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Monday, December 3, 2007

How to Make Your Own Aromatherapy Candles Contd...

Step 1: Getting Started: Its always better to cover your work space with a big newspaper. You don't wanna end up messing your kitchen table followed by a hard labor to make it back to sparkling clean!

Step 2: Priming the wick: Every candle you make should use a primed wick. The process of priming wicks is both easy and quick. The purpose of priming your candle wicks is that primed wicks burn more evenly. In addition, a primed wick will light more easily and will burn more reliably. Heat your wax in a double boiler. You only need a small amount of wax as you are only wanting to get the wicks coated in the wax. Tip the pot on an angle so the melted wax gathers in the bottom of the saucepan. This creates a deeper pool of wax. While holding onto the end of the wick, dip the wick into the melted wax and do not let go of the wick. Keep the wick in the melted wax until you see air bubbles rise to the surface. This generally takes about 30 seconds. When this happens, it means that the wick has absorbed a sufficient amount of wax.
When you see the air bubbles, it means the wick can now be removed from the wax.
Lay the wick on some wax paper and pull the wick taught. Let the wax harden. This takes a few minutes and once hard, the wick is ready to use. Once the wick has hardened, you will need to cut off the part of the wick that you were holding because it hasn't been primed. Cut a few millimeters below the unprimed part of the wick. This ensures you have a completely primed wick.

Step 3: Making the candle:
1. Put the wick through one end of the mould. After the wick is about 2.5 cm (1 inch) past the second end of the mould, seal the mould with some dough at the base after tying a knot on the wick. There will be then an open hole at the top where you can pour the wax into. Tie the top end of the wick around a pencil or a chop-stick and rest it on top of the mould. Try to center the wick the best you can. Alternatively, you can insert the wick into the moulded wax, when the wax has just started setting. This is not that successful a method, hence its better if you get a mould that has a hole at its end, so you can tie the wick at the bottom as well as at top (with a pencil) hence preventing it to move until the wax has set.

2. Now that the wick is in place, it's time to melt some stearin in the double boiler. The amount of stearin you use depends on the amount of wax you are using. I never measure anything, so you'll have to do some R&D on your own. Say around a quarter kilo of wax will need a handful of stearin. Thats my measure. As for the color, a general rule of thumb is to use. 2.5 grams (1 oz) of a dye disc per 200 grams (8 oz) of paraffin wax. Once the stearin has melted, add the coloring and your choice of essential oil (ones i have tried are lavender, orange and patchouli). Once the coloring has dissolved, add the wax and heat.

3. Grease the mould slightly with any vegetable oil and once everything in the pot had melted, carefully pour the wax into your mould. Once poured into the mould, you will want to tap the mould on the sides with firm taps. I like to tap with a spoon, but some use their finger. You want to tap hard enough to bring any air bubbles to the surface. Let the wax set on its own which means, you dont need to refrigerate or put the mould in a cold water container to speed up the setting of wax. When a thin layer like thing begins to form on the top, prick a needle many times at different places on that top layer. This is done to set the trapped air bubbles free. This step is important. Else your candle will be bubbly from everywhere, which rather looks ugly and no matter what color or how much color you have used, your candle will still look white.

4. After the candle has cooled, you will notice that a well has formed at the top of the candle. You now have two options. You can do nothing if the well doesn't bother you or you can melt some more wax and fill the well. Synthetic waxes like paraffin will shrink when cooled whereas natural waxes like beeswax do not shrink. This is why there will be a well at the top of the candle if using paraffin wax. If you decide to fill the well with more wax, simply add more melted wax and let cool for a few hours or overnight.

5. Once cool, you can remove the mould seal. Next, remove the wicking needle (pencil) and trim the wick at the base (remember we tied a knot at the end to keep the wick standing?). Put the mould upside down and tap the end and sides of the mould with a spoon. You might need to tap harder to slide out the candle from the mould.

DONE!! Congrats for your first very own made candle! The steps seem loads and complicated, but trust me, its not. Explaining them is a bigger deal. If you read closely, you'll realize there are actually very less steps involved, that too really really simple one.


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