Most folks decide to start their home candle making business by making container candles, but a select few choose to begin with molded candles. Most often molded candles, such as votives and pillars, are a next step for somewhat experienced candle makers. While making molded candles is not necessarily more difficult than making container candles, they do demand a bit more technique, a few more supplies and most often require a greater time investment in determining the best use of additives and learning the molded candle craft.
The main difference between container candles and molded candles is the use of molds.
Instead of pouring melted wax directly into a container where the candle will set up permanently, molds are used to cool the candle into a desired shape and are then released from the mold. Using molds requires the use of a release agent to make sure the mold comes off the candle once the wax has cooled.
Although candle molds can be purchased at most craft and hobby stores, you will find a much wider selection at one of the many specialty candle supply retailers online. Depending on the volume of molded candles you are making, you will want to be sure that you purchase enough molds to keep you continually pouring, keeping in mind that the molds will have to remain on the candles until the wax is hard enough to remove the mold.
Another difference between container and molded candles is the type of wax used in their production.
Molded candles use medium to high melting point wax. The waxes are typically much harder than those used for containers. When purchasing your wax, be sure to read the wax descriptions to see if it is made for use in the type of candles you are planning to pour. For example, many wax suppliers even go so far as to name their waxes with descriptors such as ‘votive blend’ or ‘pillar blend’. The more time you spend choosing your wax, the better the likelihood you will produce candles you are happy with.
Votive candles are one of the easiest molded candles you can make. They also require less wax to make than pillar candles, so they are ideal for the beginner. If you are unhappy with your initial results and need to make adjustments, it will require less wax to experiment with votives than it will with pillars.
Pillar candles are the other common type of molded candles. While votives tend to be offered in a few standard sizes, the size and shape options for pillars are far more varied. Not only do they vary in height, but also in diameter and shape.
The best resource for detailed instructions on how to make molded candles is the retailer where you purchased your wax. If you chose to purchase wax and supplies from one of the many online, specialty candle making retailers, they typically offer detailed instructions for each type of wax they sell. Simply look up the wax you choose to work with and go from there.
Many of these sites also offer message boards and forums where you can pick up some valuable tips from experienced molded candle makers to help you save time and money on troubleshooting.
If you choose to buy your supplies elsewhere, there are many books available on the subject of candle making that are sure to take you in the right direction.