Food themed candles that stand alone without the need for a votive or container belong to the pillar candle category. As such they need a strong wax such as Golden Soy 444, beeswax, or paraffin wax. They also need a mold, colorants, candle fragrance oils, and a wick that’s large enough to melt the entire candle.
Molds: My workshop stocks a variety of plastic and silicone molds. Some of the silicone molds were purchased. Others molds were made by yours truly using a ready made silicone kit.
The Hawaiian roll and slider patty pictured in the above candle were from a made from scratch silicone mold. The lettuce and tomato came from a plastic mold (pictured below) that I purchased from an Etsy vendor. While I didn’t particularly care for the bun that came with mold, I thought the quality of the lettuce and sliced tomato were first rate. My issue with the bun was that this was a scaled down Kaiser bun and not an actual dinner roll. Sliders are always served on dinner rolls which have a taller and more rounded top.
Wax, Colorant, and Candle Fragrance Oils: To make this candle, I used Golden Soy Wax 444 to make different components for this slider. My slider included a Hawaiian dinner roll (top and bottom sections), a patty, a sliced tomato, and a piece of lettuce. To avoid cross contaminating my wax colors and fragrances, each component part was melted using a different melting pot. Prior to melting the wax, I weighed it and added 10% of its weight with a candle fragrance oil.
The Hawaiian roll was scented with a freshly baked bread aroma. The patty used a mixture of hickory smoke, beef, and bacon. The lettuce smells like lettuce and the tomato smells like a tomato. Since I have multiple molds, I made several molds of each product.
Each melting pot included a colorant. Colorants come in solid and liquid forms. The solid forms include blocks like the ones pictured below left. They also come as chips or flakes. The dyes are typically sold in bottles such as those pictured below right.
Although it takes more of a solid dye to get the same degree of color that you could get from using a liquid dye, I prefer to use blocks. Blocks are easier to store. When adding color to a melting pot, I like using a knife to shave dye chips into the pot. While I have used dye chips, I prefer to using blocks. Dye chips come in tiny packets. Their size tends to be inconsistent and getting them out of the packet is sometimes cumbersome.
Liquid dyes are messy and can be challenging to store. I used to keep liquid dyes in a plastic storage drawer and one day while shutting a drawer, one of the bottles fell over and leaked. By the time I discovered the problem the next day, red dye was everywhere. It stained the other bottles. It stained my fingers when I tried to put things to right. It also stained the interior of the drawer.
Wicks: There are all sorts of wicks on the market. Although I have been using the CD series which consist of a flat braid with a woven paper filament to give it some internal strength, I’m in the process of switching from the CD-10 wick I’ve used to make sliders to an LX-18. Both the CD-10 and the LX-18 are sized to accommodate the width of my slider candles.
As with CD wicks, the LX series are flat braided wicks. These wicks are designed to reduce “mushrooming” which occurs when carbon accumulates at the top of the wick. They also reduce the amount of smoke and soot that are generated while burning a candle.
For more information about wicks and/or to see a sizing chart, click here to visit Lone Star Candle Supply. They have an informative page that describes all sorts of wicks.
Assembling a slider candle:
To assemble the slider candle, I first straightened a paperclip and heated the end over a gas burner. The hot paper clip was then used to literally melt a hole in all of the slider’s component parts.
Once I had made holes in all of the candle’s pieces, I threaded the wick through the base and used a butter knife to apply some partially melted wax. When dried, this wax would help to hold the wick in place. It also acted as a “glue” for adding the slider’s patty.
After assembling the slider, I had to finish the Hawaiian roll. When I made the silicone mold for this roll, I placed the roll top side down. While this gave me perfectly formed features for what later became the bottom half of the roll, the weight of the silicone pressed the roll down and slightly flattened it. To compensate for this, I used half melted wax to literally spread over the top of the roll so that I could complete the Hawaiian roll’s rounded top.
The slider was then finished by adding ketchup and mustard. I made these condiments in two separate melting pots using a mixture of soy wax and gel wax. To keep this product looking moist, I applied a gloss enamel spray.
Since the typical slider is not served with lettuce or tomato, most of my candles look like this. To watch a short video of how this candle was made, click here.
After purchasing the plastic mold with the lettuce and tomato, I began making sliders like the one pictured below.