Unlike other types of candles, whose wax formulation barely changes, wax formulas for pillar candles are legion!
You can go very basic and use only pure paraffin wax without any additive but the end result will look a lot better if you add one or several ingredients. Or you can take the easy way out and work with a commercial pillar blend that already contains everything that is necessary for a great result.
If you're going to create your own wax blend, do not hesitate to experiment by tweaking the formulas I am about to share.
A series of pillar candles of different shapes and sizes
- 100% of a commercial blend for pillar candles
The easy option since it's been formulated on your behalf with all the necessary additives. You can't possibly go wrong but... where's the fun?
- 100% paraffin wax with a melting point of 139°F
The most basic formula you can think of but results may vary. You would probably be better off with formula #3.
- 1 pound (450g) of paraffin wax with a melting point of 139°F
- 1 teaspoon of Vybar
Slight variation on formula #2 that works better if you add dye and fragrance oil. Vybar helps bind the fragrance oil to the paraffin wax.
- 80 to 95% paraffin wax with a melting point of 139°F
- 5 to 20% stearic acid
Using a more or less high percentage of stearic acid in combination with paraffin will harden the wax and opacify colors. A large amount of stearic acid may produce a snowflake effect on the surface of the candle. Can be colored and scented.
- 50 to 60% paraffin wax with a melting point of 139°F
- 40 to 50% beeswax
Blending beeswax and paraffin wax gives a more natural look to your candles as well as a very specific color and scent. This formula can be colored (but the natural shade is so pretty already) but adding fragrance would be a crime as it would void the sweet natural scent of beeswax.
All natural, a feast for the eyes and the nostrils. Adding dye or fragrance oil would make you a miscreant. But don't forget to use mold release
before you pour the beeswax into the mold or you may never be able to remove the finished candle.
- 100% soy wax for freestanding candles
Soy wax is, to this day, not the best wax to use if you want to make pillar candles, whatever the manufacturer may claim. But nothing stops you from experimenting by adding other kinds of wax and/or additives until you create a blend that suits your needs.
If you don't feel like playing the alchemist, the best solution is to get yourself a commercial blend that is formulated specially for pillar candles. There are many of them out there, but not all are readily available everywhere on the planet.
The most common and popular pillar blends are : Ecosoya Pillar Blend, Kerasoy Pillar Blend, ProBlend 450 Paraffin Pillar Wax, IGI 4625 and IGI 1240. And don't forget that most candlemaking supplies resellers offer their own proprietary pillar blend that you may want to try.
Please note that I do not endorse or recommend any specific commercial blend.
Time to play !
Use these formulas as a starting point, change them, experiment. If it doesn't work, melt it down and start anew. Test relentlessly to find the ideal wick size, try using anything that looks remotely like a mold. Have fun!
There is a frightening amount of pillar-related projects out there (chunks, ice candles, cold pour, horizontal layers, concentric layers, ...). You will find several of them in the Projects section of the site.