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Do you know how to make candle molds with silicone?
Craftspeople have used molds throughout history to produce everything from weapons during the Bronze Age to modern-day consumer goods.
Although early molds were typically made in stone, modern science has given rise to much simpler materials to work with, such as silicone.
A large number of enterprises today rely on silicone mold because of its many amazing physical and chemical properties.
To create one-off or smaller runs of pieces, product creators, engineers, DIY designers, and even chefs all make silicone molds.
Table of Contents
How To Make Candle Molds With Silicone In 10 Simple Steps
This article is a practical guide to silicone mold-making, but for candles, which of course, are perfect accessories for a romantic dinner or a family dinner.
Also included, is a list of things you will need alongside our step-by-step guide on how to make candle molds with silicone.
Why Make Silicone Molds?
Silicone is a powerful mold-making material because it provides a lot of amazing features which many other materials do not offer.
When using silicone molds, you can easily build custom designs, moreover, these molds are also very durable, and you can repeatedly use them without fear of breakage.
Silicone’s inorganic makeup makes it extremely resistant to heat and cold, chemical contamination, and even fungus – unlike rubber which is its organic equivalent.
Benefits Of Silicone Molds
Below are some of the benefits of silicone molds
The versatility of silicone makes working with it easy.
Compared to stiffer substances like plastic, silicone molds are pliable and lightweight, and they are often easier to remove once a component is completely formed.
Owing to the high degree of silicone flexibility, both the mold and the produced substance are less likely to crack or chip.
You can also use custom silicone molds for complex engineering parts, holiday-themed ice cubes or confections, and any other shape.
Silicone withstands temperatures within the range of -65 to 400 degrees Celsius.
However, depending on the formulation, this range might increase or decrease, but this shouldn’t stop you from using silicone molds in the oven, freezer, or microwave.
It’s important to remember that the life span of silicone molds can vary greatly.
Moreover, the more often you cast, the more complicated or comprehensive your design will be, and the faster your mold might degrade.
Clean them with soap and water to extend their lifespan, dry them thoroughly, and then, store them flat – do not stack them unless the manufacturer says it’s okay too.
Drawbacks Of Silicone
Although working with silicone has a lot of advantages, there are also a few drawbacks to be mindful of:
- Silicone is more costly than latex and organic rubber, the price tag is almost twice as much as latex
- Though it’s flexible, if stretched too far, the silicone material will tear
- The material isn’t uniformly formulated, hence why you must buy silicone products from reputable suppliers and manufacturers
Different Styles Of Molds
Aluminum is a solid rigid metal that produces long-lasting molds that are very durable.
In-depth and form, the walls sometimes differ and this allows you to create numerous designs, moreover, it also makes it simpler to remove the candle set – pick an aluminum mold with smooth surfaces.
Candles that have a beeswax pattern are made using beeswax molds, they are made of polyurethane and although other designs are possible, they typically come in a large pillar form.
For fans of rustic looking candles, these are a great option.
A variety of things, including metal and polycarbonate, are made from floating candle molds.
Typically, the designs are large and smooth, with a small framework that lets the candle floats well, and these types of molds give creative freedom to manufacturers – they can even generate fun flower and animal shapes.
Clamshell molds are often referred to as ‘melts’ because they are used to make tiny cubes of fragrant wax which melts and emits a nice fragrance.
Typically, clamshell molds are made of flexible PVC which resembles an ice cube tray.
Thanks to their sturdy construction and versatility, polyurethane candle molds are a common choice.
These designs come in various shapes and sizes, often featuring intricate patterns that improve the candle’s final aesthetic, that said, polyurethane molds also come in regular, cylinder, and tapered forms.
At a dinner party, tapered molds create long, thin candles that you see in holders.
With varying widths and wick-ends, they also feature slightly different designs, and you can make specific candles to suit your holder.
A lightweight polyurethane tray with six to fifteen individual molds indented into the material is mostly made from tealight molds.
Metal pins that cut out a tunnel for the wick to feed into also come with these molds and this layout offers you the usual tiny cylinder-shaped candles people use daily.
Silicone has some excellent characteristics such as a non-sticky base, quick release of candles from the mold, and most importantly, a wide range of shapes and sizes.
Because this mold has a flexible surface, the finished candles can be quickly removed from the mold without using any releasing agent.
You can also dye your candles according to your preferences, however, for bulk dyeing, only paraffin wax and candle mix are very suitable.
You can dye animal-origin vegetable wax, but too much dye can adversely affect the way the candle burns, however, if you are using vegetable wax, then you can color your candle by dipping it in pigments.
A molded candle will add fragrance, but only the candle’s cool surface will disperse the fragrance into the room.
The amount of fragrance produced will, sadly, decline very rapidly.
The amount of fragrance emitted would be small compared to a scented candle in a bottle, even when you light your candle.
In candle making, your choice of the wick is quite crucial.
If it’s too big, then the flame will be too high and this will create smoke, on the other hand, your candle will not burn brightly if the wick is too thin.
The flame will be too weak, and it’s not going to be strong enough to hold the candle alight, hence it will go out.
So instead of using a thin or big wick, use a flat wick with paraffin and vegetable wax, however, you should only use round wicks for beeswax molds.
How To Make Candle Molds With Silicone
Silicone RTV rubber used for mold making is one of the most suitable materials for making detailed molds.
The RTV means “Room Temperature Vulcanizing” which means that you don’t need to place it in an oven to fix it, you can wait until you mix the products.
There are a lot of different ways to make candle molds using silicone, and the “block mold method” is by far the easiest.
It involves pouring silicone into a box containing the prototype.
After this, remove it from the box once it solidifies into a rubber block, also remove the prototype from the mold, and pour the casting material into the mold, wait for it to solidify, and then extract your endproduct from the mold.
Detail replication with silicone rubber is typically perfect when correctly blended and poured.
Since silicone rubber generally doesn’t stick to anything, you can cast many parts without adding any mold releasing agents, which might fill in the tiny details and ruin the shape (or detailing) of your mold.
Important Terms To Consider
The initial piece you are attempting to replicate, and it’s often described as the ‘master’ or ‘model’.
The whole shape created from the prototype.
The stuff with which you will fill the mold to create the component.
The copy that emerges from the mold.
Supplies Needed For The Project
- A model
- Silicone mold rubber
- Sealer and releasing agent
- Quick Stick Adhesive
- Optional: liquid plastic
- Plasticine clay
- Plywood or other material for the mold box
- Dry brush
- Mixing tool
- Mixing containers
- Putty knife, if necessary
- Scalpel or mold key knife
- Wick for candle
- Candle wax
- Parrafin bath or other equipment for melting wax
Step 1: Select A Model
Select a model to reproduce or build one, a copy of this initial model will be the final wax candle.
Many candle makers sculpt their original models with clay, wood, wax, or use computer-based alternatives like 3D printers and CNC routers to manufacture their designs.
Most of the models used are hollow, and you should fill the model with wood and clay if you want the final candle to be solid.
The molded rubber picks up every detail of the model, and the clay is also carefully smoothened out.
Step 2: Build A Mold Box
Create a mold box to make a one-piece poured block mold or pick a suitable container to put your model in.
To build mold walls with standard thickness, ensure that there is enough room between the model and the mold box walls, it would help if you left approximately 1 inch of space for the mold walls and bottom.
The mold box should be built with plywood, and before pouring in your liquid mold rubber, you must first seal the mold box which is quite porous.
Plexiglas, plastic pails, PVC pipe, Sonotubes, and melamine-laminated particleboard are good choices to consider for your mold boxes or mold containers.
Step 3: Secure The Model
The model adheres securely to the bottom board, hence when the mold rubber is poured around it, it will not float.
To adhere the model to the bottom board, use the Quick Stick Adhesive, which is a fast-setting epoxy adhesive, do not use the Simple Stick Adhesive which has a mixing ratio of 1:1 and can be set up in 3 to 5 minutes.
Also, you should build the walls of the mold box while the epoxy is curing.
Step 4: Apply Sealer & Release Agents
To the mold box, add sufficient sealers and/or release agents.
When using a non-porous mold package, consider applying various forms of release agents, and you should also provide enough time for the solvent before going on to the next steps – 1 to 2 hours is enough time.
Seal any areas where rubber can leak around the model, there may be small holes at the base of the model, so seal that region with plasticine clay which has been warmed up for easier application.
Other alternatives to plasticine clay are caulk and hot glue for sealing.
Do not forget to smoothen out the clay – the clay should be flat.
Step 5: Finish Preparing The Model
In the mold box, position the model and secure the bottom board to the walls of the mold box.
Before pouring the liquid rubber, place the mold box and model in their appropriate positions, also, use plasticine clay on the mold box’s edges to help prevent the rubber from leaking out of the box.
Step 6: Weigh, Blend And Pour The Rubber Silicone
Contamination by amines, sulfur, tin compounds, polyester resins, some 3D-printed plastics, and other materials may inhibit the treatment of platinum-curing silicone rubbers.
Hence, ensure that these inhibitors are not present in your model and in other materials that will come in contact with the silicone.
Before pouring into a large mold, it’s best to conduct a small test treatment on your model.
After weighing out the desired amount of rubber silicone using a digital scale, mix the material thoroughly, then repeatedly scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing container.
Pour the mixed rubber carefully into the mold box.
Pour the rubber into one corner and allow it to rise, do not directly pour rubber onto the model.
The silicone rubber can normally be removed at room temperature within 4 to 5 hours, however, different rubbers have a different demolding time.
Verify your rubber’s demolding time before getting started.
Demolding too soon will cause the mold to warp permanently.
Step 7: Demolding
Carefully erase the bottom board and walls of the mold case, in this method, a putty knife will be helpful.
The mold may need to be cut to remove the model and subsequent castings, depending on the model’s type, however, to cut an irregular pattern on one side of the mold, use a scalpel to remove the model carefully.
Create a small hole in the mold’s bottom to fit in the wick later on.
Step 8: Pour Wax Into The Mold
Insert a wick through the hole created earlier, also tie a knot in the wick temporarily, and secure the wick above the mold’s pouring opening – make sure that it’s centralized.
Melt the wax with the necessary equipment and, if desired, apply colors and fragrances.
Pour the wax into the mold carefully and allow the wax to completely cool.
Step 9: Remove The Candle
Remove the candle from the mold carefully and trim the wick, as required.
In this single mold, hundreds of candles can be made.
Step 10: For The Next Casting, Prepare The Mold
You can use this silicone mold several times, to repeat the procedure, return to step nine.
Popular Silicone Molds Applications
Due to their versatility and ease of use, hobbyists and professionals alike rely on silicone molds.
Here are examples of industries and applications that manufacture their products from silicone molds:
In prototyping and product creation production, silicone molding is used across a wide variety of industries.
Also, the cost of silicone molds for conventional manufacturing processes such as injection molding is considerably lower than hard tools.
Casting in silicone molds is suitable for prototyping product designs or producing beta units for market testing – helps you to analyze consumers’ response to a new product.
Although 3D printing is more appropriate for rapidly producing one-off pieces, silicone molds and urethane casts are perfect for smaller parts.
To replicate hand-carved or 3D printed patterns in wax, jewelers use custom silicone molds, and this enables them to phase out the time-consuming labor of making wax-carved patterns for each new piece.
This also provides a significant leap in bulk production, thus casting can operate on a large scale.
Since silicone molds capture a fine detail level, jewelers can produce pieces with ornate details and intricate geometries.
To produce many custom crafts, such as soaps and candles, manufacturers use silicone molds.
School supplies manufacturers also use silicone molds to shape products like chalk and erasers.
Tinta Crayons, a small Australian-based company, for example, uses silicone molds to create crayons with playful shapes and great detailing on the surface.
Food And Drinks
Food-grade silicone molds, including chocolates, ice pops, and lollipops, are used to shape all kinds of whimsical confections, moreover, in silicone molds, small baked goods such as muffins and cupcakes rise nicely.
And because silicone can withstand temperatures as high as 400 degrees Celsius, it’s also possible to use these molds for cooking.
Projects From DIY
To craft unique designs, independent artists and DIY enthusiasts also use these molds.
From bath bombs to dog treats, you can use silicone molds to shape or reproduce anything – the possibilities are almost infinite, and for girls, a fun silicone molding project will be to create a lifecast from their side.
Just make sure that you choose a skin-safe silicone.
How To Take Care Of Molds Made From Silicone
You can do so much more when you use a silicone mold to build your DIY project!
Proper silicone mold treatment is another big part of this, especially if you want them to last long after you have gone through the trouble of buying or manufacturing your resin silicone molds.
It’s not hard to take care of your molds, but there are a few things to remember:
- Store your silicone molds in a single flat layer, do not store them in a pile because they’ll permanently bend or warp, however, you can use a cardboard paper on top of a mold sheet to make a new storage layer to create more storage space
- Using a mold releasing agent make it easier to get castings out and extend your mold’s lifespan
- Keep your silicone molds out of direct sunlight in a dark dry place because excessive heat can cause warping or melting of the molds
- If your silicone mold is not going to be used for a while, then consider keeping a cast in the mold to ensure that it maintains its shape, also consider pouring warm candle wax into the mold if it’s an intricate mold, moreover, you can easily demolish it later
- Do not pierce the mold with holes, this will result in the mold losing its form
- Wash the mold with warm water and mild soap when done before storing it, do not clean it with solvents, and do not put it in the dishwasher either – before storing them, ensure that they are fully dry
- When applying heat to your silicone mold, be vigilant, if you don’t want the mold to warp or burn – using a heat gun makes this easier
How To Choose The Best Molds
Before buying dozens of different molds, you should be clear on the purpose of your candles.
For example, if you have a particular candle holder, it’s worth checking the width of the candle it can carry before buying a mold that is too wide.
If you want to make floating bath candles, make sure that you get unique floating molds because you’ll need the correct surface area if you want the candles to float properly on water.
Various materials, including glass, plastic, rubber, stainless steel, and silicone, are manufactured from candle molds.
The hardest choice is steel and aluminum, but most individuals tend to choose silicone molds because they are easy to manipulate and clean.
Types of Mold Sealers
To close off the mold and stop any wax leakage, sealers are used.
They come as plugs of putty, magnetic, or rubber mold, and if you’re going to make different candles, then you’ll need a putty which can always be used for other purposes.
However, some specific molds require magnetic and rubber plugs.
The Most Famous One?
Tealight and clamshell molds are a favorite among beginners because they are easy to use.
For their curious aesthetic, seasoned folks seem to prefer silicone or polyurethane molds over tealight and clamshell molds.
There is absolutely no right or wrong option when choosing the ideal candle mold.
It simply depends on your budget and the style you wish to make.
There is no one way to produce goods at the end of the day, whether they be food, figurines, commercial products, or products like candles.
There are usually different ways, however, the method we’ve described here is one of the best and easiest methods available.
This step-by-step guide on how to make candle molds with silicone is practical and easy to follow.
Moreover, if you stick to it, then you need not worry about how your candle molds will look because they will be perfect, and you can even sell them off!