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Is anyone here making their own candles? I prefer to use candles made of all all-natural materials (usually beeswax or soy wax), infused with dried herbs and sometimes essential oils. I was looking at this blog post from Spirit de la Lune that has a recipe to follow for making candles using a blend of beeswax pellets and coconut oil, in a double boiler. It seems pretty easy so I'm planning to try it! I've been wanting to try making my own candles for a long time. I know I can purchase the beeswax pellets from my usual herb supplier, Mountain Rose Herbs. (I already have a solid bar of beeswax that I could try shaving down small for this...although the pellets would likely work better.)

 

Does anyone else make their own candles?

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YES!  Using exactly that method too, although my 'double boiler' is a lot simpler...

I use the beeswax pellets because I'm too lazy to grate wax...

 

Here's my method, I vary the amount of oil to wax ratio depending on what I'm making, the shade of yellow I'm after and how fast I want it to burn.  A lot of the time I just guess...

I put my beeswax and my coconut oil in a metal jug (I think its aluminium?  I've had it so long I can't actually remember - when I first started I used an old pyrex jug I didn't want for food use anymore).  Then I heat some water up in a saucepan that the jug fits in (like, just a couple of inches of water) and sit the jug in the top.  Its supposed to be that you don't let the jug touch the bottom but I'm sure mine has and its never done any harm yet.  Stir it every so often (I usually use an old lollypop stick for this).

While its melting I prep my moulds.  I like to use handspun cotton for the wick (usually 4 or 8 ply depending on the candle).  I'm lazy so I don't tend to pre-wax my wicks, but its totally a doable thing.  Then when the wax mix has melted I just pour it into the mould(s) and leave it to set.  I tend to leave a little bit over so that I can fill up any gaps or holes that form as the wax cools down in the mould.  If I've got more left over after that I just pour it into the top of the mould to use it up and hope it doesn't make holes.  (There's a fancy name for that but I can't remember what it is!).

 

In the last stages of melting you can add colours and scents, but I tend to keep mine natural as that's my preference.

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Ooh @stephanelli, I'm so excited to try this!! Thanks for sharing your method! Where do you get your wick supply? I think I have pretty much everything else that's required.

 

I'm with you, I really like natural candles. I do want to try adding a small sprinkle of herbs...I love herb candles, although they can be dangerous especially when the herb pieces are large! I've had herbs act like a "second wick" and catch fire while I'm burning a candle, and those flames can grow quite quickly so you really have to watch them. I'll probably stick with a small sprinkle of fine herbs, at least to start. I also wonder how other oils would work instead of coconut? I'm sure coconut has the best burn properties, but I'm thinking that if I used a different vegetable oil, one that's liquid at room temperature, I could do an herbal infusion with my usual method (just allowing herbs to sit in oil on a windowsill for a couple of weeks), then use the infused oil to make the candle for an herbal touch. But I think I'm getting ahead of myself! I'll start with the basics and then see if I want to experiment further. Very excited, have wanted to try this for a long time!

 

Oh, another thought I just had, maybe as another future experiment...I usually try to stay away from glitter because it's more microplastics that will end up in the ocean, BUT I came across a UK company Ecostardust that makes fully biodegradable, all plant-based glitters. I could see that being fun to add sometime! But again I'm getting ahead of myself 😁

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46 minutes ago, RavenOfSummer said:

Ooh @stephanelli, I'm so excited to try this!! Thanks for sharing your method! Where do you get your wick supply? I think I have pretty much everything else that's required.

I make my wicks.  I'm a spinner of yarn and my odds and ends of thin cotton that I've spun gets plied further and eventually plied (or sometimes braided) into wicks of approximately the right size.

Probably not a very helpful answer...sorry!

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3 minutes ago, stephanelli said:

I make my wicks.  I'm a spinner of yarn and my odds and ends of thin cotton that I've spun gets plied further and eventually plied (or sometimes braided) into wicks of approximately the right size.

Probably not a very helpful answer...sorry!

Ahh, that is so cool! 😃 I've done a little looking around and think I'll be able to purchase some natural wicks 🙂

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@RavenOfSummer just perusing through this post and thought I'd mention that if you wanted to use an herbal infused oil you could still use coconut oil. You could put the oil and your herbs into a pot on a super low heat for a while to macerate that way. Once you've got the infusion strength you want just strain it through some fine cloth, give it a good squeeze and viola! You're good to go 😁 the bonus is you can make your candles in one day instead of waiting for a jar of oil on the windowsill and you won't have to use as much beeswax as a liquid-at-room-temp oil 😁

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3 hours ago, TheFeeLion said:

@RavenOfSummer just perusing through this post and thought I'd mention that if you wanted to use an herbal infused oil you could still use coconut oil. You could put the oil and your herbs into a pot on a super low heat for a while to macerate that way. Once you've got the infusion strength you want just strain it through some fine cloth, give it a good squeeze and viola! You're good to go 😁 the bonus is you can make your candles in one day instead of waiting for a jar of oil on the windowsill and you won't have to use as much beeswax as a liquid-at-room-temp oil 😁

That's a great point @TheFeeLion- I've only ever done the windowsill method but I really should try the stovetop method. Thanks for the idea! Do you do a lot of oil infusions and/or make candles yourself?

 

By the way, so nice to see you, it's been a while! I think the last time we spoke I was congratulating you on your wedding!! 😀🌹🎊

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20 hours ago, RavenOfSummer said:

That's a great point @TheFeeLion- I've only ever done the windowsill method but I really should try the stovetop method. Thanks for the idea! Do you do a lot of oil infusions and/or make candles yourself?

 

By the way, so nice to see you, it's been a while! I think the last time we spoke I was congratulating you on your wedding!! 😀🌹🎊

I actually don't, it's something I wouldn't mind having a go at though. I do however do massages for an Ayurvedic place up the road and their massage oils (with a ton of herbs infused in them) are made on site using that stove top method. If you want to infuse oils for other things, like topical use, and still keep the integrity of all the oil I would definitely do it this way. Just make sure you keep the heat super low. The other bonus is you won't get any uv damage from leaving the oil in the sun 😁

 

Ha yeah I took a bit of a break from everything after the wedding and played Hermit for a while! I thought it was about time I picked things up again 😁

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