Snow Molded Candles
By Bob Sherman
This article was originally written in 1998 and has been rewritten, modernized, and modified for this web site.
Snow candles are a great way to get free form shapes, as no two are alike. They are very similar to sand candles, but with a more irregular form because the snow melts as the hot wax is poured in. Oddly enough I can't find a good photo of a snow candle at the moment. This photo shows a snow molded candle but because of not packing the snow tightly enough it has a more freeform shape and looks like a lava flow.
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.
The most important thing needed for snow candles is lots of snow. The up side of this is that snow is free. The down side is that if you don't get snow where you live, they are pretty much impossible to make. This photo shows ideal conditions for making snow candles. A spoon, ice pick (or wire), and the basic candle making products - wax, dye, scent, etc... will be also be needed.
The mold is made from snow. For best results it should be tightly packed, and near where you will melt your wax. Use your hand, stick, cup, or other object to create a cavity in the snow. Allow six inches of snow below the mold cavity to remain. This step is similar to making sand candles, and the shape of the finished candle will depend on the shape of the mold cavity.
Although not as much fun as pouring directly into a snow drift, this works best when the snow is packed into a bucket as it allows you to pack it tighter.
Generally any pillar candle formula should work well. My preferred wax formula for these is:
Cut some wire core wicking. It will need to be at least a few inches longer than the depth of the mold cavity you have made in the snow.
Poke an ice pick or wire into the snow to make the wick hole. Position one end of the wick into this hole, making sure it extends two to three inches below the mold cavity. Position a dowel or stick across the top of the cavity and wrap the wick around it to hold the wick in place.
Heat the wax to 160 degrees F. Add dye and scent as desired.
Hold the spoon into the mold cavity. Slowly pour the wax onto the spoon, allowing it to splatter as it is poured. This will prevent the hot wax from boring a hole through the bottom of the mold cavity. Allow to cool.
Relief holes should be poked near the wick as the candle cools, and one or more repours will be needed to fill the shrink void.
Once the candle is fully cooled, remove it from the snow. Trim the wick and level the base.
Varying the pouring temperature will vary the irregularity of the finished candle. The cooler your pouring temperature the closer the finished candle will match the original shape of the mold cavity. Pouring at hotter temperatures will cause a wilder look.
If your snow is very fluffy or you only have a little snow fill a bucket with snow to increase the depth you have to work with. This bucket technique is also handy if temperatures are too low to work outside comfortably, since you can bring it indoors.
These candles are fun and easy. No two come out alike, and you are limited only by your imagination on the basic shapes.
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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 February 1998 and updated in October 2007 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:
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