Thursday, February 3, 2011


We had a lovely time making our own candles this year. As we had just finished talking about time, seasons and calendars, it was perfect for discussing Ground Hog day, coming of spring and how people in pasttimes used candles in their lives.

A few notes on candlemaking* get all supplies ahead of time and read instructions carefully. I found a nice library book called "Basic Candle Making" that was very helpful and had a lot of pictures. This is a long process that cannot be rushed and you can't stop in the middle. Give 3 hours or more.
Here we heated the beeswax until it melted in our make-shift double boiler.

 I stared the candle by dipping each wick for 1 minute in the hot wax. It made the wick stiff when it cooled. Then it was an "assembly-line" production. The girls each dipped and I would get the kinks out by running my finger down each candle to straighten it.

After about 10 dips they began to look a bit like candles. We made our own drying rack out of 2 chairs, a broom handle and a garden stake! The tiny ones on the garden stake became our birthday candles. So cute!

We ended up really needing more wax, because when they got to this point the wax was too low in our dipping can, that it made fat candles on the bottom and thin on top. But, we love them!  We finished by rubbing them slightly on some waxed paper and trimming the bottoms.

We are wrapping and giving them as Valentine's Day presents..
*note* we used a large Bushs Baked bean can to melt our wax in and it worked great. The only expense was for the beeswax blocks (much cheaper than the pellets and can be cut with a sharp knife) and the wicks.

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