Start by gathering all the items that you will need.
Our Clamshell Tart Making Kit contains many of the items found in this tutorial. The Tart making process will go much more smoothly if everything is readily accessible.
Cover your work area with butcher paper or newspaper. Spills or drips are most times
unavoidable, and clean up is much easier if you don't have to clean wax of your work surface
Step 1 - Cut the votive or tart wax
For this project, IGI 4794 was used. Cutting this type of wax can be tricky. For this demonstration, the wax is cut with a putty knife but you may need to use another method if your wax is too hard. First, score the wax with a utility knife. Then take the scored piece of wax and hang it off the edge of a table or counter top. Pressure is then applied to help break the wax on the score. You may need to do this a few times to get the wax in small enough pieces to fit in the pouring pot. (Be careful not to cut yourself or smash your fingers while doing this.) The wax can be weighed in the pouring pot so you do not have to transfer it from a different container.
Step 2 - Melt the wax
The wax will need to be heated to 175o to 185o in a double boiler. To create a double boiler, put about an inch of water in the sauce pan, and then place the pouring pot in the water. It is a good idea to add an inexpensive metal trivet or cookie cutter under the pouring pot to elevate it. Doing this ensures the wax is not receiving direct heat from any side. Adjust the heat to a medium-low setting. The water needs to be boiling, but it does not have to come to a rolling boil. If the water is at a rolling boil, it may splatter out of the pan. Check the temperature of the wax occasionally to make certain it is not getting too hot. Adjust the temperature as needed. While the wax is melting you can continue with the next steps, but make sure that the wax is never left unattended.
Step 3 - Measure & add fragrance oil
Once the wax has reached the proper temperature, you are ready to add the fragrance oil. Depending on the wax you are using, you could add 0.5 – 1.75 ounces of fragrance per pound of wax. It is most common to add 1 ounce of fragrance per pound of wax. The fragrance is most accurately measured by weight, but you can also use a tablespoon to measure it if the scale you have does not measure a small amount precisely. A tablespoon is equal to 0.5 ounce. Pour the fragrance into the wax and stir it.
Step 4 - Measure & add dye
(using dye blocks)
Next, add the desired amount of dye. If using dye blocks, the block will melt into the wax more quickly if it is cut into small pieces. After adding the desired amount, stir the mixture until it is blended thoroughly. Skip to step 7 if you are using color blocks.
Step 5 - Measure & add dye
(using liquid dye)
If using liquid dyes, just add the desired amount of drops. Since you can not remove dye once it has been added, it should be added sparingly, especially if you are trying to achieve a light color. You can always add a little more if it is not dark enough. After adding the desired amount, stir the mixture until it is blended thoroughly.
Step 6 - Test your color
When you look at the liquid wax, it will usually look much darker than when it has completely cooled. To test the color, you can drip a small amount of wax onto a paper plate or paper towel. Make sure not to drip the hot wax on your hands. Allow it to harden, and you will be able to see a more accurate representation of the color. You can then add more dye if desired.
Step 7 - Add UV Stabilizer (optional)
At this point, you can add UV stabilizer if you choose. The addition of UV stabilizer will help keep the color from fading if the candles are exposed to UV rays or fluorescent lighting. You would add about ½ teaspoon per pound of wax.
Step 8 - Mix all ingredients thoroughly
Remove the pouring pot from the double boiler. The handle of the pouring pot may heat up slightly, so be sure to use a hot pad or something to protect your hand. You may also want to set the pouring pot on a few paper towels to absorb the water from the double boiler. Stir the wax mixture occasionally as you prepare your containers.
Step 9 - Prepare the molds
It is recommended to place your molds on a cookie sheet so you can easily move them if needed. We also recommend heating your silicone molds with a heat gun just before you pour the wax into the molds to help your tarts come out smooth and shiny. DO NOT preheat your clamshell molds because if they get too hot you can melt or shrink them.
Step 10 - Pour the wax mixture into the molds
Slowly fill the silicone or plastic molds. Do not pour too quickly or wax will overflow. You may fill the molds as high as you like. For thicker tarts, fill almost to the top. For thinner tarts, you can fill only half way. The tarts should release out of the mold easily regardless of how much wax mixture you pour.
Step 11 - The wax is starting to set
Let the wax harden. Make sure before you start to remove the wax tarts from the mold that they have completely set up and are hard enough to release easily from the molds. If you try to release them before they have set up enough they may not come out as cleanly.
Step 12 - Release the tarts from the molds
The wax tarts should be able to remove easily from the silicone or plastic molds simply by turning them upside down and bending the molds back with your hands. Do not remove the wax tarts with a knife or object as it will most likely leave an indention in the wax. The molds should be free from wax residue for the most part and should be able to easily clean up for reuse.
You're finished! - Your wax tarts are now ready to be packaged or placed into a wax tart warmer so you can enjoy what you just created! For best results for scent strength, allow sufficient time for the tarts to cure. It is usually recommended that you wait at least a week to melt your tarts or candles in order to enjoy the strongest scent throw. Now you can make your tarts into any shape you can think of! Use different molds for everyday tarts or special occasions!
Are you ready to give it a try? Get everything you need to start making candles by browsing our selection of candle making supplies or by purchasing our Clamshell Tart Making Kit.