Best Ways to Center Candle Wicks
Obviously at this point in your candle making, you have dedicated a lot of time and money learning, testing, and researching everything there is to know about making candles. All this is accomplished by you with one end goal in mind… crafting the greatest candle you can!
For all the sacrifices made and devotion set forth in crafting candles, one thing is for sure; you do not want one simple little thing as an off centered wick to prevent you from that perfect candle. In a candle, an improperly centered wick directly affects the burn, your melt pool, and your hot scent throw. So, needless to say, ensuring that you have a centered wick should be a top priority.
There are many different options you have to center your wick. Sure, you can buy a wick centering tool, wick bar, or self centering wicks, but since Natures Garden has such wonderfully talented customers, we thought we would ask them how they do it. We turned to our Natures Garden Facebook Fans to share any input or suggestions that they had for centering candle wicks. The responses were super creative, and many of their ideas had little to no cost.
The first step in centering your wick is to find the center. Here are the awesome suggestions that we received on this topic:
Tips for finding the center:
Since many of the candle jars that are used are transparent, one customer suggests using a printed dart target to get that perfect bulls eye center each time with their wick tabs. You will of course want to tape these bulls eyes to your work space so that they are consistent every time. Then, it is just a matter of placing your jars on top to find the center.
Because most crafters have a continuous standard with their jar sizes, one of our customers traces the bottom of the jar onto cardstock. Then, using a tape measure they calculate the exact center and mark it on the cardstock. This cardstock then becomes a template for centering the wick each time that jar size is used. The result is a perfectly centered wick.
So, now that you know where the center of your jars is. The next step is securing your wick to the bottom. Here are some of the great methods provided by our Fabulous Facebook Fans for this step:
Hot Glue Gun: By placing a dap of hot glue in the center of the candle jar, and then gently pushing the wick tab over the glue before it hardens; you can secure your centered wick tab and pull the wick straight.
Glue Dots/ Sticky Wickums/ Sticky Tack: The same concept as a hot glue gun, you simply remove the glue dot from the backing and place it on the bottom of the wick tab. Then, press the wick tab in the center of the bottom of the candle jar and secure. Pull the wick straight.
Empty Pen Tube/Drinking Straw: Using an empty pen tube that the wick is threaded through you can press the tab right on the glue dot/hot glue at the bottom of the candle jars. This is a great option for those of you who can’t necessarily reach the bottom of your jars to secure the tabs to the bottom.
Now, moving right along…let’s look at some of the suggestions given as to how to keep the wick portion of a candle straight once the hot wax is poured into the containers. In the picture we posted, you will notice that they used hair clips used by beauticians. There are many more ideas where that came from.
On Natures Garden Common Candle Making Questions page we answered this with our suggestion. “To prevent your wicks from falling over while the candle is cooling, we suggest you use hair combs. Simply secure your wick in the bristles of the comb, and lay the comb on top of the container.”
Here are the other suggestions that we received:
Pencils: Using a pencil wrap the excess wick around it and lay this across the opening of the candle jar. This will keep the wick straight and tight while the wax is cooling.
Cardboard/Cardstock: Using cardboard or cardstock to cut a thick “stick” that can lay across the top of your candle jar is a perfect solution to keeping your wick straight. By making a small slit in the cardboard stick, you can easily slide your extra wick in place and hold it there. Nicole Streeter even takes it a bit further by adding that she uses the cardstock with the slit in the middle but also writes the scent of each candle on the cardstock. This is the perfect solution when doing multiple fragranced candles.
Chopsticks/Coffee Stirrers/ Popsicle sticks (aka craft sticks)/ Kabob Sticks (aka Bamboo Skewers): This is essentially the same idea of the pencil with the excess wick wrapped around it. But, how this differs is you use this method if you do not have a lot of excess wick available for wrapping. By placing 2 of the same items together; secured at each end with rubber bands/strings/hemp, you are now able to simply slide the excess wick through the middle. These items secured together will allow for a nice taunt hold of the wick. With the popsicle sticks you also have the option of drilling a small hole into the center of your craft sticks with a dremel. If there is any extra wick, this can be easily wrapped around the craft stick once it is secured through the hole.
Besides securing the two items together with stings or rubber bands, other helpful household items were also mentioned:
Aunti Di’s suggests using craft sticks secured with clothespins on the edges. Another fabulous securing idea was the mini office binder clips, clipped at each end. Even medical tape was suggested for keeping 2 pencils together.
If you use the smelly jelly jars, one of our customers suggests using the daisy perforated lid with a clothespin. Once the wick is through the center hole, they just clip a clothespin on the excess wick to secure it in place.
For a more permanent tool, someone recommends using a wood shim with a clothespin hot glued to it.
If you are looking to satisfy a straight wick with several jars at one time, one customer suggests using a paint stirrer (which are free items if you ask for them). Then, simply drill holes at the proper points on the stick. Once your wick tab is centered and secured at the bottom of the jar, lay the paint stirrer across the top of the jars and just slip the wick through the holes. You can usually accomplish 3 or more jars at one time (depending on the diameter of your containers).
We at Natures Garden would like to thank all of our wonderful customers for all of their unique ideas and input as to how they center their wicks and keep their wicks straight. We hope that you have been inspired to try some of these ingenious ideas or maybe even spark new creations for centering wicks and keeping them straight of your own.