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How to make molded candles

Candle Making Instructions

Candle Making Tutorial
Molded Tapers
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Copyright 2003-2004

Tapers and Candlesticks made from molds offer an alternative to dipping, and the variety of mold shapes for molded tapers and candlesticks enables you to express yourself and your unique creativity and style.

With molded tapers, you have the freedom to use mottling, multi-layered color, and a host of over effects normally reserved for pillar candles.

While the process of making molded tapers and candlesticks is quite similar to the process for making a simple pillar, there are slight variations. These instructions will get you on your way to making molded tapers and candlesticks.

What You Will Need - Supplies

· Molding Candle Wax

· One or more Taper Molds

· Jiffy Wicker OR

· Mold Sealer and Wick Bar

· Taper Candle Wick

· Silicone Spray Mold Release (optional)

· 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

· Candle Fragrance (optional)

· Color Dye Chips (optional)

· Parol Oil (optional)

· Vybar 103 (optional)

· Kemamide Powder (optional)

NOTE: These instructions are written using a triangle taper mold.

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.

Prep Your Mold

Inspect your mold to ensure that there is no residual wax on the inside surfaces or seams of your mold. If there is, remove it.

Spray the inside of your mold with Silicone Spray Mold Release. To do this, either follow the directions on the can, or hold the nozzle 8 to 10 inches from your mold and release the spray in short bursts. Usually, a little goes a long way with Silicone Spray Mold Release. However, it can sometimes be tricky to get these tapers out of the molds, so in the case of molded tapers and candlesticks, I suggest overdoing it with the Silicone Spray Mold Release is a lesser sin than not using enough.

Wicking your Mold

You have two options of wicking your taper mold. You can either use the Jiffy Wicker method (click here for instructions on How to Jiffy Wick a Mold) or, what I prefer for taper candles, mold seal and a wick bar.

Depending on the size and shape of your taper mold, it can sometimes be difficult to pour wax into the mold with the Jiffy Wicker Bar in the way. This is why I prefer to use mold sealer and a wick bar with these narrow molds.

The taper mold rests in a pan to catch drips during pouring.

Melting your Molded Taper 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.

(Some advanced candle makers will cook the wax at 190 degrees F for 30 minutes to eliminate air trapped in the crystalline structure. To some degree this can reduce the appearance flaws that would naturally appear after the wax is made into a candle. It is up to you whether you would like to perform this added step.)

Adding Vybar or Parol Oil

After the wax is entirely melted, you can add additives, if you like.

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.

Parol Oil promotes mottling, which is popular and charming effect. Parol Oil also acts somewhat as a lubricant when the time comes to remove your taper from the mold. Standard usage with our wax is 1 oz of Parol Oil per pound of wax. After your wax has melted, you can add your Parol Oil, and stir it until it is thoroughly mixed with the wax.

NOTE: Adding both Vybar and Parol Oil will, more often than not, prove a waste of Parol Oil.

Adding Kemamide Powder

Kemamide Powder is another optional additive. It is used to allow candles to be more easily removed from a mold. Since molded tapers can sometimes prove difficult to remove from their molds, an investment in some Kemamide Powder might be a good idea, if you are making unscented and unmottled molded tapers. (Fragrance oil and Parol Oil can act as lubricants to aid in removing the candle from the mold.) Standard usage with our wax is 1 teaspoon of Kemamide Powder per pound of wax. After your wax has melted, you can add your Kemamide Powder, and stir it until it is thoroughly mixed with the wax.

Adding Dye

After the wax is 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.

Also note, fragrance can act as somewhat of a lubricant when it comes time to remove your taper candle from the mold. In my experience, if you make a fragranced molded taper, you can usually skip the Kemamide Powder.

Pouring Your Molded Taper Candles

Right after you add the fragrance to the melting pot, it is time to make the first pour of wax into the taper candle mold.

You need a spouted container to pour molded taper candles. You can also use a wood stirring stick or a chopstick for added pouring control to reduce dribbles.

The wax should still be at about 190 degrees F when you pour it wax into the taper candle mold. You can move the wick bar to the side during pouring to give yourself more room at the opening of the mold. Once you have finished making your first pour, move it back to the center while the candle cools.

Depending on how tall you want your final molded taper candle to be, you can fill the candle mold up to the top, or only part way. For your first few attempts, I recommend filling the candle mold up all the way to the top, so you can observe the behavior of wax in the narrow taper mold.

Be sure to save some wax for subsequent pours. (It often takes 3 pours to complete a molded taper candle.)

Set Candle

After making the first pour, tap the sides of the mold to dislodge any air bubbles which may be trapped at the bottom of the candle, clinging to the wick, or clinging to the sides of the mold. You can use a stir stick or spoon or other implement to tap the sides of the mold.

Allow the candle to cool and harden. To speed this along, you can use a water bath or wipe the outside of the mold repeatedly with a cool, damp cloth.

There is no need to poke relief holes in the narrow molded taper candles as they set. The wax will cling to the sides of the mold, and as it cools, a very deep sink hole will appear around the wick.

2nd Pour

The “second pour” is made after the wax in the taper 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, which you will plainly be able to see by the sink hole which develops around the wick. This is normal, as wax expands when melted and contracts when it cools.

To make the 2nd pour for the molded taper 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.)

When it is the proper temperature, pour the wax into the center of the candle, and continue pouring until the wax reaches a level just below that of your first pour.

Continue Setting and Pouring Molded Taper Candle

After your 2nd pour, tap the mold several times again with your stir stick or spoon to release trapped air bubbles. Now let your candle sit undisturbed until it cools again. Very likely, you will need to make a 3rd pour of wax to fill of the center of the candle, as a sink hole often develops again after the 2nd pour. This is one of the characteristics of the molded taper candle.

Remove The Candle From the Mold

With luck, after your candle has cooled completely, you will notice the candle has separated from the edge of the mold. This will indicate an easy removal of the taper candle from the mold. Attempting to remove the candle before it is completely cooled will result in frustration and, possibly, a marred candle.

To remove the candle, first remove the mold seal from the bottom of the mold, then remove the wick bar from the top of the mold.

When both ends of the candle wick are free, tip the mold upside down and gently tug on the wick at the open end.

If your taper will not come out of the mold when you pull on the wick, place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes, and then try again.

Trim the Wicks

When your candle is out of the mold, cut the wick at the bottom of the candle off, so that it is flush with the bottom surface of the candle. Trim the wick at the top of the candle to ?”.

Level the Candle

There are a number of ways to level a candle. The one I like for molded tapers, since they are narrow and small, is to use my craft knife to pare away the bottom until it is smooth and level.

Finished Molded Tapers and Candlesticks

Like most other molded candles, the effects you can achieve with these candles are almost limitless. Have fun, and get creative with molded taper candles!


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