A Professional-Looking Pillar Candle

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In this guide to making pillar candles, you'll learn the best formula for making candles that burn evenly for hours. These candles are beautiful to look at, create an aromatic ambiance, and make excellent gifts and room decorations.
Intimidated by all the materials? Worried about clean-up or set-up? This article will set you straight about EXACTLY what to buy and how to make candles without breaking the bank or destroying your work space!

Step 1

Things you'll need:
- A double boiler setup that prevents the wax from reaching dangerously high temperatures
- A thermometer and stir sticks
- 136° F ­ 141° F melt point paraffin wax or beeswax
- Wick
- Molds
- Mold sealer/wick holder bar or jiffy wicker -Needed to seal the wick hole in the mold.
- Dye
- Scent
- Mold cleaner

Step 2

Set up your work space:
You'll most likely want to set up in your kitchen. Its a good idea to cover surfaces with newspaper, cardboard, old towels, or something else you can throw out after the process. Protect your workspace from wax. You can always remove wax from surfaces, but its easier just to avoid getting wax everywhere! You'll need a heat source for your wax. Set up your double boiler and keep all your ingredients in one area for easy access. Think of it as any other cooking project. You may want to add a dash of this or that at any given time. You'll also want a flat, level surface on which to set your molds. The wax going into these will be hot, so its best to keep them out of traffic and away from other kitchen items.

Step 3

Melt the Ingredients:
Once you've set up, you're ready to begin heating the wax. We'll start with a few basic proportions. Depending on your candle mold, you'll use about 1 lb. of wax per candle. For each pound of wax you'll use about 1/4 to 1 oz. of dye added little by little to your liking, and various additives for effect. This article will exclude additives in the interest of simplifying the process. Experiment on your own if you're adventurous! Place your wax, dye and scent into your double boiler and start with medium heat. You want to keep your wax within the temperature range specified in the supplies list.

Step 4

Prepare your Molds/Wicks:
Cut a length of wicking an inch or so longer than the height of the mold. Thread the wick through the hole in the end of the mold. Secure the wick in place with mold sealer. Hold the wick as you set the mold upright and prepare to pour in the wax. Secure the other end of the wick onto the wick holder bar with a pinch of mold
sealer, making sure the wick is taught and running evenly through the center of the mold.

Step 5

Pour your candles:
When your wax is melted and at the proper temperature, use an old plastic or metal utensil (wax can be removed from either) to mix in the scent and pigment thoroughly.

Step 6

Carefully pour the wax into the mold, leaving about 3/4" of space at the top. This will be the bottom of the candle. Wax shrinks as it cools, so it will sink into a U-shape as it cools. Once the wax is fairly cool, you can top off the candle, filling the remaining 3/4" and flattening out what will be the bottom of the candle. Don't worry if you still end up with a little curve, as this is the bottom of the candle once it comes out of the mold!

Step 7

Remove Candles from Molds:
Before attempting to remove your candle from your mold, make sure the wax is cooled all the way to the center! This is important! Don't be impatient with this step or you could ruin your candle. An extra precaution is to pop the candle in the fridge for a few minutes (but not much longer!) before removing it from the mold. You'll need to remove the mold sealer and wick holder bar and carefully slide the candle out of the mold. If it doesn't easily slide out, wait longer. The bottom of the candle will have excess wick that you'll need to trim off. Congratulations, you've made a candle! Practice makes perfect, so go ahead and make another with a few additives, a different mold, and new mixes of pigments and scents!

Step 8

Tips & Warnings
For advanced techniques visit here: http://crafts.suite101.com/article.cfm/makehomemadecandleslookprofessional
Silicone mold release spray - Helps the candle to release from the mold more easily.
Additives - Most popular for pillars are Kemamide release powder, Vybar 103, stearic powder (regular or vegetable), and
parol oil
Mold cleaner - Sometimes wax sticks to the mold, and it's a good idea to clean it out after each use.
Also consider:
Base leveler for straightening crooked candles and smoothing out the bottoms.
Most craft stores carry the basic ingredients listed in this article. If you want to get a better selection of molds, wicks,
additives and ideas, search the internet for places near you. These supplies can be pricey to ship since they're heavy, so
look for a shipper in your vicinity that has a great selection and good customer service. Many of their websites are
extremely detailed about wicks, wax, and how to pair everything up!
Warning labels Provide instructions on how to burn candles properly. Gives your candles a finished, professional look.

Step 9

- Advanced Finish Techniques: http://www.suite101.com/content/make-homemade-candles-look-professional-a191340
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(1 comment)
  • by bethany.marcello
    User profile

    Love this how to! I like that I can make this with stuff I already have at home.

    • by mdesignboutique
      User profile
      mdesignboutique Rate this comment 0 0 | Report

      Hi Bethany, If you use my How-to, post a pic of your results on my facebook page! Http://www.facebook.com/mdesignboutique -- I would love to see your results!