Candles are an ancient source of our light that has been incorporated into our society’s way of living; prevailing over centuries. It has been used up our lives at first as light sources; then it is used in religions, used in various distinct cultural practices; in which making wishes on our birthdays are the most practiced and most interconnected; up to using it as decorations that elevate the houses, that gives fancy feeling over dinner; as something that is romantic, and something that can soothe and relaxes us.
Candles seem to have never lost the character; its convenience, its influence, its power over the dramatic changes society has undergone. With the sticking in our society, it is never too late to discover them; and to know everything there is to know and to fathom the wonders of candle making. Light up a candle while reading this, for we will have a great discussion about them!
In its simplest definition; a candle is a block of wax that has a central wick that is lit to produce light as it burns. It also gives off heat, and as the wax is the fuel, it becomes shorter as time passes by.
Candles can be tracked as early as 3000 BC; based on the astonishing discovery of a bronze candle holder located in Ancient Egypt. The Chinese and Romans have also debated discovering this everlasting thing, let us look at their arguments.
Egyptians make use of “rushlights” as the early form of what we know now, candles. Rushlights was made through a piece of rush plant that is dipped in animal fat. They used rolled papyrus as a wick.
Chinese make use of paper as their wick and insects or seed oil as their wax. The Japanese then evolved this form of the candle by utilizing tree nuts oil as wax; and India created candles with the oil of cinnamon fruit.
The first candle fragment was known to be discovered in France. It was believed to really be from the first century. Historians have evidence that candle usage was prevalent just before the Middle Ages for exterior and interior lighting purposes.
Starting the candles’ evolution, it first manifested itself based on religion, varying in the kind of wick and the wax used. The wax was curated from oils derived on plants, fruits, nuts, and animal fats, from cows, sheep, pigs.
Animal fats were prevalent in the 18th century when the whaling industry was making its mark, people started to use its spermaceti wax, diminishing animal fats from cows, sheep, and pigs. Afterward, stearin and paraffin wax were developed, fading the use of spermaceti wax. Reaching the end of the 20th century, soy, palm, and synthetic waxes entered the market of candle making.
Although lightbulbs are society’s predominant source of lightning now, candles have created an ambiance and feeling that these lightbulbs cannot be replaced. It popularly started more and more by the end of the 20th century securing a $3 billion candle industry. Candles appeal to almost everyone, be it a man or a woman, young, old, teens because it has been innovated and its purpose has grown in different ways that all different kinds of people and their distinct personalities have something to choose from.
Also has been the number one item of most hobbyists, and enthusiasts of handcrafted goods. Ranging from the most simple form and design to beautiful elegant ones, from its solemn purpose to the most lovable one, candles are definitely here forever to stay.
Types of Candles
Taper candles are tall, slim, and taper at the top, as their name suggests. it cannot stand on its own, thus needing support from candleholders and candlesticks. Their length is about eighteen inches with one inch of thickness. It is primarily used as an accent to dinner tables to create an elegant ambiance.
Pillar candles are thick, compacted candles that can stand on their own can be free-standing, or are placed in hurricane containers. It can come in different sizes as well as colors, it typically ranges from three to sixteen inches; it is very simple and versatile that can be used any time, on any occasion, be it from formal ceremonies to intimate or personal ones.
Votive candles are small cylindrical candles that need support from small glass holders or multi candle stands. Their size is two and a half inches high with two inches in diameter. It is certainly used for churches, for praying and solemn activities, ceremonies.
Tea Light candles
Tea candles are small and very cylindrical candles that are placed in a little plastic or aluminum holder. Their size is usually less than an inch high and one and a half inches in diameter. It exists in restaurants as warming foods and teapots and churches mainly. People talked about how it is also the best accent lighting as well.
Container candles are candles that are generally poured and placed in glass containers and mason jars. it does not drip and it exists in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Candles are the best beginner candle; it is relatively easy to do. Typically used for decorations for homes and offices, restaurants are keen to use them also, it can be scented for added variety, texture, and specific uses.
Floating candles are lightweight candles that float in water. it comes in different, yet equally beautiful shapes and sizes. It is best used for decoration in fancy dinner tables, or when you are conducting a beauty rest that is primarily used with rose petals, it also stands out in reception areas of a hotel or restaurant.
Gel candles are unique and really made for decorative purposes. It can be slightly scented and usually placed in clear glass containers and mason jars. You can spot them at pools as it gives off tropical, summer vibes and at restaurants.
Scented candles emit scents as they are being burned. It is a very popular type of candle that is known for its great job of relaxing people and releasing happy hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. It is used for stress and anxiety relief, mood enhancers, as well as cute decors for your home.
Birthday candles as the name suggests are made for the sole purpose of celebrating birthdays. It exists in letters and numbers, and various shapes and it is fun looking and colorful. It is also interchangeably used for other occasions as well since candles are really known to be present in almost all of the celebrations we pay attention and significance to.
Last but not the least, cartridge candles hold simplicity and convenience of use. It is used for vigil purposes and emergencies.
Types of Wax used in Candle Making
Most versatile and most commonly used, inexpensive, and relatively easy to use. It comes in different melt points, which makes them convenient to use and experiment with. It comes from crude oil.
Relatively new wax to candle making, but had been already loved by many. It comes in different melting points as well and offers a variety of blends. It comes from soy.
It is not a wax, it is made from a combination of resin and mineral oil. It stands out because it is transparent and can be really used in lots of creative ways.
The oldest, and arguably the best wax for candle making. It manifests sweet natural fragrances because of the flowers bees are laying, its intensity varies. They are produced by bees, as the product of their honey-making process.
Palm wax has a resemblance to soy wax because they are both made in natural oil. It is extracted from palm oil, and its uniqueness lies in producing a crystalline or feathered appearance in the candles that is captivating and quite lovely in the eyes.
Mental Health Benefits of Lighting Candles
Candles create ambiance
Candles have the unique ability to transform an atmosphere that you are in through their scent, allowing you to change what you feel about your space.It creates immediate softness and warmth in your room, as though it is very welcoming. Lighting a candle for your relaxation time, meditation or bath are some of the most beloved practices around candles.
Candles calms our mind
Floral and herbal aromas and scent has been proven to be useful and significant in the treatment of certain psychological and psychological disorders through the use of igniting aromatherapeutic candles. Soothing candles for depression and anxiety are very popular and significantly healthful.
Candles have the ability to improved and enhance our mood
Scented candles can provide calmness and aid in alleviating stress symptoms. It also has the capacity to lower our cortisol. They can release dopamine and serotonin, which is scientifically proven to support positive moods and provide a light, happy feeling.
Candle can provide memory stimulation
Specific research suggests that there are some specific scents from scented candles that can stimulate memory in the brain, causing it to suddenly remember things, experiences, and distinct memories. Apparently, scent, emotion, and memory are very intertwined with each other.
Candles support a restful sleep
In our fast-paced society now where all the new technologies seem to emerge at every blink of an eye, lighting a candle at night instead of using artificial lights, blue lights can help you maintain your natural sleep rhythm. It helps you have great sleeping hygiene, moreover allows you to help get enough sleep that is adequate rest and experience the wonderful benefits of sleep as well in both our mental and physical health.
Candle creates meaningful healing habits
Burning a candle can be a cue for your everyday downtime and relaxation, and it is a must since rest is necessary for our busy lives. Psychologists are suggesting how candles can significantly improve our state of mind when it is being paired with activities such as journaling and doing yoga.
They are a staple in celebrations
Lighting a candle whether it is for a birthday, for anniversaries, in milestones, and on any other special dates of yours really ties and completes the celebration. They make a mark in our hearts and it is really incomplete that we do not have them, after all, who will collect the wishes?
Great and versatile decoration
Candles have a uniquely stylish way to add a finishing touch in any room there is in your house, be it a bedroom, office, dining table. They can go from subtle to making an impact, depending on the candle’s style, color and size. They also make a great decoration in restaurants, spas, hotels, as well as solemn churches and chapels. Does it also go by themes and seasons, Christmas? Halloween? fall? winter? There’s a candle for that.
Scented candles are a great way to subtly add a wonderfully uplifting scent to any room in your house, moreover, it can cover up unpleasant smells. There are so many fragrances to choose from that can go well to the theme you are going for whether it is tropical nice hotel vibes, morning coffee, sweet, masculine, etc. You can find a scent that speaks to you.
Candles have been proven to make wonders for our mental health, that consecutively impact the quality of our physical health.
Meditation and prayer
Candles have been really a religious practice since the beginning of time. It has been used to pray, and practice religious rituals on a lot of types of religions. This use of candles is still prevalent, helping and supporting the practices of spiritual people.
Remembrance and Religious Support
Candle scents have the incredible power of taking us back in certain memories and remembering them. It has been a joy and wholesome purpose of it, since customers are often thrilled and feel nostalgic when it happens.
It also serves as a remembrance for the ones we have lost, it offers support by lighting vigil candles or lighting a candle in the church to pray for their souls. At weddings, lighting a candle can be a way of remembering those who cannot join and celebrate the ceremony. In funerals, as a way of respect. In christening, as a way of welcoming new life. This is the most significant, and the greatest purpose of candles, it’s humbling.
Candles can have a romantic impact and feelings in them. Simple candlelight can make dinner extra cheesy and romantic, a bubble bath for couples can be extra intimate, and those quiet special moments can be the one that is memorable, thanks to candles.
Candles can be your way of expressing what are the things you love. Love the smell of the book? There’s a scent for that, the relaxing lavender? vanilla? coffee? floral? the smell of baby powder? It can be associated with who you are.
Heating up foods/teas
Candles, specifically tea light candles are beneficial since they serve as food and tea warmers. This enhances the flavor of the food and hot drinks and makes sure that it is fresh and ready to dive in and enjoy. It’s convenient since you can no longer opt for a microwave, which can be a hassle to use.
As we all know, candles are the very first light source that we as a society use and they can be useful when we do not have electricity, it’s accessible, inexpensive, and easy to use. On days where calamities hit us, candles are one lit away to save our nights, it provides subtle hints as well and can be used as cooking means.
Candle Making Prep
With all the wonders we have discussed above the ever famous and holistically beneficial candles, it is about time that we discuss the beginner guide of making it. Spoiler: It’s fun to prepare, easy to do, and highly enjoyable.
Things you need to prepare
- Pots and bowls
- Hot plate or Stove
- Candle Wax
- Candle Wick/s
- Fragrance, by choice
- Color, by choice
- Skewer or popsicle sticks or Masking tape
- Super glue or hot glue
- Mixing spoon
- Weighing scale
Step 1: Weigh in and melt in your candle wax
- Place your pot in the weighing scale, and weigh in the correct amount of wax you want to work on, for every one fluid ounce in volume your container, you will be needing one ounce in weight of wax.
- Get in another pot, preferably large, fill it halfway with water and bring it in a simmer bowl on the stove to heat. Place your wax on top of it, as if you are melting a chocolate, slowly blend it in. This will take a few minutes to do so.
- Pour in the color of your choice, if you want it to be colorful, then continue stirring it.
- When the candle wax is fully melted, it will look like olive oil and will certainly be at 180 degree Fahrenheit. Let it cool down, at 140 degree Fahrenheit.
Step 2: Prepare where will you be putting your candle wax
- As you are waiting to cool your wax down, it’s time to prepare the containers. Make sure that each of it is clean and dry, then add a dab of superglue to the bottom of the wick and then thumb it in the bottom center of the container.
- Stabilize the wick by placing popsicle sticks/ skewers on each side or poke a hole in a masking tape and attach it on both ends. This will keep your wick straight.
Step 3: Weigh in your fragrance, if you want it to have a subtle aroma, a scented candle
For every one pound of wax, you will just be needing 1 ounce of your fragrance of choice since it is strong. It is important that your wax is at 140 degrees Fahrenheit when you start dropping it.
Step 4: Finally, pour your candle wax onto their designated container/s
When it reaches the temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, it is safe now for pouring. Carefully and slowly pour it to avoid messing the wick and it does not create air bubbles. After successfully pouring it, let it sit for 24 hours, before burning it, then we are officially done.
With these easy four steps, any beginner can, and it is safe to say that they will succeed on their first try. Making candles is such an easy thing to do and is a fascinating one once you start experimenting, decorating, and innovating it the way you wanted them to. It is a great hobby to incorporate into our inner artists and creative selves, makes meaningful and extra special personalized gifts for our loved ones, and with its popularity, it can evolve into a stable business enterprise.
Candles are fascinating, beneficial things that are here to stay in our society. Learning about its rich culture, together with their types, what makes them relevant and their easy-making process is a great pile of information when we know how influential they are. It has the capacity to merge individuals, despite their massive differences since it has a common ground of uses amongst all of us. It’s efficient, inexpensive, and easy to use, with the variety of kinds and beautiful fragrances to choose from, you can never go wrong with candles.
I urge you to start it as your hobby, or start supporting a candle business, light yourself one to experience their unique and highly beneficial purposes. Buy one to elevate your house, buy one to give it to others, or buy one for the sake of collecting it, and many more. Its versatility is what makes them wonderful. You can never go wrong with lighting one up. From what we know, afterward, you will be a candle enthusiast, which is always the right thing.