Christmas gifts: Candles

One of the things I made for Christmas gifts this year were candles. In addition to the typical cylinder and square candles, I made some candles in the form of the Gears omen and a lime.

Making candles with a homemade mold

For my first time making molds, and first time pouring candles, I’m really happy with how things came out.

I cast the first few batches using votive wax, which only takes one pour and gives a creamy consistency, but they lose their shape pretty fast when lit. After that, I switched to a pillar wax, which has a little more surface mottling and needs 2+ pours, but keeps it’s structure much better. Most of the candle supplies came from a site called CandleScience, which is actually in the area, so I can order online and pick up the order the next day without having to pay shipping.

I’d done a bit of reading about mold making in the past, but there was a class on molds and resin casting at The Gamer’s Armory that convinced me to order some supplies from Smooth-On. I used OOMOO 30 for both molds. The lime mold was made using a real lime skewered with a wooden stick, while the omen candles were made from a wooden positive modeled in VCarve Pro and cut on my CNC. It was made of 3 layers of 0.75 in plywood glued together and sprayed with some clearcoat. I cast two molds using sections of 2L soda bottles hot glued* to a floor tile.

*A word to the wise: High-temp hot glue is hot enough to melt PET soda bottles! One of the two molds wasn’t sealed properly as a result and I had a decent sized leak of the purple ooze, but thankfully I had everything centered on a large piece of foamcore, so it didn’t ruin my countertop. Next time I’ll probably use clay as a seal.