Dying candles with mica powder allows you to make truly unique homemade gifts that may look like a million bucks but cost only a few dollars.
Not only can you dye candle wax with mica powder, you can also paint the finished candles either free hand, or by using molds with intricate or raised designs.
There are multiple ways to color or dye candles, but mica powder is my favorite. The wide array that mica powder comes in allows you to not just choose a color, as you can with colored candle wax blocks, but to pick from varying shades of a specific color – and even mix up your own hues.
What Is Mica Powder?
Mica powder is a white, slightly brown, yellow, or gray substance that comes from muscovite stone. The metamorphic rock that creates the mica also contains potassium aluminum silicate – which helps create the shimmery sparkling flakes in the mica powder.
It is a type of fine glittery material that dyes or colors nearly any surface it comes into contact with. In addition to coloring candles with mica powder, it is also often used to dye soap, cosmetics, and to paint of fabric, glass, and paper.
When left alone in its natural state, mica powder creates a dazzling sparkle to any candle or other project that it is used to adorn. But, when the mica powder is tinted and sold in art supply kits, you have every shade of every color under the sun at your creative disposal.
Some folks shy away from using mica powder to dye candles out of fear it can clog the wick or turn the pretty homemade candles into a sparkler.
I have colored candles with mica powder for years and have never had such an issue. But, the potential fire hazard is something that you should be aware of when working on this project.
Dying Candles With Mica Steps
- Pencil or wood skewer
- Mica powder
- Candle wax pastilles or chunks
- Candle wicks pre-waxed are recommended
- Candle molds
- Wax melting equipment double boiler, microwave or dedicated crockpot are commonly used
- rubbing alcohol 91% or higher
- Essential oils, herbs, or other scent and adornment materials optional
- Cut your wick to the desired height, and place it into the candle mold.
- Make sure the candle wick metal base is laying flat on the bottom of the mold – tape it into place if necessary.
- Lay the pencil or wood skewer across the opening of the candle mold.
- Tape the wick to the pencil or wood skewer to hold it firmly in place and upright.
- If you are using a standard color of mica powder, open the packet or jar, and have it ready. If you are mixing several colors of mica powder together to achieve customized color, combine the dry powder with 1 drop of rubbing alcohol per every 3 teaspoons of powder used, and stir thoroughly to combine.
- If the mixture is too dry to combine completely, add just a tiny amount – less than one capful, more of rubbing alcohol. If the mixture is running, carefully stir in a pinch more of the mica powder until a light gravy texture, and the color you desire, is achieved.
- Melt the candle wax as per the directions in your recipe, or the instructions on the package.
- Stir the mica powder (either dry flakes or the mixture of rubbing alcohol and mica powder) into the wax while it is in a hot liquid state and combine thoroughly.
- Add in any scented oil, herbs, or other adornments guided by your recipe instructions.
- Pour the candle mixture into your molds and allow them to cure following the instructions in your recipe.
Once the candles have hardened and have been removed from the molds, you can paint a decoration or raised part of the mold design with mica powder.
The mica powder works best as a paint when mixed with rubbing alcohol as noted above to make a spreadable paint to use on candles and other materials, in my personal experience.
Some folks choose to mix the mica powder with distilled water or even into a little bit of standard school glue instead, when using it in paint form.
I have used mica powder to dye both beeswax and soy way candles. If using beeswax, make sure to purchase it in white and not the typical yellow, even if you will be dying the candles a dark color.
For reasons I have yet to understand, mica powder tends to work best when used with soy wax.
All natural homemade wax melts can also be dyed or painted with mica powder, by following the directions noted above.
Tara lives on a 56 acres farm in the Appalachian Mountains, where she faces homesteading and farming challenges every single day. her homesteading skills are unmatched, she raises chickens, goats, horses, a wide variety of vegetables, not to mention she’s an expert is all sorts of homesteading skills such as hide tanning, doll making, tree tapping and many, many more.