This is an easy method for producing simple taper candles. It isn't a hard process but it is time-consuming, so make sure to have some free time. The style of taper that you produce is up to you. Shorter taper candles have a more rustic feel, while longer candles suit elegant dinner parties. The choice is yours and is created by the choice of length of taper and the amount of wax layered on.
- Cut the wicks to the length(s) desired. Make the wicks as long or as short as you would like. However, remember that the wick should be 4-6 inches (10-15 centimeters) longer than the candles you are making. A good wick is one that is less flexible than sewing thread, but more flexible than wire. Tie one end of the wick to a stick, such as a chopstick or a piece of dowel. This stick will be used to help you dip and to hang the candle from to dry.
- Ready your dipping container. The container should be long enough to cover the candle size you are making. The more elongated the container, the less wax needed and therefore less waste.
- Prepare the dipping area. Dipping can take some effort, so set aside a block of time to complete it. If the wax starts to solidify, you will need to melt it again as you go, so keep an eye on this. No matter how you have chosen to melt your wax, set up the dipping place carefully:
- Put newspaper down to protect the workspace from splashes.
- Put the container of melted wax onto a trivet.
- Place this on a sturdy work space at a height suitable for you to work around.
- Ensure that the area is free of obstacles, pets and small children.
- Melt the wax. There are two methods for melting the wax. The first is to melt the wax in a double boiler over the saucepan. The second is to allow the wax to melt in a container of hot water set to one side. The choice of method depends on how many candles and how large the candles, along with how much wax you have to melt. If you are making a lot of candles, it will be easier to melt the candles using constant heat over a double boiler.
- Method 1:
- Place small chunks of wax into the double boiler.
- Allow to melt. See temperature notes in "Tips".
- Keep an eye on it. Also, see "Warnings".
- Method 2:
- Place the boiling water in a large container.
- Place the wax into the boiling water. Ensure that there is enough wax to reach the top of the container. Also make sure that the container is sitting one a safe place away from heat sources.
- Allow the wax to melt. You can stir it if needed.
- Method 1:
- Commence dipping the wicks. Tighten the wick until it is straight.
- Lower the taper into the melted wax. Cover it with wax. Holding on to the top of the wick by its stick, quickly dip it into and out of the melted wax. This must be done rapidly up and down, or the wax will slip off the string. The most effective method to ensure that the wax stays on, is to set aside each candle when there is a thin layer and then to return and dip some more when you reach the last candle and proceed to dip all of the candles again.
- Gently blow on the string after each dip. This helps it to position for cooling in place.
- Note that initially the wax will coat the taper and slowly a taper candle will begin to form. Keep dipping patiently to layer on the wax.
- Reheat wax if needed.
- Repeat this process as many times as needed to form a width and shape of taper candle that you are seeking.
- Allow the candles to dry. Lay out the taper candles on a "drying rack". Use a small cardboard box and lay the sticks over this, with the candles dangling down. Do not let the candles touch the ground - suspend them in the air. The candles are done when they are hard to the touch.
- Trim the wick at both ends of the candle. At the thinner end of the finished taper, create a small wick for lighting of about 1/2" (1.2 centimeters). At the thicker end, cut the wick as close as you can to the finisher taper. Trim any wax formations that do not form part of the taper candle shape.
- Paper towels, tissues, and toilet paper can be torn into small strips, which can be twisted together (very tightly) and braided into progressively larger pieces to make a wick.
- Break the wax into small chunks to assist it to melt.
- If you want a perfect shape, try using a mold (see related wikiHow articles).
- If you want to add scent and/or color, add it at the stage when the wax has been melted completely. Purchase scents and dyes suitable for candles.
- The temperature of the wax matters, so if you can, have a thermometer to test it. The perfect dipping temperature is between 150-165ºF (65-75ºC). Colder wax can result in unevenly shaped tapers and hotter wax can produce bubbles in your candle.
- Be careful using the boiling water; scalding water can burn skin easily if splashed on skin.
- If you are melting the wax over the stove, do not let the wax touch the saucepan - it must remain in the top part of the double boiler or you might be subjected to toxic fumes or risk it flaming.
- Do not dip over the hotplate. Remove the boiling water and perform the dipping elsewhere. If not, there is a risk of toxic fumes if the wax burns and you may even get enough momentum up for a flash fire. Just do not risk it!
- Wax doesn't boil-it spontaneously combusts-be sure of your flash point and stay under it!
Things You'll Need Edit
- Boiling water
- A container that can hold boiling water for dipping the candle; the taller and slimmer, the better or you will waste a lot of wax trying to fill it up
- Wax (paraffin is a good choice) - you will need a lot - fill the dipping container almost to full with wax
- Some kind of string (for use as a wick). You can buy a spool of taper candle wick but you can also recycle existing items - see "Tips" for alternative suggestions
Related wikiHows Edit
- How to Straighten Crooked Tapered Candles
- How to Create a Mold for Candles
- How to Make Glow in the Dark Candles
- How to Make Pumpkin Candles
- How to Make Shot Glass Candles
- How to Make a Tye Dye Candle
- How to Make Beer Candles
- How to Make Flowers from Old Bread
- How to Make the Most from Your Old Candles
- How to Safely Burn Candles
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