Sure, votives are romantic and tapers are elegant, but molded candles are just plain fun – they can be any shape you want!
: Keep flammable items away from the stove. Never leave melting wax unattended and never use direct heat to melt it. If the wax catches fire, do NOT try to douse it with water—use a fire extinguisher, baking soda, or, for a fire contained in a pot, cover it with the pot lid.
Step 1: Prepare workspace Prepare your workspace by covering it with wax paper or newspaper to make cleanup easier.
Step 2: Heat wax Place the wax into a double boiler setup and heat to between 150 and 200 degrees, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the thermometer to check the temperature frequently. Don't let it exceed 250 degrees or the vapors could become flammable.
TIP: Be sure to use a type of wax that will release easily from the mold – like paraffin, beeswax, or soy wax.
Step 3: Thread wick Thread one end of the wick through the hole at the bottom of the mold so about half an inch of wick is sticking out. Roll this bit of wick into a tight coil, and hold it against the mold with your finger.
TIP: The length and thickness of the wick depends on the length and width of your candle mold, so check package specifications.
Step 4: Seal mold With your other hand, roll a small piece of mold sealer into a ball and smear it over the coiled wick. Be sure the wick is completely covered, or wax will seep through the hole and make a mess.
Step 5: Tie wick Pull the long side of the wick up and tie it to a thin rod. Rest the rod across the top of mold, making sure the wick is taut. Cut off any excess wick above the rod.
Step 6: Stir wax When the wax has reached its proper temperature and is fully melted, remove it from the heat, turn off the stove, and stir.
TIP: If you want to add color or fragrance, mix in the additives according to the package directions just before removing the wax from the heat.
Step 7: Pour wax Pour the wax into the mold until it reaches half an inch or so below the rim, saving about a cup for later use.
Step 8: Let cool Put the mold aside to cool, keeping it away from any drafts or flammable objects. And don’t refrigerate it – the wax should cool slowly.
Step 9: Poke holes Once the top has cooled and a skin has formed, usually about 30 minutes to an hour later, use a toothpick to poke a few deep holes near each wick to help prevent air pockets from forming.
Step 10: Add wax As the temperature drops, the wax at the center of the candle tends to sink and form a well. Reheat the wax you saved and add it to the mold until the well is filled.
TIP: You may need to do this several times, but only fill the well and don’t over-pour. If fresh wax seeps down the sides of the mold, the candle will be harder to remove later.
Step 11: Pull out of mold After the candle has sat for several hours and cooled completely, remove the sealer from the bottom, uncoil the wick, and pull the candle up and out of the mold. It should slip out easily.
Step 12: Trim wick Untie the top of the wick and trim it to about a quarter of an inch. Cut off any excess wick on the bottom of the candle.
Step 13: Rub out marks Use a small knife or cloth to rub out any imperfections or marks left on the candle from the mold.
FACT: Did you know? A molded candle machine—basically a piston used to eject hardening candles—was invented in 1834, allowing candles to be mass produced for the first time.