How to Make Candles with Household Parowax
Parowax, or paraffin wax, is commonly used to make seals for canned or jarred homemade goods. Parowax can also be used to make candles. Handmade candles are great for gifts and can be custom made to suit just about anyone's personal taste.
Things You Will Need
- Measuring tape
- Aluminum foil
- Medium-sized sauce pan
- Candy thermometer
- 4.5-inch by 3-inch round metal candle mold
- 1-lb. block household parowax
- 1/0 square waxed wick or a 34-37 flat cotton core waxed wick
- Silicone mold release spray
- Melting pot with pour spout
- Wooden craft sticks
- Craft knife
- Wax color dye chips
- Metal jiffy wicker bar
- Rubber gasket for wick base
- Metal washer for wick base
- Large needle
- 1 ounce candle fragrance oil
Cover your workspace with newspaper. Line your stove burner with aluminum foil to catch any wax that may drip out.
Spray the interior of the metal round candle mold with the silicone mold release spray. Measure 20 inches of wick and cut it. Tie a slip knot at one of its ends. Insert the other end of the wick through the metal washer of the wick base and pull it through until the knot is resting against the washer.
Push the large needle through the center of the rubber gasket. Insert the wick into the rubber gasket and pull it through, moving the gasket down onto the wick so that it sits against the metal washer.
Insert the wick into the wick hole located at the bottom of the metal round candle mold, and pull it up through to the top of the mold so that the gasket is sitting against the mold's bottom firmly to create a seal. This prevents the melted wax from leaking out the bottom hole of the mold.
Insert the wick into the metal jiffy wicker bar and gently pull it taut. Move the wick into the notch at the end of the jiffy wicker bar. Wrap the wick once around the wicker bar before moving it under the portion of the wick that is running the length of the wicker bar to make a knot.
Pour water into the sauce pan until it is about a little less than half way full, about 2 inches. Set the melting pot with a pouring spout into the medium sauce pan to ensure that you have not put too much water into the sauce pan, as it will displace the water and make it rise in the pan. Turn the stove burner on.
Score the 1 lb. block of parowax with the craft knife and break it into chunks. Place the wax chunks into the melting pot. When the water begins to boil, turn the burner down to medium low heat. Watch the wax and once it is has entirely melted, place the candy thermometer into it. The wax needs to be at 190 degrees Fahrenheit for about 36 minutes to get rid of any air that may be trapped inside of the wax.
Add the wax candle dye chips according to how dark or light you wish your candle to be. Lighter candles need only one chip, darker colors will take two chips or more. Stir the wax with the wooden craft stick until the dye chip has dissolved and colored the wax. Add one oz. of fragrance to the wax if so desired, and stir with the wooden stick.
Pour the wax into the round metal candle mold until it is half an inch from the top of the mold, taking care to save a bit of the wax for the second pour. Let the wax sit and cool so that a thick skin of wax forms on its surface.
Poke three holes into the top of the wax skin of the candle, pushing the wooden craft stick into it until it is roughly half an inch from the mold's base. This will allow the wax to shrink as it cools and not form any air bubbles in the candle, which can cause the wick to be off center.
Let the candle cool. The wax in the relief holes will shrink down into the candle and fill the holes. As the relief holes begin to refill, poke the wooden craft stick into them to let out the air in the hardening wax.
Once the candle has completely hardened and cooled down to room temperature, reheat the remaining wax. Pour the melted wax into the relief holes and indentations they made on the candle's surface until it reaches the level just below the first pour of wax, which will appear as a ring on the outer edge of the candle.
Let the candle sit overnight until it has completely hardened and set. When the candle has started to separate a bit from the edges of the mold, it is time to remove it from the mold. Pull on the slip knot at the bottom of the wick and remove the metal washer and rubber gasket. Remove the wick from the jiffy wicker bar by untying the knot and sliding the jiffy wicker bar off of it. Turn the mold upside down and gently pull on the wick located at the candle's top. The candle should slide easily out of the mold. If it does not, place it in your refrigerator for 15 minutes and try again.
Cut off the end of the wick so that it is level with the bottom of the candle. Cut the top wick down to a quarter inch in length.
Another way to remove your candle from the mold is to place it in a basin of warm water. This will soften the outer wax of the candle enough for you to slide it out of the mold. If you like, you can add half a tsp. of UV stabilizer to your wax after adding wax dye chips to it. UV stabilizers prevent colored candles from fading in sunlight or fluorescent lights.
Take care when working with melted wax, as it is hot enough to burn your skin. Don't pour melted wax down a sink drain as it will harden in your pipes and clog your drains.
- Another way to remove your candle from the mold is to place it in a basin of warm water. This will soften the outer wax of the candle enough for you to slide it out of the mold.
- If you like, you can add half a tsp. of UV stabilizer to your wax after adding wax dye chips to it. UV stabilizers prevent colored candles from fading in sunlight or fluorescent lights.
- Take care when working with melted wax, as it is hot enough to burn your skin.
- Don't pour melted wax down a sink drain as it will harden in your pipes and clog your drains.
Alexis Rohlin is a professional writer for various websites. She has produced works for Red Anvil Publishing and was one of the top 10 finalists in the 2007 Midnight Hour Short Story Contest for OnceWritten.com. Rohlin holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in English from Madonna University.
- candle image by Amjad Shihab from Fotolia.com
- candle image by Amjad Shihab from Fotolia.com