Adventist Youth Honors Answer Book/Arts and Crafts/Candlemaking

Arts and Crafts
General Conference
Skill Level 1
Year of Introduction: 1972

1. Make at least five of the following edit

a. Free-form sand candle edit

Break wax up in chunks and place in a cheese tin. Then place cheese tin a in pot with several inches of water. Heating wax up in pot will just cause you more work scrubbing the hardened wax from the inside of the pot. While the wax is melting get some wet sand and just make a free form hole in whatever shape you like, by using a jar, glass or others.

Heat the wax to your desired temperature. You can use your finger to make a hole in the bottom of the sand stick the wick in and cover it or you can stick the wick in after the first pour. Use an ice pick or stick to make a small indentation in the bottom of the poured candle and fit the wick into that hole. If you need to, stabilize the wick with a wick bar, straw, stick. Using the tablespoon to deflect the wax, slowly pour the wax into the hole. The spoon helps the hot wax disperse better without causing the hole to cave in. Depending on how wet your sand is you will likely hear a sizzling! This is just the water being evaporated out by the wax. You will notice that the wax begins to seep into the side of the hole. Fill the hole and let it seep. We'll come back and do a second pour when the wax cools down in a bit. After the second pouring and the free form is filled your sand candle is now ready.

b. Layered colored candle edit

A layered colored candle can be made by pouring multiple colors of hot wax (one color at a time) into a mold. You can color the wax yourself by using an uncolored wax and adding candle dye to it, or you can recycle old candles. If recycling, avoid mixing colors (if you mix several colors, the result is generally an unpleasant brownish-gray). Instead, separate out the colors, melt them individually, and use them as artistically as you can.

Start by melting at least two colors of wax in a double boiler. While it is melting, prepare the wick by cutting it to the desired length and attaching it to a sustainer base (or wick tab). The sustainer base will prevent the wick from floating in the liquid wax and anchor it to the bottom of the mold. Attaching the wick to the sustainer base is as easy as tying an overhand knot in the end of the wick and threading the other end through a hole in the base. Then pull the wick through until the knot stops the wick from pulling through the hole.

Attach the upper end of the wick to a wick bar. If you do not have a wick bar, you can use a pencil. The wick can be attached to the pencil using a clove hitch - this knot will allow you to pull on the wick the lengthen it, or pull on the other end to shorten it. Make adjustments until the wick tab touch the bottom of the mold when the pencil is laid across the top of the mold.

Once the wax is melted and the wick is in place, pour some wax into the mold. Let it cool briefly to minimize mixing and then pour in the second color. Repeat for additional colors.

c. Candle made in a mold edit

This is perhaps the easiest way to make a candle. You can buy reusable molds, or you can use paper cups and discard them when finished.

  • Double boiler (see requirement 5)
  • Wooden skewer or paint stirrer
  • Candle mold (or paper cup)
  • Pencil (or another wooden skewer)
  • Wax or paraffin
  • Wick
  • Wick anchor
  1. Melt the wax in a double boiler.
  2. Attach the wick anchor to the wick
  3. Tie the other end of the wick to a pencil or skewer
  4. Place the anchor-end of the wick in the mold laying the pencil/skewer on the rim.
  5. Adjust the knot until the anchor just rest on the bottom of the mold. You may turn the pencil to take up extra wick and not have to get a knot tied in exactly the right place.
  6. Pour melted wax into the mold
  7. Allow the wax to settle. It will normally form a depression in the top of the candle after a few minutes. Pour more wax into this depression to fill it up.
  8. All the wax to set for an hour or so.
  9. Once the wax has set, pop it out of the mold.

d. Ice candle edit

Ice candles combine ice and hot wax to form a cool, lacy-looking candle. This procedure will take two to three hours to complete.

  • Scissors
  • Knife
  • Large saucepan and a large tin can (or a double boiler)
  • Wooden skewer or paint stirrer
  • Bowl, plastic tub, or sink
  • Cylindrical cardboard container (such as a salt or oatmeal box)
  • Paper towel
  • Cooking oil
  • White tapered candle
  • 1 pound of paraffin wax
  • Crayon pieces
  • Crushed ice
  1. Cut off the top of the cylindrical container to make the mold.
  2. Use a paper towel to coat the inside of the mold with cooking oil.
  3. Use a knife to cut off the bottom of the taper candle, making it the same height as the mold.
  4. Melt the wax in a double boiler - which can be improvised using a tin can placed in a pot of water. (See requirement 5.)
  5. Stir the melting wax with the skewer.
  6. Mix in the crayon pieces as desired to get different color effects.
  7. When the wax is completely melted, pour some into the mold so that it is about a half inch deep. Immediately place the tapered candle into the center of the mold (wick end up, cut end down) and hold it there until the wax hardens enough to hold it in place. This might take a minute or so.
  8. Fill the mold with crushed ice, then add wax on top of it, filling the mold almost all the way to the top.
  9. As the ice melts, add more, and cover with more wax. Repeat until the mold is filled.
  10. Place the mold in a bowl, plastic tub, or sink, as it will leak water. Leave it for about an hour.
  11. When the wax has set, peel the cardboard off the candle.

e. Dipped candle edit

A dipped candle is made by dipping a wick into melted wax, removing it, allowing it to cool, and repeating until the candle has the desired diameter. Usually two candles are made at once by using a length of wick a bit more than twice as long as the desired length of candle. This wick is folded in half, and both ends are dipped.

Hand dipping is a little bit difficult at first because the wicks will tend to float on the surface of the liquid wax. But after a couple of dips, the weight of the wax will cause them to straighten out and stiffen so that they can be easily dipped.

When the candles are finished, they are hung over a rod and allowed to cool completely. The wick shared by the two candles is cut once they cool (or just prior to use).

f. Dribble-wax candle edit

g. Perfumed candle edit

Any of the other candle described here can be perfumed by adding scented oils to the liquid wax. These scents are available in any craft store that carries candle-making supplies.

h. Pair of beeswax candles edit

Use beeswax instead of paraffin and follow the procedure outlined in section e for making dipped candles.

i. Floating candle edit

j. Candle in a container/jar edit

k. Decorated candle edit

2. Know the two kinds of wax used for candle making and their uses. edit

Nowadays, fuel is nearly always some form of wax, with paraffin wax being the most common. Paraffin is a byproduct of petroleum distillation, and as such is cheaply available in great quantities.
Beeswax candles burn cleanly, with little or no wax dripping down the sides and little visible smoke. A beeswax candle flame has a "warmer," more yellow color than that of paraffin, and the color of the flame may vary depending on the season in which the wax was harvested.

3. Know sizes of wicking and which one will burn properly in each particular candle. edit

While there is no exact formulation to figure what size wick to use there are some general guidelines that will help. The size of the wick depends upon a few factors. These factors are additives in the candle, size of the candle and the type of wick. The kinds and amounts of additives will vary widely from candlemaker to candlemaker, as will the size and wick type so this is what makes an exact formula for choosing a wick size next to impossible to create. The best method for choosing the correct wick size is through testing. Try different size wicks for different candle recipes and see what size wick works best. There are, however, some general guidelines that can help the candlemaker decide what size of wick to use.

There are some tips that have been handed down by veteran candlemakers that can help the novice in the quest to find the correct wick size. The following tips are just generalizations, but are still a good place to start.

  1. Wick size should general match the candle size. For example, small candles use small diameter wicks.
  2. Wicks that are too small for the candle will leave a lot of unburned wax around the outside of the candle or just drown in the pool of wax that gathers at its base.
  3. Wicks that are too large for the candle will cause excessive smoke, burn too fast, or even cause the wax to overflow down the sides of the candle or container.

The best guideline to use when choosing a wick size is to first decide the type of wick to use. The different materials that wicks are made of also effect how it burns. The following list includes common wick types and the types of candles they work the best in.

Wick type Wax type Candle type
CD wicks Some beeswax and gels, paraffin solid color, no fragrance
CDN wicks Paraffin Solid color, free standing pillar, container
3-ply cotton wick Paraffin Pillar, taper
Square braided wick Any Any
Paper core wick Petroleum Votive, pillar, container
Cotton core wick Any Tealight, votive, container, pillar

4. When should a metal core wick be used? edit

A metal core wick should be used on any candle with a large diameter. The purpose of the metal core is to hold the wick upright, keeping it from falling over and drowning the flame in liquid wax.

Some birthday candles use a type of metal (magnesium) to relight the candle. These types of candles are used best to trick the birthday person and to add life to a already jamming party. Theses candles relight themselves, using a fuse similar to those in fireworks, the principle being that by igniting magnesium inserted into the wick of the candle, the paraffin vapor given off when a candle is blown out can be set alight, and through this, the candle can reignite.

5. Know the safety techniques of candle making. edit

  • When heating wax, it should be tended at all times.
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy when heating wax in case it flares up.
  • In the event of a flare-up, you may be able to extinguish the flame by covering the pot with a lid, cutting off the oxygen. If this fails, you will need a fire extinguisher.
  • Wax should be melted in a double boiler rather than with direct heat. A double boiler can be improvised by placing the wax in a large tin can and then placing the can in a pot of water. The water is then boiled and the heat is transferred to the wax, causing it to melt. An added advantage to using a tin can for this purpose is that it can be discarded when finished.

References edit