Learn to make homemade moulded candles

Candle making is a straightforward and enjoyable craft project.  We'll go over some simple candle recipes and offer tips for making attractive moulds at home.

Learn to make homemade moulded candles

Craft gorgeous candles with this simple recipe

  • Start by melting stearin (the solid form of stearic acid) in a double boiler, along with any dyes you're using. Then add the wax blocks. The quantity of stearin needed is 10 percent of the amount of wax you're using.
  • Place a wick inside the mould, pass it through the base, knot it, and secure it with mould sealer (putty adhesive) at the base. Now invert the mould to suspend the wick. Tie the wick around a thin wooden stick and rest this across the top of the mould. Test the mould to ensure that it's watertight before pouring the wax.
  • If the wax is going into a metal mould, pour it at 93°C (199°F). Wax intended for plastic moulds should be poured at 83°C (181°F).
  • Pour the wax into the mould and allow it to set for a couple of minutes before tapping the side with a spoon to release any air bubbles. Leave the wax to set for an hour, and trim the wick to the proper length.
  • Wax shrinks as it hardens, producing a well in the centre of the candle. Prick the surface with a needle to release tension and then top up the well with molten wax.
  • Candles are sometimes difficult to remove from metal moulds, but the addition of stearic acid assists this process. If the candle won't come out of its mould easily, refrigerate it for a few hours to let the wax contract further.

Make and use home-made moulds

  • You can find plastic or metal candle moulds at craft shops, but it's a lot more fun to make your own from everyday objects like cans or milk cartons.
  • Margarine or yoghurt tubs and lengths of PVC piping are good mould substitutes as they can be cut away from the candle once the wax has hardened.
  • Milk cartons are particularly useful as they can be trimmed to size. Puncture a wick hole in the bottom of the carton and attach the wick to a rod at the top.
  • Aluminum foil can be used to make candles with crinkled, free-form shapes. Fill a container with sand or potting mix and form a depression in the surface. Push the foil into the depression with your hands. Then just pour in the wax, allow it to set, and peel off the foil.
  • For all of the above moulds (except milk cartons), the wick should be inserted after the wax has hardened. Dip a metal skewer into boiling water for five seconds. Pierce the candle with the skewer and insert a paper-core wick. Fill around the wick with more wax.

Use egg shells as candle moulds

  • Empty eggshells can make appealing candle moulds. The secret is to let the shell dry thoroughly (for about 24 hours) after emptying and rinsing it.
  • Use a low or medium-grade wax and heat it to 82°C (179°F)  before pouring it into the eggshell.
  • To colour an egg-mould candle, dip it into a hot (54°C or 129°F) dyed wax bath. Add stearin to the dye for the bath, not to the white wax used for the candle.
  • Alternatively, you can add stearin and dye to the candle wax and dip the coloured candle into a hot water bath instead of a dyed wax bath.
  • Finish by filling the area around the wick with melted wax that's been dyed to match the candle's colour.

It's easy to make candles in any shape or size you want, and finding the perfect mould is a creative process in itself. So get pouring, have fun, and enjoy the added ambiance that only candles can provide.

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