Note to the wise: If planning to make more than a few candles, DO NOT try it with only one candle mold. It’ll take DAYS.
-Candle mold(s) of choice. We chose the Bear and Hive mold purchased from Mann Lake Ltd.
-Heavy rubber band (ours came with the purchased mold)
-Wax paper or foil to protect working surface
-Wick (Size depends on candle mold. Ours uses 2/0 ply)
-Wicking tool or large needle to thread wick through mold
-Beeswax (We used our filtered wax)
-Double boiler (we used a saucepan and a large bowl)
-Glass measuring cup, or pouring pot
-Wick holder tabs
-PAM cooking spray or candle release spray (optional)
filled the saucepan about one third full of water and placed the large bowl on
top. The bowl doesn’t need to be directly in the water. Given that pure wax does not clean easily from metal surfaces, we have designated a bowl to use for only candle-making.
the water comes to a boil, weigh your beeswax until you have enough to fill the
number of molds you have plus a little extra. Our mold needs 1.8 oz of wax, so we measured 2 oz to be
sure we had enough to fill to the top of the mold. (Some wax will stick to the edges of both bowls.)
the wax in the bowl of the double boiler.
the wax starts to melt, dip the wick into the wax to coat it fully.
the wick through the bottom of the mold with the wicking tool. Pull through the
mold until you have a few inches coming out the top.
the wick in the mold and clip the wick with the bobby pin to hold it in place
against the top of the mold. Place rubber band around the top of the mold to
the wax is melted, pour from the double boiler into the glass measuring cup
to prevent bubbles, pour wax into mold until it reaches the top edge of the
mold aside and wait for wax to harden. We found about 45 minutes to be
adequate, but several hours is best. The candle comes out of the mold more
easily with less risk of breaking off ears and such.
has hardened, remove rubber band, carefully open mold, grip the wick and pull
Trim the wick to 1/4 inch at the bottom of the candle. Scrape bottom several times on an
empty piece of foundation (or any rough surface) to smooth out. Dig out the wick from the wax
and reform into firm string. Place the wick holder tab on the bottom of the
candle so the remaining wick threads through it. Push wick holder tab into wax
and fill hole with the wick by smashing it down until the candle sits level on the table.
-We found that in a cold kitchen, it’s best to keep the
pouring cup in a 175° oven
so that the glass is warm. Otherwise, the wax will cool too quickly and harden
on the sides of the pouring cup and you will not have enough to fill the mold
-Coating the wick with melted wax will help prevent you from pulling the wick too tight through the mold, which may cause a problem with burning later.
-If you thread the wick through the bottom of the mold (which would be the top of the candle) with a significant length of wick at the end, the mold will automatically re-wick as you pull the finished candle out of the mold.
-We also found that the bottom of the candle will get an
indentation of the bobby pin if you do not raise the bobby pin somehow. After trying
several different ways, we found two small pieces of cardboard on either side
of the mold (see photo above) worked well.
-Instructions for candle making usually suggests using Mold
Release, or PAM to make it easier to remove the candle once hardened. We used PAM cooking spray for our first
candle and decided not to use it for the remaining candles.The lubricant did make it easy to
remove from the mold, but we suspect it also pooled in one of the ears of the
bear and caused deformation. Use at your own discretion.
By Kimberley Burch, Sunset imaging specialist