Candle making is one of those crafts that a lot of people are put off trying as it’s often thought that you’ll need lots of specialist equipment to get going. But, providing you have an old saucepan and an old heatproof bowl, you’re pretty much good to give it a go! I’ve made candles before, but only small votives, so I thought trying out the new Kirstie Allsopp Pillar Candle Making Kit would be a great chance to expand my knowledge.
Candle Making with Kirstie Allsopp
- One reusable candle mould
- Cotton wick
- Four wooden sticks (with holes to hold the wick in place whilst the wax sets)
- One stirrer
- Eight metal wick holders
- Re-usable mould sealer
- One kilogram of wax pellets in two bags
- Stearic acid (not suitable for use in rubber moulds)
You’ll Also Need
- Old saucepan – this can’t be used for food after making candles
- Old heatproof bowl – This also can’t be used for food after making candles
- Pliers (To crimp the wick holders)
- Newspaper – (Wax is a nightmare to get off work surfaces)
- Empty glass jars, glasses or tea cups (To upcycle an old vessel into a candle)
- Half fill the saucepan with water and heat – double check that the heatproof bowl sits in the pan with the water coming up to just over half way. Pop the wax in the bowl (I used one bag) and dish out three teaspoons of stearic acid and stir with one of the wooden sticks. I used one of the bigger sticks. Make sure you keep an eye on the pan so the water doesn’t boil over and, more importantly, the wax doesn’t overheat
- Whilst the wax is melting you can prep your mould and wick. Cut the wick to the length of your mould plus 2 cm. Feed into a wick container and crimp shut with pliers (This is following the instructions from the box – you could use the mould in another way, but I’ll not go into that here!).
Dip the wick, including the wick holder, into molten wax and leave to dry on some newspaper.
- Use a little of the sealant to cover the hole in the base of the mould to prevent leakages, if you’re using a jar or glass to make candles, you’ll not need to seal anything
- Fill your mould or container with wax to your preferred height, leaving a little wax left to top up later. You don’t need to fill the pillar mould to the top if you don’t like (But for reference, to do so requires one of the bags of wax, or 500 grams) then leave until a very fine skin forms on the wax. At this point you can pop in your wick, gently, so that the wick container sits at the bottom in the centre. You can put the top of the wick through the hole in one of the wooden sticks to stop the wick moving whilst the wax sets
- During ‘setting up’ (The term used for when the wax sets) a well will form around the wick. When your candle has set a little, prick the surface near the wick with a cocktail stick (I used a broken plastic fork!) and top up with your left over wax to level the hole
- This is the boring bit… You need to leave your candle to set, preferably for a day.
- Once set, you can turn your candle out if in a mould (Not required for the jar candle!). Turn the mould upside down a give it a firm tap on the top to release – If it doesn’t release, you can pop the whole thing in the fridge for an hour to assist. Then trim the wicks and you’re candles are ready to go!
I enjoyed using this kit, but I should really stress that it is so important to read the instructions fully, and double check online if something doesn’t make sense – Molten wax is extremely hot and is also not easy to remove from surfaces!
Now that you have the basics down, you can experiment with other holders and moulds, the guide from the kit gives some lovely suggestions. I’m personally a fan of experimenting with dyes to make marbled candles, and when used with some scents, can make lovely personalised gifts! Kirstie even has a Votive Candle Making Kit if you’re not a fan of big candles.