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Candle Making Instruction Books

Candle making is one of the most beautiful crafts - for who can resist the magic of candles that fill our homes with light, warmth, and soothing scent. By making your own candles, you not only enjoy all the delights of using candles, but the added satisfaction of decorating your home with your personal creations.

While medieval candlemakers used beeswax or tallow (animal fat) to make their hand-dipped candles, since the 19th century, modern candlemakers have relied primarily on paraffin.

We've chosen some of the best "how to" books on candle making we could find for both the beginner and the expert, including instructions for making gel candles and using your creative skills to start your own candle craft business.

Buy Books about Making Candles
Encyclopedia of Candlemaking Techniques
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The Encyclopedia of Candlemaking Techniques: A Step-by-Step Visual Guide
by Sandie Lea and Sue Heaser

Very clear and easy-to-follow directions for many, many different candle making techniques, as well as lots of great photos of both the process and the finished products. Even has tips for displaying your candles to their best advantage. A terrific handbook that will keep you going in candle making for a long, long time. Some prior experience might be helpful.
Essentially Candles
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Essentially Candles: The Elegant Art of Candle Making and Embellishing
by Robert and Catherine McDaniel

Outstanding guide to making 20 basic types of candles (pillar, taper, floating, container, many more) with innumerable variations. Clear step-by-step instructions with photos, information on selecting ingredients (wax, wicks, etc.), adding scent and color, even includes mold-making instructions and a history of candle making. A sure winner for beginners and experienced candle makers alike. Recommended.
Candle Making : A Step by Step Guide
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Candle Making: A Step by Step Guide from Beginner to Expert
by Bob Sherman

Sherman's book is another great guide to candle making, filled with excellent explanations, charts, illustrations, tables and a complete glossary to show you the "science" of candlemaking - what works and what doesn't. Detailed explanations of ingredients and techniques, this is a good book for your candle-making shelf.
The Complete Candlemaker
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The Complete Candlemaker: Techniques, Projects and Inspirations
by Norma J. Coney

"Norma Coney's comprehensive guide to candle-making techniques, handsome color photos and detailed text illustrate how to make 40 different kinds of candles, a number of them unusual (marbleized, tie-dyed, carved--even appliquéd). There are some amazing candles here, such as the water candle (in which a pillar candle is surrounded by what look like rolling waves of wax), sand candles, and cut-and-curl tapers." In short, a terrific book that is clear and detailed enough for beginners.
Candles : Illuminating Ideas for Creative Candlemaking
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Candles: Illuminating Ideas for Creative Candlemaking and Enchanting Displays
by Gloria Nicol

While this book contains some instruction, it is mostly about inspiration and decoration - lots of wonderful ideas for using your own creativity in candle creation and display. If you are already an expert candlemaker, this book will spark your interest in expanding your skills both for creating beauty in your own home and for gift-giving. Lovely photos.
The Candlemaker's Companion
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The Candlemaker's Companion: A Complete Guide to Rolling, Pouring, Dipping, and Decorating Your Own Candles
by Betty Oppenheimer

Candle making with a personal, informal touch - "this thorough guide provides ... step-by-step instructions covering virtually all aspects of making rolled, poured, molded, dipped, and decorated candles--even candleholders. Though there are no photos, the line drawings are quite helpful, as are the crafting tips that--along with well-chosen candle-related quotes--fill the book's margins." A perfect "how to" book for beginners. Recommended.
Gel Candles : 40 Creative Projects
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Gel Candles: 40 Creative Projects
by C. Kaila Westerman

From the book description: "Candle gel is the hottest new product in candle crafting. This new product (95% mineral oil, 5% resin) is transparent, is extremely easy to clean up, and has a significantly longer burning time than traditional waxes. Author Kaila Westerman gives the basics of gel candle crafting in ten easy steps, then explores the endless possibilities for creating special effects with layers of color, swirls, bubbles, specialty molds, and embedments such as glass, botanicals, shells, stones, and pieces of solid paraffin candle wax. Readers can create candles that look like rainbows, aquariums, seascapes, playful sodas and other drinks, and more. Since gel candles cannot stand alone, each design is enhanced by wonderful whimsical, vintage, or even sophisticated containers." Lots of fun.
Candlemaking for Fun and Profit
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Candlemaking for Fun & Profit
by Michelle Espino

While the book gives basic candle-making instructions, you will want to learn candle-making elsewhere. The strength of the book lies in it's basic small business information - pricing, licenses, setting up a home workshop, getting into craft shows and selling through stores, etc. Really, any book on small business or, better yet, the crafting business would give you the same info in perhaps more depth, but this book is a good starting point.