The beauty of candle-making lies in its blend of art and science, of creativity and methodology. To perfect this delicate balance, the first step is sourcing the key components of a candle, from high-quality waxes and wicks to appealing fragrances to dyes.
Just like a painter needs the finest brushes and colours, a candle artisan requires top-notch supplies. At NI Candle Supplies, we don’t just stock waxes, fragrance oils, and adjustable wick holders, we offer a partnership: It’s our goal to illuminate the path for you, guiding you through the world of candle creation. So, if you’re keen to start crafting- read on.
Your Candle-Making Checklist
Waxes for Candle Making
Wax is the foundation of your candle and there are many options to choose from that possess different characteristics. At NI Candle Supplies, we stock paraffin wax, soy wax and rapeseed and coconut wax, all of which are go-to choices among makers, artisans and business owners for different reasons. Here’s the low-down on this popular trio:
Originating from the refining process of crude oil, paraffin wax has long been a staple in the candle-making industry. It's known for its ability to produce a beautifully clean and luminous flame. While the wax itself is odourless and colourless, it's incredibly effective at carrying fragrance, resulting in a robust scent throw that can fill spaces efficiently.
Its smooth texture also ensures a sleek finish to candles, making them aesthetically pleasing. However, critics of paraffin often highlight its non-renewable source and potential for emitting soot if the candle isn't maintained properly.
Soy wax, derived from the processing of soybean oil, is a natural and renewable alternative that has gained considerable popularity in recent years. It is not only favoured for its eco-friendly credentials but also for its performance: With a lower melting point, it tends to burn slower and cooler, translating to a longer lifespan compared to paraffin-based candles.
Keeping your home toxic-free, it offers a cleaner burn with minimal soot production. Its creamy texture is another benefit to some makers, as it creates a rustic, textured appearance in candles. On the flip side, soy wax can sometimes exhibit "frosting" (a white crystalline layer) but this is purely cosmetic and doesn't impact performance.
Rapeseed & Coconut Wax
An innovative blend in the world of candle-making, this combination brings together the best of both waxes. Rapeseed wax is renewable, biodegradable, and offers a clean burn, while coconut wax is known for its natural, creamy texture and excellent scent throw. Together, they produce a smooth, even-burning candle that excels in fragrance retention.
Being plant-derived, they're both sustainable options, marking a shift towards more eco-conscious choices in the candle industry. Their combined qualities make candles with a luxe feel, often preferred by artisans and consumers who seek a premium candle experience. Finally, it’s a great alternative for those looking for non-soy vegetable waxes.
Fragrance Oils for Candle-Making
Crafting a memorable candle is as much about its scent as its appearance. For those looking to instil their creations with captivating aromas, high-quality fragrance oils stand as the pinnacle choice. At NI Candle Supplies, we stock 100+ fragrances that are designed to capture and replicate life’s most-loved scents: From mouth-watering baked goods and fresh-cut grass to uplifting citrus scents and luxurious vanilla notes. We also have created a guide on seasonal scents, so you can craft candles for every occasion.
Wondering why synthetic fragrance oils reign supreme over the natural alternatives in the candle-making realm? Specifically formulated for their aromatic qualities, they ensure a consistent and enduring scent, often outlasting the aroma of essential oils. Their composition considers the intricacies of a burning candle, maximising safety and efficacy while ensuring that every lit wick releases a rich, room-filling aroma.
Wicks for Candles
Think of the wick as the heart of the candle. Beyond just providing the flame, it heavily influences the burn quality, scent throw and overall candle performance.
Traditional cotton wicks have been a staple in candle-making for centuries, and there’s a reason for it. Their versatility means they are suited for various waxes and they also provide a reliable, consistent burn. A top tip of ours is to ensure the wick is trimmed properly to promote an even flame and reduce soot—see our candle-making page for more guidance.
A modern twist to candle-making, wooden wicks bring an element of luxury and uniqueness. The sensory experience is magnified by the gentle crackling sound the produce, reminiscent of cosy, wood-burning fireplaces. They also offer a robust flame and are often favoured for their even burn and efficient scent throw. However, they may require a little more attention and fine-tuning to ensure optimal performance.
When selecting a wick, it’s important to consider the size of the vessel, the type of wax, and the desired fragrance throw. The wick can make or break your candle, so choosing wisely is imperative. Whether you opt for the tried-and-true cotton wick or venture into the world of wooden wicks, always prioritise quality for the best results.
Essential Candle-Making Equipment
Now you’ve nailed down the crucial basics for your homemade candles, it’s time to equip yourself with the right tools. Even the most skilled artisan is only as good as their tools, and in the art of candle-making, it can mean the difference between a perfectly formed, evenly burning candle and a disappointing result. Here’s what you’ll need:
Knowing the precise temperature of your wax ensures you add fragrance at the right moment, preventing any separation or sinking and guaranteeing a consistent scent throughout.
Gone are the days of makeshift double boilers. Modern melters ensure even heating, reducing the risk of hot spots which can compromise the quality of your wax and, consequently, your candle's performance.
Choosing a suitable vessel is critical in creating your desired aesthetic. With a wide range of finishes to choose from, it’s easy to create the perfect fit for your brand. Choosing vessels that are circular with a similar diameter from top to bottom will help you achieve a product that burns cleanly from start to finish.
An even, well-trimmed wick is crucial for safety. And not only does it prevent excessive smoke and soot but ensures an even burn, maximising the lifespan of your candle.
Central to the candle-making process, these tools ensure your wick remains upright, centred and stable during the cooling and setting process, pivotal for an even burn.
Once you’ve fully assembled your candle-making kits, it's time to get creative! Perhaps you’re embarking on a fun DIY project or even wondering whether it is a good idea to start a candle business. If the latter interests you or you’ve already launched a home fragrance brand, we’re always sharing tips in our articles for making and selling candles.
Beyond Supplies – The Role of Passion and Creativity
While the right supplies play a pivotal role, it’s passion and creativity that truly breathe life into a candle. The scents, wax, and even the shape of your candle—they all tell a story. It’s a reflection of your personality, your emotions, and your aspirations. With every drop of wax and every flicker of the wick, there's a story waiting to be told.
NI Candle Supplies is not just a supplier; we're your partner in this storytelling journey. Together, we'll ensure that every candle you create is not just a simple household staple, but a captivating sensory experience. Now you’ve got your supplies, keep an eye out for our upcoming blogs on making candles at home and what to avoid in candles to understand the potential pitfalls and ensure a smooth candle-making experience. Happy crafting!