Introduction: Custom Candles

Picture of Custom Candles

I know there are plenty 'candle-making' instructables on here already, but most of them end with rather straightforward, standard shaped candles. With this instructable I will try to give some examples of what you can do with candles to make them original, and personal!

Besides this is my first instructable, so feel free to give advice for my next one!

Step 1: Materials & Tools

For making the candles:

- candle wax, or old candles you have lying around
- 2 cooking pots/pans for melting the wax
- candle wicks, or similar strings or cords (no plastic stuff)


For making the molds:
You can use a large variety of materials for the molds, but there are some things to remember when choosing a specific material. I will describe some that I have used.

- foamboard (foam inbetween 2 layers of thin smooth cardboard), is sturdy enough not to deform when you pour the wax. makes for smooth surfaces.
- thin cardboard, can be both smooth or rough, texture will reflect on the candle surface.
IMPORTANT! thin cardboard can bend inwards while the wax is cooling (and shrinking)!
- a hobby knife to cut the materials
- glue, hobby glue or any woodglue will do
- masking tape to hold the mold in place while the glue dries


Step 2: Designing Your Candles & Molds

Picture of Designing Your Candles & Molds

When you have all the materials and tools, you can start to design your candles. For a good result it is important to know how you are going to pour the wax into the mold, and how you're going to remove the candle from it when it's dry.

Pouring from the top or bottom of the candle is the easiest way to insert the wick, because it can simply hang in the wax. If your design requires you to pour from the side (see image) you need to think about how to insert the wick and keep it steady while the wax dries!

In my examples I used 1-time molds, that can't be re-used. If you use a more solid material, such as wood, MDF, or plexiglass, you can probably shake the candle out of it without ruining the mold.



Step 3: Building the Mold

Picture of Building the Mold

Now it's time to build the mold. Cutting and glueing probably has its own instructable, so I will refrain to some important hints and tips:

- make sure the mold is sturdy enough to withstand the pressure from the wax (in case you want to make a large candle with a thin cardboard mold)
- make sure to glue the entire length of the mold's edge to prevent any leaks
- insert the wick and make sure it's hanging/standing straight and vertical

Step 4: Melting the Wax

Picture of Melting the Wax

While your mold is drying, you can melt the wax. Either from ready-made candlewax bought in a hobbystore, or from old candles and scrap candle wax.

IMPORTANT! Never leave the wax unattended while melting! Always use a double-boiler or 2 pots to melt the wax. Set the fire to low and wait for the wax to melt.

If necessary, pull out the wicks with a stick or some old scissors.

You can turn off the fire when the wax is almost completely melted. The final pieces will melt in the hot wax.

Step 5: Pouring the Wax

Picture of Pouring the Wax

Make sure the glue is dry and the mold is sturdy before you pour the wax in. Take the wax from off the fire and slowly pour the wax.

If you make 2-colored candles, mark the cardboard halfway.
In my design, I put in the wick after the first layer (color) had cooled. To make sure the wick stayed in shape, I put it in the molten wax and shaped it on my design while it cooled.

When pouring mutiple layers of wax, make sure the previous one has cooled completely.

Step 6: Let the Wax Harden

Now put your mold with the hot wax in the fridge, or outside if you're living in Holland...

The wax should be hard after a couple of hours, but put it in overnight to be sure before you remove the mold.

Step 7: Remove the Mold

Picture of Remove the Mold

When the wax has fully hardened, you can gently remove the mold. Be careful with sharp edges, so you don't break off the wax.

Try to move the cardboard or foam, to see if it will come loose by itself. Then slowly break it off.

NOTE! I will never again make a candle with holes as small as the one below. The cardboard was extremely difficult to get out of the candle. Maybe if you use smoother material or something sturdy you can yank out it will work out better...

Step 8: Enjoy Your Custom Candles!

Picture of Enjoy Your Custom Candles!

If necessary remove some waste wax or smooth edges, and then simply admire your work!

I hope this instructable helps to inspire people to make their own design candles, and I would like to see the results if you make some!

Comments

Mirth Krafter (author)2014-02-22

I have never considered using foam board before, I will have to try it.

I've been using a crockpot for my wax melting. I've dedicated one to wax alone, food will never again be cooked in it. I put it on high to melt it and then low to maintain the melt. It takes it a bit longer to melt in the first place but you don't have to worry about fire or getting wax on your burners. I also suggest using disposable foil pans under everything to help contain drips and spills.

If you have a lot of candles to melt down you can also use disposable foil muffin tins to make small blocks of wax that are easier to store.

chasestone (author)2013-11-20

Great idea using shapes for the molds. Now you just need to customize them with color or pictures like Custom Candles does.

Pyrotechnataca (author)2013-06-09

this did inspire me thanks for the instruction!

kridley (author)2011-08-08

i want to make a lego how would i do that???

tutdude98 (author)kridley2012-02-21

make a mold of a lego and then pour wax in the mold

kridley (author)2011-08-08

how do you insert the metal heart ... do you need two wicks??

buteman (author)2010-02-27

 I like these ideas. Thanks.
Would it help to smear some veg oil on the inside of the moulds so they would separate from the candle?

rudegirl (author)buteman2011-03-18

i found olive oil helps but only with non absorbing materials. milk cartons are a good material for molds.

mrdebos (author)buteman2010-02-28

I think it would help, I read it somewhere on this site as well. Haven't tried it myself...

TAE_Kim (author)2010-12-14

Nice, now I should collect all the alien looking candles and try this. I wonder how it smells like with 5 different smells mixed. (bet its not gonna be bad tho)

RavingMadStudios (author)2010-02-27

Very cool. I especially like the one with the holes through it. I bet if you used short pieces of pvc pipe lubricated with a little vegetable oil, you'd have a much easier time demolding. Copper tubing might also work.

i think it would work but would the veg oil freeze?

I sincerely doubt that it would be a problem.

but it would if you live in places that get up to 35 below 0 ;) But I live in Georgia I doubt that would be a problew either

kcls (author)2010-02-26

Very cool! do you have any tips for getting that residue wax out of the bottom of jars?

LaRue6358 (author)kcls2010-02-27

To remove wax from the bottom of glass jars, just put the jar in the freezer for about ten minutes.  The wax will then come out.

mrdebos (author)kcls2010-02-27

Thanks! I'm not totally sure what you mean by residue wax, but if you mean the wax from old burnt up candles, I guess it can be tricky to get it out. Perhaps putting the jar in some hot water and letting the wax melt again, then pour it in something you can easily get it out of. Hope that helps!

imthatguy1125 (author)mrdebos2010-02-27

 Try putting it in the freezer the just take a plastic knife and scrape it off

RadBear (author)2010-02-26

Very cool. You may want to give a little more detail on how to set-up the double boiler/two pot method for melting the wax. I know what you're talking about from having done some candle making in the past, but for those unfamiliar with this method it would be important to know as it relates to safety.

Overall great instructable. I look forward to seeing more in the future!

mrdebos (author)RadBear2010-02-27

Yes you're right! I wanted to make this more of an inspirational one than a technical one, but safety is always the most important.

Thanks for the advice, and the compliments!

BeanGolem (author)2010-02-26

One thing I found making candles in my (earlier) childhood was that you must be careful not to end up making the wick travel too horizontally, as the flame "goes up" from its source and, in use, can extinguish itself with melted wax from above.

Just a thought :D Way cool end results you got! I love the wick coming out of the chimney.

About This Instructable

24,261views

184favorites

License:

More by mrdebos:Munchkin Monster PawnsEasy Design Shoe RackPull Out Birthday Card
Add instructable to: