Basic Candle Making Tools
Making candles at home is a rewarding hobby. Start out small to keep your expenses in check. You can always expand later on. Here is a list of the basic tools, excluding molds and containers, you’ll need to get started.
Candle Wax Melter
Always melt wax using a double-boiler method, that is, a melting container set inside of a pot of boiling water. Here’s how to put it together.
Sauce Pan – A old two to three-quart saucepan is perfect. If you don’t have an old one, get one from a yard sale or thrift store.
Metal Cookie Cutter – The cookie cutter will sit inside of the water-filled saucepan to elevate the melting pot (pouring pitcher). Make sure it’s not the kind with a handle on it. The melting pot needs to fit squarely on top of the cookie-cutter without risk of tipping over.
Pouring Pitcher – I suggest buying an aluminum melting/pouring pitcher specifically made for melting and pouring candle wax. The 2-pound version (holds 2 pounds of wax) is perfect. The open-ended handle on the pitcher fits nicely on the outside of the saucepan. Don’t use an empty tin can. It’s prone to tipping in the boiling water and it doesn’t have a handle.
Digital Scale – Wax and fragrance oil are measured by weight, not volume so you’ll need a digital kitchen scale.
Glass Shot Glass – A glass shot glass or similar small glass container for weighing fragrance oil. You can get by using a small waxed or plastic bathroom cup, but only if you weigh out and pour the FO immediately into the melted wax. FO melts plastic if it sits longer than a few minutes and you don’t want the FO to soak into a paper cup.
Scoop – Soy wax is flaked and palm wax is granulated so you’ll need some type of scoop or measuring cup to scoop the wax out of the bag and into the melting pitcher. Basic Candle Making Tools
Hammer & Meat Cleaver – Paraffin wax comes in slabs and needs to be chopped up. Stand the slab on its longest narrow side, position the meat cleaver about an inch from the edge and gently tap it with the hammer to break it up.
Wick Adhesive – Pre-tabbed wicks need to be held in place on the bottom of the candle container. You can use hot glue or foam stickers called Wick Stickers. I’ve had success using double-sided foam tape that comes in squares, dots or rolls. While not quite as sticky as Wick Stickers, it still gets the job done.
Pen Barrel – For container candles, after the wick adhesive is applied to the tab on the wick, you’ll need to place the wick into the candle container. Disassemble a cheap stick-type pen-like Bic. Poke the wick through the hollow barrel. While holding the excess wick that pokes out the top of the barrel to keep it from slipping through, apply the wick adhesive to the bottom of the tab, center the wick into the bottom of the container, and apply pressure to firmly secure it.
Wick Holders – When pouring container candles, you’ll need something to keep the wick centered and taut in the container. You can use plastic wick centering tools that have pre-drilled wick holes, but they only come in limited sizes. There are also metal wick bars with a slit in the center for holding the wick. You can also make your own from wooden craft sticks by drilling a small hole in the center of the stick large enough for the wick to poke up through. Basic Candle Making Tools
Spring-type Clothes Pins – Wooden or plastic spring clothespins to securely hold the wick in place on the wick holder. Hot wax on a wick makes the wick wilt and sag. The clothespin will keep the wick straight and upright.
Stirring Stick – Disposable bamboo skewers work great for stirring the wax. They can also be wiped clean with a paper towel and used again.
Thermometer – Candy making glass thermometer with an adjustable clip to clip on the side of the melting pot. Wax temperature is critical to successful candle making and every type of wax and formulation thereof has a specific melting and pouring temperature that must be followed.
Pot Holders – For use under a pot of melted wax while stirring in dye and FO.
Paper Towels – After pouring the wax, immediately wipe out the pouring pitcher with paper towels to remove as much wax residue as possible.
Fire Extinguisher – Always be safe. Never pour water onto a wax fire. Use a fire extinguisher rated for grease fires – B or C.
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