Friday, June 24, 2011

Candlemaking 101: The Workshop

Last week, thanks to help from my wonderful nephew, I finally got my craft room back in order:
Well, usable at least
This reminded me that I hadn't blogged about crafting in a while, so I thought I would do a few posts about candlemaking.  I'm not going to try to tell you how to get an organized workroom; clearly, it can be done in a more organized manner than shown above.  This post is more about what you will need to get started.

This picture shows most of the basic supplies:

1) A good work surface, either something you don't care about or something well-covered.  Note the wax stains.  Drips are common and accidents happen.
2) A hot plate of some kind.
3) A double boiler setup of some kind.  You boil water in the bottom pot and cover that with a pot with holes in the bottom so the steam can come through.  NEVER PUT A POT OF WAX DIRECTLY ON THE BURNER.  Don't worry, I'll remind you when I go through making a candle.
4) A spatula.  Silicone spatulas designed for high heat (not the cheapo ones) are perfect for stirring wax and working wax out of stubborn places.
5) Heat-resistant pads to put hot candles and wax pots on to cool.
6) Not shown: Oven mitt, apron, wax thermometer, and fire extinguisher.  Hmm, maybe that last should have been number 1.

Candle molds are great, but you don't have to start with them.  Tin and glass containers are excellent to learn in, and coffee cups are cheap at the dollar store.  If you look at the first pictures, you can see the types of containers I currently have in my craft room. 

I also have plastic and silicone molds not pictured.  Plastic molds are cheaper, but I'm not a fan of them.  I tend to prefer either metal molds or containers.

While you can use old tin cans, I recommend getting the pitchers made for melting wax.  The handle and the spout have saved me a lot of burns, and it can be hard to get a precise pour from a tin can.  However, if you are not sure you want to do much candlemaking, this isn't necessary.

You will, of course, need wax.  This pitcher is for beeswax, and that is what beeswax looks like when it is cool.  I prefer beeswax and soy because they are natural, but paraffin is pretty common.  I'll list my favorite candle supply websites below if you want to see prices, though I recommend ebay for beeswax.

Wax dyes and scents are optional when you are first starting out, but they certainly make candlemaking more fun.  You will also need wick (of course) and wick clips.  I forgot to pull out a wick clip for the picture, but you'll see it when I do a tutorial on making the actual candle.  (I believe that is soy wax in the glass cup, by the way.  It tends to come in flakes.)

As promised, some of my favorite candlemaking supply websites:


  1. hi, im a new follower from voice boks. would love for you to visit my blog and follow back if you like.

  2. I have been making soy candles for a few months now and I would love to see more posts from you on it! I'm getting ready to branch out into paraffin and other types of wax. I'm still getting the hang of wicks - that seems to be where I struggle the most. I've either got them too big or too small. I appreciate the candle supply links. It's overwhelming to find the best prices and service.

    Christina - fellow candlemaker =)

    Visit me at Spilled Milkshake

    P.S. Visiting from voiceBoks!

    ♥ xoxo

  3. Sorry for the delay in the next post. Kira isn't so very patient with the candlemaking, so I have to wait until my husband can watch her.

    Wicks are tough, that's for sure. Even though some of them tell you the ideal diameter, it doesn't always work. Beeswax is the worst. Even the biggest wicks give me trouble.