By Rustic Escentuals
A popular and widely varied variety of candles are chunk candles – chunk votives, chunk pillars, chunk containers, and chunk tarts (or chunk wax melts). And there are white chunks, colored chunks, multi-colored chunks, assorted sizes of chunks, and assorted shapes of chunks! You name it – there are limitless possibilities. A wax “chunk” for candles can even be left in bar shapes or rectangular pieces for vertical chunk candles. So, in order to learn how to make chunk candles you first need to learn how to make wax chunks. Let’s get started!
KY 143 Paraffin Pillar Wax
Fragrance Oil (if desired)
Candle Colorant (if desired)
Cookie Sheet w/approx. ½” lip
Pam or Silicone Spray
Small paring knife or Utility Knife
Pouring Pot or Pyrex Glass Measuring Cups
Presto Pot or Double Boiler to melt wax
Metal Spoon to stir wax
Apron to protect clothing
Wax paper, old newspapers or aluminum foil
Melt the wax with the chosen method – Presto Pot or double boiler. Make sure to follow the wax manufacturer melting and pouring guidelines for correct temperatures. For this tutorial, KY 143 Paraffin Wax is being used so it will need to be heated to approx 180° F per the manufacturer’ guidelines. Use the thermometer to correctly and properly monitor the temperature.
Prepare the cookie sheet. Spray Pam or silicone release spray lightly over the entire cookie sheet. Wipe excess off with a paper towel. This will prevent the wax from sticking. This only needs to be done for the first set of wax chunks poured. Once the pan is seasoned, this step will not be necessary.
Transfer approximately 16 oz. of wax to pour pot. If adding fragrance and/or color, add to the wax now and stir well to fully incorporate. Follow wax manufacturer guidelines on fragrance oil load. For this tutorial, no fragrance or color will be added.
Pour wax onto cookie sheet using a gentle back & forth motion to evenly distribute the heat of the wax. Be careful not to spill or splash while pouring. Pour to the depth desired – pour more for thicker chunks, and less for thinner chunks.
Allow the wax to cool until it’s firm but still pliable. The consistency should be close to that of a play-dough.
Take paring/utility knife and begin cutting. Using a crisscross pattern works best. Try to keep lines straight and even for a more uniform chunk. Cookie cutters and miniature cookie cutters can also be used at this point for a variety of chunk shapes. Don’t cut the chunks too large – a 1/2″ x 1/2″ square is a good size to work with when making candles with them.
Allow the wax to cool completely. Once cool, turn the cookie sheet over and give a gentle tap. The chunks should fall out of the cookie sheet. Some chunks may still be connected but can be easily broken up by hand.
Store chunks by color/scent in poly cello bags.
Tips: Use different molds for a variety of wax shapes. For example: mini gingerbread men silicone mold, petite heart silicone mold, mini tree silicone mold, etc. Use cookie cutters for a variety of chunk style. Cut wax into vertical pieces instead of chunks. Cut chunks in assorted sizes.
SOME SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
- Cover counter with wax paper, old newspapers or aluminum foil to make clean up easier.
- Be sure to wear safety goggles for eye protection. You do not want to be splashed in the eye with hot wax! Remember with wax – safety first.
- Waxes used in making candles are very similar to cooking oils – they are flammable and they are poured at high temperatures, but with certain precautions, accidents may be avoided. NEVER HEAT WAX ABOVE 210°F.
- For safety, wax should be melted in a double boiler. Wax should NEVER be heated directly over an open flame or burner. Direct heating can cause wax to explode and result in serious injury.
- Use of a thermometer is advised to ensure proper wax pouring temperature.
- Never leave hot wax unattended. Keep children and pets away from the area where wax is being melted and poured.
- Never pour water in a wax fire. Water will cause the fire to spread. To extinguish a fire in a pan, cover the pan with its lid. Use a dry chemical fire extinguisher.
- Never pour melted wax into the sink or other drains.