March 01, 2009

Mold Techniques for Candle Making

Mold Techniques for Candle Making

One of the first things I do when writing our newsletter is do various searches on the internet and newspaper on timely subjects in both the candle market and business in general. I came across a very timely article on the CNN Money website. You can read it at their website. The most intriguing in this list was the summary on Proctor and Gamble. Gives us all hope in the candle industry.

In addition the second article reinforced what we wrote about in our last Enlightner regarding the continued growing trend in "Home parties". Be sure to check out the actual article at http://www.philly.com/inquirer/magazine/41075607.html and then check our last issue of the Enlightner. (Wonder if people doing their research read our publication.)

We truly hope you find this Newsletter to be a resource for you and we are always looking for additional suggestions on improving it.

It seems in today's market one segment of the market which can go over looked is the Free standing or "pillar market".  It seems everyone has different containers, tins and glassware and nothing can compliment the line then a nice pillar candle.  Pillars are a logical progression because these types of candles are easy to make, smell great, and are relatively easy to maintain multiple brands using different labels. Every candle maker is faced with the challenge of creating more revenue for various reasons whether it is at the crafting level to fuel their hobby, or a manufacturer that needs to pay next week's payroll.

One way to bring in new customers and increase sales is to offer new and unique candles that are not offered by you competition. This can easily be achieved by learning how to make freestanding or pillar candles using a variety of mold techniques. According to the National Candle Association, candle users say they most frequently burn candles in the living room (42%), followed by the kitchen (18%) and the bedroom (13%). One may assume that aesthetics are important in the living room and creating beautifully unique pillars that burn cleanly could be a great way to increase sales. The following tips and tricks should help you with increasing your freestanding candle offering.

Aluminum Molds

  • Aluminum molds are heat resistant, durable, and leave no ugly seams in the finished candle. Finished candles are professional looking and have an extremely smooth finish.
  • Pillar Pins are a great way to increase production while maintaining perfectly straight wicks. Once mastered they are a necessity for making pillars efficiently.
  • If you are using rubber plugs to seal the wick hole, place molds on two parallel strips of wood or other material that allows you to keep molds level.
  • Adjust pouring temperature to achieve different effects. If candles are not de-molding easily, try raising pour temperature a bit.

Polyurethane Molds

  • Leave an extra few feet of wick coming from the bottom of the mold. This way fresh wick comes up through the wick hole when you remove the finished candle, thus eliminating the need to push wick through the tiny hole for the next candle.
  • You can carefully trim the mold down the sides or where needed with a sharp razor blade.
  • Rub a very small amount of petrolatum on the seam to help smooth seams. While you are rubbing the petrolatum on the seam, use the opportunity to verify you have the mold correctly lined up.
  • Use picture wire or a D-string from a mandolin to help you wick the mold the same way you would thread a needle.

Polycarbonate Molds

  • Be sure to use the correct wax designed for free standing candles. If you use the wrong wax or incorrect temperature, it can be tricky getting the mold cleaned out.
  • Do not pour wax into the mold if it is over 200 degrees or damage to the mold may occur.
In addition to the above types of molds we recently wrote about how easy custom size molds can be created.  Making custom molds can increase your presence even more because those types of shapes/sizes will probably not be made by the larger candle producers.  

One of the key points to stress is that you must continually update and reinvent your own line.   The good news after reading the CNN article is that now is the right time for you to make that step.  

Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles.

CHANDLER'S CORNER

With all of the questions that continue to come in the one that most people really need to start with is which wax is right for me.

I have developed the chart below as a kind of summary to review. The good news is that there really is not a true right or wrong wax if the end result is that the candle performs safely and meets your requirements. I am here if you need any further guidance on selecting the best wax for you.

Straight Wax Blended Wax Low Shrinkage Blend Mottled Wax Natural Wax
Container Candles
CF CBL-129 CBL-130 2530H Soy-125
Votives
3134 CBL-141 5560 3035H CSP-1
Pillar Candles
4144 CBL-141 n/a 4045H Palm-3

 


March 2009

Featured Project:
A Simple Project

We are going to make this month's project relatively simple but instead will allow you to approach the project from several different angles. 

  1. With summer rapidly approaching many people start to reduce the amount of time spent inside thus burning less candles. This project will allow you to make a candle that your customer can burn outside when enjoying a nice Spring or Summer night on the patio.  Citronella candles remain a popular outside candle.
  2. We featured what to do with small amounts of left over wax you could use the wax from a large container/pillar that did not meet your expectation.
  3. It can be made 100% natural

Materials Needed

Wax Suggestions

Container Fill
Excess Wax (Anything you have on hand)
Soy 120 or Soy 125 (If wanting to make all natural)

Wick Suggestion
Square Braided if using large containers
# 8 or #10

Wick Clip - CI-315
Citronella Scent
Glassware - GW-016
Glue Dots

Step 1
Take the wax you have selected and heat up to recommended temperature:

  • If using Soy 120 or Soy 125, heat to 125F and add your fragrance.  For best results add approximately 1 ounce per pound of wax.
  • If using the Container Fill, heat it up to 150F-160F and use the same amount of fragrance.
  • If you are using your left overs, follow the recommended pouring temperatures.

 

Step 2
Take your wick and feed through the wick assembly.  Take needle nose pliers and pinch the clip.  Place in the container and secure with Glue Dot.  Pour your wax in at the recommended temperatures above. 

Step 3
Due to the size of this container several topping offs will be necessary. .

This project should be easy but makes for a great outdoor candle. If you use the soy wax, you can market it as a very "green candle".

View All

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