Cut 'n Curl Candle Project III
By Bob Sherman
In part 3 of this series we will cover a technique I call the cut and flex. This is a basic cut using only a straight knife so it is only used on outside corners normally. This cut is the basis for spiraling and basketweave styles.
Note that it takes a lot of practice to get decent results so don't be discouraged at first. It will take many attempts to get a good candle so resign yourself to it and jump in. These are just candles and you will have many ugly ones to burn before you get proficient at this technique if you are like most people.
Most of the items you may need can be ordered directly from this page for your convenience. The Materials list is at the bottom of the page.
PLEASE NOTE!! - Candle making can be dangerous if proper safety procedures are not followed. Please read these Safety Rules before attempting any candle making projects.
140 MP paraffin wax, no additives
140 MP paraffin wax, no additives
Pigment Dye - I use approximately 1 ounce per pound of wax
White Dipping Wax
140 MP paraffin wax
White Pigment Dye - I use approximately 1 ounce per pound of wax
140 MP paraffin wax
3 Tablespoons of Stearic Acid per pound of wax
Titanium Dioxide - I use approximately 1/5 ounce per pound of wax
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|1. Prepare some core candles in the shape of your choice. A 5 point star was used here.||
2. Reminder - Never place dipping vats on direct heat - always form a double boiler with an old pot for each. You will need one vat for each color and an extra (or a tall bucket) to use for the water dip.
NOTE: Placing vats on direct heat is a fire hazard and Will Destroy the vat.
|* I call this cut the Corner Twist because it is made on outside corners only.|
3. This cut requires a sharp flat blade, approximately 2 inches long.
Note: The cuts used here were made slightly oversized to make illustrating the process easier. Slightly smaller cuts will look better when you make these.
|4. Follow the directions from Project I to dip the desired layers of color on the candle. Add a single dip in your white vat before changing the dip colors.|
5. Before starting to cut, it is always a good idea to trim the drippings from the bottom with a large straight knife.
6. For added embellishment, I have added a spiral cut in each valley (demonstrated in Part I of this series).Note: Using several different cuts adds visual interest to your candles.
|7. The first cut is started several inches up from the bottom. Try for a cut depth of approximately 1/8 inch. After cutting, lift the knife out of the cut and towards you slightly, making it easier to grasp the wax.||
8. Flex the wax to one side and press in place gently. Continue this row flexing all cuts in the same direction.
|9. The next row should be started 1/2 to 1 inch above the previous cut. Flex this row to the right.||10. Cutting the third row. Note that the pattern of this candle is starting to develop.|
|11. The third row is flexed to the left. Reverse the direction of each row as you add more rows.||12. A variant of this cut was used near the top. The wax was rolled instead of flexing it to create small scroll like designs. These scroll cuts were made in opposite directions with the lower cut being downward and the upper one being upward. Note the flex cut facing us was not cut to a uniform depth causing a ripple in the color pattern.|
|11. Close up detail.||12. Make the top cut.|
|11. Trim the wick.||12. The finished candle.|
Once the basic cut has been mastered, try these variations:
- Make cuts in facing pairs (requires an even number of peaks such as 6 or 8 point stars).
- Vary the flex angle.
- Make cuts upward.
- Alternate rows of top down cuts with rows of bottom up cuts.
Candle Making Supplies And Materials
The following candle making supplies and other materials were used to make this candle. Clicking on the item name will bring you to that item's page with a full description.
- Candle Mold - For this project a star mold with an even number of points (8 point for example)works best.
- Pigment - Approximately 1/2 ounce per pound of wax in as many colors as you desire to use.
- Thermometer - One for each vat is best, however you can get by with only one.
- Melting / Pouring Pot - One, used mostly for making core candles.
- #1/0 Square Braid Wick - To make core candles with. Note: depending on several factors you may need a larger or smaller wick.
- 140 Melt Point Wax - You will need lots of this to fill those vats. Each vat will take approximately 11 pounds of wax.
- 6 inch Dipping Vats - One for each color dip and one to hold water.
- Wooden Spoons - Purchase at a housewares store or a dollar store.
- Heavy Wire - Used to make a hook for hanging the candle during carving.
- Xacto® blades and handle - At the very least you will need an Xacto® router blade and a handle to hold it. Xacto® also makes some other blades that are useful and sharp such as several sizes of large flat blades and a triangular router blade. Any really good craft, hobby, or art supply store should have these.
- Sharp Knife - Used to cut off drips.
- Old Pots - One cooking pot will be needed for each color vat to be used. Garage sales and thrift shops are a great source for these.
Project Articles in this series:
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Disclaimer: The information presented here is accurate to the best of my knowledge and common candle making practices as of the time of this writing Originally published in January 2006 and updated in June 2011. The author and the publisher accept no liability for the use or misuse of any of the information presented in this article. This article is presented for informational purposes and is used at your own risk.
Author: Bob Sherman
Publisher: Bobby's Craft Boutique Inc.
This article is provided free of charge for use. Candles may be made and sold using this design royalty free, however no portion of this article may be reproduced for publication elsewhere without express permission from Bobby's Craft Boutique Inc. with the following exceptions:
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