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  Basic Hurricane Shell
Candle Making Tutorial
Hurricane Shell Candles
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Copyright 2003-2004



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

·        High Melt Point Molding Candle Wax

·        Micro Wax 195 pearls

·        9.5" X 4" Square Metal Hurricane Candle Mold

·        Silicone Spray Mold Release (optional)

·        Steamer Pot or old Sauce Pan to create a double boiler

·        Standard Size Melting Pot

·        Wood Stir Sticks, chopsticks, or something else to stir the wax

·        Thermometer

·        Craft Knife


Also a good idea to have around:

·        Paper towels

·        Wax Remover

·        Aluminum Foil

·        Newspaper, butcher paper, or scrap paper to cover work surfaces

·        Fire Extinguisher (just in case)


How to Set Up Your Work Area

  1. Put down newspaper or butcher paper on tables and countertops to catch spills and for easy cleanup.
  2. Have paper towels and Windex on hand for cleaning stovetops.
  3. Wrap stove burner bowls in tin foil to catch drips of wax, and for easy cleanup afterwards.


Prep Your Mold

Our 9.5" 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 sealer.


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 your mold with Silicone 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

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.


A simple double boiler using an old sauce pan and a meting pot with a spout.


Place 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.



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.


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.


Continue heating the wax until it reaches 200 degrees F



Adding Micro Wax 195

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 tealight or votive candle wax.


Micro 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 of Micro Wax 195, using a minimum of 1 teaspoon of Micro Wax 195 per pound of melted wax.







Stir the Micro 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 degrees F.


Pouring the Hurricane Candle Wax

When the wax is 200 degrees F, pour it into your hurricane candle mold. Let it sit undisturbed to cool.





Cooling Hurricane Candle

Let the hurricane candle wax cool until it builds up a shell of about ¼” thickness inside the mold. This will take about and hour and a half to two hours or more, cooling at room temperature.



The top of the candle will film over and a skin will develop. This indicates that the sides of the candle are also cooling, and building a shell. This is the shell which will ultimately make up your finished Hurricane Candle Shell.



Test the thickness of the shell as it develops by using your Craft Knife to cut away a small hole in the center of the top film of the setting candle.



When the thickness of this test cross section is about ¼” thick, the shell on the inside of the hurricane candle mold will be the proper thickness for your finished hurricane candle shell.



Cut Away Top of Hurricane Candle Shell

Use your craft knife to score a square in the cooled wax around the top of the hurricane candle. Carefully remove this square from the hurricane candle. Take care as the wax inside the mold is still very hot.




Pour the liquid wax from the inside of the hurricane candle back into your melting pot.



You now have a hollow wax shell.



Use your craft knife to trim away the rough edges at the top of your hurricane candle, where you removed the square of cool wax from the top, so that the inside edges of your hurricane candle shell will be neat and flush with the wall, which should be about ¼” thick all the way around.






Let your hurricane candle shell cool for another hour or so, until the wax has hardened and cooled completely.


Remove from Mold

Remove the hurricane candle shell from the mold carefully, using your fingers. 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.




Finished Hurricane Candle Shell

Trim any rough edges with your craft knife. Place a tealight or a votive in a votive holder inside the shell and set it anywhere! The high melting temperature of the hurricane candle wax keeps it from melting from the heat of tealights and votives.  




For other Hurricane Candle Shell projects, see our tutorials on Hurricane Candles with Embeds, Hurricane Candle Container Candles, and Hurricane Candle Paper Lantern Shells.