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How to make a pillar candle

level:
Beginner

Making your first pillar candle can be a bit tricky, but we have you covered! Learn how to make a basic pillar candle, plus we share a few tips and tricks to make the process go a little smoother.

Additional items needed:

  • Stirring spatula
  • Paper towels
  • Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol

 

Directions:

Step 1: Prepare your mold

We've put together a tutorial for preparing your mold. Visit: How to wick your pillar mold for step-by-step instructions!

Step 2: Weigh and melt your wax

Note: For this tutorial we’re using a 3x4.5 pillar mold. If you’re using a different mold size, read: How much wax will my mold hold.

Place the pouring pitcher on your digital scale and tare the weight. Weigh 15.75 oz. of BW-921 wax. Melt the wax with a double boiler.

Pro Tip!

Pillar wax will shrink as it cools so that it releases easily from a mold. This may leave you with cracks or deep sink holes in the center of the candle. This is very common, especially with paraffin waxes. It's good to keep some left over wax to top off the candle and fill in any cracks or holes so the bottom of your candle will be smooth once you unmold.

Step 3: Add fragrance oil

While the wax is melting, weigh out 1 oz. of Black Amber and Plum fragrance oil (or your fragrance of choice), a little more than a 6% fragrance load.

When the wax temperature reaches 185°F, add fragrance oil and stir thoroughly for 2 minutes.

Allow the wax to cool to 170°F and carefully pour into the mold near the wick.

Try not to hit the side of the mold with wax while pouring; drips will set very fast and sometimes can't melt enough from the heat of the mold. This can cause the candle to stick to the mold and make releasing it difficult. 

Pro Tip!

If you are new to pillars, put the sealed mold in a pan when you do your first pour. Pour about an inch of hot wax into the mold and wait a few seconds to make sure the mold is not leaking. If there is no leaking, continue to pour slowly.

Once the mold is filled, pull the wick taut and use a wick bar to secure the wick. As the wax cools the wick can be pulled off center if it is not secured properly.

Allow candle to fully cool. Remove wick bar.

Step 4: Optional second pour

Reheat your left over wax and melt to 5ºF hotter than your original pour temperature. For this tutorial we poured at 170ºF so we’ll reheat to 175ºF.

Slowly pour a layer to fill in the cracks or holes and stop when the liquid wax reaches the height of the cooled wax. Try not to over fill the mold, this may allow wax to drip down the side of the candle where it has pulled away from the mold. This can marr the candle or cause streaking. 

Step 5: Unmold your pillar

Allow the wax to completely cool completely before you unmold your candle.

Gently pull on the wick to release the candle from the mold while angling it downward. Do not pull on the wick too hard or the wick might pull out of the candle, leaving your candle behind in the mold.

If the candle is stuck, gently squeeze the sides of the mold or roll it on a flat surface using gentle pressure to help it release.

Pro Tip!

You can also stick the mold in the fridge (not the freezer) for about 5 minutes and try again.

Trim your wick to ¼ in.

Your pillar candle is complete!

DID YOU MAKE IT?

Show off your pillar candles and all your handmade creations with the CandleScience community by tagging us @CandleScience and using the #CandleScientist hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We may feature you in our Stories or on our website!