Handmade candles

People have been making their own candles for thousands of years. Today with the availability of electricity we no longer depend on candles for light.  Yet their popularity remains.  Nothing beats candles, especially handmade ones, for creating just the right atmosphere whether it be romantic, soothing, or exhilarating. 

Candlemaking the natural way : 31 projects made with soy, palm & beeswax
Rebecca Ittner.
Asheville, NC : Lark Crafts, c2010.
Natural is trendy, part of the wide-ranging cultural shift toward homemade and handcrafted.  Discover the latest in candlemaking techniques with this complete, contemporary guide to the green side of the craft. Using soy, palm wax, and beeswax, these 30 projects create beautiful, eco-friendly pieces perfect for gift-giving or home display. Fragrance, color, and wax additives are explored along with a range of basic techniques including dipped, rolled, and molded methods.
by Elaine Stavert.
Lewes : Guild of Master Craftsman, 2010.
The rewards of making your own candles are many: it's a pleasant, easy craft activity for young and old; the results are attractive and practical; and homemade candles make distinctive gifts for all occasions. Based on charming English candle-making traditions, this delightfully inviting book offers a complete course in the craft, with a variety of projects including pillar, floating, votive, multi-wick, tea light, dipped, and rolled candles. Detailed information is given on a range of wicks, essential oils, colors, and perfumes, and advice on how to create unique blends to satisfy individual tastes.  
Master the art of making candles for cash : learn to set up your own profitable candle making business from the comfort of your very own home.
[S.l.] : KMS, c2009.
Making candles is a fun and relaxing hobby. While it does give you the opportunity to be creative, making a business out of it can also be very lucrative.If you are an arts & crafts person, why not consider making big business out of making candles! Here is an easy idea that can give you additional income which requires only very little start up capital and you can start at your own home without difficulty.This book is your candle making how-to business manual. Learn to set up your own candle making business with no trouble. We give you excellent business pointers on starting, licensing, production, marketing, and developing your business. Learn basic candle making methods and specializations which you can develop as your own. Learn marketing and advertising tools and techniques which will get your products into retail and into the internet. Learn selling methods which you feel you can take on and start up your business from there. We even offer valuable selling ideas to ensure your business success. Learn all these secrets to making candles at home and make loads of money by selling them as your own business! Get a copy of your book now and start earning extra income without putting out immense capital money upfront.
Creating candles
Luisa Sacchi.
Mechanicsburg, PA : Stackpole Books, c2008.
Fun, contemporary, and old-fashioned designs For both novice and experienced crafters Practical information and inspiring photographs How to make 104 different kinds of candles is described and illustrated with concise text and more than 1,000 beautiful color photographs. Includes candles for special occasions, holidays, dining, decorating, gift-giving, picnics, and parties using a wide variety of containers, scents, waxes, molds, and additives. Offers step-by-step instructions as well as inspiration to make hundreds of creative variations. Introductory chapters cover basic techniques and materials in detail.
Candles : making, decorating, styling
Gloria Nicol ; photography by Debbie Patterson.
London : Southwater, c2008.
Over 40 easy-to-follow projects for making your own glorious candles and candle holders, with step-by-step photography throughout.

Make a pillar candle

Melt wax to 180 degrees in double boiler

Prime the wick by dipping in melted wax

Add additives, color, and scent

Pour wax into metal pouring pot and then into prepared mold

Tap mold several times to remove bubbles

Let set for several hours

Pour a second layer of wax into mold because wax retracts as it cools

When set remove from mold

(more details at CandleTech)

A candle is simply a body of tallow, wax, or other fatty material formed around a wick composed of braided cotton threads.

Early candles were made of vegetable waxes produced from plants such as bayberries, candilla leaves, and various varieties of palm leaves. Tallow candles were made of sheep, cow, or pig fat. However, these crude candles were smoky.

Since 1850, paraffin was refined from oil, making petroleum-based candles possible. This type of candle burns clearly and without any odor.

Candle makers, also known as chandlers, often made candles by dipping wicks into melted wax. There were formal candlemakers' guilds in place by the thirteenth century. By 1292, there were 71 chandlers listed on the Paris tax rolls. Today candle makers can be either professionals or hobbyists.

Candles are named for their shape, or by the method used to make them. Pillars, tapers,  votives, tea lights, are just a few shapes that they are made.

There are many methods available to make candles. These include: Cast and molded, dipped, drawn, extruded, poured, pressed, and rolled.

Being creative with candlemaking will add a personal touch to your candles. Try decorating them with pressed, dried flowers, lace, or even colourful buttons. Use various shaped molds, or pour your wax into sand. Old milk or orange juice cartons are great for creating tall, pillar candles.

Enjoy this hobby with your family and have lots of fun making your own holiday gifts.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff