Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
Pillar candles that glow in a variety of jewel-tones from the chunks of different colored wax that make them up are a very seventies look. And they are surprisingly easy to make, as well as tailor to a more updated and sophisticated look.
You will need quantities of wax for your pillar candles, wax dye and a few pillar candle molds. An array of different sizes and shapes of pillar candles in a 'candlescape' makes a lovely centerpiece or home altar adornment.
Making pillar candles is a several step process that you may need to spread over several days. You must first make the color chunks, and only when they have hardened can you make the pillar candles themselves.
Melt a quantity of paraffin wax in a double boiler, not directly on the burner. Don't use your good pans for making pillar candles--purchase some pans specifically for wax melting at a thrift shop. Once you have used a pan for melting wax, it is almost impossible to get all the wax out of it again. Using wax dyes, color the wax whatever colors you wish. You will be repeating this process several times with different colors, so make sure you have an assortment of items to harden the wax in.
You can make the color chunks for your pillar candles in old ice cube trays, or simply pour the dyed wax out onto an old cookie sheet, or into a plastic container. Whether you want regular or irregular chunks for your pillar candles is up to you. Allow the dyed wax to harden. Thick brick-like color chunks can be made in ice cube trays. Thin irregular chunks of color can be made by breaking up a sheet of wax hardened in an old cookie tray.
Now you're ready to plan your color-chunk pillar candles. Do you want a brick-like array of chunks, or a random hodge-podge? Much will depend on the width of your pillar mold. Prep your mold according to the manufacturer's directions; different mold types have different ways of dealing with the wicking. You may wish to spray the mold with a kitchen spray so that the candle will slide out easily when cooled.
Create an interior assortment of colors that pleases you. Fill the pillar candle mold up with chunks. Have a few color chunks that come up over the brim of the mold, if it suits your fancy. Now pour white wax into the mold to fill in all the gaps left between the chunks.
For a less random look to your pillar candles, make cutout shapes of colored wax with heated metal cookie cutters. Brush a little melted wax on the shapes and stick them to the inside walls of a square pillar mold. Then fill the mold with white wax as above.
For the quintessential seventies look, don't use candle molds at all for your pillar candles--use old (cleaned and dried) wax milk cartons with the tops cut out. Now you're really groovy.
Candles always make great gifts, but if you make them yourself you can really get creative. If you burn candles often, you will always have a reason to experiment and make some more!
I love to try new colors and scents and will often combine certain scents for a unique smell. White pillar candles are probably the easiest way to get started. Once you have the process down, then it is easy to experiment with other colors.
Making any kind of candle can be a fun activity, but the color-chunk pillar candles are a great project for kids. They will love all the different colors and patterns you can make.
You can find some candle making supplies at your local craft stores, but if you want a wide selection, I would go online. There are many good sites to choose from where you can get everything you need in one order, and have many choices to choose from.
You can also find detailed instructions which will help you get started. When you order your supplies, you will also want to get some type of pillar candle holders to put your wonderful creations on!
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!