Molded beeswax candles are a wonderful alternative to traditional pillars and votives. You can use virtually any three-dimensional object to create the rubber mold. For best results, keep the shape fairly simple, like these lovely finials created by Martha Stewart Living style editor Tom Tamborello.
Making a Candle Mold
Tools and Materials
Square of wood
Wooden post-top finial
3 plastic containers
Candle Mold How-To
1. Drill a hole in the center of a square of wood, and secure finial to wood base.
2. 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.)
3. Spray finial with mold-release spray. Let dry for about 10 minutes; this will make it easier to remove the object from the rubber.
4. 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.
5. Mix mold-rubber compound according to instructions. Mix compound thoroughly with rubber spatula. Pour into plastic container.
6. 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.
7. To remove the mold from the container, poke a hole in the bottom of the container. Pull mold from plastic container.
8. Using a utility knife, make incisions on both sides of the mold from top to bottom. Pull rubber away, and remove finial.
Making Beeswax Candles
Tools and Materials
Beeswax Candle How-To
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 2 hours, depending on the size of the candle.
5. 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.