When embedding wax shapes into a candle, keep in mind that the wax you’ll be embedding in can melt the shapes if too hot. So be sure to pick a wax or wax formula with a low melting point. This is especially important if you will be making a container candle. Not only that, but say if you pour white wax around red embedded shapes, the red could bleed, turning the white to an undesirable deep pink color.
Because of this, you need to make sure the shapes you wish to embed have a higher melting temperature than the wax you will use to fill in the candle. If you need to harden a wax formula, an additive will usually solve this.
Two typical ways to make embedded shapes are using a pan of wax and a cookie-cutter, or chocolate molds. If this is your first time making a candle the cookie-cutter method may be a bit simpler and will be the method detailed. However, if you choose to use chocolate molds to create your shapes, take care to not pour the wax hotter than 165F. Past this temperature and the molds may be damaged.
You will need wax for your shapes, and wax of a different color for the rest of the candle. You may need dye to color the wax. Basic paraffin wax may be a good choice to start with as it has a relatively low melting point and is easier to work with than some waxes. You will want the melting temperature of the wax used to make the shapes to be higher, so you may need a hardening agent. Stearine (stearic acid) may be best for beginners, as it is easiest to work with.
You will also want to have two pans to melt the wax. One will be sitting on the stove with water in it. You may want to put a metal cookie cutter in the first pan so the second has something to sit on. The water will heat the wax inside the second, smaller pan. This double boiler style helps to prevent you from overheating and burning the wax.
A pan and cookie cutters or chocolate molds to make your embedded shapes.
You will need either a container or mold to create your candle.
Enough wick for your candle.
You may also want to have some paper and a pen handy, to record the type and amount of all materials used. If your candle doesn’t turn out right, a record of what you used can be useful in troubleshooting any problems.
Making your wax shapes:
- Melt your wax.
- Take your melted wax and pour it into the baking pan.
- Once the wax has cooled and is solid but still warm, use the cookie cutter to cut out your shapes.
- If you remove the extra wax now, take care, as the shapes have not fully set. Set aside and let the shapes completely cool.
Making your candle:
- Now that you have your wax shapes, you’ll want to position them in the container or mold where you want them. Unless you’re using a container and gel wax, keep in mind you probably want your shapes seen. If using a mold, you may want the shapes on the sides and top of the candle. If making a container candle, you may wish to have them against the sides.
- Place your wick. Ensure it will remain in place as you pour the wax. Also, ensure the wick remains straight.
- Pour your wax at as cool a temperature as possible. This is especially important if you are making a container candle, as it will prevent shrinkage. If this is a container candle, fill to about where you want it. Note: If it is mold, you will fill, then once the candle has cooled fill again and level the base.
- While the wax is cooling, you may want to put the candle in front of a fan, rotating every few minutes to speed cooling.
- Once cool, cut the wick so that there is about a quarter of an inch left.