There are three main types of candles:
those, like taper candles, made by dipping repeatedly a wick in liquid paraffin;
those, like container candles, made by pouring the wax in a container where it will be burnt;
and those, like pillar and votive candles, obtained by pouring wax into a mold (or mould) and unmolding when they have cooled off.
This last type is our point of interest in this article: there's an almost infinite variety of molds and many ways to use them.
The result: thousands of different types and shapes of candles to make. That's what makes candlemaking such a great hobbie and also what makes candles so attractive nowadays!
Molds you buy in craft shops or order from the Internet are mainly made of:
metal (or aluminium),
polycarbonate (or hard plastic),
or rubber (or latex),
each of these materials coming with their own advantages and disadvantages.
You can also buy candle molds made of glass but they're relatively expensive and their very material can strongly limit their life expectancy if you're not careful. Go for a metal or polycarbonate model instead.
If molds are an essential element to the candlemaker, they're also, unfortunately, quite expensive to purchase, especially if you want to allow yourself a little variety.
However, with a little imagination and basic skills, you can find in your vicinity - primarily in the kitchen, the fridge and the garden - many items can be turned into candle molds, beit for one single or for multiple usages.
To get a few ideas, see the article titled homemade molds.
When you're about to purchase a candle mold, always remember this: it's easy to make a 10 centimetre candle out of a 20 centimetre mold but it's impossible the other way around!
Whenever possible, always buy the highest possible mold available in the shape or diameter you're looking for: the variety of candles you can pour in it is much wider.
Prior to wicking your mold, carefully clean the inside with a soft, wet rag then allow it to dry. Make sure there's no dust inside the mold: this would result in a candle whose surface is covered with thousands of little air bubbles.
Candle molds come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and materials