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How To Make Container Candles - Step by step instructions

How To Make Container Candles
A Free Step-by-Step Candle Making Instructional Guide

Making perfect container candles is fun and easy but it can be a little trickier than making something simple like votives. You'll love making container candles once you know the tricks of making a great smelling scented candle.

We have a free, printer friendly version of these candle making instructions so that you can read them at your leisure. Read them carefully before you begin your candle making project. The first thing you'll need to do is be sure that you have all of the proper candle making supplies on hand that are necessary before you begin.  All of the equipment you will need is listed on our "Getting Started Guide" on our "How to Make Candles" page, you can print out any of our candle making guides for future reference. We also have a section for the beginner that is called The Beginner's Guide to Candle Making, if you have not read it yet, I suggest you start there. It's loaded with lots of great information about candle making, as well as tips and tricks to save you money on your candle making craft. All of our various "how to make candle guides" are printer friendly. There are links to these pages at the bottom of this web page.

All of the candle making supplies that you will need are listed and explained in detail below. Once you have all the supplies on hand, ensure that your work area is clean, safe and be sure that you have the necessary tools and supplies arranged in a work friendly manner. If you’re working inside your home you will want to place foil, paper towels, or old newspapers on your counter tops underneath your work area so you can clean up easy. We suggest that you also get a cheap plastic floor mat to place on the floor where you will be working. Candle making can be a very messy hobby.

I receive allot of emails that ask me, "What is the best wax for making container candles"?
I always suggest that you can answer this question yourself by doing a little research reading to decide which of our quality container waxes you want to choose for your candle making project. We have very detailed information on our candle wax page regarding all the various waxes for making container candles so that you can make an informed decision as to which wax will be best for you. You'll get an idea of which wax will serve your purpose best as you read about them all. Our most popular wax for container candle making is our IGI-4630 and IGI-4633 one pour container wax. The wax you choose will prove to be one of the main ingredients of your candle formulation. We tested literally hundred of brands of waxes before we chose to offer our customers the highly regarded IGI brand waxes, Penreco as our gel wax and our 100% soy wax EcoSoya brand soy waxes. All of these waxes are manufactured especially for candle making and there simply are no better waxes on the market with regard to quality or consistency for making candles. Most everyone that tries our container candle making formula agrees that it is the top formula for making consistent, highly scented container candles. We use a special blend of two waxes to make our highly regarded container candles.   We use 60% of our “IGI-4786 container wax ” and 40% of our "IGI-4633 one pour wax” to make a blended wax that offers a wonderful melt pool and exquisite scent throw. With that said, it is not really necessary for you to start out with two waxes. It's an extra expense and one you really don't need. Either wax, the “one pour IGI-4633” or the “container wax IGI-4786” will produce an excellent candle for you on it’s own. I gave you our container candle formula because I promised to give instructions on how to make candles exactly as we do.   In case you’re wondering, when using only one of the waxes, most people choose the “one pour IGI-4633” wax as their choice for container candles. Either choice you make, we’re certain you will be happy with the highly fragrant candles you will be making.

1) Measure out the wax you will need and begin melting your wax. Be sure you keep a reliable thermometer clipped on the side of your melting container so you can keep a close eye on the temperature of the wax at all times. Regulate your temperature so that once the wax melts it will stay around 170 degrees, and not more than 180 degrees.

2) We suggest if you are going to use a glass container that you heat your glass to about 150 degrees before you pour your wax into it. This keeps the glass from cracking and will also help reduce the amount of wet spots on the container once the candle dries. To heat your containers to 150 degrees place them on a cookie sheet and set inside the oven on “keep warm”. 3)   You will need a couple more items handy that are not listed on the supply page. They are popsicle sticks (you can get at any craft store) and a glue gun. Have these two items close to you for use shortly. 4)   Once your wax melts and you have your temperature regulated right around 170 degrees, you will add your candle dye to the wax. We offer 8 basic liquid color dyes that are formulated to work with candles. I am often asked, "Can't I just use a crayon or food coloring to color my candle?" Actually, you can use a crayon but there are some problems with that choice. The pigments used to make a crayon can clog your wick and prevent your candle from burning properly. Another problem, crayons are very expensive and normally have only 1 color of each to a pack, so it's just cheaper and better to use a dye that was formulated especially for making candles. You can't ever use food coloring. Food coloring dye is water based. Water and wax don't mix, your candle will fizzle out and not burn if you try to use food coloring. Our dyes are very concentrated so be sure to add small amounts until you get your desired color. To test a color use a white ceramic square or a white napkin and drip a few drops of your wax onto it and let it dry. We offer a candle making color chart that shows exactly how many drops of dye we use to make our various colors and candles. You can get there by clicking here. Be sure to stir your color with your wax for a full two minutes so your color will bond with your wax.

We suggest that you use 1 oz of our 100% pure fragrance oils per LB. of wax to produce a HIGHLY fragrant candle. Some people weigh 1 oz on a scale while others simply measure 1 oz of liquid in a measuring glass. Either way works for me, but just keep in mind that all fragrance oils are sold by volume, so depending on the weight of the fragrance oil, there may be more or less than 16 liquid ounces per LB of fragrance oil. 

Check your temperature again and be sure the wax is around 170 degrees. Add 1 oz of fragrance oil per pound of wax. Pour in your pre-measured amount of fragrance oil and stir slowly for two full minutes. This will allow the wax, fragrance oil and color to bond together. Keep a close eye on the temperature and keep it regulated at around 170 degrees. Fragrance oil will begin burning off at about 205 degrees, depending on the type of wax, and fragrance oil, so be careful you wax does not get too hot. Naturally, we recommend that if you use our waxes, you also use our fragrance oils. We guarantee each of our fragrance oils to be 100% Grade AAA, pure uncut fragrance oil. All of our highly concentrated fragrance oils have been tested extensively to ensure their compatibility. Our fragrance oils are highly recommended for use with all types of candle waxes.

You’re almost ready to pour your container candles. You can already tell how wonderful your candles will be by the highly fragrant wax simmering in your wax pot. Be sure to keep your wax temperature regulated at about 170 degrees while you prepare your candle making glassware for the liquid wax.

Remove your glassware from the oven. You may want to wear some light gloves when handling the hot glassware. Next take a wick and add a liberal amount of hot glue on the bottom of the wick tab and center the wick in the middle of the container. The best way we’ve found to set the wick in place is to use something like a firm straw. (we use very thin copper tubing) Slide the wick into the tube, hold the tubing upside down and add a liberal amount of glue to the bottom of the wick tab and then place the wick in the center of your container by guiding it with the straw or tubing. When you remove the straw the wick should be glued down and centered.   The wick you select for your container candle should allow for a full melt pool of wax across the diameter of the container. The only way to know which wick is best for your container is to test several size wicks and see which one you like best. Some wider containers may require two or three wicks, depending on the size. We wick our 16 oz apothecary jars with two wicks centered about 3/4 inch apart. This gives us a GREAT scent throw and allows a full melt pool of wax across the top diameter of the candle. We offer various sizes of candle wicks for container candles. For most containers we suggest either the 44-24-18z or the 51-32-18z. You will have to test to see which will work best in your containers.

Now you’re ready to pour your candles. Again, be sure your wax is about 170 degrees. You can use a glass pyrex measuring cup to pour your wax from your melting pot into your containers or you can use one of our aluminum wax pour pots. Just be sure you heat your pouring pot a little before you use it so the wax won’t harden on it. If your temperature is correct, stir your wax one more time for about 20 seconds to be sure everything is all mixed together properly. Then dip your warm pour pot into the wax and pour slowly into your containers. We’ve found it best to angle our containers slightly when we pour, but it’s not necessary. Just be sure to pour slowly allowing as few bubbles as possible when you pour. Fill your container to the level at which you want your candles to be and set the container down on a flat surface. TIP: The less wax you spill on your container and counter the easier your cleanup will be, work smart, not fast when making candles. After you pour your containers take any leftover wax off the heat.

You will notice that the wick(s) seems real loose in the container once the hot wax gets around them. The wicks need to be tightened because as wax cools it will contract and form a sink hole in the middle of your candle. If your wicks are not tight, they will be permanently pulled crooked as the wax cools. In order to tighten the wicks you will need the popsicle sticks we talked about earlier, with a hole drilled in the center of each stick. Take the wick and thread it thru the hole in the popsicle stick and allow the stick to rest on the lip of the container. Then take a wooden clothespin and secure the wick at the point that it comes thru the popsicle stick, making sure your wick is centered where you want it. Using the popsicle stick and clothespin will prevent the wax from pulling the wick crooked as the hot wax cools and turns hard.

As your wax hardens there is always the possibility that air may be trapped underneath it. That is why we ALWAYS poke relief holes in our candles. (People that use a one pour wax such as our IGI-4630 & IGI-4633 can skip this step.) After a few hours (4-5) you will notice that the wax is forming a sink hole in the middle of the candle as it cools. This is perfectly normal.   This is also the time you want to take an object such as a skewer stick and poke your relief holes.   Poke several holes around the wick(s) in your container. 

Always be sure that you leave yourself enough wax to do a second pour on your candles.   Once your candle completely dries you will see a sink hole in the middle of your candle.   You will do your second pour for two reasons. To fill the sinkhole and also to fill any air pockets that you might have exposed by poking relief holes. TIP: Be SURE your candle is completely cool before you begin your second pour or you will develop another sink hole after it hardens!   Depending on the size of your candle it will take anywhere from 6-16 hours before your candle is ready for a second pour. Heat your wax again. This time heat your wax to about 180 degrees. Once your wax gets to 180 degrees stir it for at least a full minute. Then pour your second pour just a hair above your first pour. Pouring the second pour at 180 degrees allows the first and second pours to bond, making it impossible to tell that there was two pours done on the candle.

CONGRATULATIONS!   You have successfully made your first container candles! Relax and Enjoy your creations! I hope we’ve helped to save you a little time, money and energy with these instructions.   Be sure to print out our “Votive Making Guide” and our “Getting Started Guide”   which features more candle crafting tips along with quite a few money saving tips.

For questions that we are often asked, print out our “Frequently Asked Question” page.   Email me at if there is anything we can help you with that isn’t on the web site!   Be sure you write and let us know how your candles turned out!   We appreciate you allowing us at Cajun's Candle Making Supplies to be a part of your candle making experience!   Best of luck!

This guide is the sole property of The Cajun Candle Factory and may only be printed or reproduced in it’s entirety, and it is intended for individual reference only.   Any partial reproduction of this document is prohibited.   The copyright logo below, along with this legal statement must be attached to this guide at all times.   Any other reproduction may only be accomplished after you have acquired written, dated and signed permission document by an authorized representative of The Cajun Candle Factory.   This copyright will be strictly enforced. © 1999-present - The Cajun Candle Factory

How To Make Candles - Candle Making Instructions:

Getting Started - How To Make Candles

How to make votive candles

How to make freedom (pillar) candles

How to make 1oo% soy votive candles

How to make 1oo% soy container candles

How to make scented aroma beads

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