Ravenous Craft

Candle Casting

BeginnerMallory LanceComment

Making crafts inspired by nature and using natural elements in our crafts is at the core of what we do. For this craft, we used elements from the natural world - bones, crystals, tree trunks, geodes - to make silicone molds which we then made candles from. Once you make the mold, you can make unlimited amounts of candles from it and you can even experiment with different wax colors and scents, though my favorite is just plain, undyed beeswax.

What you'll need:

  • relatively non-porous object for casting - although delicate structures like this bird skull would look cool, it's not sturdy enough and has too many holes to break free from the silicone.
  • a disposable container that you will need to cut apart
  • a container for mixing the silicone
  • a wooden skewer for mixing the silicone and holding the wicks in place
  • 2 part silicone mold mix for casting (we use Smooth-On "OOMOO 25" brand)
  • scissors or a knife for cutting away container
  • beeswax for melting down and pouring into mold
  • essential oils for scent (optional)
  • wicks
  • tape

1. Select your object, making sure to take care that it would be a good shape for a candle, to burn evenly and not have too many holes or appendages, which would make removing the object from the mold difficult. Bones and crystals are a good place to start.

2. Mix the mold mix according to specifications (1:1 ratio for the brand we use) - once mixed thoroughly, place your object in the disposable container, flat side down, and pour the silicone over it, submerging it completely. Note - you may want to use a release spray if your object isn't completely smooth so that it's  easier to take out at the end.

3. Allow the mix to solidify (it takes at least 75 minutes, so it's best to start this process as soon as you join together, before making dinner). Once it's completely solid, after you've waited the necessary time, cut it out of the container.

4. Pop out your object. This should be fairly easy, as the silicone stretches and yields to pressure easily.

5. With the skewer, poke a hole through the center of the top of the mold where you want the wick to poke through. Gently press the end of the wick through this hole. The silocone should hold it in place. Then take the other end of the wick and suspend it from the skewer as in the picture above, taping it so that it stays in place. The silicone mold mixes make a great crutch to balance the skewer on!

IMPORTANT - read this thoroughly before moving forward - wax is HIGHLY flammable when you heat it up on the stove and once it reaches a certain temperature it self ignites. I know this firsthand and almost burned down my apartment when the pot became engulfed in flames. Do not make this mistake!!  When you are melting wax, do it over a low heat source and only melt it until it just liquefies, watching it constantly. Take it off the heat immediately.

6. Chop the wax into small pieces so that it melts more easily and heat it over a low flame or in a double boiler. Try and use a pot that you don't cook from as it is very difficult to clean off the wax residue. Heat it over a low heat source and as soon as it liquefies, take it off the stovetop. While the wax is melted, now is the time to add and essential oils as needed.

7. Pour a few drops of wax into the mold, then let it harden. This is to make sure it doesn't drip out of the holes if you fill it too hastily. Then pour the rest of the wax into the mold. If you're doing layers of color, only pour the first layer then allow it to solidify first. Otherwise fill the mold to the top. After a moment, the meniscus will drop and there will be a bit of a dip in the center. Once it hardens, pour some more wax over it until you're left with a flat top (which will ultimately be the bottom)

Burn your candles with caution, and place them on a ceramic dish so that you don't risk a fire from burning through your tabletop.