Did you know that, in addition to running the amazing website you see before you, Kate and I also make candles that smell like world leaders? It’s true! I’m surprised you didn’t already know, because we bring it up ALL THE TIME.
And today, dear readers, we are going to teach YOU how to make candles. That way you’ll be prepared to come work for us when our candle empire grows out of control and we need to hire staff, or at least bring on an unpaid intern. So get out your notepads and get ready to learn how to make candles.
Dress appropriately. This is a serious endeavor and you need to treat it with respect. Think business formal.
Measure out paraffin wax into your melting pot. This is a good opportunity to imagine you’re in the spermaceti-squeezing scene in Moby Dick.
Measure out soy wax into your melting pot. Now, you might be wondering “if I’m feeling a little peckish, can I eat soy wax?” Absolutely, depending how you define “eat.” At a minimum, you can put it in your mouth and swallow it.
Add dye. But make sure it’s candle dye, and not food coloring or fabric dye! Actually, on second thought, maybe those would work too. Give it a shot and let us know how it turns out!
Have a drink while you wait for the wax to melt. You’ve earned it!
Stick a wick to the bottom of the candle container and secure it in place. The wick is a really important part of a quality candle, but a lot of cheap, mass-produced candles will skip the wick entirely. Not you!
Take the wax’s temperature. Unlike your horrible children, the wax will stay still for this. But don’t let it get hotter than its flashpoint, because if you burn your house down in a freak candle-making accident, you’ll have to have an embarrassing conversation with your insurance company.
Pour wax into a separate container and add scent. You’ll want to do this in a separate container so your melting pot doesn’t start to smell like Donald Trump. Because it would be nice if there were a single damn thing in your house not contaminated with the noxious odor of steak and tanning lotion.
Pour the melted, scented wax into the candle containers. This hand-pouring is what separates your hand-poured candles from the bland, corporate candles churned out in the smoke-belching factories of “Big Candle,” so you should really savor the authenticity of this moment. Also, if you mess anything up, remember that little defects and imperfections are actually good, since they underscore that your candles are handmade, by amateurs. Poorly.
Wait for the wax to cool and cure. This is going to take at least 24 hours, so you should reward yourself again, but this time with ten or twenty drinks.
Trim the wick down to a reasonable length. We use toenail clippers but we PROMISE we don’t these clippers for anything else, except clipping our toenails.
Stick on a label. You’re not going to get it perfectly even and wrinkle-free, because you are neither a machine nor some kind of label ninja. If anyone criticizes your label placement just write “handmade!” on a slip of paper and tie it around a rock. But don’t throw it through their window, just leave it on their doorstep. They’ll get the message.
You’re done! Unless you’ve foolishly decided that your candles need a wig. In which case, you’re going to need another drink before you get started on the slow, tedious, and hairy process of making tiny wigs.