One of the fun ways to make candles is to use a decorative two part candle mold. These plastic candle molds come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from cartoon characters to animals, plants, shapes and more.
Here is a fish mold, with two finished fish candles. This is showing the INSIDE of each mold. The mold is made from sturdy plastic that you can use and reuse as much as you wish.
What you do is lay a wick down the center of one side, and tape it at the top and bottom. Then you tape both of these halves together so that the two inside halves (the sides facing up) face each other. This leaves a cavity in the inside of the mold where the wax will go. There is an opening from the "stomach" of the fish to the edge of the mold, where you pour the wax in.
You want to tape these STURDILY together with masking tape or duct tape. You want to tape along the bottom, left and right side very tightly so that wax does not leak out. Pretty much every person I know who has made candles with these types of molds has had a situation where they taped the halves together loosely and wax came pouring out through a crack
Not fun! Make sure you tape it securely.
Here is a Buddha mold. I have several friends who seek peace and serenity, and this candle is perfect for them.
In this case you are seeing the two OUTSIDE halves of the mold. This is how the front and the back look on the outside. The insides of the molds are against the carpet. Again, you would tape these two halves together inside-to-inside and seal around three edges. A wick would run from the top to the bottom of the mold. Then you pour the wax in at the hole at the feet. You fill it up then wait for the wax to try.
The wax naturally makes a "divot" at the top end (i.e. at the feet) and you then add in more wax to fill in that divot. Once it is dry again you open up the mold, pop out the candle and trim off that bottom area.
Here's an owl mold, where one half is up and one half is down. You can see how there is the dots to help you line up the two halves so you make a solid finished candle.
I have never needed "mold release" with these types of molds. The halves just pop off quite easily.
I definitely recommend getting some two part molds and playing with them! They are great for reusing wax from other dead candles you have around the house, and the finished shaped candles make great presents.