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Candle Making Tutorial
Ball and Sphere Candles
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Copyright © 2003-2004 CandleHelp.com

You’ve seen these cute candles all around, and the decorating possibilities with them are endless… But they seem so expensive! You can make them yourself very easily at a fraction of the cost. These simple instructions will have you literally rolling in ball candles!

What You Will Need - Supplies

· Molding Candle Wax

· One or more Ball/Sphere Candle Molds (also called a Saturn Mold)

O Comes with ball mold, rubber seal, wick, wick bar, mold sealer and mold stand.

O For refill wick, use a pillar mold wick suitable for your size of ball mold

O For refill mold sealer use our grey mold sealer

· Steamer Pot or old Sauce Pan to create a double boiler

· Standard Size or Small Size Melting Pot with pour spout

· Wood Stir Sticks, chopsticks, or something else to stir the wax

· Thermometer

· Scissors

· Craft Knife

· Piece of Nylon Stocking

· Candle Fragrance (optional)

· Color Dye Chips (optional)

· Vybar 103 (optional)

· Mold Weights or other heavy object (optional)

· Large bowl for water bath (optional)

Also a good idea to have around:

· Paper towels

· Wax Remover

· Aluminum Foil

· Newspaper, butcher paper, or scrap paper to cover work surfaces

· Fire Extinguisher (just in case)

How to Set Up Your Work Area

  1. Put down newspaper or butcher paper on tables and countertops to catch spills and for easy cleanup.
  2. Have paper towels and Windex on hand for cleaning stovetops.
  3. Wrap stove burner bowls in tin foil to catch drips of wax, and for easy cleanup afterwards.

Assemble and Wick Your Ball/Sphere Mold

First, take one half of the ball mold, and place the rubber seal ring on the rim (the ring around it, hence, the term Saturn Mold). Then place the other half of the ball mold on top of the rubber seal ring. You can see where the ring is in relation to the inside edges of the mold. Position the rubber seal ring in such a way that it does not protrude into the interior portion of the ball mold where the ball candle will be formed. Otherwise, you will end up with a ball that has a dent around it.

When you have satisfactorily place the rubber seal ring between the two halves of the ball mold, attach the mold clamps. They will keep the mold together and prevent wax from leaking out of the edges of the mold.

As you place the mold clamps one by one, you can reposition the ring, stretching it away from the interior of the mold, where necessary.

Place the mold clamps equidistant from one another, at the 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions.

When you have clamped the mold together, thread the wick through the wick hole (this is the small hole), through the mold, and out the other side through the pour whole (this is the big hole).

At the pour hole side, tie the wick around the wick bar. A simple knot will work fine for this.

Pull the wick taut from the wick hole end. You will want to cut the wick to about ? inch at the wick hole end and place the mold sealer over the wick and the hole. It is sometimes easier to place the mold sealer over the wick hole and wick before you cut the wick off at the wick hole end.

Once you have sealed the wick hole and cut the extra wick off, place the ball mold in the metal mold base, wick bar end up.

Your mold is now ready fully assembled. Place it, mold stand and all, in a pan or on a covered surface, it catch any drips or leaks which may occur after you have poured the candle.

Water Bath Setup – Optional

At this juncture in the candle making process, you may take an additional step which may improve the surface finish of your ball candle. This is the water bath phase.

Instead of placing your assemble ball mold in a pan or on a covered surface, take your assembled ball mold and metal mold base, and place them in a large bowl. Attach mold weights, or improvise some sort of weight for the mold to keep it from floating to the surface once you have poured water into the water bath. We’ll revisit the water bath after the pouring phase.

Melting your Ball Candle Wax

You will need either a steamer pot or deep sauce pan, and you will also need a melting pot with a pouring spout. These two items create a double boiler to melt your wax.

A simple double boiler using an old sauce pan and a meting pot with a spout.

Fill the bottom part of your double boiler (the steamer pot or the deep sauce pan) with about two inches of cool water, and place on the burner set to high temperature.

Place pieces of 139 degree Molding Candle Wax to be melted into the melting pot with a pouring spout, set the melting pot in the water, and attend to it as the wax liquefies. (When the water begins to boil, turn the heat down to medium low or low.)

If you have a large block of wax and need instructions on how to safely break it into smaller pieces, please visit our section on How To Break Up Wax Blocks

When the wax is entirely liquid (i.e., when there are no solid chunks any longer in the pot) you have successfully melted the wax.

Our 139 degree Molding Candle Wax melts at about 139 degrees F. The wax will continue to grow hotter as it remains in the double boiler. The temperature of the wax should get to 190 degrees F.

Adding Vybar

After the wax is entirely melted, you can add additives, such as Vybar 103. Vybar 103 suppresses mottling, to give your candle a solid opaque finish. Standard usage with our wax is 1 teaspoon of Vybar 103 per 1 pound of wax. Add the Vybar and stir it until it is completely melted and thoroughly mixed in.

Adding Dye

After the wax has entirely melted, add your candle dye, if you are using any. Each of our diamond shaped dye chips colors 1 lb of wax. Use more or less candle dye for lighter or darker colored candles. Drop a dye chip (or part of a dye chip) into the melted wax, and stir until the dye chip is entirely dissolved into the liquid wax.

Adding Fragrance

Adding fragrance is the last thing you do before you pour the candle. This is because the potency of the fragrance can be reduced if subjected to high heat for too long.

After the wax is entirely melted, and after you have added candle dye (if you are using candle dye), add your candle fragrance, if you are using any. The standard ratio for our candle fragrance oils is one ounce of fragrance oil per 1 lb of wax. Use more or less fragrance for lighter or heavier scented candles. Add the candle fragrance to the melted (and colored, if you are making colored candles) wax in the melting pot, and stir thoroughly to get even distribution of the candle fragrance.

Pouring the Ball Candle

When your ball candle wax has reached between 185 to 195 degrees F, pour it into the ball mold. Fill it up to the pour hole. If some wax spills over the side, that is okay. The wax will shrink during the cooling process, so be sure to save some of your wax for the 2nd pour.

Water Bath

If you are using the water bath method to cool your candle, then you will now need to fill the large bowl (in which the filled ball candle mold sits) with water. If you are improvising your own weight, instead of using mold weights, add the weight before you pour the water. Once the filled ball mold is securely weighted down, fill the bowl with water. Take care that the level of water does not rise to the pour hole, as water will spill into the mold with the wet wax and ruin the candle.

Setting Candle

Allow the candle to sit undisturbed until it cools entirely. Cooling times vary, about 2 to 5 hours depending on the size of the ball candle and if you are using a water bath. After the candle has cooled from the first pour, you can remove it from the water bath.

2nd Pour

The “second pour” is made after the wax in the ball candle mold has cooled completely. The reason for making a second pour (pouring more wax into the mold after the first pour wax has cooled) is that the wax from the first pour will have shrunk into a sink-hole around the wick, which you will plainly be able to see. This is normal, as wax expands when melted and contracts when it cools.

To make the 2nd pour for the ball candle, re-heat the wax you saved from the first pour in the double boiler. Reheat this wax to about 5 to 10 degrees F hotter than the temperature of your first pour wax. (If the wax of your first pour was 190 degrees F, then heat the 2nd pour wax to 195 or 200 degrees F before pouring.)

DO NOT pour wax hotter than 200 degrees F into a plastic mold. It will ruin the mold.

Remove Ball Candle from Mold

When the candle has completely cooled, remove it from the mold. To do this, untie the wick from the wick bar and remove the wick bar. Remove the mold sealer from the wick. (Save the mold sealer, as it can often be reused a couple times.) Gently remove on half of the mold from the candle, then grip the wick on the exposed side and remove the other half of the mold from the candle.

Trimming the Edges

To finish your ball candle, you will need to trim the mold seam from around the ball. To do this, first use your craft knife to pare off the mold seam.

Next, use a piece of nylon stocking to buff over the seam. Use circular motions, repositioning the nylon often to apply a clean surface to the candle. This minimizes streaking.

If the base of your candle (the pour hole end) is rough, you can use your craft knife to clean it up and flatten it out.

Finished Ball Candle

Your ball or sphere candle is now finished!

Final Notes:

· Burn ball candles in an approved holder

· Never leave a burning candle unattended

· Visit http://aff.candlehelp.com/ for ideas on how to decorate ball candles!


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