A frozen candle mold is generally not a good idea for candle makers, though there are times when freezing a candle mold can create an interesting effect in the finished candle.
Purpose of a Candle Mold
Candle molds are used to give finished candles their shape. Whether you're making simple votive candles or a fancy novelty candle, the mold is an essential part or the process. Candle wax is melted, colored, and scented, then poured while still hot into the prepared mold. Once the candle has cooled, it is released from the mold and ready to burn.
Most of the time, your candle mold should be at room temperature to allow the candle to set and cool evenly. A frozen mold will change the look and possibly the stability of the finished candle.
When to Use a Frozen Candle Mold
You may have seen candles that have a crackled or even mottled look on their surfaces. This appearance can be achieved by freezing the candle mold before pouring the hot wax.
The reason this works is because the hot candle wax will react to the sudden chance in temperature when it hits the frozen mold, resulting in flash-cooling. The reaction causes a random pattern of cracks to appear on the outside surface of the candle.
How to Make a Crackle Candle
If you've never tried this method before, practice with smaller candles such as votives first to make sure your wax will react the way it should. High quality paraffin wax works best for this type of candle.
Use a metal or solid plastic mold for this project, as silicone molds may not hold their temperature well enough to give a real crackled look.
Before you begin, place your candle mold in the freezer for at about an hour. Then, follow the basic instructions for making a simple candle, adding candle dye and scent if desired. A dark color will best display the crackles.
Remove the frozen candle mold from the freezer and immediately pour the wax. You may hear some crackling noises if condensation from the mold meets the wax, and this is normal. Allow the candle to cool as usual, and remove it from the mold when it is set. The finished candle should have crackle lines throughout its surface, but no large holes or gaps as it would with an ice candle.
Making a Candle Shell
A candle "shell" can be used as the first step in making a multi-colored candle. Basically, the shell itself is the outside of the candle, which is then filled in with a different colored wax.
To create this type of candle, pour your first color into a frozen mold. Wait a few seconds, then immediately pour the wax out of the candle mold. You should have a thin coating of wax covering the entire inside of the mold.
Prepare and pour your second color into the wax-lined mold and allow it to cool completely before unmolding. The end result is similar to a candle that has been dipped in a second color of wax.
Freezing Molds for Candle Release
Another reason you may end up with a frozen mold is if you've placed a set candle in the freezer to help release it from the mold. A short time in the freezer shouldn't hurt most candles, but make sure you don't leave the candle in there for more than an hour. Candle wax can dry out quickly, leaving you with a brittle and unsafe finished candle.
It's much easier to lightly coat your molds with mold release spray before using them. If you've already made your candles without using a spray, try tapping the mold gently on your countertop before pushing it out, or run it under warm tap water, being careful not to get the water inside the mold.
Check Your Equipment and Supplies
Before you try making candles with frozen molds, make sure that your molds and wax are all stable enough to withstand freezing and sudden changes in temperature. Read all the labels on your equipment and supplies, and when in doubt, contact the manufacturer for all safety information.