5 Creative Candle Making Techniques & Ideas

Here at Chicago Candle, we have gone into a lot of DIY projects. We are passionate about handcrafted candles, and we are always trying to expand that love onto others. We have done this so far by showing you how to make Himalayan salt candles, Wax Tarts, and several others. We not only take great pride in the products we make but also teaching you how to do so as well.

However, most of ours have been pretty basic. They've all been the standard, most popular way of doing the things we have talked about. But what about other creative processes? There are a lot more other ways to make candles that are more fun, interesting, and just plain cool than the other traditional ways.

These processes aren't difficult as they require as much skill as any other technique. I'm not about to teach you some crazy revolutionary way to make candles. In the articles I already mentioned, we pretty much already provided you with all the skills and techniques you will need to make these creations. I am just providing you with ways you may not have thought of before, a different way to look at these processes. 

So, if you want some other more creative ways to make candles, here is a great list of the five that I would recommend trying first.

The Five

Quickly, before I get into the list, I want to say that you will definitely need to know how to melt wax for each of these processes. I don't want to be repetitive and explain that step for each, so in the directions, I will simply just say 'melt the wax'. It's a very easy thing to do, but if you are not familiar with it, read our article on it here.

There you will find everything you need to know about melting wax, from safety precautions to take, to three methods of doing it and the benefits of each. I would personally recommend doing the 'double boiler' method as it is the cleanest and most effective, but it is entirely up to you. Each method will get the job done. So now, without further a due, here are five great and creative techniques for making candles. 

Basic Materials for All of These

  • Wax (as always we recommend soy).
  • Candle Wick
  • Wick holder (helps you put the wick in place).
  • Hot glue gun

If you want to learn more about how some of the supplies we use and how we organize them, check out our article on that here.

Make On Out of Old Crayons

We talked before about how we are big fans of recycling here at CCF, as all of our candle containers are made from recycled bottles. This innovative way of making candles uses recycled wax instead.

  • Start by collecting all of the old crayons you need. Remove the paper from them, and separate them by color.
  • Melt the wax, and secure the wick at the bottom with a hot glue gun.
  • Then, pour the colors into whatever glass container you'll be using for them. Let it harden.
  • Now, I recommend you do layers of different colors, as it looks really cool. To do this, just repeat the steps above for each color in a candle, letting it harden each time before you pour on the next one. You'll have an awesome layered look that re-uses crayons that you were probably just going to throw away.

Orange Peel Candle

Yes, you can even make a candle out of an orange peel. While this way is definitely not the most efficient or practical way to make a candle, I believe it to be the most unique and creative on this list, so it definitely deserves a spot. As you can tell, there isn't going to be much room for wax, so it may just last an hour or so. Its purpose isn't to really be a functioning candle. I don't think most of you would want a one-week old orange peel laying around your house, especially if you have company over. It's just a novelty art project that can be fun to do. So, here are the steps.

  • Melt the wax
  • Obtain an orange of any size and take out the fruit, carefully peeling it to not rip it much.
  • Once the fruit is removed, cut a whole out of the top. Now, this part is completely up to you on how you want to do it. You can cut it in half like the picture above shows, or if you really want to be a pro you can cut a design in it. I've seen some online with hearts or smiley faces on the top. It doesn't matter.
  • Once the orange is cut, put the wick on your wick holder to keep it sturdy and then glue the wick to the base of the candle. Pour a little bit of your wax on it to keep it sturdy and then let it harden. 
  • Once the wick is in place, simply pour the rest of the wax into the candle, and then you are done.

Cinnamon Candle

This one is a classic, so I had to include it. You can make any candle you like in whatever way, but I'll skip that process. You can also just buy a candle and the best would be a pillar.

  • Obtain cinnamon sticks, and measure them out to be the height of the candle you'll be using. 
  • Cut them to this height, and then start to glue them around the candle, until the entire circumference is covered.
  • Make sure they are all snug up against each other and then let them dry. A very quick and easy way to spice (pun intended) up a plain pillar candle.

Put a Photo on a Candle

This may sound like a complicated process, but it is actually just as simple as the rest. Like the cinnamon one, a pre-bought pillar would be the best, and a white one too so the image will actually show up.

  • Glue tissue paper to a sheet of printer paper, making sure it covers one side of the surface.
  • Print your desired picture out on the tissue paper side.
  • Cut away as much excess paper as you can and make sure you only have the tissue paper now. 
  • Position the image as you want it on the candle, and roll it as tight as you can.
  • Wrap the candle tightly in wax paper.
  • With a blow dryer, apply heat for several minutes, and the wax will start to become imprinted on the candle. 
  • Finally, remove the paper and now you are finished.

Citronella Candle

You may have never heard of this variety of candle, but trust me you will want it if you are ever spending time outside in a buggy area. The reason for that is that citronella candles are used as an insect repellent, as the smell keeps these annoying pests away. This is the only one on this list that doesn't just look cool or smell great but actually serves an important purpose if you venture off into the wilderness. Obviously, this isn't a candle you would want to burn in your home, as it doesn't smell good at all. I mean its whole purpose is to smell bad enough to keep bugs out of your hair. So if you are the outdoorsy type, this is definitely a candle you should learn to make.

  • As with every step, start by affixing your wick to the base of whatever glass container you'll be using.
  • Melt the wax, and once it is liquid, add citronella oil that you can buy at most candle shops.
  • Lastly, just pour the wax in and let it harden; a super easy process!

Summary

This list of 5 creative ways to make candles was created so you could see some innovative ways to make candles that you may not have thought of before. They each have their own reason for why you would make them. The candle with the image and the cinnamon candle are by far the most decorative and will look great in your home. They look unique compared to other candles and are much more interesting. The orange peel and crayon candle are more of a novelty. You may not want to leave an orange peel with wax inside it laying around your home, but it is still a cool art project nonetheless.

Finally, the citronella was the one on the list that has a function and can be used to help you in a practical sense. There are several candles out there that have a purpose, and one that I didn't get to cover today is a survival candle. If you would like to learn how to make this candle, read this article from Off The Grid News.

Whatever you want in a candle, I'm sure you were able to find one on this list that you would have fun creating. Also, if you have children, these are great art projects to do with them under supervision. They will learn a lot and be able to see their awesome creation within minutes.

There are so many other awesome ideas out there, and I only covered five. If you have other ideas that you love, make sure to tell us all about it in the comment section below. Also, if you would like to know more about our company and exactly what we do here, check out our article titled Chicago Candle Factory: A Company of Sustainability.




Dustin Holta
Dustin Holta

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