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July 18, 2014

Mold Techniques

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"The En-Light-ener"
Candle Making Newsletter

Mold Techniques

On behalf of the Candlewic Company we truly wish to thank all of our loyal readers. The compliments, suggestions and comments let us know that you are reading these issues each month. Hard to believe we are almost ½ way through the summer of 2014 and before we know it the Holiday season will be upon us. We encourage you to continue to read past issues and be ready for what should be a great year. We are also very excited to announce some big changes come soon. Be sure stay in touch.

Mold Techniques

It seems that much of the focus in the candle market is always on making and selling container candles. This makes scents (love this homonym) because these types of candles are relatively easy to make, smell great, and make different types by just changing thhe jar.

These days every candle producer is always looking to grow their line or brand recognition. 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. To learn how to use the pillar pins be sure to check out this video;
  • 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. Supplement the rubber plugs by using a modeling clay to help the mold from leaking.
  • Adjust pouring temperature to achieve different effects. If candles are not de-molding easily, try raising pour temperature a bit. Pouring hotter should improve the finish of the candle as well. Pouring cool can help your candle achieve the “rustic” look.
  • Many of the designs and/or types of candles you make in jars can also be used when making pillars. Layered candles, mottled candles and the most popular form of pillars the chunk candle.
  • Aluminum molds are available in round, square and octagons.
  • If you are looking for larger size molds that are not available in aluminum try making your own by going to your local home improvement store and getting tubing of PVC, Aluminum or acrylic in the diameter you may be looking for then and then make cap of the one end. Most of these materials do sell a “cap” of some type.

Polyurethane Molds

Polyurethane molds are most popular today for making tapers. Pouring tapers will save you the time from having to utilize the dipping process. In addition they can be used to make unique shaped tapers like Hexagon or Colonial.

  • The key when making tapers with the Polyurethane molds is to 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

Polycarbonate molds are great to use when you want that totally unique shape to your pillar candles. Some of the more unique shapes are the DSM-35 Arch Motif or the DSM-36 Flame. With the right colors both of these candles can be a must have for your candle line.

  • 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 205 F degrees or damage to the mold may occur.
  • The entire line of polycarbonate molds make some truly unique and one of a kind design.

Floaters

Even though they might not be your classic free standing candle a floater can be a great compliment to any candle line. In addition since floaters generally are smaller they are a great “price point” to have and allow customers to try your candles.

No matter what type of pillar you may decide to make it will be a great addition to your candle line.

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CHANDLER'S CORNER

With summer in full swing and the moisture in the air the most commonly asked question I get is how do I get rid of the air bubbles in my candles?

In most instances air bubbles are caused by air trapped between the wax and the surface of the container you are pouring into. For containers several things will help reduce/eliminate the air bubbles:

Preheat container - In most instances warm to the touch is all that is needed

Pour hotter - As the cold weather sets into many work environments the wax can set up quicker. Raising your pouring temperature even by 5-10 degrees F is enough.

For pillars the same procedures can help eliminate these air bubbles.


July 2014

Featured Project:
Making Streak Candles

One of the easiest novelty candles to make is the streaking candle. What makes this project so easy is that you do not have to change anything you are doing when pouring your candles.

To start this project, first select any pillar type mold. Melt your wax 10-15° F higher than your usual pouring temperature. Add your scent as usual but do not add color.

Before pouring your wax into the mold take any color block or pigment dye and shave it into smaller pieces, you can do as many colors as desired.

Once you have shavings of several colors pour your wax into the mold. As soon as you are finished pouring take pieces of your shavings and place a needle through the shavings.

Hold the needle with the shavings against the mold. The dye will begin streaking down the sides causing a "tie dyed" effect. Repeat this using the same or different color, being careful not to over color.

Any mold can be used for this project.

Each candle made will look different than any other one and allows you to do an infinite amount of themed candles such as red, white and blue or any other color.

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