How To

How to make a paraffin pillar candle

It’s hard to walk past any gift store these days without seeing the word “soy” on the label of most candles. Which is great, we love soy candles, they are our most popular product by far!

But there is a LOT to be said for good ol’ paraffin candles too.

Want to know the real benefits of paraffin wax? Here’s a quick list I’ve put together for you:

  • You can make pretty much any type of candle with paraffin wax
  • Get creative and fill jars, glasses, teacups and tealights, or let them stand alone in their simple beauty in the form of pillars, votives, candlesticks and other moulds
  • It makes for highly fragranced candles with great throw
  • Unlike natural wax, paraffin wax does not frost. This means you can create a consistent appearance, which is great if you want to sell your candles

And another little fun fact? Melted paraffin wax has been used for many decades by doctors, physical therapists and beauty therapists alike for its abilities to provide pain relief and soften skin.

But for now, back to candles. Here is your go-to guide for creating your very own paraffin pillar candle.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pillar mould
  • Paraffin wax (for a 76x88mm round mould you will need approximately 350g. For a 76x165mm mould you will need approximately 690g. You will also require slightly more wax than when pouring soy, as paraffin needs to be double poured. See our Moulds page for more info on wax measurements
  • 1 double boiler
  • 21mls of your choice of fragrance/essential oil (if making a 76x88mm mould) or 42mls of your choice of fragrance/essential oil (if making a 76x165mm mould)
  • 1 dye block or liquid dye of your choice of colouring
  • 1 stainless steel stirring spoon
  • 1 glass thermometer
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 mould wick pin
  • 1 small piece of Blu-tack

Instructions:

  1. On a scale, measure out your wax depending on the size of mould that you are using (see measurement notes above).
  2. Fill the bottom part of your double boiler with water until it sits about halfway up your pouring jug.
  3. Place your wax in the upper pan of the double boiler on the stove. Because paraffin has a high melt point, this is the easiest and quickest method to melt the wax.
  4. Insert your thermometer in to the upper pan. You’ll find that the wax will start melting at around 62°C. candle-making-temperature-small
  5. While the wax is melting, prepare your mould (but keep an eye on the temperature as at 95° you’ll need to add your fragrance and colour). Lightly spray or wipe the inside of your mould with cooking oil. (You can skip this step if you find your candles are easy to remove and not sticking to the mould)
  6. Insert the mould pin up through the hole in the bottom of the mould. Once your candle dries, the bottom of the mould will become the top of the candle. INSERT PHOTO
  7. Because mould wick pins are self-centering, simply wrap a small piece of Blu-tack around the base of the wick pin and push it firmly up into the base of the mould. This will stop any wax from leaking out of the hole in the mould. candle-making-candle-holder-small
  8. Has your wax reached about 95° yet? If so, add your fragrance and colour. With paraffin you can achieve bright, bold and deep colours without adversely affecting the burn (as opposed to soy wax). candle-making-dye-block-small
  9. Allow the wax to cool to between 85-90°, then fill to the top of the mould and keep your remaining wax for the second pour. As your candle cools, you’ll notice it start to sink deeply in the middle. Don’t be alarmed! This is a classic characteristic of paraffin.
  10. Once the candle has completely cooled, reheat your leftover wax, making sure it is 10% hotter than the temperature of your first pour, between 95-100°. This will help minimise any join lines.
  11. Pour your melted wax into the sinkhole of your candle, filling it just to the edge. Try not to over pour, as you don’t want the wax running down the inside of the mould. You can always smooth off the bottom of your candle later on a heat plate. candle-making-pouring-small
  12. Make yourself a cuppa, relax, and wait for your candle to cool (usually about 6 hours). Then, turn the mould over and press firmly down on the spike of the mould pin. Don’t be shy in using quite a bit of pressure to pull the pin out. It should slide straight out, but if you find it difficult to remove put the mould in the freezer for a few minutes to further shrink and release the wax.candle-making-pin-small

Finally, ENJOY! Pillar candles make great centrepieces for table settings. Alternatively, why not tie a piece of twine around it, add a small homemade note and gift it to someone special.

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