Build It Yourself
Most of the molds already discussed have been of the simple variety — milk cartons, food tins, etc. But you can create many decorative shapes with molds, as well. The rule of thumb here is: if it can hold boiling water without collapsing, you can use it for a candle mold.
Corrugated cardboard — the kind with ridges exposed on one side that is flexible enough to roll or bend — is an excellent material for homemade molds in decorative shapes. The cardboard can be shaped into many forms — from a simple pillar to a pyramid and anything else you can devise.
A second advantage to corrugated cardboard molds, in addition to making decorative shapes, is that you automatically get a beautiful texture on the outside of your candle made in the cardboard mold. And, releasing the candle from the mold couldn't be easier: just peel off the tape and take the cardboard off the hardened candle.
To make molds from corrugated cardboard, decide first on the shape of the candle. Then, cut the cardboard accordingly. For a conical shape, you only need a square that you will roll into a cone. (See the section on cone-shaped candles in Chapter 10.) For more complex shapes, you will need to draw out your design on paper, and cut and fold it into the shape you desire before you make the cardboard mold. Once you have designed the shape you want, simply transfer the design to the cardboard, and cut and fold it, taping all edges securely with plastic tape so that no wax will dribble out when you pour.
Making a pyramid mold
One challenge you will probably encounter if you use cardboard molds is stabilizing the wick, which needs to be centered. See “Wicks,” p. 70, for how to handle wicking in molds. Also, you must be careful to seal the “top” end — it's going to be the bottom of the candle but it is also the hole through which you are going to pour your wax. Once you have overcome these difficulties with a bit of practice, you can really go to town making decorative shapes from corrugated cardboard.
Using a cardboard mold
A spherical (ball) mold can easily be made by slicing an old tennis ball in half. Punch a hole in the center of one half for pouring in the wax — this will be the bottom half. In the other half, using your ice pick, make a small hole for the wick. Tape the two pieces securely together and wick and pour as usual. Ball candles are great fun and versatile — you can stick several of them together with wax glue and expand your repertory of candle shapes. And, you can stack them for an interesting decorative shape. If stacking the ball candles, don't wick them in the mold: use the wicking hardened wax method.