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Candle Making Tutorial
Making Chunk Pillars
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Chunk candles are easy and fun to make, and tend to take less time than solid pillar candles. They have a rustic charm, and make great accent pieces and gifts. Chunk candles can really bring out your creativity. Before you get started, consider making your own wax chunks. To learn how to make your own wax chunks, visit our reference section on How To Make Wax Chunks.

What You Will Need - Supplies

Wax Chunks (either store bought or home made wax chunks)

Molding Candle Wax

Pillar Mold

Jiffy Wicker

1/0 square waxed wick or 34-37 flat cotton core waxed 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

Candle Fragrance (optional)

Color Dye Chips (optional)

Also a good idea to have around:

Paper towels

Windex (Window cleaner)

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. I little goes a long way with Silicone Spray Mold Release.

Wicking your Mold

Use a Jiffy Wicker to wick your mold (for instruction on how to use a Jiffy Wicker, click HERE. If your mold does not have a wick hole in the bottom of the mold, use a tabbed wick (for instructions on how to tab a wick click HERE)

Fill Mold with Wax Chunks

Fill your mold with wax chunks. You can place them carefully using a wood stir stick or chopstick to position them, or you can drop them in sloppily for a random look. You can fill the mold half way, so only the bottom half of your candle has chunks in it, or you can fill the mold all the way to the top, so that wax chunks are sticking out of the top of your finished candle. You can get really creative with the placement of your wax chunks, the mix of colors you use, and the shape of your wax chunks. For instructions on making your own custom wax chunks click HERE.


Melt Your Fill 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.

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.)

This is the wax you are going to use to fill in the candle around your wax chunks. You can scent or color your fill wax, or both, or you can leave it white and unscented. This is another area where you can get creative. You can also experiment with wax chunks and fill wax that are different fragrances.

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. Continue to heat the wax until it reaches 190 degrees F.

Adding Dye

After the wax is entirely melted and at about 190 degrees F, add your candle dye to create the color of fill wax you desire. Each of our diamond shaped dye chips colors 1 lb of wax. Use more or less candle dye for lighter or darker colored fill wax. 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

You can also add fragrance to your fill wax. Adding fragrance is the last thing you do before you pour your fill wax into your mold. 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 your candle dye, you may add your candle fragrance. 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 fill wax. Add the candle fragrance to the melted wax in the melting pot, and stir thoroughly to get even distribution of the candle fragrance.

Fill Wax Pouring Temperature

The pouring temperature of the fill wax determines the final effect of your chunk candle. To get the wax chunks to really blend in with the fill wax, heat the wax to 250 degrees F or more (this is an advanced technique, and requires caution). To give your chunk pillar candles the look of well defined chunks, heat the fill wax to between 175 and 190 degrees F.

Pour the Fill Wax

When your fill wax has reached the desired temperature (I recommend 190 degrees for beginners), pour it into the wax-chunk-filled mold.

To get the effect of wax chunks poking out of the top of your finished candle, pour the fill wax so that it only partially covers the wax chunks at the top of your mold.

To get this effect, stop pouring fill wax before it covers top layer of chunks.

Setting the Chunk Candle

Now let your candle sit undisturbed until it cools completely. This may take a few hours. You will know that your candle is completely cool when the surface of the mold is cool to the touch, not warm. You will also, most likely, notice the candle separating from the edge of the mold. This is a good sign.

Chunk candles do not usually require relief holes or a second pour, as the cool wax chunks limit the shrinkage of the fill wax. The exception to this is if you are going for a chunk candle look where the top portion of the candle is fill wax. Even in this scenario, you should not need to poke relief holes. The wax may shrink enough for you to need to make a 2nd pour to fill the indentation around the wick. If you are making one of these candles, be sure to save some wax for the 2nd pour.

Top of candle is all fill wax and this candle requires a 2nd pour.

Remove Candle from Mold

When your candle has cooled completely, you can remove it from the mold. To do this, remove the Jiffy Wicker (for instructions on how to remove Jiffy Wicker click HERE). When your candle is free at both ends, turn the mold upside down and gently tug on the wick at the top of the candle. (For illustrations of this, see our instructions on making Basic Pillar Candles)

If the candle does not come out of the mold, you may want to allow it to cool longer. Some people like to put the mold in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. If the candle still will not come out of the mold, submerge the entire mold and candle in a bucket of warm water. The water will seep in and release the candle from the mold.

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 ?.

Finished Chunk Pillars

Chunk pillars have a special rustic charm. Experiment with different colors, chunk sizes, and fragrances to come up with your own favorite chunk pillar recipe.

Finish Notes:

For instructions on removing the mold seams from your pillar candles, see our reference section on Removing Seams from Candles

The candles made with these instructions have a natural mottled effect, quite a popular finish for candles. If you desire a solid finish (with no mottling), see our advanced pillar instructions, which include instructions on how to use certain chemicals which prevent mottling.

For instructions on leveling your candles (in the event that they came out tilted for some reason) please see our reference section on Candle Leveling

Caution:

Never pour liquid wax down a drain. It will solidify in the pipes and cause a serious clog.

Pillar candles should be burned in approved pillar candle holders

Never leave a burning candle unattended.


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