Step 1: Decide on a Candle Style
There are several ways you can make candles with your child. The first thing you need to do is to decide on how to make the candles. You can choose from rolled candles, dipped candles, or poured candles.
Rolled candles are simple and easy to make with children as young as three or four. Rolled candles are perfect for making with young children because you aren’t required to use heated wax. All you need are sheets of wax and a wick. Show your child how to roll the wax around the wick, and then let them try.
Dipped candles are great to make with school-aged children. Your child must be able to hold a wick and repeatedly dip it in warm wax, pausing between each dip. If you’re making dipped candles, the wax will need to stay at a constant, warm temperature.
To keep the wax at the right temperature, you can use a specialty wax melting machine, camping stove, kitchen stove, or another heat source. It is key for your child to understand that the wax and heating element will be hot.
Poured candles, called molded candles, are better suited to make with older children, like pre-teens. This type of candle requires the wax to be heated and poured into a mold. Like with dipped candles, your child will need to understand how to stay safe around hot wax while making poured candles.
Step 2: Get Your Candle Making Supplies Together
When making candles, it’s best to start with clean and organized supplies. The supplies you need will vary depending on which candle type you choose to make.
Typical candle making supplies include candle molds or jars, wicks, wax, color blocks, and essential oils or fragrance oils. You’ll need a way to melt the wax, a stir stick or spatula, a hot pad, and a thermometer. Optional supplies include an apron, heat gun, and decorative additives, like botanicals, shells, or premade wax shapes.
Teach your child about each supply item as you gather your supplies and organize them. It’s best to lay out the supplies on a clean flat surface near where you will heat your wax. If you’re rolling candles, your kitchen table or craft table will work perfectly.
It’s a good idea to make the messier candles, like dipped or poured candles, in an area that won’t be damaged if you drip wax. You might want to make dipped candles in the garage or on your back patio. If you plan to make dipped or poured candles inside, you should put something down to protect your work surface from any wax that spills or drips, like a drop cloth or large piece of cardboard.
Step 3: Set Ground Rules
Your child is probably very happy and excited to make candles with you. Before you start, it is beneficial to set ground rules. Your child must understand that the rules you put in place are there to keep them safe.
You may want to establish rules about going near the stove or touching the heated wax, depending on the age of your child. Even older children must be aware of the potential dangers of hot wax and heating elements.
Here are a few sample rules you might want to establish:
- Wear appropriate clothing and protective gear, like aprons and shoes.
- Don’t touch the heating machine or stovetop.
- Don’t touch the melted candle wax.
- Ask for help if you need it.
- Have fun!
Your candle making rules may be different than these, depending on your child’s age and behavior. Just remember to have fun!
Step 4: Discuss the Steps
Children are quick learners, but before you jump right into candle-making, you should review the process with your child. Set the expectation for what will happen, so your child is prepared and understands what to do.
Will your child help during the wax heating process? If so, how? You might be surprised at how your child can help. Young children can put the wax into the warmer or double boiler as long as it hasn’t heated up yet. You can have your school-aged child help stir the wax as it warms if you are comfortable.
If you plan to make dipped candles, you should verbally tell them the steps for completing a dip and holding the candle for a moment before completing the next dip. You can help them by demonstrating how to complete each dip before they try.
If you plan to make poured candles, you will want to explain how to heat the wax, transfer the warm wax to a kettle, and pour the wax into the mold. Your child might be old enough that they don’t need a demonstration, but make sure you can help them if needed.
Step 5: Make Candles Together
You’re ready to make candles if you know which type of candle you want to make, have the supplies together, have explained the ground rules, and have gone over the candle-making steps.
Have fun and enjoy making candles with your child! Help your child by giving them guided instructions. Allow your child to do as much safe, hands-on activity as possible. Step in and help if you see them struggling during any step of the candle-making process.
Shop at Bulk Apothecary for Candle Making Supplies
When you’re ready to order candle making supplies, shop for wholesale apothecary supplies at Bulk Apothecary. We have everything you need to make beautiful, colorful, and fragrant candles. You can make simple or intricate candles with our molds, color blocks, botanicals, and more. Our blog has easy-to-follow candle recipes for you and your child to make throughout the year.