Making Taper CandlesI don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. - Bill Cosby
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Making Taper Candles

Equipment and Materials Needed

Taper Candles
  • Newspaper

  • Wax – beeswax, 145 paraffin, pillar blend crystallizing wax, or pillar blend soy wax

  • Wax additive (optional)

  • Dual taper dipper or taper dipping rack

  • Wicking

  • 2 dipping vats – one for wax and one for water

  • Candy thermometer

  • 2 washers or nuts to use for weights (if using a dual taper dipper)

  • Double boiler

  • Fragrance oil

  • Craft knife

  • Ruler

  • Scissors

  • Pot holders

Instructions for Making Taper Candles

Step 1 - Before starting, we recommend spreading newspaper over your working area in case any wax spills. Also, don't pour any wax near or in your sinks as it will clog your drains. It may be liquid when you pour it, but when it cools your drains will have a thick coating of wax which could be pricey to remove!

Step 2 – Begin by preparing your dual taper dipper or taper dipping rack. If using the dual taper dipper, prepare the wick by trimming it 6 inches longer than the length desired for two taper candles. This length provides for the 2 inch width between the prongs of the dual taper dipper. Add weight to the end of the wicking by tying metal nuts at each end. Drape the weighted wick through the dual taper dipper. If using a taper dipping rack, adjust the rack to the desired height. Cut three lengths of wicking long enough to loop over two of the top fingers and secure it on the opposite fingers. Repeat for the remaining four fingers.

Step 3 - Melt your wax and additives in a double boiler on the stove top. Do this by filling the bottom pot about a quarter full with water. Then place your pouring pot inside this pot and begin heating over low to medium heat. Stir every so often and as it melts. Gradually add more wax until you fill the pot. Keep a thermometer handy at all times to keep test the temperature of the wax. Once your wax has melted, let it cool down to the correct temperature (See our Melting Wax Guide for more information on wax temperatures). When the wax has reached the correct temperature, add fragrance and/or color chip. Continue stirring the wax to make sure the color chip is completely dissolved and the fragrance is thoroughly dispersed.

Step 4 – The wax temperature should be between 150 and 175 degrees F. If the wax goes below 150 degrees F, you will need to reheat it. If you dip at a low temperature, you will produce candles with a more rustic look. Dipping at higher temperatures can produce candles with a smoother finish.

Step 5 – With room temperature water, fill the second dipping vat. This will be used to cool down your candles in between dips.

Step 6 – Lower the taper dipper (either the dual taper or the rack) slowly into the melted wax, leaving a ½ inch of wick at the top. Hold the wick in the wax for about five seconds, then carefully remove it. If the wick happens to be bent, you can straighten it out with your fingers. Repeat this procedure 3 to 4 more times, lowering the tapers to the same level each time. When finished, dip the rack into a cool water bath for about five seconds to cool the wax.

Step 7 – Continue this process of dipping from wax (3 to 4 dips) to water until tapers are about ¼ inch thick. When your tapers have cooled (no longer malleable and won’t bend) cut off the metal nuts from the bottom using a craft knife. Since the washers are coated with valuable wax, you can place them back in the liquid wax to melt off the wax from the nuts. Now you can reuse the metal nuts when the wax is melted off.

Step 8 – If you prefer a rounded bottom on your tapers, as opposed to a blunt end left after cutting off the metal nuts, then simply dip your candle back in the wax a couple more times to achieve a rounded finish on the bottom.

Step 9 – When you reach your desired width, let the entire rack or taper dipper stand in the cool water for 3 to 5 minutes. This will also give your candles a shinier finish. If you are using the rack, remove and cut the candles with scissor just above the bottom fingers.

Step 10 – Hang the pairs of tapers until they are finished cooling.

Get more candle information from the National Candle Association.

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