There’s something about candles floating on the water that gives off a peaceful and even romantic feeling. The flickering flames reflecting on the water, gently floating. Pair that with a creative bowl and maybe some decorative rocks or shells or whatever else you can think of, and you have yourself a lovely centerpiece!
So, I tried making these floating candles the other day for the first time, and they turned out really well. One thing though, I used a Votive/Pillar soy wax for these and they didn’t burn very long. The votive/pillar blend is a harder wax so the tealight wicks that I used were not hot enough to melt the wax far enough across, so the little candles basically tunneled.
I thought I would try doing half votive wax and half 100% soy wax so they would still come out of the molds easily but hopefully burn longer. That did the trick! I think you could probably even do 75% soy container wax and 25% votive/pillar soy wax and that might help them to burn even a bit longer.
Lets get to making some floating candles shall we?
- 8oz of votive/pillar soy wax or even better, 4oz 100% soy container wax and 4oz votive/pillar blend soy wax
- Several tealight wicks
- Metal tart molds and/or some other type of molds that are wider at the top where you’ll be lighting the wick so they float nicely. You can find some candy molds at stores like Michaels crafts or Hobby Lobby or look on Amazon for “floating candle molds” or “candy molds” (Make sure the molds are at least 1/2″ deep) For fall, you might try looking for Fall Candy Molds (the Amazon links are affiliate links so I do make a small commission if you visit those links and place an order)
- Metal pour pot or metal bowl for melting the wax
- Metal cooking pot with some water in it
- Digital scale (any kitchen scale will do, but digital is best)
- Rubber spatula that can withstand higher heat
- Candy thermometer
- 1/2 oz of fragrance oil of your choice
- dye (optional)
Whether you are using only votive/pillar wax or part votive/pillar and part 100% soy container wax you want to set your pour pot on the digital scale, zero out (or tare) the scale and measure out your wax, pouring it into the pour pot or metal bowl.
Next set the pour pot into the cooking pot that has about an inch or more of water in it, or set your metal bowl on top of a pot with water (double boiler style). Make sure your candy thermometer is in the wax and melt on medium-low heat until the wax reaches about 180 or so degrees. Don’t let it get above 200 degrees F. or it can cause discoloration of the wax and may cause the candles to burn incorrectly.
Make sure your molds are set out on some wax paper and set one tealight wick in each mold. The amount of candles you’ll get will depend on what size your molds are, so just get several molds ready and see how far the wax goes.
Once the wax is at 180 degrees or so, take it off of the burner and set back onto the scale. Zero out the scale again and then add your 1/2 oz of fragrance oil and dye (if you are using dye) and stir slowly but well.
Stirring slowly ensures air bubbles do not get incorporated into the wax.
Now if you are using plastic candy molds like I did for most of my floating candles, it would be best to let the wax cool to 160 degrees before pouring, otherwise if you are using the metal tart molds you can go ahead and pour as soon as you’re done stirring the fragrance oil and dye into the wax.
You’ll probably need to readjust the wicks since they tend to move around as you pour, so just do that once you’ve finished pouring into all your molds.
Allow the floating candles to cool completely and cure for at least 24 hours before burning. For better scent throw when burning you may want to allow to cool for 48 hours or longer.
Pouring the wax….
Allow the floating candles to cool completely…..
This is the metal tart mold, the longest burning out of these candles…..
These are actually molds to make hollow mini candy cupcakes. The mold on the right would actually sit on top of the mold on the left to make a cavity in the cupcakes. I thought they would both make good floating candles 🙂 The cupcake tops on the left worked out really well, but the bottoms wouldn’t float (those are the 3 empty ones on the top half of the plastic mold ont he left). The shallower 3 cavities on the bottom right (I only have 2 filled) worked well too, but of course didn’t burn as long (maybe 1.5-2 hours) as the ones on the left.
These are actually candy lollipop molds so I had to fill in where the lollipop stick would go. I did that with hot glue. You definitely have to be sure not to overfill these with the soy wax or they will not look as nice.
These are also candy lollipop molds so I had to fill in where the stick goes with hot glue on these as well. These are pretty neat because they are ocean creatures. It would be nice if the detailed part was on the top, but it just won’t float that way! oh well, they still look nice in the bowl.
When the candles are completely cooled, you can pop them out of the molds easily!
Ready to test!
Your floating candles are nice and cured and you’ve popped them out of the molds. Now you can use a nice shallow larger bowl like I did and either fill part way with water or most of the way, or add some rocks or shells in the bottom. Use your imagination! Then carefully set one or a few floating candles into the water making sure the water doesn’t spill over onto the top of the candle. If it does, just take it out and dry it off and try again. I found that my candles all floated very well except for the mini cupcake shaped one, which didn’t have enough flare at the top so it just sank.
Light your newly made floating soy candles, turn the lights down low and enjoy the ambient glow!
The first batch I made with only votive/pillar soy wax, my little candles didn’t burn very long and they tunneled, which is why I decided to try a blend of soy waxes. The next batch burned nearly twice as long and didn’t tunnel near as much. My metal tart mold candle burned for about 3.5 hours the last time (I believe it was 2 hours in the first batch). Some of my smaller/ shallower flower floating candles (flower lolipop molds) that only burned for an hour the first batch, went up to 1.5-2 hours for the second batch.
So using the softer container wax definitely helped. Like I said above, you could try adding more of the container wax than the votive/pillar wax too and it would probably work fine and give an even longer burn time.