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BASIC CANDLE MAKING
TWO PIECE PLASTIC CANDLE MOLD
Two piece plastic candle making molds are an inexpensive and
easy way to get started in candle making.  SpiritCrafts currently
offers over 600 styles of two piece plastic candle molds.  For
this project, we are using our
OWL ON LOG CANDLE MOLD
(F858).  Also used in this project are:  DOUBLE BOILER
MAKER, MOLD CLAMPS, MOLD STAND, CANDLE MAKING
THERMOMETER, STAINLESS STEEL FUNNEL, BLACK DYE
CHIPS, MOLD SEALING PUTTY and a craft knife.
Two piece plastic molds are simple to use.  When you receive your
mold, examine it carefully for any dings or cracks.  We screen the
molds before we send them out, but we ship thousands and thousands
of these molds a year and sometimes one with an issue will slip by us.  
Most plastic candle molds have "male" divots on one side and "female"
divots on the other.  These will help you line up the molds prior to
pouring.  Some also use nuts and bolts to help produce a proper seal
between the halves.
Most plastic candle molds have a pour spot on the bottom that will need to be cut
out.  A few of our molds are die cut and the spout is pre-cut.   When needed, use a
sharp craft knife to carefully cut out the bottom of the pour spout.  You may want to
use a cut resistant glove to protect your hand during this step.
Once your pour spout is cut, press a small ball of mold sealing putty into the wick
channel that is pre-formed into most of our SpiritCrafts molds.  The mold putty will
help to hold the wick in the proper place during the pouring and cooling process.  
Some people will tape the wick down instead of using mold sealing putty.  How
you proceed is a personal preference.
This is how your wick should look after being pressed into the mold putty.  
The putty should be as flat as possible and the wick should be firmly pressed
into the putty filled wick channel.
Once the wick is firmly pressed into the mold sealing putty, stretch the wick out
along the center of the mold.  Pull the wick taught to make sure the putty is
holding it in place correctly.  Leave at least a few inches of extra wick hanging out
of the bottom of the mold.
Join the two halves of the mold.  Visually check the mold from all sides
to ensure that the halves are properly aligned.  The line up divots will
get you started, but you may need to make very minor adjustments to
ensure that the candle comes out perfect.  Once the halves are
aligned, apply mold clamps all the way around the mold.  Use the
"bottom" clamp to hold the wick in place by wrapping the extra wick over
the bottom of the mold and clamping over it.
This is how your mold should look once it is clamped all the way around.  Some
people find it easiest to use lots of short clamps in the clamping process.  If you
have a hard time applying long clamps, you may want to consider using short
clamps.  They are easier to apply and remove and work great!
Once the mold is all clamped together, stand the mold in the inverted
position using our metal candle mold stand.  Our SpiritCrafts metal mold
stand is two pieces.  Each stands on its own base.  The grooves cut in the
center of each piece are designed to support your clamped plastic mold.  
Just "clamp" the mold between the two halves of the stand and you are good
to go!   By using this ingenious two piece stand design, these stands can be
used to hold plastic molds of almost any size.  You are now ready to pour!
Melt your wax using the double boiler maker method.  You can use a
true double boiler or use our double boiler maker to create a double
boiler from any large stock pot.  Always use a candle making
thermometer to ensure that your wax does not overheat.  Overheated
wax can spontaneously burst into flame and cause a devastating
fire!!!  For plastic candle molds, the maximum safe pouring
temperature is 180 F.  We recommend pouring at 160 F to ensure that
your molds aren't damaged.
Once your wax is melted, add your scent and color (if desired) and stir
thoroughly.   You may need to place the wax back into the double boiler
melter to ensure that it does not cool too much during the melting and
stirring of your scent and color.  For this project, we used our pillar soy
wax and our black diamond dye chips (DDC08)
Position your candle making funnel in the pour spout of your mold.  
Ensure that the funnel fits in the pour spout.  We recommend that
you hold the funnel throughout the pouring process to minimize the
risk of spillage.
With your mold in a covered work area (we use a plastic backed
canvas drop cloth) that will not be hurt by spilled wax, fill your mold.  
With our SpiritCrafts plastic molds, you will be able to see the wax level
as it fills the translucent plastic mold.
Fill the mold all the way to the top of the pour spout.  Don't be surprised
if you spill a bit (again, make sure your work area is spill safe).  Some
folks recommend tapping the sides of the mold to ensure that air
bubbles are released.  This is not generally necessary with SpiritCrafts
plastic molds, as we use a smooth plastic made especially for the craft
industry that does not hold air bubbles well.  If you see air bubbles in
your finished product, your are liking pouring too cool.  You may use a
water bath to speed up the cooling process if you like.  We rarely do so.
You will notice that a small amount of wax leaks into the area around the
candle during the pouring and cooling process (you can see the
"ghosting" around the outside of the owl in this picture).  This is normal
with two piece molds.  This excess wax will be trimmed off once the
candle sets.  As the candle sets, check the pour spout to see if a
depression forms in the wax inside the mold.  Soy wax is a "one pour" wax
and no significant depression will form.  Paraffin shrinks as it cools and a
depression will form.  If a depression is present, refill the mold as needed
and allow to cool until no depression remains.
Once the wax in your mold is fully set (usually 8 - 10
hours), remove the clamps from the mold and the halves
will easily come off the finished candle.
Once the candle is removed from the mold, you will have a candle will a
thin line of wax along the seam where the two halves join.  You will also
have a nub of wax where the pour spout is located.
Using a sharp craft knife, carefully trim the seam line away.  This
step takes practice to master!  Don't be surprised if your first few
efforts don't produce professional quality results.  We recommend
that you wear a cut resistant glove during this step of the process
for your own safety.  Cut the pour spout nub off of the candle and
trim this area until smooth.
Once the seam line is trimmed away, you will have a
beautiful finished candle that you will be proud to display or
sell!
For and even more stunning piece, try using paint or any  number
of after market craft finishing products to produce a unique candle
that will stand out in the crowd!   We finished this candle with
bronze rub on paints purchased from an area craft store.
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