Candle-making is a therapeutic art. The melting of the wax can be very Zen, and the end product results in the perfect candlelit dinner mood lighting. After teaching myself how to make basic candles in containers, and then freestanding pillar candles too, I figured there must be a good way to make my own candle tapers without investing in the conventional metal molds sold by craft stores, and right here, I found it: Plumbing products!
As it turns out, stiff plumbing pieces make a great DIY taper candle mold. I chose a simple 12″ extension tube, with a 1-1/4″ diameter, and a 1-1/4″ end cap to screw on to the open end. There are a few things I recommend looking for as you source plumbing materials for a candle mold: make sure that it’s stiff enough to stand upright (i.e. not coiled with a tendency to want to re-coil), but thin enough to score through in case the wax sticks to the inside of the pipe.
Melt the candle wax according to specific instruction. Cut the wick string to be at least 6″ longer than your taper form. Using needle-nose pliers, pinch the metal wick tab to the rope. Dip the metal end into the melted wax and allow the cooling wax to act as an adhesive, so that it sticks to the bottom of the inside of your 1-1/4″ end cap.
Thread the pipe onto the end cap, allowing the long wick to extend through. Do not over tighten.
Use a baster to transfer the melted wax into the pipe. Don’t even think about re-using this tool for Thanksgiving, just buy an inexpensive one to get you through this project and can be thrown out or saved for more wax projects.
As the wax fills up to the top of the mold, be sure to tauten and center your wick.
There it is! You made a taper candle! If you happen to have any cracks in your candle, light a match and hold it to the problem areas; cracks or scratches will smooth and re-seal once it cools.
Your handmade taper will fit best into a candlestick holder that’s 1″ – 1-1/4″ in diameter. If you need to make a custom size, you can take a piece of wood, drill into the end with a paddle bit, and you’ll have a pretty rustic candlestick holder in just minutes. For a secure fit, plan for the hole to be just a hair smaller than your candle; you’ll know it’s a tight fit if a little wax flakes off when the taper is inserted in the holder.
Trim your wicks to a short, manageable length (1/4″ is recommended).
Display your candlesticks with other seasonally appropriate accents to create a pretty, handmade centerpiece.