Candle Making Tutorial
Sandy Sand Candles
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Copyright 2003-2004 CandleHelp.com
There are two types
of sand candles. One type uses sand to shape a candle, but there is no sand on
the completed candle. The other type of sand candle actually incorporates the
sand into the finished candle as a shell.
for Sandy Sand Candles will show you how to make the second type of sand
candle, which results in a candle inside a sand shell. This process involves
which requires caution and dedicated attention. The added effort will be worth
it, when you light up your own unique sand candles to enjoy!
You Will Need - Supplies
or large bowl
to use as forms (candle holders small bowls, etc.)
which is suitable for your size of candle
Pot or old Sauce Pan to create a double boiler
Size or Small
Size Melting Pot with pour spout
Stir Sticks, chopsticks, or something else to stir the wax
Dye Chips (optional)
Spoon or scoop
a good idea to have around:
butcher paper, or scrap paper to cover work surfaces
Extinguisher (just in case)
to Set Up Your Work Area
down newspaper or butcher paper on tables and countertops to catch spills
and for easy cleanup.
paper towels and Windex on hand for cleaning stovetops.
stove burner bowls in tin foil to catch drips of wax,
and for easy cleanup afterwards.
Create Form for
You can use any
shape you like as the form for your sand candle: shells, bowls, candle holders,
cookie cutters, etc. Fill a bucket or large bowl with sand, and wet it. The
sand should be wet enough to stick together when you ball it up.
your form into the sand, level it, and compact the sand in the sand container.
If the sand is too loose, the wax
will seep out of the form quickly and create a thick sand shell.
Place the form on
the surface of the sand and using even pressure, press it into the sand.
Pull the form out
carefully. The sand should retain the shape of the form. If the sides of your
form collapse in, add more water to your sand and start over.
The thickness of
the sand shell is dependent on the compactness of the sand, the wetness of the
sand, and the temperature
of the first pour of wax.
To get a thinner shell, pour water into the sand around your form while the
form is still in the sand. Do this shortly before the first pour. The wax will
still seep into the sand, but it will solidify more quickly than dryer sand,
and the shell formed will be thinner.
In this photo, you
can see the different shells achieved by wetter or dryer sand and hotter
Each of these candles was created using the same square form. The blue candle
on the left was poured at
275 degrees into dryer sand. It has a thicker wax
shell which has retained a vaguely square shape. The purple candle on the right
was poured at 261
degrees with wetter sand. It has a thinner shell and is still distinctly
square on the outer edges.
Melting Sand Candle Wax
the initial pour of your sand candles, you will be bringing your wax to a high temperature,
261 and 275 degrees F. In order to achieve this high
temperature, you will need to apply your wax to direct heat. Extreme caution is advised during this process. Do
not allow yourself to be distracted in any way from your heating wax.
will need either a steamer
pot or deep sauce pan, and you will also need a melting
pot with a pouring spout. These two items create a double boiler to melt
down your wax.
To bring your wax up to high
temperature, first, melt it in the double boiler to 200
simple double boiler using an old sauce pan and a meting pot with a spout.
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.
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
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
has reached 200
degrees, remove the melting
pot from the steamer
pot, and remove the steamer
potfrom the burner. Place the melting
pot directly on the burner. Keep a thermometer
in the wax and monitor the wax temperature
continuously. Do not do anything else while you are heating your wax to high
Heat the wax
on the direct heat until it reaches between 261
and 275 degrees F. 261
degrees and wet sand will give you a thin sand shell, 275
degrees and dryer sand will give you a thicker shell.
DO NOT add color
dye or fragrance
to this first pour wax.
may be distorted by such high heat, and the fragrance
may reach its flash point and ignite.
Pour Sand Candle
Use a spoon to
deflect the force of the hot wax
from the sides of your form. Pour the wax
over the back of the spoon, and allow the wax
to dribble off the spoon and into the sand form.
Fill the sand form
up to the top. You will see that, as the wax
seeps into the sand, the level of wax
goes down in the form. This is how the sand shell is formed, and is to be
Let Sand Candle
Allow the hot wax
to set in the sand form. You will see the wax
on the bottom of the form get murky and solidify. When a skin begins to form on
the surface of the wax,
it has finished seeping into the sand. This indicates that the sand shell has
been formed, and you can add colored
to fill it up again to the top.
Use your double
pot and steamer
pot) to heat the wax
for your 2nd pour. Since the temperature
of the 2nd pour wax
only needs to reach normal temperatures,
and 200 degrees F, there is no need to apply the melting
pot to direct heat during this phase. You can add color,
to this 2nd pour wax.
After the wax
is entirely melted, you can add additives,
such as Vybar
103 suppresses mottling, to give your candle a solid opaque finish.
Standard usage with our wax
is 1 teaspoon of Vybar
103 per 1 pound of wax.
Add the Vybar
103 and stir it until it is completely melted and thoroughly mixed in.
Adding Parol Oil
Oil promotes mottling, which is popular and charming effect. Parol
Oil also acts somewhat as a lubricant when the time comes to remove your
taper from the mold.
Standard usage with our wax
is 1 oz of Parol
Oil per pound of wax.
After your wax
has melted, you can add your Parol
Oil, and stir
it until it is thoroughly mixed with the wax.
NOTE: Adding both
Vybar and Parol
Oil will, more often than not, prove a waste of Parol
After the wax
is entirely melted, add your candle
dye, if you are using any. 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,
until the dye chip
is entirely dissolved into the liquid wax.
is the last thing you do before you pour the candle. This is because the
potency of the fragrance
can be reduced if subjected to high heat for too long.
After the wax
is entirely melted, and after you have added candle
dye (if you are using candle
dye), add your candle
fragrance, if you are using any. 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, if you are making colored candles) wax
in the melting pot, and stir
thoroughly to get even distribution of the candle
When you have added
your fragrance, color, and additives, make your 2nd pour of wax
into the sand candle form. The wax
for your 2nd pour should be between 190
degrees and 200 degrees F. Using the same technique of deflecting the force
of hot wax
with the back of the spoon, pour the wax
into the form to fill it to the top again. The 2nd Pour wax
will mix with the first pour wax,
but will not melt the shell.
you make your second pour, place your wick
into the candle. Use a tabbed wick.
(For instructions on how to tab a wick,
see our reference section on How to Tab a Wick.)
Lower the tabbed wick
into the wax
and center it using a wood stir stick or chopstick. Press it gently into the
at the bottom of the form.
To keep the wick
centered in the candle while the candle cools, you can use two wood
stir sticks or chopsticks pressed together to hold up the wick,
can use a Jiffy
Wicker Bar lowered over the wick
and set on the level surface of the sand to keep the wick
straight and centered as the candle dries.
Set Candle and
Let the candle set
and cool. As the wax
cools, a sink hole will form around the wick.
When your candle is completely cool, you can reheat the 2nd pour wax
degrees F and fill in the sink hole. Then let it set again and cool
Remove Candle from
After the candle
has cooled completely (from an hour to several hours depending on the size of
your candle) you can remove it from the sand.
To do this, use a
large spoon or scoop to loosen the sand around the sand shell. Take care not to
scrape the waxy sand with the spoon, as this may mar the outer sandy finish of
With the sand
around the candle loosened, position the spoon under the candle and grasp the wick.
Lift up on the wick
and lever the candle up with the spoon.
Use your fingers to
scrape off any loose sand on the outside of the candle.
Run the candle
under the faucet or wash it off with a hose to remove loose grains of sand
which are not integrated into the sand shell.
Due to the very
organic nature of sand candle process, your final candle may not sit entirely
level. This is easily remedied.
To level the
candle, place a pie tin over a pot of boiling water. The steam from the boiling
water will heat the aluminum of the pie tin. Take care not to let the steam or
the hot pie tin burn you.
Place the sand
candle on the pie tin, and allow the heat to melt the wax
on the bottom.
Hold the candle in
the position you would ideally like it to sit on its own, and make swirling
motions with the bottom on the hot pie tin. The wax
will melt and the sand will come off. Performed properly, you will end up with
a perfectly leveled candle.
Before you burn the
candle, trim the wick
to ¼ inch.
Use a variety of
techniques to dress up your sand candles! Add shells (far left candle) to
enhance the beachy feel of these great decorations. Use the whipped wax effect (far right) to create sea-foam.
(See our section on Whipped Wax for
instructions on this technique.)
The sand shell of
your sandy sand candles should act as a container when you burn your candle.
However, be sure to burn your candles on a pillar holder,
or other safe holder to catch unexpected drips, or if one of the sides of your
sand candle collapses.
If you would like
to add seashells to your candle, follow the process outlined in the
instructions above for making a sand candle.
After you have make
your form in the sand, add shells to the edges.
Pour the wax
following the instructions outlined above for making sand candles.
Refill the candle
if a sink hole appears.
Use special care in
removing this sand candle from the sand, so as not to dislodge any of the