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How to Make Wax Tarts

Start by gathering all the items that you will need. The candle making process will go much more smoothly if everything is readily accessible.

Materials Needed:

This project is easy, fun and can be adapted easily to different holidays by simply using a different silicone or plastic mold. Below are the steps for how to make the ghost and pumpkin tarts in the photo to the right.  For instructions on how to make the cookie cutter tarts (as seen in the bottom righthand of the photo) see How To Make Cookie Cutter Pillar Candles.  The procedure is the same except for the last few steps.

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 off of your work surface.


Step 1 – Measure out the wax

For this project IGI 4794 Votive Blend wax was used. 


Step 2 - Cut the votive or pillar wax

Cutting this type of wax can be tricky.  For this demonstration, the wax is scored with a utility knife.  Then, the scored piece is placed on the remaining slab and pressure is 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 3 - Melt the wax

The wax will need to be heated in a double boiler to 175° - 185°F, depending on the wax you have chosen.  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 metal 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.


Step 4 – 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 – 1.0 ounce 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 5 – 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 dye blocks.


Step 6 - 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 7 – 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 8 - Add UV Stabilizer (optional) and mixing

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.  Mix everything together very thoroughly.  Mixing it for 3 – 5 minutes would be best.  Check the temperature again to make sure it is between 175° - 185°F.  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.


Step 9 – 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 10 – 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 11 – 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.


That's it!

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 ghosts, pumpkins, spiders, black cats, or whatever else you can think of!  Use different molds for everyday tarts or special occasions! 

Are you ready to give it a try?  G
et everything you need to start making candles by browsing our selection of candle making supplies or by simply clicking on the items in the Materials List at the top of this page to take you directly to that item on our website.  Have fun!

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