Pillar candle making instructions
Candle Making Tutorial
Layered Color Pillars
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Creating a pillar candle with layers of different colors is much like creating a single-color pillar. The only difference is that periodically during the candle cooling process, you will be pouring more wax of a different color on top of a previously poured and somewhat cool color of wax.
The timing is the important thing with layered color pillar candles. Each layer of wax must be allowed to cool and dry to the point that it is hard, but no so much that it has separated away from the mold. This is the critical piece of information.
What You Will Need - Supplies
· Molding Candle Wax
· One or more Candle Molds
· Jiffy Wicker
· Wick which is suitable for your size of mold
· 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
· Several high heat safe containers
· Wood Stir Sticks, chopsticks, or something else to stir the wax
· A large needle or craft knife
· Candle Fragrance (optional)
· Color Dye Chips, different colors
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
- Put down newspaper or butcher paper on tables and countertops to catch spills and for easy cleanup.
- Have paper towels and Windex on hand for cleaning stovetops.
- 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
I find the Jiffy Wicker the easiest way of wicking a pillar mold. For instructions on how to use a Jiffy Wicker, visit our reference section on How to Use a Jiffy Wicker.
Melting your Pillar 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 down 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.)
Separate the Wax
Before going to the next step, which is adding color dye chips, separate your melted wax into separate containers. You can use multiple spouted melting pots, or old soup cans, or some other heat safe vessel. For this tutorial, I used recycled glass bottles.
After the wax is entirely melted and at about 190 degrees F, 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.
After you have separated out your wax and created your different colors, add your candle fragrance, if you are using any, to the first color. 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 wax in the melting pot, and stir thoroughly to get even distribution of the candle fragrance.
Usually, adding fragrance is the last thing you do before you pour your wax. For layered candles, wait until you are about to pour each color before adding fragrance to that color.
Pouring the First Color
You can using spouted containers is the easiest way to pour layered candles, or if you have separated out your colors into non-spouted containers, 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. Pour the wax into the mold, and fill the mold up to the level that you would like your first color to be.
Now let the first color solidify so that it his hard, but has not yet pulled away from the sides of the mold. This is important. If the wax is not hard, the next color of hot wax will melt through the skin on the top of the first color, and the colors will commingle. If the wax is too cool and has pulled away from the edge of the mold, the next color of hot wax will seep into the gap and mar the finish on the first color.
(While the first color is pouring, keep the 2nd color at 190 degrees F so it will be at the proper temperature when the first color is hard. Remember, timing is critical.)
You can test for the proper hardness of the first color by poking it with a wood stir stick. If it gives, it isn’t hard. The outer edges will cool and harden before the center.
Pouring the 2nd Color
When the first color you poured is hard enough, pour the 2nd color. (You will have kept it at 190 degrees F while the first color was hardening.) You can pour the 2nd color at 190 degrees, or you can heat it to 195 or 200 degrees F. The higher the temperature, the more it will melt into the 1st color.
Pouring Subsequent Colors
Continue to wait for the color layer to harden before pouring subsequent colors. You can repeat these steps as often as you like, to create a candle with as many or as few color layers as you like.
Setting the Pillar
Since you will have been letting your candle cool between colors, you will have noticed that each layer’s sink hole has been getting filled up by the next layer you pour. After you have poured your final color, let your pillar candle sit undisturbed until it cools completely. This may take a few hours.
A sink hole may very well develop in the center of the final layer. If this happens, reheat the color you used for the final layer to 190 degrees F and fill the sink hole, taking care to stop pouring before the level of hot wax reaches the edge of the candle.
Remove The Candle From the Mold
When your candle has cooled completely, you may remove it from the mold. Attempting to remove the candle before it is completely cooled will result in frustration and, possibly, a marred candle. Look for a little separation of the wax from the edges of the mold. This is a good indicator that your candle is cool enough to remove. Another indication is that the metal mold is cool to the touch (not warm).
To remove the candle from the mold, first, pull on the slip knot on the bottom of the mold beneath the jiffy wicker metal washer and rubber washer. The knot should pull out of the wick. Slip the metal washer and the rubber gasket off of the wick.
Next, untie the wick at the top of the candle from the jiffy wicker bar, and slide the jiffy wicker bar off of the wick.
Now that your candle is free at both ends, turn the mold upside down and gently tug on the wick at the top of the candle.
HINT: If the candle does not come out of the mold, you may want to allow it to cool longer. Place it in the freezer for 30 minutes, then try it again. 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 Wick
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 Layered Color Pillar Candles
This technique also works on votives and other molded candles.
· For instructions on removing the mold seams from your pillar candles, see our reference section on Removing Seams from Candles
· 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
· 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.