Make Some Candles
Making candles are a perfect way to celebrate Imbolc. They're fun, pretty easy, and you can use many different kinds of containers for your candles - glasses, jars, buckets, cups, bowls and more. It just has to be leak proof and fire proof! Add a magic touch by incorporating stones, herbs, and your own energy to the wax, and you've got a nearly unlimited variety of possibilities.
We're going to use a container candle "classic" - the jelly jar. For this project, you'll need:
First set the wick -
Using a straw to hold the wick, dab a bit of hot glue onto the bottom of the wick tab and press it firmly into the center of your container.
It's important that it be centered well or the candle will not burn well.
You can also use the double-sided "glue dots" or "wick-stickums" - they work the same as the hot glue, but are easier.
Attach your wick bars, or plastic straws to keep the wicks centered.
One thing that everyone who makes container candles in clear glass jars battles is "wet spots." They're actually not "wet", it's just a place where part of the wax has separated from the jar, and part is still sticking. There is no way to completely prevent them, but one way to minimize them is to pre-heat your jars. If you're just making one or two, you can zap them with the heat gun. If you're making more than that, just put the jars on a cookie sheet and place them into a lightly warm oven - about 150 degrees is just right - warm enough to heat the jars, cool enough to not melt the wicks.
Next, melt the wax
Wax should be melted to about 180 degrees.
When the wax is completely melted and reached 180 degrees, add your color and/or fragrance oil.
Stir in both the color and fragrance well.
Let the wax cool down to about 150-160 degrees.
Then, Pour your candles
Take the jars out of the oven.
Place them close together in a grouping on the counter. This helps the jars to cool more slowly - which also helps combat the "wet spots."
Slowly pour the wax into the jars. Be careful not to overfill them - and be sure to leave a little extra wax in case you need to do a second pour. (This will depend on your wax and temperatures.)
After pouring, make sure that all of your wicks are well centered.
At this point you can sprinkle in some herbs or drop stones into the wax. Again, be careful not to knock the wick out of center.
Some candle makers put the candles in a shoe box (or the box the jars came in) to cool. This creates insulation so that the jars cool more slowly. Depending on how cool it is in your candle-making room, you may want to poke some relief holes near the wick once the top has cooled and formed a skin over the top. This will prevent your candle from having any air pockets.
Once the wax has hardened, you may want to do a second pour to even out the surface of the candle.
Almost done -
Once the candles are fully cooled - several hours/overnight - trim the wicks to about 1/4". Let the candles cure for a couple days before burning them to get the best scent throw and burning. Enjoy!
© MoonShine, Inc. Yule, 2017