Eventually, most home candle makers collect a variety of candle making molds. However, a beginner doesn’t have to feel intimidated or think that they need to invest in a collection of molds to get started. In fact, almost every candle maker I know first used common household objects as candle molds before they ever bought one. Here are some ideas to get you started making molded candles without having to spend a penny on the molds themselves.
To begin there are a couple of characteristics a container should have if it’s going to serve as a candle mold.
First, it needs to be heat resistant. You typically will be pouring wax at between 180° and 200° so you’ll need to use something that won’t soften or melt at that temperature.
Also, it needs to be strong enough to support the liquid wax. A flimsy paper container won’t be up to the task, but something like a milk carton generally will. However, even a milk carton will tend to bulge. Some candle makers use duct tape or masking tape to prevent that, or to reinforce other objects that would otherwise be unsuitable.
In general, a rigid candle mold should also either have parallel sides or will be wider at the top than it is at the bottom. This is so the candle can slide out after it’s hardened. However, this is not a rigid rule for your improvised candle molds because usually you’ll be tearing them off the finished candle rather than trying to slide the candle out. These molds 9milk cartons, etc.) are generally one-use only.
For example, a metal mold in the shape of a Yoplait yogurt container wouldn’t work – you couldn’t get the candle out the narrow opening. However, if you want to use an actual Yoplait yogurt container you could because you could tear the container off to release the candle.
Another factor to consider is whether there are any indentations or irregularities on the walls of the proposed mold. Such undercuts (as they’re referred to in the mold world) would also interfere with removing the finished candle from a rigid mold.
Empty tin cans are definitely heat resistant and strong enough to serve as a candle mold, but many of them have a series of circular ridges around their circumference that would prevent removing the finished candle. Since you can’t tear a metal can off the way you can a yogurt container, such cans are not suitable for use as a candle mold.
With those criteria in mind, I think you be able to discover many containers that would otherwise go to the trash that will serve quite nicely as a candle mold. I’ve already mentioned empty milk cartons as candidates. Here are some other ideas.
Many foods such as yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, ricotta cheese and so on, and various sized rigid plastic containers that work well as candle molds.
Empty juice concentrate cans make nicely proportioned small pillar candles.
If you should happen to find a tin can with smooth sides, it will make an excellent reusable candle mold.
Blank CDs and DVDs come in stacks with a rigid plastic cover that works well as a mold. These are fairly large in diameter and may need more than one wick.
Whatever mold you use, clean it very well and make sure it is completely dry. Then coat it very lightly with vegetable oil to help the finished candle release. Be sure not to use too much oil. Too much might mar the finish of the candle.
I hope this encourages you to use some household items as candle making molds. One of the beauties of candle making as a hobby is that you can get started very simply and very inexpensively and still make wonderful candles.
You will learn a lot more about molds and how to use them at:
Candle Making Molds
While you’re there, be sure to sign up for the free candle making mini course that will teach you such important aspects of candle making as proper wax selection, how to know what type of wick to use, how to scent candles and much more.
Even better, find out about a great book that will teach you absolutely everything you need to know about making candles at:
Home Candle Making Made Easy
With the the insider tips and tricks that book teaches, you’ll be an expert chandler (candle maker) in no time!