Candle Making


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Prepare an adequate work area and supplies.

    Place paper covering over your work area.  Any paper will do.  Collect your supplies.
    For wax, I use Yeardley general purpose wax.  It comes in 11 lb. sheets which are broken up and placed in your melting pot.  To break the wax, place the sheet of wax between two cardboard sheets.  Place the set-up into a large plastic bag and hit with a hammer until the wax is the desired size.

I use a tackle box to hold most of my supplies.
concentrated dyes
essential oils
mold sealer
boil bags
1 lb. kitchen scale
various wicking, both metal and non-metal
wax thermometer (a candy thermometer is adequate.)
various wick holders.  I cut a metal hanger into several pieces of various lengths.  This will also serve to poke holes into your cooling candle.

Prepare your molds before preparing your wax.

    For plastic molds, place your wick into the groove and secure.  Tape will work to secure it, but mold sealer is better.  Lay the wick down so that it will protrude from the pour spout when the mold is snapped together.  Snap the mold together.  Use your fingers and press around all the grooved areas to assure a tight fit.  Wrap the protruding end around your wick retainer and secure the retainer to the mold.

    For metal molds insert the wick through the hole in the mold until it protrudes from the opposite end of the mold.  Tie the end to the wick retainer.  Pull taught.  Insert and tighten the retaining screw.  Cut wick approximately 1 inch from the screw.  Secure the wick retainer to the mold.  Use mold sealer on the screw and on any other seams where wax may leak.

Preparing the wax.
    Weigh your wax.  This will assure proper mixing of coloring and scenting if a second batch is needed.
    Place the broken up wax in a double boiler.
    NEVER USE DIRECT HEAT TO MELT WAX.  If melted wax comes under direct heat it may ignite.
    NEVER POUR WATER ON A WAX FIRE.   If wax ignites use a fire extinguisher or in some way smother the fire.

    When the wax reaches 190 degrees add your coloring.  After mixing with the wax, place a little on some paper.  It will dry almost instantly and give you your color.  Add more coloring or wax to reach your desired color.  Remember to keep track of your wax and coloring amounts so that you can match batches.
    Add your scenting.  Scent to taste.  Avoid using to much scent as the essential oils will mottle the candle in too high a concentration.  Remember to track your amounts.

Pouring your wax

    If possible, do not pour hot wax near or in the sink.  Wax will clog your drain pipes.
    Make sure your molds are at room temperature.
    For plastic molds allow wax to cool to about 180 degrees.  Wax that is to hot may warp or crack your molds.  Wax that is to cold may trap air bubbles.  Wipe off excess moisture from the side of the pot to avoid water entering the mold.  Slowly pour the wax into the mold until the wax is at the bottom of the pour spout.  Make sure that the wick retainer is straight when finished.

    For metal molds allow wax to reach 200 degrees.  Wax that is to cold may trap air bubbles.  Remove pot from boiler and wipe off excess moisture from the side of the pot to avoid water entering the mold.  Slowly pour the wax holding the mold at an angle until almost full.  Level mold and fill to top.  Make sure the wick retainer is straight when finished.

Filling the well

    The well is formed as the wax cools and settles.
    Allow the wax to cool for 45 minutes to an hour at room temperature.  Poke several holes through the pour spout towards the wick about halfway down into the candle.  This will allow air to enter the void and release the tension on the wick
    Use wax about 180 degrees.  Pour your wax into the well.
    For plastic molds fill the well back up to the bottom of the pour spout.

    For metal molds carefully fill the well.  If to much is used and the hot wax gets between the mold and the cooler wax you will have a very difficult time removing the candle from the mold.

    Plan on repeating this steps 2 or 3 additional times depending on the size of your candle.allowing about 45 minutes between pouring.

    Cleaning your metal molds may be accomplished by placing them on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Set your oven on 175 degrees.  Place the cookie sheet into the oven.

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  Copyright 1999 Joseph Mastromauro
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    Last updated: 11/12/99

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