Historically, candles were expensive commodities, used sparingly for lighting purposes, but that is no longer the case! Today, candles are a common decorative item found in most households. The simple and inexpensive methods employed in candle making make this craft available to everyone!
Candles can be made from a variety of waxes, including paraffin, beeswax or stearin – a wax produced from palm waxes. You don’t need to worry about paraffin wax burning less cleanly than other waxes; these commercial waxes are highly refined before being marketed for candle-making purposes. In the activities you’ll find in these pages, you’re welcome to use any wax form that you feel comfortable with!
The craft of candle making, with its roots in ancient lighting techniques, offers endless opportunities for originality and creativity. Who doesn’t remember the excitement of blowing out their birthday candles? Why not make personalized birthday candles for someone special? Or create a warm, soft and romantic ambiance with candle light and relax and burn home-made, scented candles like the kind used in aromatherapy. Remember, you can add scents to any of the activities suggested, but always add the fragrance to the liquid wax before pouring it.
The creative opportunities don’t end there – play with your creations by displaying them in different kinds of candle holders and settings, from spiked candle holders and decorative plates for flat candles to water bowls for floating candles and elaborately decorative chandeliers. Don’t be concerned if your candle doesn’t fit your holder – if your candle is too thick for your candle holder, it can be carefully trimmed with a sharp knife. If it’s too thin, the base can be thickened using aluminum foil.
Whenever you burn candles, always remember that they can be a serious hazard when burnt indoors – never leave a lit candle unattended! Liquid wax can cause burns, so always work carefully and NEVER allow a child to work with hot wax without your supervision! When burning your candle, bear in mind that hot wax invariably remains after the candle is extinguished, so be careful to only handle your candles after they have completely cooled! Also, be careful when burning candles in glass candleholders as these sometimes crack from the heat of the flame.