Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Candle Making

(happy crow. Monthly Art Challenge: Light)

My friend Katie inherited an awesome amount of candle making goods recently. She had shaved wax, tons of sweet old containers, wicks, scents, dyes and a mold for a pillar candle.

I made a trip to a thrift shop, Emily foraged for stuff in the woods, Jacque brought her old double boiler, Katie brought Jodi and we were set!

It was a messy day, full of fun, and definitely something you could easily do in an afternoon without any prior experience.

My favorites of the day were the pillar candle, on which I applied a page from a seed catalog, and the stacked block candles with apples and pine needle.

Here are my candle making tips:

Save your candle nubs and old pillar candles that you get tired of. You can get wax out of the bottom of a container candle by freezing it and popping it out. You can also buy big blocks of it at craft stores.

Throw it all in an old pot and put it in the oven on 250F for a few hours and it will be melted, with the wicks and stuff sunk to the bottom. Or melt the wax in an old double boiler or a bowl resting on a pot with a bit of boiling water.

Add essential oils and candle dye to the melted wax if you like, find an old ladle and funnel and you're all set!

Collect jars, mugs, tea cups, shot glasses and whatnot for your container candles. All you do is secure your wick to the bottom with a bit of hot glue, fill it up and hold your wick up between skewers with a bit of tape while it cools.

Free form candles can be made by pouring wax into a cake pan and cutting it into shapes when it's still just a bit soft. Drill a hole through the center and run your wick through it. Semi-set wax can be molded and carved and re-dipped into different colored waxes. There are no rules and it's really easy and fun to experiment! We glazed our stacked blocks with opaque wax when they were done and it gave them a really nice finished look.

It took a couple hours for our candles to set completely in a cool room. My friends were here for an afternoon and they were all ready to take home by the time we were tidied up.

In my house, we have candle sconces on all the walls and a piano who's top is full of candles. Want to do something really fun for the kids? Fill your house with candles and shut out all the lights for a night!

And don't forget to play hide and seek!

~check out Steve's light post on happy crow, here and here~

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