Friday, November 16, 2007

Candle making for frugal gifts

This week we had fun making candles. The way we did it was extremely frugal and can be used to make lovely gifts.
I took old candles that were not very nice looking, short crayons and some old sealing wax and we melted them down. I used old cans inside kettles of water for a double boiler method. I believe this is safer than just putting a pan of wax on the stove.
Heat it until it is all melted. You can use an old spoon (warning: it will get all waxy, so don't expect to use it for food again.) or a paint stick to stir it and to take the old wicks from the old candles out with.
After it is all melted you can remove it from the heat to work with. There are 3 different kinds of candles that I can think of that you can make with this. You can dip them, mold them or just pour them into a container that you will use them in. We did some of each.

For each you will need a wick. We used some thick cotton string. For dipping we tied the strings to a stick (or flopped it over a ruler) and then just dipped it into the wax, letting it harden in between dippings. Just keep dipping until you reach the desired size. Also pay attention to the end of the candle during this time and flatten it out with your finger every so often. Some of the kids tried making striped candles by taking turns dipping it into different colors (we had a pot of blue, red and brown). The candles they did that way actually turned out rather neat.
For molds we used some little dixie cups. I placed a twist tie over the top and tied the wick to that and then poured the wax in. When the wax was all hard I tore the cup off. This mold worked quite well for a little votive candle. Another Mother was telling me that their family made floating candles by using little fluted tart pans, greasing them and making the candle in there.
We also made candles in some little baby food jars. I intend to decorate this lid later either by covering with cloth and a ribbon or something or painting them. I am also thinking about painting a little decoration on the outside of the jar. In the past we have used various kinds of container: Tuna cans, glass cups and tea cups to name a few.

Our candle making went very well except for one minor problem which I thought I would see if any of you knew the answer too. Many of the ones that we poured in something ended up with sunken spots. Some were a lot worse than others. Does anybody know how this happens or how to correct it? We were wondering if maybe air got trapped in there and then got out as it dried. I thought maybe I should pour them in layers instead of all at once. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

The candle burning is one that Jonathan made. Mara and Keren are displaying some of their creations. Keren molded one of hers while it was still soft to be curvy.
If anybody has any questions on the process I would be glad to try to answer.


Stacy said...

Wow! This is great!

I am going to do this. Thanks so much.

Paul & Angela Jenkins said...

When I made candles I was told that it sunk b/c I did not pour the wax in layers. Apparantly you are suppose to pour one layer let it cool some than add another and so forth. That was too time consuming for me so I just dealt w/ the sunken portion and let it go.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin