How to Make Candle Wicks for Your Own Candles
If you are an avid candle maker, you may be interested in making your own wicks. By making your own wicks, you can ensure they are the exact size, thickness and type of wick you need for your intricate designs. By learning how to make candle wicks, you can open up your creativity even further in candle making.
Types of Wicks
If you know candle making, you probably know there are three main types of wicks. They are: core wicks, flat braid wicks and square braid wicks. Cored wicks often have a center made of strong cotton or a piece of metal. These wicks are best for projects where traditional straight wicks may not be the best choice. Often times you are able to shape these wicks to be used in unique candle projects.
Flat braid wicks are used in tapered candles and curls as it burns. They self trim and have no carbon build up. Square braid wicks are great for molded and dipped candles and burn cleanly. All of these wicks can be primed or unprimed. You can even prime them yourself if you wish.
Creating A Basic Wick
If you wish to create your own basic wicks, you will need a few supplies. Things you will need to collect are: heavy cotton string or yarn, salt, water and boric acid. The sting can be of any color, which can make your wick making very creative!
You will want to take three of the strings and soak them for 12 hours in 1-2 tbs salt, 2-4 tbs boric acid and 1 – 1/12 cup of water. Let the strings dry completely, at least overnight, then braid the three strands together into the desired length, leaving about 4 inches extra length.
If you want to add a metal core to your wick, you will need to braid the strings around a flammable metal, such as lead wire. You should note that it may not be extremely safe to burn and inhale these metals and if you choose to use them, you should only burn the candles in a well ventilated area.
Priming Your Wick
For many candle projects you will need to prime the wick in wax before you can insert it into a mold to make a candle. In order to prime the wick, you will need to melt some wax and dip the braided string into the liquid. Use care as to not burn your fingers. You may want to use a paperclip to do the dipping.
Once you have saturated the wick in wax, bring it out, pull it tight and straight and dip it in water to cool it quickly. Lay it on wax paper and dab the moisture off with a cloth or paper towel. If you want a stronger wick, dip it again, repeating the steps above. You can store wicks rolled up in old newspapers until you are ready to use.
If you want to be very fancy, you can add other chemicals to your salt/boric acid/water mixture in order to make colored flames. Some examples of this are adding a tbs of Borax for a yellow-green flame and add a tbs of calcium chloride for a blue flame. You can also add common espom salt for a white flame. Make sure if you are adding chemicals to your mixture, you are doing it safely and following the manufacturer’s warnings.