recycled wax

Brazilian Flag Candle

March 24, 2012
Front of Brazilian flag candle
Side view of Brazilian flag candle
Stenciled pieces fitting together
Putting it all together

I made this Brazilian flag candle as a thank you gift for a family that hosted my wife and I for a week.  I got the dimensions for the flag from this graphic on  I sketched the design on paper within a 3" x 6" rectangle and cut out stencils for the green, yellow and blue portion of the flag.  I selected colors from my recycled wax bricks that were close to the real colors, melted them down and poured them into glass pans.  It was important to melt exactly the same amount of each color so the thickness in the pan would be consistent.  After the wax had cooled for about 30 minutes it had the consitency of cheese.  At that point I laid my paper stencil on top of the wax and cut around it.  Once the wax had cooled the rest of the way the wax popped out pretty easily and I had the desired shape.  Unfortunately when I was making the green portion it cracked getting it out of the pan.  I learned my lesson and made multiple copies of the yellow diamond and blue circle.  Looking back I wish I would have redone the green section.  Oh well, live and learn.  The pieces needed a little shaving to fit together snugly.

Initially the plan was to simply have the flag on one side of the candle and use white wax for everything else.  I was afraid that after I poured the white wax the stacked flag pieces would collapse, so I decided to hold it in place with chunks which I made from the leftover green, yellow and blue wax.  I've done one other candle this way, and there again I solved the "hold the slabs in place" problem with chunks.  The pieces of this candles don't fit together perfectly, there were natrual gaps resulting from my inaccurate process.  This actually works to my favor as it allows the white wax to work its way in and hold everything together mechanically.  If there were no gaps, there'd be nothing for the white wax to grip on to, and the entire flag portion would slough off eventually.

The candle is made entirely out of recycled wax.  I'll have to do a post about this someday, but basically I melt down old candles and scrap wax of similar color, filter out the gunk, and form bricks.  I have multiple storage containers filled with bricks of wax arranged in ROYGBIV order.  Working with new wax looks better, but is more expensive.  Recycled wax on the other hand is very cheap  You can usually find old partially melted candles at garage sales for a few cents.  My candle making hobby started off entirely from recycled wax.  Nowadays I use it just because I think it is cool to give new life to the former waste.


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