Mud Candle Making Project

By Bob Sherman

There has been increased interest in rustic and primitive candle styles lately so I have dragged this one back to life from my 1998 archives and modernized it. It is a fairly simple technique and a lot of fun to do. Although these do have a somewhat muddy look to them, I named them mud candles because making them is very much like a fond childhood memory of playing in mud.

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.

Wax Formula
This candle uses our basic pillar candle formula. Note that this formula makes a nice white wax without adding dye, however these look best when made with dark colors.

Instructions

  1. Prepare a double boiler set up to melt your wax.
  2. While the wax is melting prepare the mold (wick, seal, etc...). To make dipping easier leave several extra inches of wick at the bottom.
  3. Heat wax to approximately 185 degrees F.
  4. Add dye and test color.
  5. Add scent oil if desired and stir well.
  6. Allow to settle for one minute.
  7. Fill the mold stopping 1/4 inch from the top.
  8. Allow the wax to cool until it is firm to the touch, then poke several relief holes near the wick.
  9. Allow wax to harden fully.
  10. Reheat the wax and make your second pour stopping 1/4 inch below the level of the first pour.
  11. While the candle is cooling, prepare a dipping vat with the same color wax. Dipping vats must be placed in a double boiler - direct heat will ruin them and be a fire hazard.
  12. Bring the dipping vat to 150 degrees F.
  13. De mold your pillar candle.
  14. Tie a loop in the excess wick left from step 2.
  15. Trim the wick from the candle bottom flush with the base.
  16. Dip the candle into the vat and hold in place for 30 seconds. This will help the additional wax to bond. Wax always sticks best to warm wax.
  17. Put on heavy rubber gloves and start applying wax from the dipping vat to the candle with your hands.
  18. Continue applying wax until the you are satisfied with the texture.
  19. Bring the dipping vat temperature up to 160 degrees F.
  20. Dipping the candle once or twice in the hot wax will help eliminate all those cracks and flakes, giving a more uniform appearance. This can also be done at lower temperatures to add more bumpiness. The dipping temperature has a big effect on the final appearance so play with various dipping temps until you find a look you like.
  21. Level the bottom on a heated pan or electric griddle.
  22. Trim the wick to 1/4 inch.

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.

Item Amount Used
Mold Any style of your choice, however I recommend a metal or seamless 3 inch diameter round.
140 MP paraffin Wax Enough to make as many candles as desired.
Vybar 103 Used at 1 teaspoon per pound of wax.
Dye Blocks
or
Dye Flakes
In the desired colors.
Scent Oil Optional - used at 1 ounce per pound of wax.
Wick For a 3 inch candle I use a #1 square braid wick. If you are using a different size or different ingredients you may need a different wick.
Melting / Pouring Pot One
Thermometer One
Dipping Vat One (if making a short candle, the melting / pouring pot will suffice)
Rubber Gloves You will need a pair of heavy rubber gloves for this technique. Not the kind of gloves used for dish washing. Visit a hardware store, lumber yard, or sporting goods store (sold for ice fishing). Do not use neoprene gloves as this will ruin them.
Old Pots For making double boilers. One per color. Find at garage sales or thrift shops.
Wooden Spoon, Measuring Spoons. Purchase at a house wares store or a dollar store.

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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 1998 and updated in January 2006 and July 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: