Instructions for making a ribbed centerpiece candle    

How to Make a Ribbed Pillar Candle

Basic candle wax mixtures and procedures used.

Ribbed and layered pillar candle moulded in corrugated cardboard Fit a piece of corrugated cardboard into a regular candle mould, and make a rustic pillar candle with interesting textures.

Display this candle on a piece of square marble, to emphasize that classical Grecian-column effect. Feeling industrious? Make your own marbled wax slab, to place it on.

Don't fancy the stripes? Make a single-colored candle in a rich ivory, in a pale pastel, or delicate icy tint. Add a vibrant look to your decor with bright colors. Saturated shades of black-grey, dark navy-blue, burgundy and berry colors add a sense of the dramatic.

You'll need:

corrugated cardboard • A pillar candle mould
• Corrugated cardboard (with large corrugations)
• Wick
• Stearin
• Paraffin wax
• Candle dyes
• A lubricating spray (silicone or non-silicone)
• A craft knife
• A metal ruler
• Packing tape
• A skewer or wicking needle


As you can't mark off the layers for this candle the way you would in a clear mould, you have to mix the colours in their exact quantities before you start.

Melt your proportions of stearin and paraffin wax together. Pour the mixture into a metal baking pan. Leave to set. Cut through the wax before it completely sets, so that you can work with smaller pieces, later on.

Divide the wax for your candle into 5 lots. Leave one lot undyed. Dye the remaining 4 lots separately, gradually making the colours darker.

I find it easiest to mix the darkest colour first. This is what I did for this candle:

The weight of the finished candle was 850gr (1.7lb). Each layer would be 150gr (5oz), except for the top layer, 200gr (0.4lb), to accommodate the point. I dyed 250gr (8oz) of the wax a deep colour (I prefer to start with more wax than is needed). I added 50gr (0.1lb) of this colour to 150gr undyed wax. When this was set, I added 50gr of this new, lighter colour to another 150gr of the undyed wax. And so on, until the 2nd layer, where 50gr of coloured wax was added to 100gr of undyed wax, because the top layer would remain undyed.

Now that you have your coloured waxes all organized, proceed as follows:

corrugated cardboard cut to fit into the mould 1. Using a sharp craft knife, (with a brand-new blade), cut a piece of corrugated cardboard about 5cm (2") longer than the mould. With a metal ruler, cut the sides of the cardboard so that it fits snugly into your mould. There must be no overlap.

silicone-free spray lubricant

2. Spray the cardboard thoroughly with the lubricating spray. Leave it to dry.

3. Melt the undyed piece of wax for the first candle layer.

4. Tape the seams of the cardboard together with packing tape. Insert into the mould.

5. When the wax reaches 88°C (190°F), pour it carefully into the center of the mould. Leave for 2 minutes. Give the mould a sharp tap. Melt the wax for the next layer straight away.

6. Leave the wax until set, but still warm. It should be rubbery when prodded with a skewer.

7. Pour the next layers, following the same procedure for all of them. When the last layer's been poured, leave the candle for an hour. Prod the candle around the wick, and fill it up with reheated wax. You might have to do this 2 or 3 times.

finished candle encased in corrugated cardboard 8. Leave the candle to set completely. Remove from the mould. (You might have to leave a metal mould overnight).

9. Carefully peel off the cardboard. Admire your handiwork!

10. Level off the bottom of the candle in an old saucepan.

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