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How to make a candle taper

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Candle Making Tutorial
Easy Dip Tapers
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Hand-dipped tapers may look hard to make, but they are actually amazingly easy! They do take some time and patience, but the results are well worth the effort. These instructions will show you the easy way to make dipped tapers.

What You Will Need - Supplies

· Taper Candle Wax

· Taper Candle Wick, Waxed

· Washers or Nuts (for weights)

· Steamer Pot or old Sauce Pan to create a double boiler

· Standard Size Melting Pot or other tall metal vessel, for dipping

· Wood Stir Sticks, chopsticks, or something else to stir the wax

· Thermometer

· Scissors

· Craft Knife

· Color Dye Chips (optional)

· Large bowl for water bath (optional)

Also a good idea to have around:

· Paper towels

· Wax Remover

· Aluminum Foil

· Newspaper, butcher paper, or scrap paper to cover work surfaces

· Fire Extinguisher (just in case)

How to Set Up Your Work Area

  1. Put down newspaper or butcher paper on tables and countertops to catch spills and for easy cleanup.
  2. Have paper towels and Windex on hand for cleaning stovetops.
  3. Wrap stove burner bowls in tin foil to catch drips of wax, and for easy cleanup afterwards.

The Dipping Mechanism

You can buy dipping vats and taper dippers. However, for these easy dipped taper candles, all you really need is a wire coat hanger and a pair of pliers and you can fashion your own dipping frames.

The Hanging Rack

What you use to hang your dipping frame on between dips really depends upon your work area and the materials you have at hand. A Nail, if it protrudes two or more inches from the wall, works well. A dowel propped between to tall jars will also work. Be sure that your hanging rack is sufficiently high up that the tapers will hang freely while cooling.

The Wick and the Washers

The length of wick you use will depend on how long you are making your tapers. One method which works very well is to make your length of wick measure 2 ? times the height of each taper.

Tie washers or nuts to the ends of the wick. A simple knot will do. It helps if the washer or nut on each wick end weighs roughly the same. This is to weigh the tapers down in the wax, and to help them keep straight when they are hanging and cooling.

The Dipping Vat

You can use a standard sized or tall melting pot as the dipping vat for these easy dipped tapers. Or you can use some other tall metal vessel. What ever you use will depend on the height of taper candles you are making. In these instructions, I use the standard sized melting pot, and end up with roughly 4” tall tapers.

Your steamer pot or deep sauce pan, and your melting pot or other tall metal vessel will create a double boiler for melting and dipping.

Melting your Taper Dipping Wax

A simple double boiler using an old sauce pan and a standard sized melting pot.

Fill the bottom part of your double boiler (the steamer pot or the deep sauce pan) with about two inches of cool water, and place on the burner set to high temperature.

Place pieces of 139 degree Taper Candle Wax to be melted into the melting pot, set the melting pot in the water, and attend to it as the wax liquefies. (When the water begins to boil, turn the heat down to medium low or low.)

If you have a large block of wax and need instructions on how to safely break it into smaller pieces, please visit our section on How To Break Up Wax Blocks

Remember that wax expands when it melts, and you will be filling your melting pot up very near to the top. Add one chunk of wax at a time into the melting pot and let it melt before adding more wax, to prevent overflow in your dipping vat. Or, melt your wax in a separate double boiler, and when it has melted, pour it into the melting pot or the vessel which you are using as your dipping vat.

Colored Dipped Tapers

When your wax is melted, you can add color dye chips to your wax, if you would like to make solid color dipped tapers. The process is exactly the same as for non-colored dipped tapers, except for the addition of candle dye at this point. Each of our diamond shaped dye chips colors 1 lb of wax. Use more or less candle dye for lighter or darker colored candles. Drop a dye chip (or part of a dye chip) into the melted wax, and stir until the dye chip is entirely dissolved into the liquid wax.

Dipping Wax Temperature

The most important part about making dipped tapers is the wax temperature. The temperature of your wax for making easy dipped tapers should remain between 150 and 155 degrees F.

At this temperature, wax accumulates quickly on the wick, which makes the candles very easy to make. If the wax gets cooler than 150 degrees, it will leave “cold pour” lines on your tapers. If the wax is hotter than 155 degrees, it becomes more labor intensive to coat the wicks and build up your tapers.

Before each dip, check the thermometer to make sure the wax is between 150 and 155 degrees.


In one fluid motion, dip the hanging wick into the wax and then pull it out. Let it cool for about 30 seconds to 2 minutes (until the wax is dry) before you dip it again.

Try to dip it to the same place on the wick each time. The taper shape at the top will develop naturally; no fancy dipping techniques are needed.

You can measure the base of your taper periodically, if the width of your finished taper is important to you.

After the first 5 or so dips, you will have something like this.

The same dipping frame and wick, after quite a lot of dips.

Cutting off the Ends

When your tapers have cooled (are no longer malleable and won’t bend) cut the washers off using a craft knife. As the washers are coated with valuable wax, when you are finished making your tapers, drop them into the liquid wax which is left over to melt the wax off of the washers. You can re-use the washers when the wax is melted off of them.

Optional Final Dip

If you prefer a rounded bottom on your tapers, as opposed to a blunt end left after cutting off the washers, then you may dip your candle a couple more times to achieve a rounded finish on the bottom.

The smaller tapers on the left were dipped twice more after the washers were removed, to create a rounded bottom.

Optional Water Bath

If you would like a shinier finish on your candles, then after you have dipped them for the final time, submerge them in cool water.

These tapers have a shiny finish after being dipped in the water bath.

Finished Dipped Tapers

That is all there is to it! Your finished hand dipped tapers are double hung (connected by the wick) until you cut them apart. Trim the wicks to ? inch before burning.


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