If you’ve ever wondered how to add colour or use glitters and mica powders in your candles or your wax melts, our handy guide will provide everything you need to know about how to use mica powder, glitter and colour in homemade candles and wax melts.
Making your own candles and wax melts can prove to be such a rewarding activity. Not only do you have a beautifully scented product to show off at the end, but there are also many ways to extend your skills further once you’ve mastered the basics.
Mica powder and glitter are two beautiful ways to upgrade your wax melts, whilst colour additives such as dye chips or liquid dyes elevate candles, especially as we approach specific seasons such as Easter, Halloween or Christmas.
Read on to see how mica powder, glitter and colours can help your creations to pop and really stand out from the rest.
How to use mica powder in wax melts
Mica powder is an extremely fine, shimmery pigment that gives off an amazing iridescent, glittering effect. This is often used in cosmetic products such as eyeshadows as it provides a light-catching appeal.
We wouldn’t recommend using mica powder in your candles as not only will the mica powder be drawn up the wick, clogging it so that your candles will not burn properly, but it can also pose a fire risk, invalidating any insurance you have. The good news is, however, that it’s perfect for use in wax melts.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as simply stirring mica powder into molten wax as you’ll run the risk of it sinking to the bottom and not mixing properly. We found through testing that mica powder is more effective when combined with the fragrance oil or essential oil first. This allowed the mica powder to mix into the wax better and dispersed evenly throughout.
New to making wax melts? Check out our beginner’s guide to making wax melts here.
How much mica powder to use in wax melts?
Start off with the tiniest amount to get a feel of the strength and spread of the mica powder. A little really does go a long way! Our mica powders have a recommended usage of 2g per 1kg of wax, which is indeed using sparingly.
Once your wax melt has set and is being tested, you can then judge the overall look to see if you may need more on your next try but do note that the use of mica powder alone may appear to make the wax look dull.
Colouring from mica powder is also minimal and is totally dependent on the type of colour used. The joy of using mica powder in wax melts, however, is not always the overall look but instead the magic of the melt pool as the wax melts in the burner. You’ll notice that as the wax melt is in use, the mica powder will create a beautiful mesmerising, shimmery, swirly effect. A crowd-pleaser for sure!
How to use mica powder on the top of cooled, set wax melts
Another fun and effective way to use mica powder is to apply it to your wax melts once they have set. Simply use a small clean paintbrush or makeup brush and dust the wax melt surface with a little mica powder. You can also create patterns or combine colours by making a paste using rubbing alcohol.
You can see how this was done on our Bleeding Dragon Egg Wax Melt tutorial here.
Is Mica Powder Eco Friendly?
There are many brands and types of mica powder available, however, not all mica powder products are safe or environmentally friendly or ethically sourced. In fact, mica powder is a controversial product as natural mica powder (derived from minerals) is often mined via unsafe and unethical child labour. Needless to say, this is a serious and very troublesome issue.
The great news is that certain brands have created synthetic mica powders that are exactly the same as natural mica powder in appearance. They are ethically sourced and safe for contact with the skin. Our range of mica powders are indeed synthetic, ethical, and environmentally friendly. We have something for everyone with over 50 gorgeous colours available.
How to use glitter in wax melts
Like mica powder, glitter and candles don’t mix. If you want your craft and candle makers insurance to be valid , steer clear of using glitter in your candles. When glitter and open flames combine, disasters can happen, however unlikely it may seem. Glitter, on the other hand, is perfectly fine to use in your wax melt creations as they don’t come into contact with a naked flame when in use.
How much glitter to use in wax melts?
When using glitter in wax melts , a fun and easy way to utilise it is to sprinkle some into your wax melt moulds or clamshells prior to pouring the wax. This means that when the wax is poured into the mould or clamshell, the glitter is held in place.
When it’s time to take the wax melt out of the mould or clamshell to use, the tops will be speckled with a colourful array of light-catching glitter. There is no set amount of glitter that is recommended however, the more you use, the more likely you are to notice little indents in the wax once its set, even more so if using a lot of chunky or extra chunky glitter. Generally speaking, you really don’t need to use a lot.
It’s also important to discuss the nature of glitter, namely the fact that it is relatively heavier than molten wax. Even fine glitter tends to sink to the bottom of hot wax and will gather in a pile at the bottom. So, this being said, as a rule, you shouldn’t add glitter directly into your molten wax. You’ll also lose the amazing shine and glimmer once the wax has hardened into an opaque state.
Is Glitter Eco Friendly?
As sparkly and beautiful as it is, glitter can be a bit troublesome depending on what type you choose. Regular glitter purchased from a craft store is generally made from plastic, meaning it won’t biodegrade and can be harmful once melted to high heats. This also becomes a major issue when those tiny particles are washed away into the ocean where they endanger wildlife.
Plus, when these kinds of glitters are used for cosmetic purposes (face and body, bath bombs, shower gels etc) they pose a risk to us, too. Glitter particles have sharp edges that can cause micro-cuts to the skin.
Luckily for us, there are some excellent glitters on the market that are biodegradable, safe and gentle to use on the skin. Here at Craftovator we’ve sourced the best Bio-glitter, made using vegetable starch that won’t harm the environment or your skin. It’s plastic-free, cruelty-free and plant based and has been independently proven to biodegrade in the natural environment.
Why not have a play around with different colours? Mixing glitters can be really fun and add more pizazz to your wax melt creations. We have over 12 fabulous colours to pick from.
Using liquid dye and dye chips to colour candles and wax melts
Colouring your wax melts and candles is really simple and versatile. Your plain candles can finally get some love as wax dyes are entirely safe to use! It really is as easy as stirring coloured wax dye chips or liquid dye drops into molten wax.
There are a few tricks and tips to make the colouring process easier and will make your candles and wax melts even more aesthetically wonderful.
New to making candles? Check out our guide on making your first candle here.
How to Use Liquid Dye in Wax
Liquid dye is incredibly simple to use, providing an excellent burst of colour to your products. To avoid any issues, it’s important to use a proper wax dye as opposed to water-based dyes or other colouring such as food dyes. Liquid dyes that aren’t specifically meant for use in wax may separate and not mix into your wax, sinking to the bottom or collecting in small granules.
How much liquid dye to use in candles and wax melts?
You can use as much or as little as you need. The great thing about liquid dye is that it’s totally customisable in the sense that you can control the strength and depth of colour.
Use a few drops for a lighter, more subtle colour or more drops for a more intense, deeper colour. Don’t forget to shake the bottle thoroughly before adding your desired drops to your molten wax.
You can use multiple colours (as we did in our post for making marbled wax melts) easily or you could opt for a single colour, the choice is yours.
How to Use Dye Chips in Wax
We recommend adding the desired dye chips to your melting pot along with the wax so that the heat can dissolve the dye chip fully as many contain pigments which may leave spots in your set wax if not mixed properly. We have such a great selection of dye chips available, over 50 colours for you to pick from!
How many dye chips should I use in my wax?
You can adjust the depth of colour simply by adding more or less dye chips to your wax amount. Our dye chips can easily be broken in half (or cut into much smaller pieces if needed).
Note that wax and colour additives aren’t a consistent pairing. The depth of colour can be altered by the type of wax you use and if you use any extra additives. For example, stearic acid is a wax additive used to create harder candles (usually for the purpose of increased durability). It also improves the burn quality and performance. However, in terms of colour, stearin can make your colours brighter, clearer and much lighter if using pastel colours.
The Importance of Testing
Before you make your ‘official’ candles and wax melts to sell,, make sure you experiment first. This will help you to find the prefect colour strength and depth.
Include your findings on your candle burn test sheet (or adapt this for wax melts) and jot down every combination and measurement of colours you use and use the ‘notes’ sections to record your results.
For liquid dye, add the amount in drops that was added and for dye chips, either how many full chips you used or the weight measurement if using less than a full chip. Having these exact measurements to hand will help you replicate your products again and again, keeping the colour consistent throughout your makes.
Interested in selling your makes? Our Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Candles and Wax Melts will prove invaluable as you set up your business.