Candle and Soap Making

Two favorite home crafts for lots of people are candle and soap making. They have a lot of principles in common, and use many of the same pieces of equipment, making them a natural pair. If you're interested in getting started with candle and soap making, here's some basic information about each.

First, decide how from-scratch you want to go. Some people make their soap from fat and lye, and their candles from straight beeswax. These methods can give you more control over the finished product, plus yield a lot more variations. However, they can also be difficult or intimidating for the beginner. Fortunately, there are also other options.

People interested in candle and soap making can find entire sections of their local craft stores dedicated to these two arts. There are molds, scents, colorants, and pre-made bases that are designed to melt easily and flow without a lot of fuss. Many of the available soaps are the clear, glycerine variety, but you can also find the familiar white soap many people are used to.

When you do candle and soap making, there are some basic materials you'll need. A source of heat is required to melt your bases. You can use the microwave on some bases, but for others, you may need the stove. A small double boiler can be helpful, to keep your soap or wax from burning as you melt it. You'll probably want to dedicate a pot to each craft, since they can be hard to clean afterwards. As with all projects involving heat, take basic precautions to avoid burns.

You'll also need container or molds for candles, and molds for soap. Candles can be made in anything from small glass jars to fancy commercial molds, depending on what kind of finished product you want. Suppliers of soap bases also provide molds. If you don't want to buy a dedicated soap mold, you can use candy molds for small soaps, or any household object that will make a shape you like. Just be sure you can get the soap out of it later. Look for interesting items that you can use to mold soap or candles. For instance, an ice cube tray could create entertaining soaps or candles for an “icy” gift basket.

Candle and soap making are great crafts for people who like to give handmade crafts at holiday times. They create not only beautiful gifts, but useful ones! Many people forget that their handmade soaps and candles aren't just for decoration, but you'll never really appreciate them until you see how well they work!

Candle and soap making are crafts that are easy to get started in, not too expensive, and limited only by your imagination and the properties of the material. You can make candles and soaps in any color, and almost any shape. Consider using different colors in the same piece, or including small objects, like shells, inside your candle and soap making projects.