Thursday, April 9, 2009

Candle Making: How to Make Stacked Candles

By Ellen Russell

Melt and pour wax is not the only way to make candles at home; great looking stacked candles are fun and relatively easy to make. There is some melting involved in making traditional stacked candles, so use care when kids are involved. Stacked candles can be made with beeswax sheets as well, eliminating melting, which may be a better option for no stress candle crafting with children. For directions for each, read on.


Supplies for making stacked candles are available from any candle craft supplier. You will need wax, wax paper, pre-tabbed wicks and your choice of scent and color. Cookie cutters in any desired shape are needed, and a skewer or toothpick to make a hole in the candle. You will also need a pastry brush, vegetable oil and a cookie sheet to pour the wax onto; as scent oils can permeate some metals, plan to use this sheet only for craft purposes once you have used it for candle crafting.


To begin, melt candle wax according to the directions provided by the candle supply company. If no directions are available, consult a candle crafting book or check a supplier’s website, most sites include a link to directions. Following is an overview of this step.

Basically, wax needs to be chopped into small pieces and melted in a double boiler (smaller pan atop a larger bottom pan, filled with water). If you do not own a double boiler, don’t fret. A clean tin can set inside a pan of water works equally well, and makes clean up a snap as you can discard the wax coated can when you are finished. Heat until all the wax is melted, then add color and scent. Add scent last, and just before pouring so you do not cook your scent away.

Pour the melted wax mixture onto the cookie sheet until the candle wax is about ¼ inch deep. Let the wax set until almost (but not completely) hardened. When the cooled wax is no longer liquid, cut all the way through the wax with cookie cutters. Poke a hole through the center of each cutout. Remove the excess wax surrounding the cutouts, but leave the cutouts in place until completely hardened. Once the wax has set, remove the cutouts from the pan with a spatula.

To complete your candles, thread each cutout onto the pretabbed wick until you have reached the desired height for your candles. The design of your stacked candles is all up to you. Stack all of one color, or alternate colors and/or shapes for interest. Mix it up to make coordinating sets of stacked candles. Once stacked, your candles are done and ready to give as gifts or burn for your own pleasant home scenting.

The same basic method can be used to make stacked candles from sheets of beeswax. Beeswax sheets are available through many candle suppliers in a wide variety of colors, and require no heating. Beeswax has its own light, natural honey scent, a pleasing alternative home scent for those unable to tolerate the smell of heavy perfumes and florals. Most sheets of beeswax are manufactured with a honeycomb design imprinted on them, adding texture and visual interest to your beeswax projects.

To make stacked candles from beeswax, simply cut with cookie cutters and make a wick hole. If the beeswax sheet cracks, heat it with a hair dryer on the low setting for ten seconds. String as with stacked wax candles.The stacked candle cookie cutter method can also be used to make unique and decorative air fresheners. Cut as mentioned above and string on any decorative string, ribbon, or raffia. Hanging in a warm spot helps the wax to release the scent.

Stacked candles are a quick and easy way to make many candles for home scenting, decorating, and for giving as gifts. As melting is only part of the project, making stacked candles is a project all can enjoy, and a great way to make gifts with children for grandparents, neighbors, teachers and others. As always, use care and caution when crafting with hot wax products, and enjoy!

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