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Container candles - What you need

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Container candles   >   
What you need

Good news : you don't need a lot of equipment to successfully make container candles. You don't need a mold as the wax is poured and remains in the container where it will eventually be burned. All you need is a wick and a few things to keep it in place at both ends and that's it.

Oh and of course, you will need the basic candlemaking equipment, like a double boiler and a pouring pot, but that doesn't really count because you will need it whatever type of candle you're making.

The container

We have talked extensively about the type of container to use and what its characteristics should be in the introduction so I'm not going to repeat it all here just to boost my word count

The wick

If it is perfectly possible to use flat braid or square braid wicks in container candles, it comes highly recommended to use cored wicks instead, whether that core is paper, zinc or cotton. Cored wicks behave much better in a potentially deep melt pool and they tend to burn at a higher temperature.

Anyway, this is what I wrote when this website was born, about twenty years ago. Since that time, dinosaurs got extinct and wicks have evolved tremendously. New ranges and families of wicks have appeared that are perfectly adapted to the different types of waxes available today. This is the reason why I would now recommend you look into specialty wicks if you're thinking of making container candles. The choice is huge and there is no doubt you will find exactly what you are looking for, whatever the type of wax you will pour into your containers.

It is impossible to tell you exactly what wick you should use : considering the scope of what's available, the right wick will depend not only on the wax you're using but also on your personal preferences. Some people like the way such wick burns, others prefer the stability of such other wick family. The last article I mentioned will give you a good overview of what is available to you and an idea of the wick size to start with in function of the container size. But remember, it's only just a starting point : depending on your wax formula and the amount (and type) of fragrance oil used, you may have to wick up or down one, two, three sizes, maybe more. Be prepared to test, test and test again until you find the wick and the wick size that perform best.

As a starting point, if you still have to purchase your wicks, I would suggest the ECO or RRD series. Both perform really well in container candles, whether your wax is paraffin or soy-based.

But if you really want to have some old-fashioned fun and create stunning container candles, be sure to experiment with wooden wicks, increasingly popular and so nice to burn...

Glue dots or a glue gun

You will need a way to secure the wick (or more appropriately its wick tab) to the bottom of the container; installing the wick after you have poured the wax is not exactly recommended. This step is necessary to center the wick, straighten it and keeping it straight with a wick holder (see the next section).

There are two methods you can use to secure the wick tab to the bottom of your containers : a glue dot (a kind of small double-sided, round adhesive pad) or a drop of glue from your glue gun... Please refer to the articles dedicated to each of these pieces of equipment to help you decide which one will work for you. Let's just say that if you are planning on making a lot of container candles, a glue gun could be a good investment in time. Otherwise, it's potato and po-tah-to.

The wick holder

Now that your wick and its tab are firmly attached to the bottom of the container, all you need to do is keep the wick straight and centered on the opposite side.

For that, nothing beats the trustworthy wick holder you already use to make other types of candles. It doesn't matter if it is a double-rod model or a self-centering one designed specifically for container candles (as illustrated above), or even something as basic as two bamboo sticks (kebab sticks) kept together with rubber bands; as long as the wick stays straight and in place, it's all good.

***

This is all you need to make your very own container candles. As promised at the beginning of this article, it ain't a lot and it's perfect like that

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