candles turn

Making candles, the ultimate DIY trend: Here’s how

Making candles is all the rage right now. We would like to take this as an opportunity and tell you more about twisted candles. Making candles yourself is not only a wonderful hobby, it also guarantees you the best ingredients because you can select them yourself and buy them from reliable retailers.

However, we would like to start with an introduction to the different materials from which candles are made.

The stuff the candles are made of

In order for a candle to burn, an organic material is required because combustion occurs due to hydrocarbons, which are found in organic matter. Candles are usually made from these materials:

Beeswax

Certainly the most natural and environmentally friendly form of wax. The workers excrete the wax through a special gland and use it to build their nests (honeycombs). Only the storage of pollen and honey gives the beeswax its typical smell. Organic beeswax ensures you the best quality and purity and also gives you the good feeling of humane animal husbandry.

soy wax

Soy candles are also completely natural. They do not require any additives, carcinogenic substances or particles that produce a lot of soot. As a rule, soy candles burn much longer than paraffin candles. Soy candles are made from soybean oil and are an excellent alternative, especially for vegans.

Soy candles are not quite as good in terms of the ecological balance, since the soy oil has to be imported from the USA in particular. A possible alternative are candles made from rapeseed oil, which is also grown in this country. However, rapeseed candles are still an exception and very rare to find.

paraffin

Around 75% of all candles sold in Germany are made from paraffin, which is highly unfortunate as paraffin is made from petroleum and is therefore not a sustainable product. More precisely, paraffin is a waste product in the production of lubricating oil. Scientific studies have been able to prove that paraffin candles secrete harmful substances, some of which are even very questionable.

stearin

Stearin is made from both vegetable and animal fats. They are of higher quality and heavier than paraffin candles – but also considerably more expensive. Stearin only deforms at higher temperatures than paraffin, which makes the candles more dimensionally stable.

Palm oil

Palm oil is a highly controversial commodity. At first glance it is a renewable raw material that is natural and vegan. At second glance, however, huge areas are being cleared for the “green oil” and the transport from Malaysia and Indonesia is not without consequences for the environment.

Did you know: Every EU citizen consumed around 1.44 kg of candles in 2018. (Source: European Candle Association )

Making candles is not the same as making candles

There are basically two different techniques hidden under the term “candlestick turning”. We will go into both in the course of our article and show you how you can easily make twisted candles yourself. Both techniques are grossly different and use different types of candles.

Twisted candles 1: Twist more than twist

With this technique, you take a narrow, longer candle and heat it in warm water. Then you press the middle part, eg with a rolling pin, a little flat. Now hold the candle at both ends with your hands and twist (twist) the candle so that it looks pretty. Then put the candle back into the water bath and let it cool down slowly. You have already made your first candle. This is really very simple and yet individual.

Variant A: Twist two candles together

You can also twist two candles into each other. First, proceed in the same way as with the twirled candles and heat the two candles in a water bath. Instead of pressing the candle flat, you put the two candles next to each other in your hands and twist them so tightly that they literally flow into each other – like two people in love. You can also use two different colored candles, which creates interesting color effects.

Variant B: Weave a candle

Here, too, you first heat the candle in a water bath. After the candles have softened enough, place the candle on an old kitchen towel and make two long cuts with a sharp cutter. Make sure that about 5 cm of the candle remains at the bottom end. Also, be careful not to cut the wick in half.

Now place the candle in the water bath again and wait until it has softened again. Now braid the three ends of the candle together like a braid. The best way to do this is in a water bath. Finally, connect the ends to the middle strand and press them tight. Take out the candle and let it dry.

Twisted candles 2: Twist a beeswax candle

Beeswax sheets are rolled up and provided with a wick in the middle. This is a simple way of creating particularly high-quality and natural candles. You can be a little creative with the rolling technique and try diagonal or uneven rolling. If necessary, you then have to straighten the lower end with a sharp knife.

Do not throw away leftover wax
You should always keep the leftovers from turning candles, as well as the stumps of burnt candles. You can use them to make new candles again – in that case water them. In the further course of this article we will show you how you can make aromatic scented candles yourself.

Make your own candles

Basically, you can make candles yourself in two ways. You can either water them or pull them in the traditional way. When pouring, it is best to use a glass or ceramic vessel. In the middle you fix a wick, which you can fasten with a wooden skewer that you have placed across the edge of the glass. Now you melt beeswax (or the wax residues mentioned above in a water bath) and pour the liquid wax into the vessel. Just let it cool down – done! Small pieces of a cinnamon stick or dried flowers give the candles a pretty finish.

draw candles

The oldest and most traditional method of making an elongated, tall candle is by pulling. However, this requires a little practice and, most importantly, time. In a larger, deep container, melt wax.

Now attach two to six wicks of the same length to a stick – depending on how wide the container with the wax is. It is helpful if you weigh down the end of the wick with a stone. Now dip the wicks into the liquid wax as far as you want and slowly pull them out again.

A little wax has settled around the wicks. When this has dried, you repeat the process until the desired candle thickness is reached. Just cut off the bottom end. At the top you separate the wick from the stick. Your homemade, pulled candles are the perfect gift for your family or friends.

Make your own scented candles

You can also easily make scented candles yourself. Follow our DIY candle making guide and simply add your favorite natural essential oil to the liquid wax. Vanilla oil, cinnamon oil or rose or lemon oil are particularly suitable.

We hope you enjoy rolling candles. If you want to give your homemade candles as a gift to friends, you could, for example, wrap them in our beeswax wraps instead of wrapping paper – we would particularly like to recommend our special editions to you. In this way, the recipient not only gets a candle you made yourself, but also reusable packaging for bread and co.