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Candle Shapes

Before you should start making candles, you should know a few candle terms. Candles are named for their shape or by the method used to make them.

Container- Any candle that is poured into a container and intended to be burned in the container is a container candle. These candles are often made of soft wax and would not be able to stand on their own outside their enclosures.
The container also prevents soft wax from dripping. Since these candles are safely contained in a vessel, they are often used in restaurants and in religious rituals that require long-burning candles.

Pillar- A thick candle with a geometrical cross section such as a circle, oval, or hexagon is called a pillar. It is usually referred to by its diameter followed by it's height. Some pillars come in standard sizes for commercial and religious use but you can make variations of pillars by using molds.


Taper- These are the long cylindrical candles that kindle memories of historic candle-dipping. Tapers can be made by dipping wicks into melted wax, by pouring wax into molds, and by rolling wax around a wick. No matter the method, the result is always candles made to fit into a holder.

Votives and Tea lights- Although these candles originated in the church, the term now refers to small plug-type candles that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter by 2 to 3 inches high. This shape has become popular for scented candles because their small size allows them to fit easily in small rooms, such as bathrooms.
As votives melt and become liquid in their containers, the wick uses up all the liquid fuel. If you burn a votive on a plate, the burn time will be shorter because the wax will drip and the wick will be unable to use it. Tea lights are small votives used to warm pots of potpourri and to heat foods. They fit in smaller-than-standard votive cups.

                                             Methods Of Making Candles

Cast and Molded- these candles are made by pouring wax into a preformed mold or shape. Molds can be made of disposable materials such as milk cartons and sand, purchased in metal or plastic, found at garage sale and on the beach, or created by you out of rubber, latex, or silicone rubber. You can make any of the candle shapes listed above with the molding and casting method.

Dipped- These candles bare made by repeatedly dipping a piece of wick into melted wax in a container, or dipping can. The results are called tapers because this is the natural shape that occurs as a result of dipping.

Drawn- This is a old method made new by modern technology. It involves pulling long lengths of wick through melted wax. This method works well for making small-diameter candles such as birthday candles, or the long waxed wicks use to light multiple candles called wax matches. In earlier times, some lamps were designed to hold wound lengths of waxed wick, which were unwound as they burned down. This method allowed a long-burning candle without a thick wax product.

Extruded- This ia a machine method that pushes wax out through a shaped template, much like making cookies with a cookie gun. Once they're extruded, these very long candles are then sliced into their proper lengths. This method requires accurate heating and cooling of the wax in order to ensure that the intended shape holds as the wax comes through the die.

Poured- this term refers to an old-fashioned method of pouring wax repeatedly over a wick to build it up to candle size.

Pressed- This is a newer method of making commercial candles in which wax is atomized onto a cooling drum, forming wax beads or granules. these beads are than compressed into molds, where they bind to form a candle. The commercial advantage of pressed candles is that they can be removed from molds much more quickly then molten-poured molded candles.