Make an Oyster Shell Candle Holder
Basic procedures and wax mixtures used
This "pearl-in-an-oyster-shell" centerpiece is made with shell-shaped chocolate moulds, and 5cm (2") ball candle moulds, or smaller, if you can find them.
Moulding the wax shells is easy enough. Sticking the two wax shells together is quite tricky. Only attempt this lesson if you're an experienced candle maker, (or someone who enjoys a challenge)!
You can view the completed centerpiece on the Seashell Centerpieces
- Oyster shell chocolate moulds
- Paraffin wax
- 5cm (2") diameter ball candle moulds
- A 10cm (4") length of 5cm wick for each candle
- Yellow candle dye
- Gold spray paint
- Masking tape
1. Melt enough stearin/paraffin wax mixture for your chosen number of wax shells, and dye it a pale ivory colour.
2. Allow the wax to cool down to 65°C (149°F), and pour into the shell mould. This lower temperature stops the delicate chocolate moulds from warping.
3. Prepare a water-bath, (the wax shells will have a better, glossier finish).
4. Leave the wax until a skin forms. Slice around the edge of the wax skin, leaving the half-set rim intact. Use a short, smooth kitchen knife, with no serrated edges. Pour the liquid wax back into the double-boiler.
5. Place the mould in the water-bath, and leave to set.
6. Gently remove the shell from the mould.
7. Heat a knife up on the stove, (any long, smooth kitchen knife, with a rounded point, will do).
8. Place one wax shell flat onto your working space. Holding the second wax shell at a 90° angle to the first one, run the hot knife between the two, melting them together. Slide the knife out, clamping the two shells firmly together. Hold them in position for about 30 seconds. If this doesn't create a firm bond, run a hot knife over the join, until the bond's secure.
9. Melt enough undyed, stearin/paraffin wax for your required number of ball candles, and prime the wicks while the wax is melting.
10. Mould the ball candles, filling them up as necessary. Leave them to set, and neaten the bases.
11. If you used 2-sided ball candle moulds, you can overdip the candles in 93°C (199°F) paraffin wax for 3 seconds. This removes any seam-line irregularities, and your candles will have a smoother appearance. If you used seamless moulds, you may skip this step.
12. Cover your working space with old sheets of newspaper. Cut small strips of masking tape, and stick them around the ball candle wicks. Spray the candles gold.
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