Hand dipping is the easiest and quickest way to make candles. I’ve made them for years and I’d like to share my method with you.
I buy beeswax at Betterbee.com. Right now as I type it is $10 per pound plus shipping. I like their product, its clean and has a great natural fragrance. I don’t add anything to the natural beeswax. I use 100% cotton wicks that I purchase either locally or order from Betterbee. I don’t treat the wicks with anything.
If Betterbee is out of wax, I order small quantities from www.moutainroseherbs.com. It is much more expensive there but its great in a pinch.
The main idea is to melt the wax and dip the wicks into the wax. There are several ways to go about it. The first way is to tie wicks to a stick, dip them and after each dip, smooth the wax and straighten the wick and wax, then hang to dry for a few moments.
I use two ladder back chairs to hang my sticks.
If you make candles indoors, you’ll need to protect your floor and stove from dripping wax. Its not hard to get off of things, but if it gets really hard it can be a workout to remove it.
Pots and Pans
When I dip candles outdoors I use a deep cast iron pot that I’ve devoted to candle making. You’ll want to make sure you use a pan that is as deep and narrow as you can find. A good substitute for a pan is a tall olive oil can.
Empty out the oil and then cut off the top of the can. I used a can opener and a big knife. Be careful! After you get the lid off, try to bend in any sharp edges. Then wipe out all the excess oil.
Now you can melt the beeswax in the can or pour already melted beeswax into the can. The tall narrow can makes a great candle dipping container. I won’t use any thing else when I am not reenacting.
Dip the wicks that are tied onto sticks into the melted wax, then hang on the backs of chairs or other item til they are somewhat dry, then dip again and again until they are the size you want.
Once they are the right size, let the candles dry for about 10 minutes. Then cut the ends off with a sharp knife so that the ends will be nice and flat.
Once the wax is melted and hot, you will want to remove the container its in from the heat. As the wax cools, the candle dipping will become faster. The wax will cool quicker on the wick as you dip.
Keep the wax level as high as you can in your pot or pan if you are making tall candles.
If you are making a large number of candles get a rhythm going and it will go faster.
Remember to straighten the candles while they are small after they’ve been dipped and cooled for a moment. This will keep your finished candle straight and pretty.
While you’re dipping, the bottom of the candle will become kind of pointed with wax. You can leave this until your candle is the size you want. Then, after the candle has cooled for maybe 5 minutes or so, lay the candle on its side and cut the bottom off, making it flat and smooth.
If your candles are getting long as you dip, and the bottom is pointed and you’re not able to get the whole candle into the wax as you dip, then you can cut or pinch off the bottom so that the candle will fit into the wax.