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How to make acorn squash pillar candlesDistinctive Fall Centerpiece

If you're looking for a unique and creative project, here's an idea for a beautiful Fall centerpiece. 

We used hollowed-out acorn squash for pillar candle molds, added seasonal colors and a hint of Cinnamon Chai Fragrance Oil. 

Additional Items Needed:

  • 3 - 2-4" Acorn or Carnival Squash - try to find some with deep ridges
  • Small Melon baller - for hollowing out the squash
  • Metal or Wooden Spatula for stirring wax
  • 5-6 Cup Microwavable Safe Plastic Container for melting wax in the microwave - not to be reused for food preparation
  • Dixie Cups - small and large
  • Sharp Knife
  • Wooden skewer for centering the wick
  • Flat decorative tray or pillar candle holders for displaying the 3 candles
  • Rubbing Alcohol and Paper Towels for wiping out the plastic container

Wicking Note: The wick size you need will be dependent on the inner diameter of the hollowed out squash. Use our guide below: 

- CSN 14 for a 2 1/2" - 3" diameter
- CSN 16 for a 3" - 3 1/2" diameter
- CSN 22 for a 3 1/2" - 4" diameter

Coloring Note: To achieve the optimal color we recommend using the following guide:

- Yellow Dye Chips (1 chip per 1 lb of wax) 
- Brown Dye Chips (2 chips per 1 lb of wax) 
- Avocado Dye Chips (4 chips per 1 lb of wax)
- Butterscotch Dye Chips (1 chip per 1 lb of wax)

Acorn Squash carved out with candle making equipment nearby


STEP 1: Prepare squash molds

Carefully cut the bottom of each squash so that it sits flat. Leave an ample amount of the squash shell at the base so the melted wax doesn't leak through the bottom.

Cut the stem and the top of each squash so that you can fit your hand through the opening. Removing about 1/3 off the top of the squash worked best for us. Remove all the seeds and pulp with a melon baller starting from the top and working down in a vertical motion. 

close up image of hands scooping out the inside of an acorn squash

Try to hollow out the inside so that the ridges are intact. Also, make sure that the sidewall of the squash isn't too thin - no less than 1/4" as you don't want the wax to leak. Wipe out the inside of the squash with a paper towel to remove any remaining pulp.  Do this for the other 2 squashes and set them aside.

Acorn Squash freshly scooped out with waste piled beside the image

STEP 2: Prepare the soy wax

Place the microwavable safe container on the scale and set the scale to zero. Weigh 1lb. of EcoSoya PB Pillar Soy wax in the container. Add the Reddig-Glo Dye Chip(s) to the container of soy wax for your desired color. Place the container of wax in the microwave and heat for 3 minutes. Do not leave the wax in the microwave unattended.

Three images: First image of flaked wax on a scale. Second image of flaked wax in microwave. Third image of microwave starting.

Carefully remove container using pot holders or a towel and place it on a level surface. Check the temperature of the melted wax with your thermometer. The wax should be at approximately 185 degrees. If not, stir gently and heat at 1 minute intervals. Remember that not all microwaves heat the same, so keep a close eye as the wax is melting. Once the wax reaches a temperature of 185 degrees, add 1/2 oz. of Cinnamon Chai Fragrance Oil. Stir gently but thoroughly and allow to cool to 150 degrees.

Note: Soy wax tends to make more pastel colors. We recommend doing a quick color test by pouring a little of the colored and fragranced melted wax into a small dixie cup. Let the wax cool and check to see if the color is what you want. You can add another chip to make it darker. Just remember to reheat the wax for about a minute if it cools to less than 150 degrees.

STEP 3: Set wick in squash mold

While the wax is cooling, pour a 1/4" pool of melted wax into the bottom of the squash and place a CSN wick in the center. Use a skewer to press the base of the wick firmly against the bottom/center of the squash and allow to cool about 10 minutes.

Note: We are under-wicking these candles so as not to have the wax melt through the side of the candle.

An Acorn Squash being wicked

STEP 4: Pour the wax into the mold

When the wax cools to 150 degrees, carefully pour the colored and fragranced wax into the shell to about a half-inch from the top of the squash. Attach a wick bar being careful not to touch the wax. Leftover wax can be labeled and poured into a paper cup for later use or to do a second pour to level out any shrinkage that may occur while cooling. Other ideas would be to make some votive candles or wax melts with the extra wax.

Multiple Acorn Squash wicked and filled with wax on a table

Allow the candle to cool overnight. If the wax shrinks during cooling, you can reheat some leftover wax to 150 degrees and refill the center to even the top of the candle. Allow the second pour to cool completely.

STEP 6: Remove candle from the mold

Remove the candle by carefully lifting it out of the squash shell. If necessary, cut a slit on opposite sides of the squash shell to help it release the candle. Once the candle is removed, you can level the bottom of the candle with a knife if it is needed.

three images showing how to remove the acorn squash from solidified candle wax


Place finished candles on a level, heat-safe decorative tray. Do not leave burning candles unattended or burn longer than 2 hours. As always, follow all candle burning safety rules.

CLEAN UP: While the plastic microwave safe container is still warm, wipe off any extra wax with a paper towel and rubbing alcohol to clean the container. Do not pour leftover wax down the sink. Any left over wax can be poured and stored in a labeled paper cup for future use.