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Candle Making


    This page is being continually updated.  As I learn, I will update the page.  If you have any hints, tips, suggestions, etc., please place them in the guestbook, or e-mail me.  I would be appreciative, and contact you when I update my page.  Thank You.

Preparation/Supplies                 Choosing your wick                Preparing your molds                 Preparing your wax
Pouring your wax                      Cleaning your molds 
Having Fun

Prepare an adequate work area and supplies.

    Place paper covering over your work area.  Any paper will do.  Collect your supplies.
    For wax, I use Yeardley general purpose wax.  It comes in sheets which are broken up and placed in your melting pot.  To break the wax, place the sheet of wax between two cardboard sheets.  Place the set-up into a large plastic bag and hit with a hammer until the wax is the desired size.  You may also use a chisel.

I use a tackle box to hold most of my supplies:

concentrated dyes
essential oils
mold sealer
boil bags
A food scale (up to 6lb)
various wicking
wax thermometer (a candy thermometer is adequate.)
various wick holders.  I cut a metal hanger into several pieces of various lengths.  This will also serve to poke holes into your cooling candle.

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Chose your wicking

    Choosing the proper wicking can be critically important.  A wick that is too small will smother itself with the melting wax.  A wick that is too large will cause the candle to smoke and burn quickly,  and the wax to run over the sides.  The following are my wick recommendations, and the effects that they will have.

Regular (bleached) wick:

small:        Taper and votive (dripless)
medium:    2 to 3 inch diameter candles (glow through), Taper                   and votive that drip
large:        3 to 4 inch diameter candles (glow through), 2 to 3                   inch candles that drip

Wire core wick

small:       votive and candles of 2 inch diameter or less
medium:   2 to 4 inch diameter, effect depending on diameter
large:       4 inch or greater diameter, effect depending on                  diameter

    A note about wire wicks.  As the cotton burns away, the wire will melt, and droop.  Drooping will cause uneven burning, while the melted wire creates black specks in the candle wax.  Some of this may be eliminated by keeping the wire trimmed.  Be careful not to trim too much.

Lead core wick

I have not yet formed an opinion on lead core wicks  

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Prepare your molds before preparing your wax.

    For plastic molds, place your wick into the groove and secure.  Tape will work to secure it, but mold sealer is better.  Lay the wick down so that it will protrude from the pour spout when the mold is snapped together.  Snap the mold together.  Use your fingers and press around all the grooved areas to assure a tight fit.  Wrap the protruding end around your wick retainer and secure the retainer to the mold.

    For metal molds insert the wick through the hole in the mold until it protrudes from the opposite end of the mold.  Tie the end to the wick retainer.  Pull taught.  Insert and tighten the retaining screw.  Cut wick approximately 1 inch from the screw.  Secure the wick retainer to the mold.  Use mold sealer on the screw and on any other seams where wax may leak.

Preparing the wax.

    I have only used regular candlewax at this time.  Other waxes are available for various purposes.
    Weigh your wax.  This will assure proper mixing of coloring and scenting if a second batch is needed.
    Place the broken up wax in a double boile

USE OF DIRECT HEAT MUST BE DONE WITH THE UPMOST CAUTION   If melted wax comes under direct heat it may ignite.
NEVER POUR WATER ON A WAX FIRE.   If wax ignites use a fire extinguisher or in some way smother the fire.

    When the wax reaches 190 degrees add your coloring.  After mixing with the wax, place a little on some paper.  It will dry almost instantly and give you your color.  Add more coloring or wax to reach your desired color.  Remember to keep track of your wax and coloring amounts so that you can match batches.

Remember that too much coloring can ruin plastic and rubber mold

   Add your scenting.  Scent to taste.  Avoid using too much scent as the essential oils will mottle the candle in too high a concentration.  Remember to track your amounts.

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Pouring your wax

    Make sure your molds are at room temperature.

    If possible, do not pour hot wax near or in the sink.  Wax will clog your drain pipes.
    For plastic molds allow wax to cool to about 180 degrees.  Wax that is too hot may warp or crack your molds.  Wax that is too cold may trap air bubbles.  Wipe off excess moisture from the side of the pot to avoid water entering the mold.  Slowly pour the wax into the mold until the wax is at the bottom of the pour spout.  Make sure that the wick retainer is straight when finished.

    For metal molds allow wax to reach 200 degrees.  Wax that is too cold may trap air bubbles.  Remove pot from boiler and wipe off excess moisture from the side of the pot to avoid water entering the mold.  Slowly pour the wax holding the mold at an angle until almost full.  Level mold and fill to top.  Make sure the wick retainer is straight when finished.

    For rubber molds: I have not used a rubber mold yet.

Filling the well

    The well is formed as the wax cools and settles.
    Allow the wax to cool for 45 minutes to an hour at room temperature.  Poke several holes through the pour spout towards the wick about halfway down into the candle.  This will allow air to enter the void and release the tension on the wick
    Use wax about 180 degrees.  Pour your wax into the well.
    For plastic molds fill the well back up to the bottom of the pour spout.

    For metal molds carefully fill the well.  If too much is used and the hot wax gets between the mold and the cooler wax you will have a very difficult time removing the candle from the mold.

    Plan on repeating this steps 2 or 3 additional times depending on the size of your candle.allowing about 45 minutes between pouring.

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    Cleaning your metal molds may be accomplished by placing them on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Set your oven on 175 degrees.  Place the cookie sheet into the oven.  The oven must not exceed 175 degrees or the solder of your mold may melt.  A mold cleaner may be purchased, but I have not used it.

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    Have Fun

   Remember that candlemaking is fun.  Experiment.   Keep track of your recipes in a journal. 

   Chunky Candles:    
    Wax chunks can be bought at the store or made yourself.  To make them on your own, get a shallow baking pan and fill approximately 1 inch.  When it dries you can break it up into chunks.  You can even cut it into patterns and make"stained glass" pictures.
    Before filling your mold with wax, fill it to within 1 inch of the top with wax chunks.
     If you want solid and no mixing of colors, poor wax at a cooler temperature.
     If you want the colors to "bleed" together poor wax much hotter.
    After it cools you can use a flame (BE CAREFUL NOT TO IGNITE WAX) and melt wax from between the chunks.


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Last updated 01/23/00
Copyright 1997-2000 Joseph Mastromauro
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