Making Dipped Candles

Candle-making is a very old and versatile craft, and one which is peculiarly satisfactory. The ingredients needed to make dipped candles can be quite easily obtained from a good art shop, and are not expensive. The dipping process itself is immensely enjoyable, and the pleasure of burning your own candles is something you will discover once you have finished. Candles create such a beautiful, soft, golden light and are perfect in Winter when the days are so short.

Melting the wax takes a long time, so I advise setting an afternoon aside for doing this. 

You will need:

2 plastic bottles


a large pan

approx 1Ĺ blocks paraffin wax 




  • Cut the tops off the two plastic bottles, fill one with water, and set aside. Take the other and wire it securely inside a large pan, so that it canít move. Fill the pan about one third full of water, and heat it up.
  • Chop the wax into chunks and gradually add to the plastic bottle, putting in a little more whenever the wax has started to melt. Continue this process until the bottle is pretty much full of melted wax - this can take a while, and the wax can be stirred around to hasten the process, with a long utensil such as a chopstick. The water in the pan shouldnít be let to boil too fiercely, but remain on a gentle simmer throughout.
  • Now is the time to add the dye - yellow makes very attractive, authentic-looking candles. The colour can be tested by spooning a little onto a plate and letting it cool.
  • When the wax is fully melted, cut yourself a 30 cm length of wick, turn off the heat and dip it into the wax. Quickly draw out the wick and dip it into the water which you set aside earlier. Draw out the wick, which will be bent, and straighten it with your hands.
  • Keep dipping the wick alternatively into the wax and water. At first the wick will keep on kinking, but make sure to straighten it each time, until it becomes brittle.
  • When the candle has reached the desired thickness, carefully lay it aside and dip another, following the same process. After a while the wax in the bottle will start to cool, and the water should be heated up again - dipping can continue throughout.
Tip 1: For added speed, two candles can be dipped at once, by using a length of wick twice as long and dipping the two ends together; however, care should be taken that they donít stick together.

Tip 2: For a higher-quality candle a little beeswax can be added at the melting stage if desired.

Tip 3: To make a twisted candle, roll out the candle immediately after finishing it, on a smooth surface. You can then twist the flattened candle into a corkscrew shape.

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