How to Make Hand Carved Candles

Written by michelle norton
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How to Make Hand Carved Candles
Carved candles are used as wedding candles. (unity candle image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com)

Carving candles is a way to make unique gifts for decoration and lighting. The process starts with a core candle dipped in successive waxes to layer the candle. Then before the candle completely dries, tools are used to peel back and twist the layers in pleasing designs. The candle carver needs a variety of tools and time to make the candle. Decide beforehand on the colours wanted for the finished candle.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Core mould with wooden peg or core mould without core
  • Candle handle with plastic tube or long wicking
  • Skewer
  • Melting vats (one per colour)
  • Pigment candle dyes
  • Candle carving racks
  • Knives
  • Paraffin wax
  • Aerosol silicone mould release
  • Pour container
  • 2 buckets
  • Water
  • Candle glaze
  • Smokeless candle oil
  • Wick
  • Wick holder

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Put together the core mould by connecting the base with the wood core with the body of the mould. Core moulds differ from regular candle moulds because they have a wooden peg insert to create the hole in the candle. This will create the well for the oil.

  2. 2

    Spray the mould with the silicone mould release. This will let the finished candle slide easily from the mould.

  3. 3

    Place the plastic tube from the candle handle over the wooden peg in the mould. This will be embedded in the candle.

  4. 4

    Melt clear, undyed paraffin wax in one of the melting vats.

  5. 5

    Scoop the wax with the pour container and pour it into the mould. Let the core dry for 24 hours.

  6. 6

    Remove the core by tapping the mould.

  7. 7

    Insert the Candlefun candle handle by pushing it into the plastic tube in the candle. Twist the wing nut on the handle to expand the rubber ring and secure the handle.

  8. 8

    Place paraffin wax and a pigment tablet for each colour in separate melting vats. Melt the wax. There should be enough wax to cover the core candle from your candle mould in each vat. Place the bucket with water next to the vats.

  9. 9

    Dip the core candle in one of the pigmented wax vats, then in the water and back in the wax. Repeat dipping in the wax and in the water until the pigmented wax layer is satisfactory. This may take three to six times depending on the colour, wax and candle size.

  10. 10

    Repeat step 9 for each vat of pigmented wax.

  11. 11

    Hang the candle on the carving rack.

  12. 12

    Cut the wax drippings from the bottom of the candle using the knife.

  13. 13

    Make a cut around the handle at the top of the candle so the handle may be removed easily when you are done carving.

  14. 14

    Make a shallow strip on the side of the candle using a knife. Peel down the lip of the cut wax with your fingers. The piece may be rolled, twisted and pressed into different designs. When the wax is peeled back it will expose the different coloured layers of the candle. Repeat this until you get a design you like. You can cut strips under previous cuts or on uncut parts of the candle.

  15. 15

    Dip the finished candle in a bucket of candle glaze to give the candle a shiny finish.

  16. 16

    Hang the candle until it is dry. It may be handled after an hour and will be fully dried after 24 hours.

  17. 17

    Loosen the wing nut on the handle and remove the candle handle.

  18. 18

    Fill the candle with smokeless candle oil.

  19. 19

    Place the wick in the wick holder and place it on top of the candle. The wick holder should be made of glass and sit on the top of the candle.

  1. 1

    Put together the mould by attaching the wicking to the bottom. The wicking should be twice as long as the candle mould. Use a skewer to hold the wicking up through the mould.

  2. 2

    Spray the mould with the silicone mould release. This will let the finished candle slide easily from the mould.

  3. 3

    Melt clear, undyed paraffin wax in one of the melting vats.

  4. 4

    Scoop the wax with the pour container and pour it into the mould. Let the core dry for 24 hours.

  5. 5

    Remove the candle by tapping the mould.

  6. 6

    Hold the candle for dipping by the extra wick. You can also use the wicking to handle the candle. When finished the candle will burn and melt like a normal candle. Follow steps 8 through 12 and 14 through 16 from the "Oil Filled Candle" section to finish the candle.

Tips and warnings

  • A frame may be carved in the candle and then a message may be painted in the frame. Candlefun is the only manufacturer of candle hangers for carving candles.
  • Do not leave a lit candle unattended. Melted wax may cause burns if melted at a high temperature.

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