A guide to making the chicest candles on Instagram right now

Looking for a new craft hobby to get stuck into? Learning how to make Instagram’s candle of the moment is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Here’s an expert tutorial on how to make a bubble candle.

Welcome to The Curiosity Academy, Stylist’s new learning hub where you can access workshops, how-to guides, new research and learn the most up-to-date skills from the UK’s most in-the-know people.

2021 has been the year in which candles have been taken to the extreme. Gone are the days where a simple scented candle will do the job. In fact, even tapered dinner candles seem fairly simple compared to some of the candle designs gaining popularity now. From squiggly candles to sculptural masterpieces shaped like the female form, to stunning hand-painted candles, there are no limits to the artistry being put into candle designs, particularly those created by independent brands.

One candle shape that has really taken Instagram by storm is the bubble candle, which is usually made up of 27 equally sized spheres. It’s an amazing interiors feature in itself, as they look great on their own at the centre of a coffee table or stacked up against each other on your mantelpiece. 

Alba Alvar Ramos started creating bubble candles during the UK’s lockdown in March 2021 when she noticed how popular were on Instagram. She has since perfected her method for creating bubble cube candles, founding her own brand Noord Candles. Here is her beginner-friendly tutorial for making bubble candles that you can try at home.

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What you will need to make a bubble candle

  • 150g wax (Alba uses soy wax but you can use beeswax or mixed blends of natural wax if you prefer)
  • Cotton wicks
  • Wax melting jar (any stainless steel jar will work)
  • Pot
  • Scales
  • Thermometer
  • Silicone bubble candle mould
  • 15g fragrance oils (optional)
  • Dye flakes (optional)
  • Rubber gloves (optional)

Use a stainless steel jar to melt your wax in, You will need bubble candle molds, Cut your wicks down when your candles are dry

How to make a bubble candle

  1. Make a hole in the middle of the mould if there isn’t already one there and thread the candle wick through.
  2. Use a bamboo stick or hair pin to hold the wick in place.
  3. Fill a pot halfway with water and boil to a low-medium heat.
  4. Put your wax in the jar and place the jar in the pot.
  5. When the wax is melted, take it out of the pan and add the dye. A little goes a long way so add gradually and mix until you’ve got your desired colour. 
  6. If you’re using fragrance, add your fragrance oil now. You could also add a few drops of essential oils.
  7. Wait till the wax has cooled down below it’s boiling point, measuring it with a thermometer for accuracy (for soy wax, wait until it gets to 45-50 degrees Celsius, which will take 5-10 minutes).
  8. Pour the wax into the mould very slowly and let it cool for 4-5 hours or overnight.
  9. Remove your candle from the mould very carefully, wearing gloves if possible in order to not affect the shape of the candle.
  10. Leave your candle to cool, trim your wick then it’s ready to burn. 

Alba’s expert tips for making bubble candles

Temperature is key

“Temperature is the most important thing to consider when making candles,” Alba says. If your water is too hot, the wax won’t melt properly and if you put the wax into the mould when it’s too hot, it won’t set. “Use your thermometer regularly during the process,” Alba recommends. 

Experiment with waxes

Alba opts to use soy wax for her candles but the candlemaking process can change significantly based on the environment you’re making them in, so soy wax might not necessarily be the best option for you. Try out different waxes and make notes about the results to figure out which ones you like. “It took me about a month of experimentation until I got my candles to a stage I was happy with,” Alba says. 

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Make sure your mould is clean and dry

When your candles are setting in your mould, they will take completely to the shape of the mould. This means that if there is any dirt in it or even splashes of water, they will also imprint onto your candle. “Make sure your mould is completely clean and dry before putting your wax into it for a smooth finish,” is Alba’s advice.

Let your candles cool properly

The cooling process is also crucial to the end result of your candles. “Keep your candles in a cool, sheltered place when they are drying,” Alba explains. Even small gusts of wind from doors opening and closing could affect their appearance at this point so be as delicate as possible until they’re ready.

You can find more tutorials and expert tips on The Curiosity Academy’s Instagram page.

  • Alba Alvar Ramos, candlemaker

    Alba founded her candle brand in March 2021.

    Alba is the founder of Noord Candles. She specialises in sculptural candles including the bubble candle and the body candle. The Noord philosophy is to create collections that remind you to take care of your mind, body and soul while bringing beauty, colour and comfort to your daily routine.

Images: Noord Candles

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