02 February 2008


Today, the kids and I made some candles. This is something that I did once as a kid, possibly after reading about it in the McCall's Make-it Book or some kids' magazine. I melted wax and added crayons and them filled a tin can. Getting the can off was a bear. So this time, I'm an adult and proceed a little more thoughtfully. First, I got wicks at a Michaels store like six months ago -- I've been meaning to do this for a while. I knew that we'd need molds of some kind so I decided that trimmed toilet-paper rolls would be perfect for the three inch wicks that I had. Needing something on the bottom, Cathy suggested plastic-wrap. It worked!

Once the kids caught wind that I was thinking about candles, they were very interested in participating. So we got our respective crayon collections together and isolated a bunch of broken crayons that we could use. Just pawing through the crayons is kind of fun. :) Of course there had to be a little friction between Garrett and Kivi, but it wasn't bad.

Our execution of this project was pretty haphazard. I decided on the cardboard tubes long before figuring out what should go below. Cathy suggested the plastic-wrap and once it was rubber-banded in place, it was pretty good. Some wax did seep up under the bottom of each and was a hassle to trim up, but not bad. We melted the wax in star-shaped foil cupcake cups that were left over from Kivi's birthday. Half way through the project, Kivi decided she didn't want a pillar, she wanted to just make a star-shaped candle, so that's what we did for one of them.

Here are our four candles. Each one is different. The red one is the first one and had some red, gold and metallic red crayon in it. It's also the one that seeped out the bottom the most which accounts for the funny top shape. The blue one was Garrett's and the second one we did. He included blue and green crayons and they are quite evident when you look at the bottom of the candle. As mentioned, Kivi's candle is the star, which was our third. The bottom of that one is really nice -- deep colors and slick and shiny as glass. In response to our difficulty getting the crayons to melt enough that they were merging with the wax, but not so much that they just dispersed into it, I tried something different with the last one. I broke up a bunch of crayon scraps and layered them into the tall mold with the wick in place. Then, I dumped some wax that happened to have a bit of blue pigment from a previous melting in it all over the crayon pieces and filling up the tube. It's neat, but I wish the pieces had melted more.


Teresa Tebbe said...

That looks like fun. I really like the star. Have you lit any of the candles yet?

Christopher Weeks said...

Yeah, the next day, the kids really wanted to so we lit them all up, oohed and aahed and then blew them out to wait for a more needful time to use them. It was fun.

There are all these accouterments at craft shops for making candles and soap and I'm interested in both but I really don't need another expense just now. So this was a great way to goof around with minimal cost.