Candle Molds and Beeswax Candles
Tired of the same old pillar candles? You can use any whimsical three-dimensional object found around the house to create a rubber candle mold. For best results, keep the shape fairly simple, like these lovely finial molds.
- For the mold: Cordless drill
- Square of wood
- Wooden post-top finial
- Mold-release spray
- 3 plastic containers
- Measuring cup
- Rubber-mold compound
- Rubber spatula
- Utility knife
- For the candle: Beeswax
- Double boiler
- Candy thermometer
- Candle wick
- Thin wire
- Plastic container
- Coffee stirrers
Drill a hole in the center of a square of wood, and secure finial to wood base.
Seal the exterior of the finial with a few coats of shellac. (You can skip this step if you are using a glass, metal, wrought-iron, or painted object.)
Spray finial with mold-release spray. Let dry for about 10 minutes; this will make it easier to remove the object from the rubber.
To determine the amount of rubber-mold compound you'll need, fill a plastic container slightly larger than the finial with water. Place the finial, top down, in the water (some of the water will be displaced, overflowing out of the container). Pour the remaining water into a measuring cup. This is the total amount of the compound that you will need.
Mix rubber-mold compound according to instructions. Mix compound thoroughly with a spatula. Pour into plastic container.
Place finial in rubber compound, leaving the bottom 1/8 inch of the base uncovered. Make sure that it is centered and not touching the sides. Let the mold set for 16 hours.
To remove the mold from the container, poke a hole in the bottom of the container. Pull mold from plastic container.
Using a utility knife, make incisions on both sides of the mold from top to bottom. Pull rubber away, and remove finial.
Melt beeswax in a double boiler on high heat. Monitor the temperature with a candy thermometer; it should remain below 200 degrees. Because heated wax can ignite, never leave it unattended, and lower the heat immediately if you smell the wax burning or if it starts to smoke. Two to three pounds of wax may take an hour or more to melt.
Prepare the wick by cutting a length of wicking appropriate to your candle size (instructions usually come with the wicking). Dip wick into melted wax to prime it.
Using an awl, poke a hole in the center of the bottom of the mold (the top of the candle). Hook the wick through a bent piece of wire. Push the wire and wick through the hole in the mold. Leave at least 1/2 inch of wick at the bottom of the mold.
Place mold in plastic container so the sides stay together. Pour melted wax into mold. Center the wick in the wax, and put two coffee stirrers on either side of the wick resting on the rim of the mold; clip stirrers together with a clothespin. Let wax cool and harden completely, about a couple of hours depending on the size of the candle.
Remove the rubber mold from the plastic container. If you're having trouble, gently roll the container on its side, pressing lightly to help release the mold. Remove the candle from the mold. Trim wick, and smooth bottom of candle with an iron or a hot metal spatula.