How To Make Molded Candles
Making molded candles is perhaps the easiest form of candlemaking to learn. Your results can be spectacular, the time investment is minimal, and you will reap hours of enjoyment from your labors.
Whether you are using a found mold or a commercial mold, the basic techniques for molded candles are the same. Most of the time the hardest step in making molded candles is in the initial melting of the wax and waiting for it to harden in the mold.
Molded candles may be made from a large number of wax formulations, many of which contain additives for special effects. Paraffin wax is the easiest wax to use for molded candles.
It is important that you choose the right wick for your molded candle. The wick must be appropriate for the wax formulation and the size of the candle.
Materials needed to make molded candles:
Paraffin wax, 140F to 145F melting point
Stearic acid (Do not use for rubber molds)
Wick, enough for the candle plus a few extra inches.
Equipment needed to make molded candles:
Wax melter Mold stand
Candy thermometer Mold sealer
Wooden spoon Mold weights
Rubber gloves Mold holder
Cool water bath Wick centering spiders
Mold of your choice Wick rod
Old metal pie pan
1. Melting the wax: Place the wax in the wax melter. Put any additives in other containers and melt them separately. Place the melter on your heat source and heat it on a moderate setting. Position a thermometer in the melter.
2. Prepare the wick and mold: Make certain that the wick hole is completely sealed with mold sealer. Metal molds should be warmed by running warm water over the outside of the mold before the wax is poured. If you are using a metal mold, attach the mold holder at this point. If you will be placing the mold in a cool water bath, be sure to attach mold weights to the bottom of the mold at this point.
3. Set up a cool water bath; It should be deep enough to accommodate the entire length of the candle.
4. Final adjustment of the wax and additives: Check the temperature of the wax as soon as it has melted and bring it to the correct pouring temperature. When the wax reaches the correct pouring temperature, add the additives, fragrance and dye, stirring them into the wax thoroughly.
5. Pouring the candle: It is suggested that you wear rubber gloves to prevent burning to your hands from the wax and container. With one hand, tip the mold slightly. Slowly pour the liquid wax into the mold until the mold is filled to the desired depth. Reserve a small amount of the wax for the topping-off process. Make adjustments to the wick, make sure it is correctly centered in the mold. After two or three minutes, gently tap around all the sides with a wooden spoon. This will remove air pockets or bubbles that can sometimes form on the sides of the molds.
6. Carefully place the mold in the cool water bath. Make sure that the mold is properly weighted and that it will not tip.
7. Topping off the candle: Paraffin wax candles need to be topped off because the wax shrinks significantly as it cools. This shrinkage forms a deep well and submerged air pockets in the center of the candle. These need to be refilled with liquid wax. When a well has formed in the center of the candle, it can be topped off. Heat the reserved wax to the correct pouring temperature. Using a wire of knitting needle, pierce the wax directly around and down the entire length of the wick several times. Fill in the candle with the reheated wax. Be sure not to pour the wax higher than the original wax in the mold, this will make the candle harder to remove. Repeat this step as needed. When a well no longer forms, allow the candle to harden overnight.
8. Remove the candle and finishing the base; untie the wick from the open end of the mold and remove the mold sealer or screw from the other end. Gently tap the mold against your hand until the candle emerges. Trim the wick on the top of the candle to 1/2 inch. Trim the wick on the base of the candle as close to the wax as possible. If the candle base is not level, put it, with its base down, on an old pie plate, then place the plate on a warm burner. The offending wax will melt away and your candle will be perfect!