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How to Make Wax Candles

The Wax:
Soft paraffin wax is best suited for making candles in containers. It is soft and 
oily, and is not easily removed from a mold. Its melting point is 129 to 135 degrees. 
Soft paraffin wax colors well and has good translucence, but a finished candle made 
from this wax will mar easily and may droop or sag in hot weather.

Medium paraffin wax is a good all purpose wax and works well for tapers, block, 
molded, and free-form candles. It has a melting point of 140 to 145 degrees It is 
pliable, colors well, releases easily from a mold, is moderately resistant to hot weather, 
and has a fairly hard finish.

Microcrystalline wax is a soft, oily, pliable wax. Because it is easily shaped and 
sticky, it is excellent for sculpture work or as an adhesive. It has a melting point 
between 160 and 200 degrees. It is difficult to remove from a mold but 
colors well and is very translucent.

Beeswax is a very expensive, fine-quality wax that is often mixed with paraffin 
to make dipped tapers. It has a melting point of 145 degrees. It is slow burning 
and normally smokeless. It is difficult to remove from a mold. 
Honeycomb beeswax sheets come in colored 8"x16" rectangles that are 
easy to roll into candles. No melting is required.

Bayberry wax has a melting point of 130 degrees. It is a mildly fragrant, brittle, 
greenish-colored wax used mostly for dipping or molding tapers.

The Procedure: 
Melting Wax
Wax is flammable. It will ignite at about 400 degrees and will smoke and the 
color will drastically fade at about 250 degrees. Most candles require a 
pouring temperature of about 185 degrees or less. While the wax is melting, 
constantly check the temperature. Remove the wax from the heat source 
as soon as it reaches pouring temperature of 165 - 185 degrees. Never 
allow wax to reach temperatures higher than 250 degrees.

Double Boiler Method

If you do not have a double boiler, you can use a metal pitcher or similar container 
to hold the wax. Place this container into a larger pan containing water. Place a 
screen wire under the melting container to allow hot water to circulate underneath it. 
Place broken pieces of wax into the melting container and turn on the burner. 
When the wax begins to melt, place a thermometer in the melting container. If 
necessary, add water to the larger pan to maintain an adequate volume of water 
while heating the wax. When wax is melted, add any dyes. (Remember that liquid wax 
will usually appear a bit lighter than when the wax has hardened.) The wax is ready to 
pour at 165 to 185 degrees. The hottest temperature the wax will reach when using 
a double boiler is 190-195 degrees. Wipe any moisture off the melting container 
before pouring the wax into your mold.

Direct Burner Method

To safely melt wax directly on an electric burner, follow these precautions:
Use a melting container that does not leak, and make sure that any wax on the outside 
has been wiped off. Do not use seamed cans, old cooking pots with riveted handles, etc.
Always start melting wax on low heat. When you have at least one inch of liquid wax 
in the container, then you may turn the heat up to medium. Always use a thermometer, 
and never let the wax overheat. If it is allowed to exceed 270 degrees, it will change color. 
The best way is to pour at 165 - 185 degrees.
Never leave the stove unattended; wax will melt rapidly. If you must leave the area, 
even for a few moments, turn off the burner and remove your 
melting pot from the stove until you return.

Combined Method
Start melting your wax using the double boiler method. When the wax has been 
completely melted, remove the melting container from the water and wipe it clean.
Place the melting container directly on the burner. Keep the thermometer in 
the wax until the correct pouring temperature has been reached.


Check the temperature of the wax with a thermometer. The pouring temperature will 
depend on the type of wax you are using. When you are ready to pour the wax, 
tilt the mold slightly and pour wax slowly down the inside of the mold. Do not pour 
the wax too quickly, as this will cause blemishes in the candle. When the mold is full, 
place it in an upright position and draw the wick taut (but not tight) to the center of 
the wick holder, which will lie across the top of the mold.


Place the candle mold in a draft-free area to cool. As the candle cools, a film will 
form over the wax with a depression in the middle. Puncture this film near the 
wick to allow a cavity to grow as the candle cools. Be sure to break all the way 
through the film to the liquid wax. This allows the cavity to form without distorting 
the candle. When the cavity is perhaps 1 inch deep, fill the cavity with liquid wax 
(about 185 degrees). Do not overfill the cavity as wax may flow between the candle 
and mold causing the candle to stick. Repeat this process of puncturing the film and 
adding more wax several times as the candle continues to cool and harden. When the 
candle is completely cool it may require one more filling. The smaller the candle the 
fewer times this step is required.

If you wait until the candle is cool and hardened before filling the cavity, you 
may cause a fracture to appear in the base of the candle. This is because the 
hot wax causes a rapid expansion of the cool candle.
The complete cooling process from the time of pouring to the removal will 
vary according to the size of the candle.

Removing the Candle from the Mold

To extract the candle from the mold, remove the rubber plug. Let the wick hang free. 
If the candle does not drop free from the mold, chill the candle while in the mold 
in the refrigerator for a short time. Lightly tap the mold to free the candle. Do not 
bang or tap the mold directly on any hard surface. You will damage the mold thus 
making it impossible to remove the candle.

Candle Coloring

Our high quality concentrated color chips are formulated from aniline dyes to give 
clearer and brighter shades. These sediment-free dye chips will color approximately 
11 pounds of wax to a nice medium tone. Add shavings from the color chip to 
melted wax until the desired color is obtained. For lighter colors, use very little. 
To judge the color of the wax, pour a small amount into a container to cool. 
Remember that melted wax always appears lighter in color 
than when it is cooled and hardened.

Powder dyes are highly concentrated, lightweight particles, therefore extreme 
care should be exercised when mixing. It is recommended to dissolve the 
powder dye into melted stearic acid before adding to melted wax. Adding 
powder dye directly to melted wax may form a sediment (undissolved dye particles).

Candle Scent

For best results, add the scent just before pouring the candle. Make sure to mix 
thoroughly to blend the oil from the fragrance with the oil of the wax; otherwise, 
bubbles may form in the surface of the candle. One half ounce of fragrance should 
give a pleasing scent to approximately 11 pounds. If a heavier scent is desired, use 
approximately half of an ounce with 4 pounds of wax. Be aware that scents may 
change the color of the candle.

To add scent to an unscented candle, burn the candle until a one inch diameter 
pool of melted wax has formed. Adding a few drops of scent to the melted wax with 
an eye dropper and you have created a nice soft aroma that will last 
approximately one and a half hours.

Do not use perfumes or colognes as they contain alcohol, and do not mix well 
with the wax. They will have no aroma when they burn. Never dip the wick 
directly into the scent; because this will cause your candle to smoke. Scent 
should be stored in brown bottles, and preferably in a dark place, because 
sunlight will destroy your fragrance.

Colored Layers

You can create candles with different colored layers. Pour different colors of wax, 
one on top of the other producing horizontal stripes, or blend layers to form a 
soft graduated look. You can vary the thickness of each layer. You can alternate 
colors to form a pattern, or each layer can be a different color.

When creating a layered candle, each layer must cool until a firm but warm crust 
forms on the wax before the next layer is poured. Pour the wax slowly and gently. 
Do not cool too long or the cooled layer may shrink, allowing hot wax from the 
next layer to seep down the sides of the mold.

If a blended appearance is desired, pour a light color of wax first. Each layer 
thereafter is a progressively darker shade of the same color. The colors will 
blend together depending on how cool each layer is before next layer is poured.

Chunky Candle

Chunky candles are a favorite project for many candle-makers. These candles have 
colored chunks embedded in translucent wax. Chunky candles are economical 
because the chunks can be made from leftover wax, old candles or crayons.
Prepare the wax chunks. To make your own colored chunks, pour concentrated 
colored wax into a shallow metal pan that has been coated with silicone spray. 
Pour the wax to approximately to one half inch in depth. Allow the wax to cool 
until it is firm but still warm and pliable. Take a knife and cut into one half to one 
inch squares. Leave the chunks in the pan until they are completely cool, and they 
will easily snap out of the pan. You may also use an old ice cube tray. 
Prepare the mold with the wick centered at top and bottom.
Fill the mold with wax chunks, being careful to keep the wick centered.
Fill the mold with extra hot wax (approximately 200 degrees). This wax needs to be 
translucent; therefore no additives are needed.You may need to add more 
chunks as you pour, because the chunks in the mold will settle. You can also 
drop wax chunks into the mold after it is about one third full with hot wax 
(at approximately 200 degrees). This will give your candle a smoother finish.
Roll the candle in hot water or use a propane torch to melt away extra wax 
and expose brightly colored chunks.
Wicking the mold in the normal way may cause the finished candle to burn unevenly. 
A better quality chunky candle can be made if a thin taper candle is used 
instead of a wick. Place the taper in the center of the mold, either upright or 
with its wick through the wick hole at the bottom of mold. Seal the wick hole 
with rubber plugs, and arrange the chunks around taper.

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