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June 20, 2018

Creating Pillars for a Unique Offering

The 'En-Light-ener' Candle Making Newsletter
June 2018
Hard to believe that summer is already here. Once again, people are commenting on how things are going by so quickly. For many, the summer months can be on the slower side in terms of sales. That’s why they can be a great time to develop and launch some new products. For many, the natural extension to having a complete candle line is the launch of some type of pillar or freestanding candle.

These days, every candle producer is always looking to grow his or her 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 your competition. This can easily be achieved by learning how to make freestanding or pillar candles using a variety of mold techniques. Many candle makers only like to make jars, because they can be easy, and there is a very wide acceptance of jar candles. But, at the same time, pillars can be quite popular as well. Pillars are also great candles to light up a room and provide great ambiance without fragrance, if that is what you prefer.

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 are heat-resistant and durable, and they leave no ugly seams in the finished candle. The finished candles are professional looking and have an extremely smooth finish. Aluminum molds are available in standard 2", 3" and 4" diameters, with most sizes as tall as 9½".
  • Aluminum molds are available in round, square and octagon shapes. When you are looking for other shapes and designs, you will need to consider other types of materials such as polycarbonate molds.
  • In most instances, aluminum molds are the best choice when making palm wax and beeswax candles. The ability to pour at elevated temperatures allows the patterns to be maximized when making palm wax candles and provides easy release for beeswax candles.
  • 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 the pouring temperature to achieve different effects. If candles are not de-molding easily, try raising the pour temperature a bit. Pouring at a hotter temperature should improve the finish of the candle as well. Pouring at cooler temperatures 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.
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 and then making a cap for the one end. Most of these materials do sell a "cap" of some type.
Polyurethane molds are most popular today for making tapers. Pouring tapers will save you the time from having to use the dipping process. Polyurethane molds also can make unique-shaped tapers like Hexagon or Colonial.
  • The key when making tapers with 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.  These molds should only be cut – if at all – to just where you need to grab the candle to pull it out.
  • 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 that you have the mold lined up correctly.
  • 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 are great to use when you want that totally unique shape for your pillar candles. Some of the more unique shapes are the DSM-35 Arch Motif or the DSM-36 Flame. In 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 freestanding candles. If you use the wrong wax or pour at an incorrect temperature, cleaning out the mold can be tricky.
  • Do not pour wax into the mold if the wax is over 205⁰F, or damage to the mold may occur.
  • Our entire line of polycarbonate molds makes some truly unique and one-of-a kind designs.
Even though they might not be your classic freestanding candle, a floater can be a great complement 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.

Now is the perfect time to try dabbling in the pillar market. The cost to make pillars is minimal, and, generally, the only other materials you need are the molds, rubber plugs and a different wax if you are currently making containers.
Hi. I'm Chandler.
With camp season in full swing, what are some projects for groups to work on that are suitable for all ages?
Camps are a great place to introduce new folks to the candle making process, and there are several which require no or minimal melting.

These can be great for any age group – with the right adult supervision. I have listed them along with the links for previously featured projects.

It is always best to engage in projects that do not require the wax to be heated and ones that allow participants to take the project home when it’s completed. Some of my favorite include the following ...
Beeswax Candle Sheets -- Fun, Easy, and Profitable - September 2003
Candle Making Made Fun...Wax Art Crystals March 2003
Be sure to check out the video on how easy these projects can be.
Making a Chunk Candle
Since we are featuring the advantages of pillar candles, the chunk pillar is a great variation on the standard pillar.

The chunk candle has been around for decades and still creates a unique candle each and every time. The chunk is popular, because it can be used in almost any application, container or pillar. If you want, you can even cut the chunks small enough to use in a votive; tea lights are probably pushing the limits a bit too much.

Another reason the chunk candle proves to be popular is that it gives your excess wax a new life.
Materials needed for project:
Candle Wax Leftover Candle Wax
Pillar Wax Pillar Wax
Mottling Wax
Votive/Pillar Wax Blend - CBL-14
Feathering Pillar Palm Wax - Palm-3
Crystallizing Votive/Pillar Palm Wax - Palm-2
Ecosoya® PB Pillar Soy Wax for Pillar Candles
Pillar Molds
Fragrance Oils
Tip: For a uniquely scented candle, try using different types of scents in these candles and getting a "burst" of multiple scents in the same candle.
Candle Dye, Colors and Pigments
View All

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