Candle Making Tutorial
Rustic Rolled Candles
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Rustic candles have gained popularity in recent years. Perhaps a nostalgic yearning for simpler days, or maybe an alternative to complicated processes, has sparked this newfound delight in old fashioned things.
Whatever makes them so popular, rustic candles have a special charm all their own. These instructions for Rolled Rustic Candles can be modified to include one, two, three colors, or more. There are innumerable variations, a few of which are shown in this tutorial. So grab some candle wax, and try your hand at Rolled Rustic Candles!
What You Will Need - Supplies
· Molding Candle Wax
· 21 Ply Flat Waxed Wick, or wick suitable for the size of candle you are making
· Waxed Paper
· Rolling Pin
· Color Dye Chips, different colors
· Cookie Sheets or Pie Tins, one for each color of wax you are using
· Steamer Pot or old Sauce Pan to create a double boiler
· Standard Size or Small Size Melting Pot with pour spout OR
· If you are making a candle with more than one color, some small heat proof (metal or glass) containers, one for each color you are using
· Wood Stir Sticks, chopsticks, or something else to stir the wax
· Craft Knife
· Candle Fragrance (optional)
In a quick overview, what you will be doing is pouring wax so that it creates thin flat sheets, combining the sheets of different colors together while they are still pliable, rolling them flat again, placing a wick at one end, and rolling it up to the other end to create a rolled candle.
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.)
If you are making a single colored rolled rustic candle, you can use your melting pot.
A simple double boiler using an old sauce pan and a meting pot with a spout.
If you are making a multi-colored rolled rustic candle, use your double boiler as you would for a multiple color layered candle, preparing all your colors of wax at the same time in small heat proof containers.
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.)
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.
Separate the Wax
Before going to the next step, which is adding color dye chips, separate your melted wax into separate containers. You can use multiple spouted melting pots, or old soup cans, or some other heat safe vessel.
After the wax is entirely melted 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 separated out your wax and created your different colors, add your candle fragrance, if you are using any, to each color. 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.
Preparing to Pour
Line a cookie sheet (one with sides) with wax paper. If you are making a multi-colored rolled rustic candle, use a separate cookie sheet for each color you are using. You can also use pie tins instead of cookie sheets. Line each one with wax paper.
Pouring Wax Into Sheets
When the wax is just melted, pour it into your wax paper lined cookie sheet or pie tin. The cooler the wax is when you pour it, the faster it will cool. If you are making a multi-colored candle, try to pour each color quickly one after the other, so they will reach the pliable consistency of cookie dough at the same time.
While you are waiting for the wax to cool, you may notice one growing hard while the others are still runny. You can place the cookie sheet or pie tin on top of your steamer pot, and allow the heat from the hot water to warm the cookie sheet, which will in turn warm the wax and prevent it from hardening too much.
When the Wax is Soft
When the wax in each cookie sheet or pie tin is soft and pliable, but no longer runny, roll them into tube shapes, each color still in its pan (this shape helps in the rolling pin phase).
Combine the Colors
For multi-colored rolled rustic candles, combine the cooled but still pliable wax of the different colors together. You can squish the tube shaped wax colors together.
Or you can pull apart pieces of each color and stack them like a sandwich.
If the wax is still runny at the time when you are combining the colors, the colors will mix to form a new color. This can diminish the effect of the end result, so be sure that the wax is not runny when you are combining colors.
Flatten the Wax
The wax must still be warm at this point. When your color (or colors) is in a single long tube shape, place the tube on a piece of wax paper set on a smooth flat surface, such as a table or countertop.
Place another sheet of wax paper on top of the wax.
Use the rolling pin applied to the top sheet of wax paper to roll the wax into a long, flat rectangular shape.
Continue to roll back and forth, lengthening the rectangle, and at the same time flattening the wax. When the wax rectangle is about ¼” thick, stop flattening it.
Remove the top sheet of wax paper. (But first, have a peek at the side of the wax rectangle that is face down. Whichever side is face down when you are rolling will be the visible side of the finished candle.)
Trimming the Edges
You can trim the edges to give a clean square look, or leave them untrimmed for a rough finish.
For this blue and lavender marbled candle and the periwinkle candle, the wax was trimmed into this shape:
For this red and brown marbled candle, the wax was not trimmed at all. It had a shape more or less like this:
Use a craft knife to trim the edges off the candle.
Placing the Wick
You will be placing the wick on the taller of the vertical edges of the candle. Cut a length of wick so that it is about 2 inches longer than this edge.
Place the wick about ¼” in from the edge and press it into the wax with your fingers. Center the wick so that about 1” of wick hangs off each end of the edge.
Rolling the Candle
Using the bottom sheet of wax paper still under the warm wax, begin to bend the end of the candle over the wick. Continue to roll the wax forward, using the wax paper as a buffer between your fingers and the wax.
When you have rolled the wax all the way up, you can press the ending edge into the candle for a smooth transition, or you can leave it blunt.
The marbled candle on the left was trimmed on all four edges. The periwinkle candle on the right was trimmed on all edges except the end. You can see the different effect this has.
If you haven’t trimmed the end of the wax, it will make a subtler transition into the candle. If you leave it blunt, marbling will be visible in the exposed cross section.
Level the candle.
To level the candle, you can use your craft knife to cut off the base into a flat level surface.
Or, you can simply press the base end of the candle with your fingers, or press it against a flat level surface. Since the wax should still be warm and pliable at this point, you can form it to the shape you want. The red and brown marbled candle was pressed into the counter at the base until it was level and stood upright.
The base of the red and brown marbled candle
Set and Cool
Set the candle on its base in a cool environment until it cools and hardens completely. Depending on the size of the candle, this could take anywhere from an hour to several hours.
Trim the Wick
Trim the wick at the top of the candle to ¼” before burning the candle. If necessary, trim the bottom wick to be flush with the base of the candle.
You Are Finished!
Using this rolling technique, you can make rolled candles in a wide variety of heights, widths, and colors. Let us know how yours turn out!
· Never pour liquid wax down a drain. It will solidify in the pipes and cause a serious clog.
· Pillar candles should be burned in approved pillar candle holders
· Never leave a burning candle unattended.