Instructions for Cardboard Tube Candles    

How to Turn a Cardboard
Tube into a Candle Mold

Cardboard cylinders - the centres of toilet paper rolls, kitchen paper towels, and rolls of wax paper, etc. - serve as moulds, producing pillar candles with interesting textures, and an unfinished, rustic appearance.

For the candle below, I used a cardboard cylinder measuring 4 x 30cm - the centre of a roll of paper towels - and colourful waxes, left over from other candle making projects.

These tubes are notorious leakers, so you'll have to use double or triple reinforcements, to stop the leaks. These candles are best poured in stages. Make a single-colour candle as follows: pour a thin layer of 88°C (190.4°F) wax. Leave it for 15-20 minutes. Reheat the wax. Pour a second layer. Leave it for 10-15 minutes. Reheat the wax, and fill the mould, almost, but not quite, to the top. 

Calculate the Volume of a Cylinder

Multiply the area by the height of the tube. The area = 3.14 x the radius x the radius. The radius = half the diameter. So, in our case, 3.14 x 2 x 2 = 12.56 x 30 (the height of the tube in centimetres) = 376.80. 90% of that will be more-or-less the amount of wax needed to fill the tube = 339.12 gr. Of course, you'll disregard the decimals, and just work with rounded figures.

Make a Multi-Coloured Chunk Candle in a Cardboard Cylinder

You'll need:

• A cardboard tube                                                            Chunk pillar candle moulded in cardboard tube
• Colourful left-over waxes
• 25g (0.88oz) stearin
• 225g (0.49 lb) paraffin wax
• Yellow candle dye
• A 40cm (15.74") length of wick
• A square of cardboard wider than your mould
• A wicking needle
• Presstik
• Masking tape
• A sewing pin
• A craft knife or sharp kitchen knife
• Craft glue


1. Melt the 25g stearin. Add a tiny bit of yellow candle dye, to make a rich ivory. Add the paraffin wax. Prime the wick in the melting wax.

2. Make a hole in the cardboard with the wicking needle. Glue the tube to the cardboard, centering the wick hole as well as you can. Leave to dry. Cut strips of masking tape, and secure the tube with these. Lastly, apply a roll of Presstik around the tube.


Base of prepared cardboard tube mould

3. Spray the inside of the tube with silicone spray. Turn the tube over, and let the excess drip out.

4. Thread the wick through the hole in the base, and through the top of the mold. Tie it around a skewer, or a second wicking needle, and pull it taut through the base. Fasten the wick underneath with a pin. Roll the wick up, and stick a piece of masking tape over it. Stick a dab of Presstik over that.

Top of the wicked-up cardboard cylinder mould

 5. Roughly chop, slice, or break off small pieces of the coloured waxes. Fill the mould with these. When the wax reaches 88°C, (190.4°F), pour a bit of it into the mould, to check for leaks. No leaking? Wait for a minute or two, maintaining the wax temperature. Pour the wax almost, but not quite, to the top of the mould.

6. Wait for 1/2 hour. Prick the wax around the wick, and refill with 88°C wax. Refill as many times as needed.

7. Leave the candle to set completely. Peel the cardboard off. There you are! Your own uniquely textured, multi-colored candle.

Press the Home Key to return to Page Top

Back to Candle Mold Ideas