Container candles - How to make container candles?As you may have learned from the article about formulas for container candles, these candles are not exactly the simplest ones to make (unless of course you're using a pre-blend).
Apart from the fact that you will need to perform several tests before you find a formula that satisfies you entirely, you will also have a hard time preventing the freshly poured wax from pulling away from the container sides as it cools down.
and, of course, the classical supplies like double-boiler, pitchers...
1 Like for all the projects you are going to do, prepare in advance all the material you will need.
There's nothing more annoying than looking for a wicking needle which is hiding precisely when you need it!
If you have an oven to use, place the container which you are going to use (remove the rubber lid if it has one) and adjust the thermostat of the oven to 100°C.
2 Start melting your container blend in a double boiler (in my case, as illustrated on the picture, I use a slow cooker to prepare a large quantity of wax at once, after which I move the amount I need in a recipient which goes on the double boiler for the next stages).
Do not prime the wick in the container blend (it's too thick and fat), you'd better use plain paraffin (without additives) for this.
Even more important than for Pillar candles, it is fundamental to prime the wick of a Container candle, if for no other reason than that the stiffness of a primed wick makes its placement and maintenance in the recipient much easier.
3 Now that the wick is primed and completely cooled down, it's time to string the metallic clip which will allow us to glue the wick on the bottom of the container.
4 Once the wick tab is at the right place place on the wick (in the extremity, but leave out at least 5mm of free wick so that you can cut it short afterwards), use a plain pair of pliers to grip the neck of the wick tab and thus unite it with the wick.
Try to grip only the second half of the neck of the clip. If you grip all of it, there are strong chances that the clip itself will bend (and a bended clip is a real pain to straighten, not to mention that if it's not completely plain it will be very difficult for you to make it stay – even glued – on the bottom of the recipient).
Once the clip is fixed, use a pair of sharp scissors to cut short the exceeding wick.
5 If your container is preheating in the oven, it's time to take it out.
Depending on the model of the glue gun you've got, it may be necessary for you to preheat it for a few minutes before using it (mine is a cheap model which I use only for this, because it must be connected 5 minutes in advance and I must not forget to unplug it after I'm done with it because I'd surely find it permanently glued to the work plank).
Once the glue is ready to use, put a drop of it on the wick tab (remember, you must work fast). A small drop will do, you don't want the glue overflowing from under the clip when you press it on the bottom of the container.
6 If you wait too long, the drop of glue dries and no longer adheres. The advantage of the warm glue is that, if this happens, you can remove the solidified drop without any problems (from the wick tab as well as from the recipient) without leaving any marks and then start again.
Quickly place the wick tab on the bottom of the recipient, making sure you center it from the very beginning (it's very difficult to move it more than 2 millimeters once the glue adheres) and, with the top of the wick needle which you wedge in one of the cavities of the tab, exert pressure for at least 5 seconds.
7 Allow the glue some time (about two minutes) to solidify, then straighten the wick by pulling it upwards, vertically, and fix it with the aid of a wick holder. Make sure the wick is well tightened and centered at the same time.
8 As the temperature of the wax reaches 180°F, remove it from the double boiler and add the candle dye of your choice. Stir conscientiously so that you properly incorporate the colorant into the wax.
If you have chosen to scent your Container candle, also add the fragrance oil and mix it energetically for at least 120 seconds.
9 If you have preheated your container in the oven, check to see if it's still warm enough. If it's not, or if you haven't preheated it, it's time to pull out the thermal heatgun. Adjust the intensity of the heatgun to 1 (a heatgun usually has two levels of intensity. You should avoid the level of intensity 2: it would make everything splash onto the ceiling) and go around the container without insisting too much.
Finish by briefly blowing inside the container, from a certain distance (you don't want to melt the paraffin contained in the wick).
10 As explained in the article about formules for Container candles, we'll do our best to prevent the contraction of the wax during the cooling down.
If the formula has an important role to play in this, the temperature at which you're going to pour the wax in the container also has a role which is not to be neglected. As a matter of fact, the cooler the mix is when you pour it, the less it has to cool down when it's in the recipient (pure logic).
Therefore we'll wait as long as possible before pouring. This is why it's important for the recipient to be warm, so that we avoid jump lines.
Of course, if you wait for too long, you'll have to deal with a block of wax. Keep an eye on the melting pot: when you notice that a thin layer starts to form on the surface of the wax, it's a sign that it will soon reach its fusion point and become solid again.
11 At this point you have to pour, very slowly and ideally with the recipient inclined (as when beer is served), because at this temperature the unavoidable air bubbles won't have enough time to climb up towards the surface and will remain prisoners in the wax. If this ever happens, it's not at all tragic: pull out the thermal heatgun again and sweep the surface of the recipient, this time with persistence. You'll notice the wax becoming liquid again and the air bubbles coming out towards the surface.
Even if the container blends and the low temperature pouring technique do their best to avoid a contraction of the wax when it cools down, it is likely that you will see a shrink hole, all the more if your container is a large one.
If this is the case, after the cavity is formed you should poke some release holes in different spots along the wick with your wicking needle.
12 In your double boiler, reheat a small quantity of the mix you have used and bring it to a temperature of 170°F.
This time, don't allow it to cool down and pour an adequate amount in the container in order to fill the release holes and level the shrink hole.
Don't go over the initial level unless you want to end up with an unaesthetic line where the two levels overlap.
While the repour wax is still iquid, poke your slightly heated wicking needle in all the release holes you've made beforehand, so that the air bubbles, if any, can escape, and then put one or two hand towels or another piece of cloth around your container so that it can cool down as slowly as possible.
All this (formulation, low temperature pouring, slow cooling down) should see to it that the wax of your Container remains glued to the walls of the recipient, and does not become a paraffin block wriggling in a jar.
That's it, you have just created your first Container candle!
It may not have been that easy but wasn't it worth it??