Chimney Candles

What a fun way to celebrate the season!

Chimney candles offer the glow of a warm
fire with the look of an old brick chimney
in the midst of a winter snow, dripping
with icicles and clumps of snow.

If you would like to make this type
of candle, you will first need a square
pillar mold about four inches tall ...
if you don't have one of these, you
can use a pint or quart milk or cream
carton with the top portion cut off.
Start the cut with a sharp knife
and then use scissors to snip off the
top of the carton. This should leave
you with a mold that is about four
or five inches tall ... make sure
it's clean and completely dry
before using it.

To achieve a deep, brick red,
a liquid concentrated dye works
best, but you can also mix the
color yourself ... whatever works
well for you. A deep color is
easier to attain if you use
concentrated liquid dye, but
you can also use dye blocks,
or a combination of the two,
which is what I have done with
these candles, which was a
mix of red, wine or cranberry,
and a hint of brown. My own
colors vary batch from batch,
to a reddish-wine color to
brownish-red ... but really,
any color is acceptable and
you don't even have to do
it in "brick red" if you
don't want to, but the snow
shows up nicely on the deep,
dark red. Your wax should
include sterine for an opaque
look, as well as vybar.
For the snow portion of
your candle, a nice white
can be obtained without the
use of any colorant, as often
white colorant may cause
wicks to clog. Also, be
careful when selecting
your scent ... you do not
want a fragrance oil that
is dark or yellow in color,
as this will tint your wax,
making your snow yellowish,
so clear or very light
in color is best.

Now for the pouring, snowing,
and weather distressing ...

First, the candle is poured at
about a height of three and a
half to four inches, or greater.
Once the candle has hardened,
a layer of snow may be added
prior to the candle being
removed from the mold, such
as shown in the photo above.

Remove from the mold and now
it's time to do the brickwork ...
you will need a metal rod for this.
If you have an old metal clothes
hanger, these work very well ...
simply use wire cutters to make
a metal rod about ten inches
in length. This rod can also
be used for creating wick
"tunnels" ... either by
placing the rod in the
candle when it's in the
mold before it's fully
hardened, or by heating
the end of metal rod on
the stovetop and using it
to "drill" through the candle
in order to thread your wick.
Once your candle is out of
the mold, the wick should
be set in place with a wick
tab ... secure it from the
top by pouring a bit of white
wax down the tunnel where
the wick has been threaded
through and lightly tug on
the wick in an upward
direction to make sure
there are no kinks in it.
(As a final step, which
will be explained later,
the bottom of the candle
gets a few finishing touches
to cover up the wick tab.)

You will want to have a paper
towel available to wipe off
any melted wax that adheres
to the metal rod while you
are melting the mortar rows
for the bricks ... the next
step in creating your chimney.

To make your rows of bricks,
heat the metal rod before
pressing it onto all sides
of the candle at the same
height all around. Start at
about 3/8ths of an inch to
1/2-inch up from the bottom,
and continue making the rows
until you reach the top of the
candle. These are the
horizontal rows of bricks.
To see the pattern, do a
little search for the term
"stretcher bond," which is
the style of brick work
I am trying to describe.
Of course, you may find
yourself doing all kinds
of fancy designs, but this
is a nice basic one that
is fairly easily applied
by heating the metal rod
and creating the rows.
If you find, upon reaching
the top of the candle,
that you do not have the
space for another row
of full-sized bricks,
simply use your creativity
to make a trim with a
shorter row of bricks.
After the rows are
completed, you are ready
for the vertical indentations
that turns your rows into
bricks. Again, please
refer a picture of the
pattern, as the vertical
lines are placed to
create brickwork. If needed,
you can use the tip of
your metal rod to deepen
the indentations.

Once your bricks are in place,
you are ready to distress your
chimney with some "age" and
"ice." For instance, the photo
below shows the candle when
some "ice" was poured over it ...
although some of it is allowed
to remain, parts of it are scraped
off and another round of ice is
poured, which gives a layered

A little preparation tip ...
place your candle on a tray
that will catch the shavings.

Everyone's chimney is going
to meet with the elements
differently ... mine, for instance,
have endured many a cold winter,
so they are pretty old and rustic.
To start with, you will want to
try to get some mortar (white wax)
between the bricks (into the
rows of indentations you have
melted into the wax) ... there
are a couple of ways to do this.
One is to pour some white wax
over the walls of the chimney,
and when the wax is partially
hardened, with a sharp-edged
knife or dough scraper,
"wear away" some of the wax
from the brick face, allowing
the white wax to remain in
the "gutter" to create the
mortar. Or, allow some
white wax to cool, then
apply only to the
indentations and scraping
off the excess when the
wax has hardened.

Now for the distressing part ...

You will find that you may
enjoy some distress techniques
over others, so I'm only going
to give you some ideas of how
to do it and leave the rest
up to you. For instance,
I like to apply wax, allow
it to cool, then scrape some
of it off ... this gives a
shiny finish to the surface
of the "ice" that forms
on the chimney wall.
But, for snow chips of ice,
I like to allow wax to
cool a bit, pour some
into a tray, and "flake"
it a bit with a fork
before applying (smearing
it around with a butter
knife), then scraping
some of it off before
it hardens. As stated,
you will find what works
best for you!

At this point, the chimney
now has bricks, mortar,
some ice, and a bit of
snow on top ... it still
has a way to go, as the
ice needs to be applied
in layers, with some
chipping-off in between,
which is done with by
repeatedly dripping wax
down the walls, distressing
as you go along. For the
snow on top, whipped wax
is used, which is simply
wax that has been allowed
to partially cool before
whisking with a fork.
This gets a bit messy,
so the use of trays
under the candle is
once again beneficial.
And, when working with
whipped wax, remember
that you have to work
very quickly ... the use
of a spoon, the back
of a spoon, and a fork
will give you a snowy look.
In areas where you wish
a "glazed over with ice"
look ... you can drip
some wax over it for
the next step.

Note ... the shavings and
excess drippings can be
melted down to create a
pink candle, or dyed to
use for another chimney!

Now for the snow ... remember
that some of the snow is
hard and icy and some is
fluffy and wet. I think a
chimney candle should have
both, so I do this "step"
several times over, with
the snow (whipped wax)
and ice (slightly cooled wax) ...
the combination of which
provides a nice build up
on top of your candle,
with sheets and drips
of ice along the sides.
Clear glitter can be
used to create a
shimmering-wet look,
as shown in the photo
above, which is a first
layer of snow that has
been applied.

Now for some finishing touches ...
I have learned that in order
to keep a "square look" about
the chimney, that the snow
needs to first be level
with the sides of the
chimney walls, then piled
up upon the edges, falling
inward only slightly.
The top of the chimney
should have a dip in the
snow where the wick goes,
as you do not want your
snow to appear mounded.
If you want your chimney
to be built up with snow
and ice, once you have
some snow on top, pour
a bit of wax over it ...
very slowly, allowing
it to drip down onto
the sides of the candle,
which you may need to
tilt a bit, but be careful
when pouring hot wax in
such a way, making sure
your hands are not in
the way of the snowmelt.
If too much white wax
sticks to the walls,
allow it to harden a
little and scrape it
off either entirely or

When your last dripping is still
hot, sprinkle
a bit of clear glitter.
The wick should be clipped
to about 1/4-inch, and the bottom
of the candle can be cleaned
up by pouring a bit of wax
into a metal tray and dipping
the bottom into the wax so
a bit builds up upon the bottom ...
another tray that has been
heated can be used to even
out the underside by quickly
placing the candle on the hot
tray, giving it a swirl and
quickly setting it onto a
smooth surface. Although
this step is not always
necessary, it really makes
for a smooth finish on the
bottom of the candle
and can help it sit
more squarely.

When all is complete, a
quick water rinse at room
temperature will help the
candle cool more quickly,
making it shinier, while
cleaning off all of the
wax fragments. Just make
sure that the water is not
cold, as this can cause
cracks in your candle.

These candles may take

some time to make, but they
are relaxing to work with
and a lot of fun when they
are completed. As time
goes on, I plan to work
with more designs in
this direction, as I'm
finding myself becoming
a lover of chimney candles.

Chim Chim Cheree !!