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  #1  
Old 01-30-2011, 02:42 AM
rae-dean rae-dean is offline
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Default candle making the cheap way

my sister does not craft.well she buys all these really costly candles to burn all over.Finally she decided to make her own candles.she ordered 250-300$ worth of candle making supplies and is making candles.ok.
she takes the temp of the candle wax.she buys pretty containers.they are just for gifts and for home.she burns alot of candles.well,hmm.is there a cheap cheap way to make candles that are of good quaility and what is good quality?she says she uses soy wax and theres no smoke or soot??before she got her wax pouring can and stuff.she wanted to make candles but had nothing to heat the wax in.i told her-gal,u are killing me.she said could u use a coffee can?i am like dud.well so there u have it.i made candles back in the 70's.i got plain old parrafin wax.put some wicks in and some crayons for colors and poured in to some molds i had.i had a mushroom,owl and frog.they worked and they were cute.why so much work to make a candle and so much expense?what is the cheap way??
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:29 PM
patience patience is offline
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I am starting this on the cheap. The wax I get as old candles from Goodwill stores, buying only the big pillar candles that are the cheapest per POUND of candle, coming out to less than a dollar a pound for wax. (Gulfwax paraffin is $3.49/pound now.)

Then, I use an electric deep fryer (has thermostat) to heat water, put 5 canning jar rings in the bottom and a #10 veggie can for melting wax. That's my double boiler. The fryer cost 5 bucks at a yard sale. The can was free, and so were the jar rings. I use a piece of yardstick for stirring wax, a dedicated one for each color of wax.

I bent a pouring lip like a percolator spout on my #10 can, then punched a couple holes near the top for a bail to pick it up. The bail is #10 gauge copper wire I had in the scrap. I use an old T shirt for a hot pad to tip the can for pouring. Zero cost.

I have sorted colors of candles and busted them up with a wood chisel for faster, easier melting. In the process, the old wicks get rescued. Then, I melt a batch of all one color and stir to blend it. In the process, some of the scents we don't like get evaporated out. More heating and stirring helps this. I pour the blended wax into some old cake pans and bread pans my wife threw out because they had rusted. I scrubbed them clean with a Brillo pad and greased them with a paper towel dipped in veggie oil for a "mold release". Works good.

I bought a candy thermometer for 2 bucks.

To catch wax spills, I opened up a 50 pound plastic dog food bag (cut it down the side and across the bottom), and use it to cover the work area on the shop floor. Any spills peel off easily when it sets up. The dog food bag is durable and a fine place for pounding on the old candles with a chisel to bust them up.

When the wax sets up, it comes out of the pans with one good thump from my fist. Those big cakes don't store compactly, so, I break them up with an old hammer, holding the cake in my hand. I keep wax colors sorted in recycled cardboard boxes.

I splurged on an 8 hole taper candle mold (eBay, about $55), since taper candles is my goal here, intended for the best light. My candles are for utility value, not decoration. I bought new 15 ply braided wicking in quantity. Have not poured the mold yet. I plan to use my hot glue gun to seal the mold around the wicks, instead of the expensive putty sold for that.

So far I've not spent very much on this and have about 60 pounds of wax, a mold, and all the melting stuff. Maybe spent $80-$90 on the pile and more than half of that was for old candles/wax. The big cost from here on will be wax. No scents (we have allergies), no dyes (it comes with colors in the old candles), no expensive mold release or additives for the wax.

Last edited by patience; 07-28-2012 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:31 PM
woodchuck acres woodchuck acres is offline
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Patience--that's the kind of thinking I like, thanks for sharing. Too many times I see articles about "self-sufficiency" that start out with long shopping lists of expensive stuff to buy. Or the ones about homemade whatever that include ingredients like tree oil or other exotic items that I'd never have in my pantry.
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Old 07-30-2012, 03:51 AM
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KarenBC Female KarenBC is offline
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I've been collecting candle making "stuff" at my swap shed and garage sales...getting a nice collection of wicks & wax.

Interesting about that taper mold patience - I'll have to have a boo about ebay to investigate. Really like the idea of using a dog food bag as a protective layer too. Other than using those paper ones with the waxy liners as a garbage bag in the workshop, I haven't been able to find a use for them. (The woven ones I'm saving up to sew a cover for the wood splitter.)
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:42 PM
patience patience is offline
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Karen said: "(The woven ones I'm saving up to sew a cover for the wood splitter.)"

I love it! My kind of project.

Here's some links I found on taper molds:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unKipeSc9Ds
http://www.onestopcandle.com/candle/sealingmolds.php


The mold I bought:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/8-TUBE-TAPER...item53ebe01718

woodchuck acres,
I'm more of a cheapskate than an artsy-craftsy sort. I recycle all sorts of containers, save my used oil for shop use, and a lot of other skinflint ideas. NCLee had some great ideas in a thread on this subject. I wish Lee was still around...

Last edited by patience; 07-30-2012 at 02:08 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-30-2012, 03:51 PM
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Patience I'll be curious to hear how you make out with using the taper mold. If the candles come out of the mold ok. Have been seeing silicone molds...looks like the prices are pretty similar. I suspect silicone would be easier to remove the candles from...but over time would not last as long as the antique tin molds.

Thanks for the links. Enjoying looking through One Stop Candle with my morning cuppa. Can't sit around to long though...there are Saskatoons to be picked down the road a bit & a ways.
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