Candlemaking 101 - Research...

The first thing I suggest to do is to research candlemaking and supplies before you decide what type of candle you want to make. Some common types of candles include:

  • Container - These are candles made from a lower melt point wax that is designed for jars, tins, or other heat resistant candle containers. This type of candle will usually provide a stronger scent throw due to the larger meltpool that can be achieved (to the edges of the container) because the candle itself is contained inside a container, unlike pillars or votives with a smaller meltpool.

  • Pillar - Pillars are free-standing candles that are created from a very high melt point wax. Generally you will not want these to reach a full meltpool since they are not contained inside a candle container. You can burn these on heat resistant plates, tins, or other heat resistant surfaces. You will need to purchase a pillar mold and accessories for this type of candle.

  • Votive - Votives are created with a higher melt point wax than you would use for a container candle, but unlike pillars, they must be burned in tight fitting votive containers because they usually completely liquify because the meltpool usually reaches the edges of the votive because the diameter is so small.

  • Tea Light - Tea lights can be made from low or high melt point waxes since you pour the wax directly into tea light cups. You will not remove the tea lights from these cups so it doesn't matter what the melt point of the wax is. Tea light cups are available in metal or clear polycarbonate plastic that are designed to withstand heat. You can ultimately burn the tea lights in votive cups or on other heat resistant surfaces.

  • Wax Melt (A.K.A. Tarts) - Wax Melts are generally small and wickless and will require a higher melt point wax since you will pour the wax into tiny molds, and then remove them before melting them in a tart warmer. Molds are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

  • Taper - Tapers are tall and slender free-standing candles that require a very high melt point wax (many use beeswax) so they retain their shape. You can either poor your wax into taper molds or do it the old fashioned way by repeatedly dipping the wick into candle wax until the taper is formed. You can also purchase beeswax sheets that can be rolled into tapers.

  • Gel - These are candles created specifically with gel wax. The gel itself is clear and is great for embedding objects or decorative scenery items into it. You'll need to use FO's that are specifically designed for gel candles.

There are literally hundreds of different wax and wick combinations so the more information you can gather before making your purchase of candle supplies, the more money you'll potentially save in the long run.

A good place to start your search is from our Candle Suppliers by State or Candle Wax Suppliers pages. You can easily find a supplier close to home to save on shipping costs and you'll be able to read up on the various waxes to see what you're interested in trying out. Most suppliers will describe in detail the benefits/uses for each type of wax. Some waxes are made specifically for containers and others are designed for votives, pillars, tea lights, wax melts, tapers, or gel.

Another decision you'll need to make is whether you prefer to work with paraffin wax, gel, or a natural wax such as soy, vegetable, or beeswax (used as an additive in wax or for votives, pillars, tapers - can't use straight for container candles). Once you decide on your candle type and wax you are ready to make your first purchase.

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