Making dipped candles can become quite addictive. Dipping the wicks over and over so that the candles grow before your eyes is a magical process and creates beautifully imperfect candles that have a real handmade charm.
6½lb (3kg) paraffin wax
Dyes (Emma uses red, orange, and yellow)
Garden canes and two chairs—to use as a drying rack
Scrap paper or newspaper Scissors
12in (30cm) dipping can
Sharp knife and cutting board
1. Set up somewhere for the candles to dry before you start. Garden canes balanced across two chairs make an effective drying frame. Put old newsapaper underneath to catch any drips.
2. To make candles measuring 10in (25cm), cut some wick to a total length of 24in (60cm). Each length of wick will make two candles.
3. Put the dipping can in the saucepan, pour water into the saucepan, and heat it up. Add the parafﬁn wax to the dipping can and melt it, adding small pieces of dye. See page 12 for tips on adding dyes. Spoon a little wax onto a white plate and leave to dry. Although this won’t show you the density of the ﬁnal color, it will help you decide if more dye needs to be added.
4. Heat the wax to 180°F (80°C). Turn the heat off and leave the wax to cool to about 160°F (70°C). If it is too hot, it will melt the layers of wax already on the wick as you dip it. Holding the wick in the middle between your thumb, index, and middle ﬁngers, dip the ends of the wick into the wax, stopping just short of your ﬁngers. Hold in place for no more that a couple of seconds, and in one smooth movement, pull out of the wax.
5. Hang the dipped wick over the garden canes and leave for a couple of minutes to harden.
6. Continue to dip in the same way so that the wax builds up. If the molten wax in the dipping can becomes opaque or seems a little lumpy, reheat it to about 160°F (70°C), then take off the heat and continue dipping.
7. These candles were dipped about 20 times, so continue until your candles reach your desired thickness. When you have ﬁnished dipping, leave to dry on the canes for several hours, then cut the wick to separate the candles. To make a batch of different colored candles, start with a pale color of wax, make a few candles, then add more dye, and repeat.