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Just a couple of decades ago, there were few mold choices for candle makers. Due to the continuing popularity of the craft, a large variation of molds now exist. Molds are made from many different materials, but metal, rubber, and plastic are by far the best choices for candle molds. The choice of molds depends solely on your personal preferences and your budget. As you select molds, it is wise to try a variety of types and sizes so you can have the most flexibility and learn which types of molds you prefer to work with.

Metal molds are a candle maker’s standby mold. They are rugged, forgiving, and last for many years. Metal molds may be seamed or seamless. Metal molds are available today in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They are used mainly for making block candles. They leave a smooth finish on the wax. They are not the molds of choice if you are interested in making candles with patterns or textures because these molds lack detail.

Peel back and pop out molds are recent innovations and provide the candlemaker a new dimension in detailed molded candles. Each type of mold is available in a wide array of shapes: animals, holiday themes, fruit, cut-glass objects, and much more. Peel back molds are made of heavy, flexible plastic. When the wax has hardened, the mold is peeled back on itself from the bottom until the candle can be removed.

Pop out molds are made of molded rubber. Often these molds have slits in the sides. When the wax has hardened, these slits allow the end of the mold to open just enough to release the candle. Because the open end of these molds need not be large, they allow for remarkable detail, not only on the top of the candle, but on the sides as well.

Plastic is often used in molds for candles that are flat or in two-piece molds. The plastics that are used for this purpose show a good amount of detail and are durable. The main disadvantage of plastic molds is that they develop warps over time; two-piece plastic molds can also be cumbersome to work with.

Two-piece molds require special handling if they are to produce attractive candles. The key in preparing two-piece molds is to get the plastic clamped together firmly enough to keep the wax from seeping out. Some two-piece molds will need to have a hole cut in one end. This hole is where the hot wax is poured into the mold. Depending on the mold, you may need to tape the wick to one of the plastic pieces, top and bottom, in order to hold it in place while the candle cools. Other two-piece plastic molds have wick holes and rods like standard molds. Many two-piece molds come with specially made plastic clips to hold the two sides together without any leaking. Some molds even come with a rubber gasket that fits between the two sides; this depends on the shape of the mold. Often, two-piece molds will leave a seam of wax that will need to be trimmed off with a sharp knife.

You may want to experiment with using common household containers as candle molds. Some favorites include dairy cartons, cardboard juice cans, rigid plastic containers, cocoa containers, and cleanser containers. You can expect the finish on the surface of the candle to be dull and generally inferior to what you would get with a purchased mold. Sometimes the results with these molds are excellent, and sometimes such molds fall short of expectations. Results are apt to be unpredictable, but there is little to lose by trying; you can always re-melt a candle if it does not please you, and using a found container will not cost you anything.