Friday, April 27, 2012

Fire and Ice (candles)

Who doesn't love to play with melted wax? My mom has a one of those paraffin baths (looks like a crock-pot) to relieve the pain from arthritis in your hands. My children (including at least one son-in-law) love to dip their hands in it over and over to create creepy looking gloves. They play with it forever! Anyway--- here's a chance to use some wax, and if you happen to dip your fingers in it and make molds, so be it.

This is a quick and fun way for older children (and older adults!) to make candles. You just need some wax, cotton string for the wick, empty milk or juice cartons, and some crayons. Oh, yeah, and some ice.

First, open your milk cartons all the way, and rinse them out. I used some very small ones, but you can use whatever size you want.

Then, measure how long of a wick you will need, and tie that length plus a couple inches on to a pencil. Make the string touch the bottom.

Next, put your ice in a ziploc bag and break it into small (about 1/2" cubes) pieces with a hammer. You don't want it too tiny and you don't want it too big. I put mine in a collander and rinsed it to get rid of the tiny pieces. (I tried using my blender first, but it crushed the ice too small.)

In the meantime, melt your wax in a double broiler or a candle warmer (if you have all day). You can add at this point. The kids can put in some old crayons to custom make a color.

Taking the picture while
pouring hot wax! Excuse the
Now, fill the carton with the ice. Make sure the wick stays put. The wax will begin to harden right away. I tried to be creative and put bits of crayon in the ice. I hoped the wax would melt them, but it didn't. I think it may still look cool when I burn the candle.

Let the candle sit until it is completely hardened. Then peel off the carton over the sink--- because most of the ice will have melted. Snip off the pencil. It will still take a while for all the water to get out, but once it does, you have a very interesting candle.

If I were doing it again, I think I would pour a thin layer of wax first to form a solid foundation. After it hardened, I would put in the ice and continue.


Tracy said...

These turned out great. I see what you mean about first putting a layer of wax down.
We did this in grade 7, and I thought it was the coolest thing.

Brave Brooke said...

I think the red candle will go great in the family room!

Just Jaime said...

Very cool. Too bad the crayons didn't melt!

Heather Landry said...

How cool is that!!! Thanks so much for sharing your tutorial. I may have to try this with the kiddos.

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