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The Basics of Candle Making: Pillar Candles

They are called pillars because they are round and tall like a pillar. There is no standard size (they can come in many widths and heights) and can be found in all colors and scents. You can find both decorative and plain ones too; they can be used for anything from practical home use to wedding decor.

Pillar candles are one of the most common for candle makers to make, and the process is pretty simple. First you’ll need molds.You can find them in all sizes at most craft stores or online. Molds are typically made out of silicon, aluminum, or plastic, but for best results, we recommend choosing the aluminum ones. They allow the wax to cooler better, resulting in a smooth finish on the candles. They’re also very durable.

To get started, decide on the size and number of candles you want to make. There are charts in candle making books and on the internet that can help you determine how many pounds of candle wax you’ll need to complete your project. You’ll also need dye and fragrances (if you don’t want plain, unscented white ones).

Next, you’ll need quality wick. The wider the candle, the wider wick. To make this easier, simply purchase a standard type of wick. You can braid three pieces together to make a thicker wick for wider candles. Many of the pillar candle molds have a built-in wick holder. In that case, simply slide in a wick of the proper diameter and eliminate the guesswork. Make sure you dip the wick into the melted wax before attaching it to the candle mold.

Keeping the wick in place can be tricky. A good trick is to cut the wick several inches longer than you need, then tie it to a pencil or skewer sitting across the top of the candle mold. This will ensure the wick is centered as the candle begins the cooling process.

Once your candle wax is at the proper temperature, add in the rest of your ingredients (dye, scents, and additives). Immediately after, pour the hot wax into the pillar candle molds. Do not pour wax all the way to the top of the mold. You want to leave about four or five inches unfilled.

With most candles, you’d just step back and leave them to cool, but pillar candles need some further assistance during the cooling process. Once the top of the wax has started to become solid, you will need to add small relief holes to help with shrinkage. If you don’t create the relief holes, your candles will get air pockets that keep them from hardening properly.

Once the candles have completely cooled, pour melted wax into the holes you created on the candle. Make sure the wax is about fifteen degrees hotter than what you had the wax at the first time you poured it. Allow the candle to completely cool down again. Your candles should slide out of the molds easily. If they don’t, put them in the refrigerator for half an hour. Your candles should be smooth and beautiful. Make sure to trim the wick, and then you’re ready to burn your pillar candles.

Pillar candles are both beautiful and useful. The simple design will fit well with the decor in a room or provide necessary light for hours. They make excellent gifts, and are easy and inexpensive to make.

About the author

Michael B.

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