February 01, 2010

Pillar Candles - What's Old Is New

Pillar Candles - What's Old Is New

It seems no matter what type of business you are in, one of first questions people ask is what do you have new? I think the background to this question has a startling answer; according to Wikipedia the Egyptians made candles from beeswax in 3000 BC.  With that type of history I am not sure there is anything in today’s world that in it’s simplest form remains completely unchanged throughout history and we are talking over 5,000 years.

In fact as the market changes beeswax and other natural waxes are more popular than ever. The one thing that has changed is how candles are used by the consumer. Historically candles were used initially for lighting, then in Europe and other places for ambiance and most recently as a form to provide fragrance to the home.

Best Features of a Pillar Candle
One of the best types of candles to provide lighting, adding a nice touch to the home décor and when necessary deliver fragrance is the pillar. Many crafters/candle makers have a tendency to overlook the pillar because they may feel it does not offer the fragrance delivery a container candle can have.

Natural Candle Waxes a Perfect Fit for Pillar Candles
One selling point to pillars is they are actually much more suited to make in natural waxes than in containers in many respects.  For many that have worked with soy in containers one of the biggest issues is always the “fragrance throw” a soy container delivers.  When making pillars the objective is more the shape, design and functionality then the fragrance throw making it ideal for use of natural waxes. The good news is that there a number of different types of natural waxes that are ideal to use when making pillars.

As we have already learned the oldest to this day is still the best all around wax by many is beeswax.  While it can be used to make containers it can be hard to “build” value with a beeswax container candle.  With the cost of the container, fragrance and then using beeswax many consumers in today’s market do not want to pay what a good beeswax container needs to sell for. When making pillars using beeswax, it is much easier to get “consumer” value because you do not have the cost of the container and in many instances you may not want to fragrance the product because the wax has it’s own pleasant odor. Because of this the consumer only needs to pay for the mark up on the beeswax and labor. 

Palm Wax's Unique
Selling Points

The news only gets better in that there are other natural waxes that make for great pillars. Palm wax is also an excellent choice to make pillars. While it may not offer the fragrance throw a paraffin wax candle can, it brings other great properties to the table. Palm waxes have unique designs and patterns that paraffin cannot offer.  The palm wax  allows you to choose unique patterns such as feathering or crystallizing.

The second great selling point to the palm again is that it is natural and does not necessary need to be efficient in the fragrance throw.  Colors and shapes are going to be more important when offering as a home décor item.

Using Soy Wax for Pillar Candles
The next great wax to use in making pillars is soy wax. Using soy wax in pillars has come a long way. Early attempts to use soy in pillars made for soft or very brittle candles which would crack. The Ecosoya PB has eliminated those problems and now is a great option to make natural candles.  (Note: Candlewic  is now an official distributor of EcoSoya PB). 

Getting Creative with Pillar Candle Shapes and Sizes
Depending on what your market is any of the above waxes can be blended to create your own unique candle in a pillar. The final advantage to any pillar is the choices in shapes and sizes. Pillars are not limited to the boundaries of the glass industry which chooses what they think make for the most popular shape or size.  Pillar molds are available in many shapes and sizes and, if you can find the particular one you want, try making your own using the Miracle Mold Material or molds from other “industries”. Soap and chocolate are always great starts. As crazy as it sounds  home supply stores are an excellent place to chose your next candle mold.  Aluminum tubing, PVC and other materials (except copper) can be used to make very large candle molds.

Be creative and try your hand in making pillars. I don’t think you will be disappointed in the results.  You can ever start small with votives and then work your way up.
Hi! I'm Chandler!
I can help you
learn how to make candles.


There is one question that I get asked more often then any others, and one I never have the “right” answer for:

What is your best fragrance? 

That is an extremely tough one to answer and is similar to asking a child what’s their favorite candy. I love all of our fragrances and each and every one of them is carefully selected to ensure they meet our customers' requirements.  

We evaluate color and fragrance trends to ensure we have products that meet our customers’ targeted audience. There are several “major” high-end retailers that “drive” the fragrance market trends and we always monitor what they are doing.

What’s interesting is, when you look at the best sellers they always come back to the basics; cinnamon, vanilla, red apple peel. So, when someone asks me what’s our best fragrance, I find it best to list our top 10 best sellers.


February 2010

Featured Project:
Making Palm
Wax Candles

As our featured article outlined palm and other natural waxes make for great pillars. In this issue we will feature making a palm pillar candle. While this is an introduction to palm think of all the other projects you can do; layered unique shapes, aromatherapy scents, etc.. In today's market we feel it is important to really explore all opportunities available.


Any Aluminum Mold
Palm Wax
Color Blocks
Wick Bar
Rubber Plugs


Melt Palm Wax in pot. Note that the hotter you make the wax, the more the wax will create a snowflake look on the candle. Do not exceed 300°F (150°C).

Add some shavings of color blocks and 4% to 5% of fragrance.

Using the rubber plug and wick bar, prepare your aluminum mold for pouring.

Before pouring wax, it is suggested to heat the mold with a heat gun or a heat lamp to maximize the crystallizing effect of the Palm Wax.

Pour liquid Palm Wax into the mold and let cool. By slowing the cooling rate of your poured candles, you can create fantastic crystal effects in your Palm Wax candles.

Sometimes Palm Wax requires a second pour. You will know it is necessary if a thin layer of wax forms over your candle when cooled. Simply poke a hole in this layer and perform your second pour.



Quick Facts

When making pillars, a single 50-pound case of wax will yield approximately:

Dimension (diam. x length)


Number of candles

3 x 3



3 x 6



6 x 3



2 x 3



2 x 6



3 x 3 x 3



3 x 3 x 4



3 x 3 x 5



View All

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