Candle Making Tutorial
Hurricane Candles w/ Embedded Objects
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Copyright 2003-2004 CandleHelp.com
Hurricane Shells, also
called luminaria, are a wonderful way to add ambiance. They can be made with
candles built in, or in the traditional hollow manner. Plain hurricane shells,
such as the one we show you how to make in this tutorial, keep wind from
blowing out candles, and are therefore ideal for outdoor décor. The process for
making a basic hurricane candle shell is simple.
What You Will
Need - Supplies
Melt Point Molding Candle Wax
Wax 195 pearls
4 x 4 Hurricane Mold
Objects to Embed
(flowers, leave, shells, etc)
Hurricane Mold Insert
Bucket or Large
Pot for Water Bath
Spray Mold Release (optional)
Pot or old Sauce Pan to create a double boiler
Size Melting Pot
Stir Sticks, chopsticks, or something else to stir the wax
Mold Weights (optional
Also a good idea to
paper, or scrap paper to cover work surfaces
Fire Extinguisher (just
How to Set Up
Your Work Area
- Put down
newspaper or butcher paper on tables and countertops to catch spills and
for easy cleanup.
- Have paper towels
and Windex on hand for cleaning stovetops.
- Wrap stove burner
bowls in tin foil to catch drips of wax,
and for easy cleanup afterwards.
Prep Your Mold
X 4" Square Metal Hurricane Molds do not typically have wick holes in
the bottom. If you are using a mold that has a wick hole in the bottom, close
it with a wad of mold
Inspect your mold
to ensure that there is no residual wax
on the inside surfaces or seams of your mold.
If there is, remove it.
Spray the inside of
Spray Mold Release. To do this, either follow the directions on the can, or
hold the nozzle 8 to 10 inches from your mold
and release the spray in short bursts. I little goes a long way with Silicone
Spray Mold Release.
Melting your High Melt
Point Molding Candle Wax
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.
simple double boiler using an old sauce pan and a meting pot with a spout.
pieces of 150
degree Molding Candle Wax to be melted into the standard
sized melting pot, 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.) The standard
sized melting pot holds a little over 4 lbs of wax.
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
is entirely liquid (i.e., when there are no solid chunks any longer in the pot)
you have successfully melted the wax.
Continue heating the wax
until it reaches 200
Adding Micro Wax
Since the finished
hurricane candle shell will be subjected to heat from a candle
in its interior, it is important that the
hurricane candle wax be of a higher melting point than typical tea
light or votive candle wax.
Wax 195 will raise the melting point of the finished hurricane
candle wax. It also acts to prevent mottling. Standard usage is between 1
and 2 teaspoons per pound of wax.
For this tutorial I have used 4 lbs of wax,
so I need to add 4 teaspoons of Micro
Wax 195. Keep track of the amount of wax
you use when making your hurricane candle shell, and add the appropriate amount
Wax 195, using a minimum of 1 teaspoon of Micro
Wax 195 per pound of melted wax.
Wax 195 well into the melted wax,
to ensure even distribution.
When the Micro
Wax 195 has melted entirely, bring the temperature
up to 200
Hurricane Candle Wax
When the wax
degrees F, pour it into your hurricane
candle mold. Let it sit undisturbed to cool.
Hurricane Mold Insert
The purpose of the insert
is to keep your embedded objects contained at the sides of the hurricane
mold where the shell will develop. Without the insert,
objects will tend to float into the center of the hurricane
mold, where they will not integrate into the wax
shell of the finished hurricane candle shell.
Place the hurricane
mold insert into the center of the hurricane
mold. Try to get it centered. There should be about ½ inch between the hurricane
mold insert and the edge of the hurricane
mold. This is the space in which you will place your objects to be embedded.
Once you have
centered the hurricane
mold insert, lower your objects into the gap between the insert
and the mold.
include shells, leaves, flowers, pine cones, candy canes, and cinnamon sticks.
The choices for embedded objects in a hurricane
mold are limitless. Your only limitations for embeds are objects which will
fit in the gap between the mold
and the insert,
and objects that will not melt in hot wax.
Cool in a Water Bath
The water bath will
cool the wax
on the sides of your hurricane
mold more quickly than letting the hurricane candle shell cool at room
You can make a
simple water bath from a large
pot or a bucket. The pot
or bucket must be large enough for the hurricane
mold to fit inside.
Fill your pot
or bucket ½ to 2/3 full of cool water. Use oven mitts to protect your hands
from the heat of the hurricane
mold as you carefully pick it up and lower it into the water bath.
mold. If it floats at all, hold it down and place weights on the base to
hold it down. If the hurricane
mold is floating in the water bath, it will tip and cause your finished
hurricane candle shell to be uneven.
After you place
mold into the water bath, you will see the wax
on the inner walls of the hurricane
candle mold cloud up as the wax
begins to solidify. The wax
must solidify around your embedded objects. Allow the wax
to cool to about ¼ inch thickness. This should be enough to ensure that they
will stay fast when you remove the hurricane
insert and pour out excess wax.
When the edges of
have cooled and solidified to about ¼ inch thick (a little thicker for larger
objects) then you may remove the hurricane
To remove the insert,
take it in both hands and apply smooth, even force as you pull it up. The wax
at the bottom of the hurricane
mold will have solidified to ¼ inch just as the sides have done. The wax
will hold to the hurricane
insert, which is why you must apply smooth, even force to remove it. If you
yank it out of the wax
in a jerky motion, it can cause the wax
to be disturbed and splash up around the edged at the top of your hurricane
candle, creating an uneven top finish, and causing “onion skinning” on your
When you have
released the insert
from the cooled wax
at the bottom of the hurricane
mold, lift it about ½ inch off the bottom of the mold.
Hold it in this position as the edges cool and solidify further, to ensure that
all of your embedded objects are sufficiently encased in the wax
of the sides.
When you are
satisfied that your embedded objects are stable, gently lift the hurricane
insert completely out of the hurricane
mold and set it aside.
Let the hurricane
candle wax cool until it builds up a shell which will hold your embedded
object fast in the shell. For thin objects such as fern leaves, ¼ is usually
sufficient. For larger objects such as shells, let the wax
continue to build up more thickness. You want your objects firmly embedded and
coated in wax
before you pour out the excess liquid wax
in the center.
When a suitably
thick shell has built up around your embedded objects, you can pour out the
To do this, first
remove the hurricane
candle mold from the water bath. (Remove the mold weights if you are using
any.) Lift the hurricane
mold out straight up out of the water bath and set it on your flat even
work surface. Keep it the mold
level, and do not tip it. Tipping the hurricane
mold will cause the wax
to lap up over the sides of the hurricane shell, causing the finish to be
uneven or causing it to “onion skin”.
If a skin has developed
on the surface of the wax,
cut it out at the edges with your craft knife and remove it before pouring the
excess liquid wax
back into the melting pot.
Cut Away Top of
Hurricane Candle Shell
Here is your
hurricane shell with embedded objects. If the top of the hurricane shell is
rough, perhaps where you removed the skin from the top of the candle, you can use
knife to trim away the rough edges at the top of your hurricane candle. The
inside top edges of your hurricane candle shell should be neat and flush with
the walls of the shell.
Let your hurricane
candle shell cool for another couple of hours or so at room temperature, until
has hardened and cooled completely.
Remove from Mold
hurricane candle shell from the mold
carefully, using your fingers, as you would with a basic hurricane mold.
Take care not to mar the surface finish of your hurricane candle shell. If the
shell does not come out of the mold
easily, place the mold
in the freezer for 10 minutes, then try again.
Hurricane Candle Shell
Trim any rough
edges with your craft
knife. Place a tea light
or a votive
in a votive
holder inside the shell and set it anywhere! The high melting temperature of
candle wax keeps it from melting from the heat of tea lights
For other Hurricane
Candle Shell projects, see our tutorials on Basic Hurricane Candle
Shells, Hurricane Candle Container Candles, and
Candle Paper Lantern Shells.