The Craft of Candle Making

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Learn more about making your own candles.

The craft of candle making has a rich history, but today's crafters have put a modern twist on this ancient art.

The History of Candle Making

Candles have been around for quite some time. Evidence suggests that the ancient Egyptians burned candles made from beeswax as early as 3000 BC.

Throughout the world, candles have been used for many different reasons. For example:

  • Before kerosene became popular as a fuel for lamps, candles were the primary source of light during the nighttime hours.
  • Candles have often been included as part of symbolic religious rituals. In India, for example, the wax from burning cinnamon was traditionally used to make temple candles.
  • Burning candles were used for timekeeping by the Sung dynasty in China.

Trends in Candle Making Today

If you need proof that candle making is a craft with staying power, consider that Rathbornes Candles, a company founded in Dublin in 1488, is still creating candles today. Although we obviously don't need candles as a light source anymore, candles are still considered valuable as beautiful scented home decor objects. In fact, one recent study found that 70% of American households burn candles on a regular basis. Candles are now available in both traditional and contemporary styles, as well as seasonal designs to help set the mood for a party or celebration. People who are interested in making homemade candles have many different options available. In the comfort of your own home, you can create everything from small votives to large pillars and decorated gel candles. Some of the trends in candle making today include:

  • Candles made from clean burning and environmentally friendly soy wax
  • Aromatherapy candles that help reduce stress and relieve frazzled nerves
  • Floating candles to use as part of a special centerpiece
  • Candles with decorated candle holders featuring unusual details and designs

Learning About the Craft of Candle Making

Those who are interested in learning more about the craft of candle making have several different options to explore.

Books

Reference books can be a great resource for the novice candle maker. Because candle making involves working with flammable materials, it's important to make sure you've done your research before attempting a new project. Smart candle makers know that safety should be a top priority. If you're interested in learning more about candle making, LoveToKnow Candles recommends the following titles:

Classes

Crafters who are lucky enough to live in a larger community may find that candle making classes are available at their local community college as part of the continuing education program. These classes are typically held during night and weekend hours and only last for one or two sessions. However, they provide a great way to learn more about making handmade candles by observing an experienced candle maker at work.

Project Kits

If you're new to the craft of candle making, a project kit is often the best way to begin making homemade candles. Kits generally include all of the supplies you need to make between one and five candles, as well as a complete list of step-by-step instructions. You can purchase candle making kits from craft stores such as Hobby Lobby and Michael's Crafts. Candle making kits are also available from the following online retailers:

The Craft of Candle Making