important part of traditional wedding ceremonies. This candle is a symbol of the union both families. The ceremony involves the bride and groom each lighting a taper candle with a large column candle in the middle. Once they have lit their taper candles, the bride and groom light the column with the flames form the tapers.

It is very simple to make these beautiful candles. By making them, you can personalize the message the message on the column candle for those getting married. The message can be a poem, Biblical scripture, or even a photo of the couple getting married.

Making the taper candles is very simple. It involves the hand dipping process. You will dip the two wicks over and over again in the hot wax until the taper candles are the desired width. After they have completely cooled you can trim the wick to ¼ inch of the top of the candle.

To make the column candle you will need to use a candle mold. Simply heat the wax and pour it into the mold until it completely cools. Prior to pouring the wax into the mold you will need to insert the wick from the bottom of the mold. Cut the wick several inches longer so that you can tie it to a pencil or other object. This will keep the wick centered while the candle is cooling.

After the column candle has cooled, you can place a poem, saying, photo, or even a wedding invitation to the candle using double stick tape or a glue gun. For a beautiful effect, consider cutting the attachment in an oval shape using the scissors that will leave a ridge all the way around the attachment.

To add beauty and appeal to the unity candles, you can make bows for them out of the wedding colors. For best results, use a piece of wire for each candle. Twist the wire in the front gently so you don’t damage the candles but enough to hold it securely in place. Don’t worry about the wire being seen as the beautiful bows will cover it up.

You will want to find some very pretty taper candle holders for these precious unity candles. Generally, the column candle will sit on a matching flat candle holder, similar to a small plate.

With the overall expense of a wedding, creating your own unity candles or allowing a friend or family member to do so as a gift will save you plenty. There are many great books available in craft stores and some bridal shops that provide step by step instructions for creating your own unity candles. The internet also offers great ideas and tips for making the process fun. Creating quality candles doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult.

The unity candle ceremony is an important part of many wedding ceremonies. You can provide the bride and groom with a wonderful trio of candles for their ceremony that they will treasure forever. The ability to add a personalized attachment to the column candle is a great incentive for making them yourself. Making additional column candles for the parents of the bride and groom or the wedding party is a great gift idea as well. You can place them in gift bags with bows that match the colors of the wedding.