Candle Making – Using Molds

Molds for candle making can come from just about anywhere.  And how that opens up the possibilities! Making candles is a great hobby for several reasons; you may feel like you are walking some of the paths as your ancestors; it can be done right in your kitchen; you can see results within a few hours; shapes and sizes are limited only by your creativity; the resulting candle is your own artistic creation.  Making a molded candle, especially, can be a true expression of yourself.

You need to keep a few things in mind when selecting a mold for making your candle:  the temperature that the mold can withstand; the temperature of the melted wax; and how you are going to get the candle out of the mold.

Sometimes molds are two pieces that you fit together and seal to make a candle.  Others are one piece only.  You will need a two piece mold if the candle is going to have an intricate shape, or if any part of the candle is larger than the bottom of the candle. 

You can buy molds specifically for candle making at numerous stores.  Remember to check the maximum temperature of any mold before you use it.  If the wax is hotter than the mold can tolerate, you will melt the mold and have a hot mess.  Molds come in various types of plastics and silicone.  You will need to use mold release agent with plastic molds but not with silicone molds.

Molds do not have to be complicated or expensive.  Two examples of molds that make great candles are an empty food can and an empty milk carton.  Simply clean them out, dry them, and then coat with a mold release agent.  Note that you can use a cardboard milk carton, because it is sealed to hold liquids.  Other cardboard containers may leak and would need to be tested first.

Candle making molds are used upside down.  That is, you are always pouring into the bottom of a shape.  This is because you want the top of the shape to be smooth and free of air bubbles.  When you finish pouring the wax, you will have an air gap, and bubbles may form.  These aren’t pretty, so you want them to be at the bottom of the candle where no one will see them. 

If the mold is not sturdy, you will need to anchor it before you pour the wax.  One way to do this is to get a tray of sand.  Push the mold down into the sand so that it is fully supported.  Sand it good for this because it conforms to any shape, and it is able to withstand heat.

One of the options that you have is to make your own mold!  You can buy liquid latex at many hobby and craft stores.  Find an object whose shape you would like to turn into a candle.  Coat the object with liquid latex according to the instructions on the container.  You will probably need to use several coats and use a mesh cloth to stabilize it.  If you make a mold this way, you will also know immediately if it can be used to make a candle:  if you can easily get the latex off the object, then you will be able to get the candle out of the mold.  If the object is shaped such that you cannot remove the latex without deforming it, then you will also have trouble removing the candle from this mold.  You may be able to use the mold if you are willing to carefully cut the latex off once the candle has cooled and solidified.

Finally, as you have to do with all the candles you make, you will need to thread the wick through the candle and secure it to a pencil or stick so that it stays straight and taught, and does not fall into the candle.

Post time: 12-23-2016