Ready for a fun candle making project? OK, let's see how it goes. For this first review article, we will experiment the art of candle making with "The Complete Candlemaker Book & Kit", an original Lark Kit that I purchased recently.
What an exciting moment that was when the postman rang the doorbell, greeting me with a smile upon pronouncing these words: "A package for you". My first steps into the creative world of candle kits. Let's wait no more and start filling our home with candle lights.
Unpacking the Candle Kit
First comes first: let's unpack the kit and lay everything in front of us in order to get familiar with the contents. What do we have in here?
– 3.5 lbs of paraffin wax
– 1 dipping dowel
– 4 colors of dye chips
– 3 yards of wick
– 6 metal weights
– 1 block vanilla candle fragrance
– 1 reusable rubber candle mold in shape of bee-hive
– 4 pages of Instructions
– 1 copy of The Complete Candlemaker – Techniques. Projects. Inspirations book by Norma Coney.
This 128 pages book is full of gorgeous pictures and contains several candle projects other than the ones we will be making with this kit. A lot of inspirational ideas. Now, let's talk about the additional material needed, not included in the candle kit, to complete the two projects of the Complete Candlemaker Book & Kit which are: Hand-Dipped Tapers and Bee-Hive votives.
Other materials you may need:
– Double-boiler set-up (note 1)
– Dipping vat (note 2)
– Spoon or stick for stirring wax
– Candy thermometer to monitor temperature of wax
– Cool-water bath (note 3)
– Piercing device
– Tapestry needle
– Paper towels or old hand towels
– Spoon ladle
– Clean freezer paper
– Hook or other drying apparatus to hang candles from while cooling
Note 1. The Double-Boiler setup
When a double-boiler bottom is called for, do not take it literally! In fact, it would be a shame to damage a nice piece of kitchen equipment. Essentially what you need is a pot, not too high and fairly wide, that you will fill with water.
Then you'll fill your dipping vat (s) with wax, and set the vats in the water to melt the wax. This will keep the wax away from a direct heat source, so the temperature will not fluctuate wildly and the wax will melt slowly.
An old, seldom-used pot or a find at the thrift store works well as a double-boiler bottom. Expect the inside of the double boiler to get scraped up and eventually lined with wax.
Note 2. Dipping vat
The dipping vat (s) go inside your double-boiler bottom.
The size of tapers you want to make will determine what size of dipping vat you need. For smaller tapers (eg, birthday candles or small, decorative taper sets to hang on the wall), you can use soup cans, tomato paste cans, or any regular 8-oz. food can.
For taller tapers, the ideal method is to melt all of your wax in one large juice can (like a big, 46-oz. Metal juice can, etc) and wind the wick so both candles hang pretty close together. Then you can dip both candles out of one can.
If you want to make really tall tapers, you'll need to use a very tall and very skinny dipping vat.
Three lbs. of wax can make a lot of candles, but if you are trying to fill up a really wide coffee can, the wax is not going to be as deep as if you were filling up a skinny milk carton, for example.
Always make sure your dipping vat has tight seams before you fill it up. Just fill it with water first and check for leaks.
Note 3. The cool-water bath
Almost any kind of container will work for this – you just need a tub or bucket that's deep enough to dip the entire length of your taper into some cold water.
In the next article, we will start the first project, a step-by-step procedure to create the Bee Hive Votive candle.
Stay tuned for more action with the help of candle kits!