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Different Types of Handmade Candles

Candle Making Varieties

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You probably know that a candle is a marvelous combination of wax and wick...but past that there are many different varieties of candles. Even if you take scent and color out of the mix, there is still an amazing array of different shapes, sizes, methods and purposes for candles. Here are some examples of the major types of candles that most candle makers will encounter and/or make.

1. Container Candles

Basic Container Candle
David Fisher

A container candle is just that...a candle that is poured/made in a container. But it is different from a votive (that is put into a container) in that the mold and the container are the same thing. The candle is poured into the container.

2. Votive Candles

Colorful votive candles
David Fisher

Votive candles are among the most used candles of any type. They're actually a hybrid between a pillar candle and a container candle in that, before they're burned, they're free-standing, usually cylindrical candles (just like a pillar,) but once they're lit, they generally melt completely enough to take the shape of the votive holder that they're placed in (like a container candle.)

3. Pillar Candles

Candy corn pillar candle
David Fisher

Pillar candles are a type of molded candle. The wax is rigid enough to burn free-standing (on a heat-resistant plate or pan.) If it is wicked correctly, it should burn evenly and not drip very much wax onto the plate.

4. Dipped Candles

dipped outdoor torch candles
David Fisher

Dipped candles are basically just that...dipped -- a piece of wick that has been primed (dipped) into the wax to get out the air bubbles...and then dipped some more to build up more layers of wax.

5. Rolled Candles

Rolled Beeswax Taper Candle
David Fisher

Rolled candles are made with pliable (roll-able) sheets of wax with a wick at the center. The most common are made with sheets of beeswax 8" x 16". They are great, safe, easy candles to make.

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