What are the best molds for candles?
Silicone. Candle making molds are categorized by construction material. It is important to select the appropriate candle mold and candle wax for the candle type to get the best result.
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Silicone and polyurethane candle making molds– These have grown in popularity as the chemicals have become more available and affordable. A quality set will last for a long time as well. Silicone does break down over time with use.
The trade-off is the design for candle shaping is endless and with a “master” the mold can be reproduced easily. Silicone is the best material for making molds.
Silicone molds release the easiest often with a lubricant. I have not had an issue releasing a candle that sometimes happens with metal molds.
Best Silicone Candle Making Molds
Metal, aluminum, or tin candle making molds– These have been around for many years and are the most durable. Invest in a good set and they will last for many years. The metal candle molds are mostly cylinders, stars, hearts, or squares.
They can range in size and work well for large candles. However, they are limited in design detail because of the rigid material.
With metal candle molds you will need mold plugs and a sealing clay or tape. Be prepared for leaks. Some molds also require wick pins as a place holder for the wick as opposed to a hole to thread the wick through.
Best Metal Candle Molds
When choosing a metal mold look for ones that are mounted to a stand. This will help stabilize the mold when pouring.
Click on the images to learn more.
Polycarbonate candle making molds– These are growing in popularity because they combine the rigid quality of the metal molds with the ability to have more detailed designs. Many polycarbonates or “plastic” come in 2 pieces making them easy to work with.
The clear structure of these candle molds is a benefit if you need to see what you are doing while creating candle art.
The downside to some of the 2 piece polycarbonate candle molds is they are prone to leaking at the seam. Unlike silicone molds that are flexible, binding them together with rubber bands doesn’t always hold the wax in the mold.
Like the metal molds, this style needs a candle-release lubricant or it will be difficult to get the candle out of the mold.
Make sure the mold you are using is smooth on the inside. Rough surfaces will cause the candle to stick. Etching from the fragrance may texture the surface so inspect the inside after each use.
Tealights and clamshells– These are unique molds because with the tealights the candle stays in the mold. Tealights can be made in aluminum or polycarbonate. Clamshells are wax melt molds and packaging all-in-one.
Best Pillar Candle Molds
Best Large Candle Molds
Best Beeswax candle making molds
What wax is best for silicone molds?
Pillar wax IGI 4625 or beeswax. They are easy to work with even if you are a beginner. A parasoy blend works great too. It is important to use pillar wax to get the detail from the mold and a candle that burns correctly outside of a container.
How do you keep candles from sticking to the mold?
Inspect the inside of your candle mold to make sure the surface is smooth and clean.
Rigid molds such as metal, tin, aluminum, acrylic, silicone, or plastic can be lightly coated with vegetable oil or sprayed with a candle making release (silicone spray).
DIY candle molds are often sprayed.
Cardboard is usually peeled off and is one-time use.
How to get a candle out of a silicone mold?
Small candles can be extracted from their mold by pushing the candle outward turning the mold inside out. Larger designs will require relief slots on the sides to access the candle. Complex or better candle molds will be a 2-piece set with alignment notches. The mold is separated to remove the candle.
Are candle molds reusable?
Yes. Metal molds last the longest. Some crafters have molds passed on from generations. They can be conditioned for easy release with a coating of lightweight vegetable oil, petroleum gel, or silicone spray.
Acrylic molds can be used many times just like metal molds and have become very popular. A good blend for pillar candle wax will naturally pull away from the mold and release nicely.
Silicone molds last for years but can break down from the use of fragrance oils and handling. As a rule, the firmer the silicone the longer the mold will last.
Silicone molds are well worth the investment as the design for a candle mold can be endless. They often do not need a release agent. I use a silicone spray with designs that are very detailed just as a precaution.
Because silicone candle molds are more detailed in design it can also be more challenging to get the candles out of the molds even with a release. It is easier to have a mold split down the sides or in two pieces.
How do I clean candle molds?
Most candle molds just need a quick wipe with a soft cloth. Excess wax should peel off. Any stubborn wax can be removed with a heat tool and paper towel. Do not pour wax down your drains. You can purchase a wax remover for molds or mold cleaner.
Sometimes silicone molds get a frosty build-up that can be removed with a heat tool. It is important to start with a glossy surface when pouring candles. That texture will transfer to the outside of your candle.
After many uses, the fragrance oils in candle making can start to break down the surface of silicone and leave a texture. The texture can cause your candle to be more prone to sticking and harder to release. It can also transfer the texture to your candle.
If the texture is not too deep the candle can be polished with nylon fabric to smooth it out but the mold cannot be repaired. The silicone candle mold is at its end of life at this point and will continue to deteriorate.
I have used some of my silicone molds for years for many (hundreds of pours) candles. If you pour candles unscented the molds last even longer.
What can I use for candle molds?
In addition to the traditional metal or silicone, acrylic/polycarbonate molds have become very popular. These plastic composite candle molds can be manufactured into many more shapes than metal similar to silicone but can maintain rigid qualities.
Acrylic molds (plastic) are often found in the same shapes as metal molds. The biggest benefit to the acrylic candle mold is they are available in a clear shape allowing you to see your creation as you build a decorative candle.
Another benefit to the acrylic mold is many are made in two sections allowing for a simple release with a more complex design.
If you are an advanced crafter, with a small investment, acrylic molds can be 3-D printed. They can also be vacuumed formed.
Almost anything that can hold liquid can be turned into a candle mold. Many crafters use items from around the house to make candles. These range from cut-up cardboard to cookie cutters and cake pans.
Can you use baking molds or pans for candles?
Yes. Brands like Nordic Ware and Wilton make decorative cake pans that can be used for candles. A very popular candle is the bundt cake. These pans are inexpensive and can be purchased at local grocery stores such as Walmart.
Once the candle wax has been set up overnight, a hole can be drilled in the candle to make room for the wick. Don’t apply pressure, the candle will crack. Let the drill bit do the work.
Can I use candy molds for candles?
Yes. Candy molds (silicone or plastic) can be used for embeds or mini candles. Some candy molds that are larger come in a two-piece set meant for chocolate. These work well for candles. They require a little more practice and testing but can be fun and creative for the weekend crafter.
Can I use resin molds for candle wax?
Yes. Most resin crafting molds are made using high-release silicone. Pillar candle wax is poured hot. Molds need to be suited for temperatures up to 200 F. A resin mold used for candle making should be stout enough to accommodate a candle wick and stand on its own or with a holder.
If you also work with resin crafts, remember that the mold may no longer be suitable as candle making could create flaws in the molds that transfer to the resin. The resin shows everything, even dust!
If you are referring to resin plastic molds the answer is still yes. Candle wax will release from most non-porous surfaces. It will release from cardboard. It may have a rustic look but it will come off.
DIY candle molds – How do you make candle molds?
Can you make candle jars out of epoxy?
Tealight holders can be made from epoxy resin. Larger flames or burn times are not suitable for epoxy resin and will melt the container. Epoxy resin cannot tolerate the temperatures reached by candles. A better choice is a material suitable for candles. (glass or concrete)
Candle Mold Making Material- What is the best material for making a mold?
Silicone. Smooth-On is easy to work with and great for the DIY project.
The Smooth-On Brand has a series to learn mold making- check it out.