These concrete candles are made using part used pillar candles and homemade moulds. They are a great way of trying out candle making without spending a load of money on equipment.
What can you use as a homemade candle mould?
There are three things to consider when choosing a homemade mould for candle making. Firstly, is the frame strong enough to support the weight of the wax without collapsing? Secondly, can it cope with the heat of the melted wax? And finally, will you be able to remove your finished candle from its mould without damaging it.
I use cardboard tubes and plastic bottles for my homemade moulds. All these items are robust enough to hold the hot wax safely but easy enough to tear open to remove my finished candles without damaging them.
Reusing old candles
It is worth saving up part used and broken candles as they can all be melted down and reused to make new candles. Different types of candles do use different wax mixes so keep the wax from pillar candles and jar candles separate. You can also reuse coloured and scented candles.
Group complementary scents and colours and mix in with plain candles to make you own bespoke wax mix. Add coloured wax crayons to melted wax as a frugal way of colouring candles.
Melting down store-bought pillar candles will provide you with the perfect wax mix to use in homemade moulds. Once melted, you can remove the wick and reuse it for a new project.
What you need to make concrete candles.
- Candle Moulds
- Old Pillar Candles
- Quick set cement
- Candle Wicks
How to make concrete candles.
Select your moulds and cut them down to size to make it easier to add the cement and wax. They need to be at least 1inch taller than where you plan to fill to make it easier to remove the mould once the candles have set.
Mix up the quick-set cement and spoon a layer into the bottom of each of the moulds. I angled two of mine and left the rest flat.
Leave the cement bases to set overnight.
Position the wicks in each of the moulds using a drop of glue or wax to hold them in position.
Melt the old pillar candles in a double boiler or a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Wax ignites very quickly, so should not be left unattended while melting and is not safe to melt in a microwave.
Once melted, fish out the old wicks to reuse, add scent if using and pour into the prepared candle moulds on top of the cement.
I use a piece of card to hold my wicks straight while I wait for the wax to harden.
Topping off candles.
As candles harden in their moulds, it is common for the centre to sink, leaving a crater around the wick. One way to minimise this flaw is to use a second pour to ‘top off the candle’.
Once the concrete candles have cooled and set for a couple of hours, use a wooden skewer to make 4 or 5 holes around the wick as shown in the photo. Pour the second layer of wax to fill up the gaps and the crater and then leave the candle to harden overnight.
Removing the concrete candles from their homemade moulds.
To remove the concrete candles from their homemade moulds make cuts down from the top towards the candles. Carefully tear the sides away, exposing the candle.
And here are my finished concrete candles – don’t they look fab?
I love their industrial look and the contrast between the wax and the cement base.
I think these concrete candles would make a fab homemade gift and I’ll be making more for Christmas.