Candle Making Tutorial
Floating Rose Candles
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Floating roses are a must have for summer garden parties, June weddings, romantic dinners, and just to brighten your day. You can make your own floating roses in your favorite colors and scents using these instructions, and at a fraction of the cost for store bought floating roses!
What You Will Need - Supplies
· Molding Candle Wax
· Color Dye Chips
· Candle Fragrance (optional)
· 21 Ply Flat Waxed Wick, or wick suitable for the size of candle you are making
· Steamer Pot or old Sauce Pan to create a double boiler
· Standard Size or Small Size Melting Pot with pour spout
· Waxed Paper
· Cookie Sheet or Square Cake Tin, rectangular or square
· Wood Stir Sticks, chopsticks, or something else to stir the wax
· Craft Knife
In a quick overview, what you will be doing is pouring wax so that it creates thin flat sheets, and while the wax is still warm and pliable, cutting it into petal shapes, wrapping the petal shapes around a wick and then layering on more petals to create a flower.
Melting the Wax
Since your ultimate goal here will be to have your wax cool from a liquid to a sort of cookie-dough consistency, you don’t need to heat your wax up to 190 degrees as with most other candles. Just see that it is liquid. The lower the temperature it is when your pour it into sheets, the faster it will cool for you. A good target temperature is 150 to 155 degrees F.
A simple double boiler using an old sauce pan and a meting pot with a spout.
Fill the bottom part of your double boiler (the steamer pot or the deep sauce pan) with about two inches of cool water, and place on the burner set to high temperature. Place pieces of 139 degree Molding Candle Wax to be melted into the melting pot with a pouring spout, set the melting pot in the water, and attend to it as the wax liquefies. (When the water begins to boil, turn the heat down to medium low or low.) When the wax is entirely liquid (i.e., when there are no solid chunks any longer in the pot) you have successfully melted the wax.
If you have a large block of wax and need instructions on how to safely break it into smaller pieces, please visit our section on How To Break Up Wax Blocks.
After the wax is entirely melted, add your candle dye. Each of our diamond shaped dye chips colors 1 lb of wax. Use more or less candle dye for lighter or darker colored candles. Drop a dye chip (or part of a dye chip) into the melted wax, and stir until the dye chip is entirely dissolved into the liquid wax.
After you have melted your wax and added candle dye, you can add candle fragrance to your wax. The standard ratio for our candle fragrance oils is one ounce of fragrance oil per 1 lb of wax. Use more or less fragrance for lighter or heavier scented candles. Add the candle fragrance to the melted and colored wax in the melting pot, and stir thoroughly to get even distribution of the candle fragrance.
TIME SAVER: Use leftover wax from pillar candles you have made, melting each color of wax in a glass jar or tin can at the same time in the steamer pot.
Creating Thin Wax Sheets
Using a large spoon or a soup ladle, pour a small quantity of liquid wax on to the wax paper in the cookie sheet or cake tin. Use the back of the spoon or ladle to smooth the wax and coax it into a rough square.
Pour the wax only about ¼” deep, or less, to create thin wax sheets.
Cut the Wick
While your wax sheet is cooling, cut a length of wick about 2 to 3” long.
Prepare to Cut Shapes
When your wax is nearing the phase where you will be able to work with it, remove it from the cookie sheet. To do this, grasp two corners of the wax paper lining the cookie sheet and lift it out of the pan. You can wave it in the air a little to get it to cool to a cookie-dough consistency more quickly.
Lay the wax on your cutting surface and peel the wax paper off.
Cut out petal and leaf shapes from the wax using your craft knife.
Creating the Flower
Taking the wick in one hand and a wax petal in the other, wrap the wax petal around the center of the wick, pinching one end of the petal into the wick as you roll. This end will be the “stem” of the flower, the end that floats in water. Use your fingers to pinch and flare the other end outwards, as a petal would flare. This first petal creates the center of your floating rose.
Take another wax petal and, overlapping the place where the last petal ended, wrap the new petal around the center of the flower. Use your fingers to flare the top of the new petal out at the top of the flower, and pinch it into the wick at the “stem” of the flower. Smooth it into the previous petal on the underside of the flower with your fingers, to blend it into the “stem” of the flower and create a bond with the previous wax petal.
You now have two petals wrapped around your wick. Continue to add wax flower petals, each time flaring the top of the petal outward, and pressing the bottom of the petal into “stem”, smoothing it into the previous petals to create a bond that will stay when the wax has hardened.
Add petals until you are satisfied with your flower.
You can add a leaf to your flower by placing the petal shape perpendicular to the other petals of the candle, like so.
When you are satisfied with your flower, trim the wick on the bottom (stem end) of the flower flush with the base. Use a small triangle of warm wax sheet and cover the wick at the bottom of the flower, smoothing the edges into the flower to create a seal. This is to keep water from soaking your wick or seeping into the flower while it is floating in water.
Another way to seal the bottom of your floating flower candle is to dip it into the leftover liquid wax, which you will have kept warmed to between 150 and 155 degrees F. This happens to be the perfect temperature for dipping candles.
Use pliers or your fingers to grasp the flower at the top by the wick, and carefully lower the stem into the liquid wax, pulling it out again quickly. Take care not to allow the top of the flower to dip under the liquid wax, as it will coat the inside of your flower, obscuring the face of it.
Place hardened wax and the wax left over from cutting shapes back into the melting pot, to melt again to 150 to 155 degrees F. You may need to pour multiple wax sheets to create each flower, depending on how quickly you work.
More than One Color
The process for making a floating rose candle with more than one color is the same as that for making a single color floating rose candle, except that you will need to create a series of wax sheets in different colors as you build your flower.
Pour a wax sheet the color you want the center of your flower to be. Cut out petal shapes and create the center of your flower. When you move to a new color, place the left over wax of this first wax sheet into the melting pot to warm again to 150 to 155 degrees F.
Pour a wax sheet for the next color of your flower. Follow the same process for each color, pouring a wax sheet, cutting petal shapes, wrapping the petals around your flower, and placing left over wax back into the melting pot to warm to 150 to 155 degrees F.
Continue this process as often as you like to create the flower effect you desire.
Seal the bottom of the candle either by pressing a small triangle of wax over the end of the “stem”, or dipping the “stem” of the candle into the warm 150 to 155 degree wax in your melting pot.
Alternate Petal Shape
As the flower grows larger, it becomes more difficult to manipulate the standard petal shape used for the center of the flower.
If this is a problem for you, try cutting out this alternate shape for your outermost petals:
The wide end is the top of the petal. Press the narrow end into the stem of the candle and press it into the previous petals to create a bond with the “stem” of the flower.
Use your fingers to flare out the top of the petal.
Seal the bottom of the candle to prevent the wick from soaking up water or the flower from taking on water when it is floating.
Finished Floating Roses
Practice makes perfect with these hand made floating rose candles, so if your first few attempts don’t turn out, try try again! You can always melt down your mistakes and start over.
Need a floating candle bowl? Discount Candle Shop has a fine selection of quality floating candle bowls and floating candle accessories at reasonable prices!