scented candlesScented candles are very popular item especially for hotels and Spas. They add a warmth and scent to the place that many people desire. However, because of their popularity, scented candles can be very expensive to purchase. Making candles at home can cut the cost, and provide a fun project for those who like to craft.

Buying scented candles can be very expensive, especially strongly scented ones that retain their scent. Making a pillar candle at home costs no more than a few dollars and you can custom make it with any scents and colors you like. Candle making can be time consuming, and it can be dangerous if the proper safety measures are not followed, but the results are something that will fill you with pride.

1. Gather the necessary items.
* To make a basic scented candle, you will need some wax. Paraffin wax is easy to find and is good in just about any type of candle. Paraffin can be found at the grocery store under the name Gulf Wax.
* You will also need a pouring pot, which is just a metal pot with a handle that you will melt the wax in.
* Have a wax or candy thermometer handy.
* Candle-making requires candle wicking.
* If you want your wax to have color, then you need to have either a liquid color, a powder, or chip color, which is a solid pigment chip.
* Choose a mold to shape the candle. Hobby stores carry all of this equipment, as do most Wal-Marts. Ebay is a good place to buy candle making supplies as well, as they are much cheaper than what you will find in a store.
* Finally, you need what gives a scented candle its scent! Scent comes in a couple different forms — liquid scent and solid scent. Liquid scent is more difficult to use, but it is much stronger and will linger longer.

2. Choose your design. Candles can be made in just about any shape, from ball candles to long, skinny tapers. There are also complicated molds in every shape imaginable. The easiest shape is a pillar candle, which is a thick cylinder that is flat at the top and bottom. This is a sturdy shape that will sit steadily anywhere and has a long burn time. Pillar molds are easy to find in the aforementioned places, while it can take more time and effort to find more complex shapes.

3. Find a heat source. You will need heat to melt the wax, and it should be a safe source that is easy to clean. The heat source will end up with wax on it, so many people don’t like to use the stove. When using a pouring pot, there are usually a few drops that will run down the pot after the wax has been poured. This wax stays liquid for awhile, but eventually dries onto the surface. It is not a good idea to try to wipe the liquid wax while it is still hot, as there is a good chance of getting some fingers burned. If you use a thick cloth towel to try to clean it up each time the wax is poured, the towel will be completely ruined, as wax does not wash out of fabric. It is best to simply plan for the wax that will build up as the wax is poured, and try to pour as gently as you can to limit the amount of wax that drips. A hot plate is good source, as it is easy to scrape wax from the surface, and it can be used in any room that is convenient.

4. Melt the wax. For a typical pillar candle, you will need at least a pound of wax. This recipe will be for one pound, and if you are making a larger candle, simply proportionally increase the ingredients. Place the wax in the pouring pot, and clip the thermometer onto the side. Let the wax melt, but don’t let the temperature go past about 300 degrees. Wax catches fire at about 375 degrees, and it is best to stay well under that threshold while keeping the wax a to make scented candles

5. Color the wax. If you have decided on a color, add the color to the liquid wax and stir. The color can be a liquid color, a powder, or chip color, which is a solid pigment chip. Chip color is by far the easiest to use and is very effective in coloring wax. For one pound of wax, use one full diamond chip if that is what you have. If you have a long block of solid color, break off about one fourth of the block for a nice, rich color. If you are looking for a more pastel shade, use about half of these amounts. You can stir the mixture with anything you like, or you can just slosh the pot gently to mix the wax and color.

6. Add the scent. If you are using a liquid scent, add about one ounce for a strong scent. Or add less for a more subtle outcome. If you are using a solid scent, read the instructions as to how much is needed for one pound of wax. Stir or slosh the pot.

7. Ready the mold. If the mold has a wick hole at the bottom, affix the wick in the hole according to the directions that came with the mold. Some molds come with a putty or adhesive to help hold it in place. Once the wick has been placed in the hole, tie the top of the wick around something, such as a long spoon, or a stick. The item will then be laid across the top, keeping the wick straight.

8. Pour the wax. The wax should be poured slowly into the mold. The more slowly and carefully you pour it, the fewer air bubbles will be in the wax. When all of it is poured, gently tap the side of the mold to release any bubbles.

9. Let the wax cool. Let the wax cool for a little while, checking back often to make sure it is cooling evenly. Most candles will sink a little in the middle as the wax hardens, so more wax will probably need to be poured into the middle to even it out. If it is a very large candle, this will need to be repeated several times.

10. Take it out. Once the candle is completed cooled and hardened, which could take as long as a day depending on the size of the candle, take it out of the mold. Pillar molds are very slightly sloped so that the wax will not get stuck, and the sides are smooth, allowing it to slide out easily. The candle will come out with two ends of wick sticking out. The part of the wick that was affixed to the bottom of the mold is the top of the candle. Trim it to about half an inch long, and cut the wick off the other side. You candle is finished! Display it proudly.

Source: L. Shepherd. “how to make scented candles”.

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