Supplies: Lightbulb, pliers, hammer, candle wax, scent (optional), wick, boil bags, medium-large sauce pan, stove
Time: 30-40 minutes
Today was my first attempt at candle making. I think I did a pretty good job! There was only a small wax spill and I didn’t burn myself (though there was another injury). I want to jump right into things, but first a disclaimer. As I mentioned, I haven’t done this before. I read the instructions on the packages, but I did not do extensive candle making research. Everything I’m about to explain worked for me, but since there’s hot wax and whatnot involved I feel that I should tell you I’m absolutely not a candle making authority.
Okay. The supplies. I went to Hobby Lobby and found a great selection of candle supplies. You’ll need wax, of course. I got the kind that’s in little sand-like granules. You’ll also need a wick. Make sure they’re tall enough for your container. I got the kind with the little metal circle on the bottom. Finally, boil bags. I was not aware of these before and I almost didn’t buy them, but for about $3 I highly recommend them!
So start by filling your saucepan halfway with water and bringing it to a boil. Then pour some wax into a boil bag. It’s probably best to measure the wax, but I just estimated. Loosely close the bag near the top with a twist tie or rubber band and place the bag into the water.
Then it’s a waiting game. While you let the wax melt you can prepare your lightbulb. While I was at Hobby Lobby I noticed a lightbulb container in the glass container section. It’s basically a lightbulb with extra thick glass and a flat bottom. Also, there’s no lightbulb stuff on the inside. I planned to use a real bulb, but I couldn’t pass this up! If you use a real bulb I recommend finding something to attach to the bottom as a base (there’s going to be fire happening and we don’t want more than the wick to burn!). I’m going to refer you back to the lightbulb terrariums from day 61. That will tell you all you need to know about opening up the lightbulb, but here’s the gist. Use a hammer and needle nose pliers to remove the metal end of the bulb and break the black glass (and remove the insides of a real bulb).
Somehow I managed to do this sans injury the first time. This time however… Here’s a tip: don’t touch broken glass with your bare hands! Who knew! I was sweeping the glass of the counter and a lovely shard stuck directly into my palm. I had to pull it out and everything (sorry if you’re squeamish, but it was kinda cool). Speaking of squeamishness, if that’s you don’t look at the next picture.
Looks like I’ll be wearing gloves at work for the next couple days (it’s pizza, so we don’t usually have to wear gloves before baking them).
Anyway, your wax may or may not be ready by now. If it is, you’re ready to add the scent. Squeeze a bit into the bag and swish it around. Now it’s time to pour it. If you have gloves wear them at this point (thin winter gloves would be fine). Tip the bag back so one corner has no wax in it. Then cut a small bit of the corner off like you’d do for a piping bag. Pinch the hole closed and stick it in the lightbulb. Then let go and pour the wax into the bulb. Then stick the wick into the bulb.
I put mine in a bowl to catch spills, by the way. I’m learning! I also had a little extra wax as well as an extra candle holder, so I made a second candle. Time to wait again.
So after about an hour the wax was still warm and a little soft, but I thought I’d try my candles. I was a little concerned about the airflow inside the lightbulb, so I wasn’t sure the idea would even work. Well, it turns out I’m still not because I need one of those long lighters to access the wick. Luckily, I made a regular candle for backup. And it looks lovely and smells like cinnamon!
I’m not sure how the lightbulb will turn out, but I’ll be getting or borrowing a lighter soon so I can try it out and let you know. But hey, we now know how to make candles! Crafting is all about trial and error.
Now on to last week’s giveaway! The winner of the embroidery thread hair combs is JSD! Congratulations! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with you mailing address and the combs will go out this week!