Peppermint Stick Candle Making Project

By Bob Sherman

I originally published this candle making project in 1998 as "Spiral Stripe Candle". I have rewritten and modernized it to fit this web site.

This fun project is great for Christmas as it is reminiscent of a candy cane. By changing the colors and / or pattern you could adapt this method to other holidays or even year round use.

This is primarily a surface technique meaning that you do not need to make the core candle yourself if you prefer to buy candles already made. Accordingly, only the surface technique will be described here.

These look best when dipped as few times as possible so I highly recommend using a high percentage of pigment for the dipping wax. A pigment level between 5% and 10% is about right. Use of dye is not desirable for these as it will require many dips to attain the necessary color depth.

PLEASE NOTE!! - This technique requires dipping in hot wax so all normal candle making safety rules apply. 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 - Core Candle
For those wishing to make their own core candles I recommend the following formula, but any pillar candle formula you like should work. The vybar will make this opaque white so no dye is needed.

Wax Formula - Dipping Wax
The following formula is given per pound. Make enough to fill your dipping vat to several inches deeper than the candle height. Note that pigment is particles of color suspended in wax and these will settle to the bottom. Stir frequently when dipping.

Preparation
Make or buy some core candles. If you make these yourself leave enough wick to tie a loop at the top of the candle. Place the dipping vat in a larger pot containing several inches of water (making it a double boiler) - never place dipping vats on direct heat as this is a fire hazard and will destroy the vat. Use another double boiler to melt the wax for the dipping vat.

Dipping
Bring your dipping wax to 155 degrees F.

  1. Stir the dipping wax
  2. Grasp the candle by the wick loop if you made it yourself, or use pliers to hold the wick on store bought candles.
  3. Dip the candle in the wax in one smooth in and out motion.
  4. Dip the candle in and out of your water bath.
  5. If necessary repeat steps 2 and 3.
  6. If sufficient coverage is not attained within 2 dips, add more pigment to the dipping wax.

Candle Making Supplies

The following candle making supplies were used to make this candle. Clicking on the item name will bring you to that item's page with a full description and ordering information.

Item Amount Used
140 Melt Point Paraffin Wax Enough to fill the dipping vat to a depth several inches deeper than your candle height.
Lipstick Red Pigment Minimum of 3/4 ounce per pound of wax is recommended.
Dipping Vat A size suitable for the candles you are dipping.
Melting / Pouring Pot For melting the wax.
Thermometer One
Pliers To grip the wick when dipping.
Old pots To make double boilers.
Masking Tape To mask the stripes.
Water Bath Container A bucket filled with water or a second dipping vat.

Step By Step Instructions

1. While your wax is melting, lay a core candle on a clean work surface. 2. Starting at one end wrap with masking tape in a spiral pattern. The more evenly you space them, the better it will look.
3. A second piece of tape was used to create more stripes. The candle is now ready for dipping. 4. While the candle is still warm, yet cool enough to handle without damaging it - peel the tape starting at the bottom.
5. Peel carefully to avoid lifting the red wax. 6. Continue on to the second piece of tape.

Variants:

Vary the stripe width by using different width tapes.

Apply tape in a crisscross pattern.

Apply tape vertically.

7. Trim the wick and level the base against a heated pan or electric griddle.

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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 the late 1990's and updated in October 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: