Friday, February 21, 2014

Making a Sand Candle Out of Recycled Wax Part 1

I got tired of talking about making candles and decided to just do it. I learned how to make sand candles in the 70's, and I made them again once in the 80's. So here I am again. When life gives you sand, make sand candles.

Getting the Mold Ready
Fill bucket with sifted sand.
Close up of wick placement and holes in sand made with my fingers.
  1. I filled a bucket with sifted sand. Sift it through whatever screen you have on hand. I used a bicycle basket with fine holes. 
  2. Get the sand damp. We're talking 'sandcastle' and not 'mud pie'
  3. Dig out a scoop with your hand to put the wax in. Then I poked my fingers in to give my candle 'legs'. 
  4. I took a seashell and pressed it into the side, with the part I want to show facing into the sand.
  5. Place a wick. I used a stick to loop it over so it will stay where I want it.
Wick placement.
Melting the Wax
  1. I melted my wax in a 'double boiler' set up using an old thrifted tea pot and a metal can. I should have bent the can to make a pour spout but oh well.
    Melting wax for a sand candle.
    Almost melted. Use an old fork to remove debris like old wicks or paper bits.
  2. Heat the water in the teapot over medium with the can of wax sitting in it. The tea kettle is about 1/3 full of water. Never leave wax unattended. It is flammable. So keep the heat down and keep an eye on it.
  3. I used old candle wax, two warped tapers, a few crayons, and a chunk of beeswax so the can would be almost full. As the wax melted I stirred it with an old fork. Then I fished out the old wicks and debris with the fork.
  4. I turned off the heat and let the steam settle down. Then I put a lid over it and carried it outside with a potholder.
    Carefully carrying hot wax outside.
  5. I very carefully picked up the can with tongs and poured it into the mold. Wax shrinks in the center when it cools so I knew I'd have to pour a 2nd layer.
    So far so good. You can see the seashell poking up a bit. The second pour will cover it.

    The hardest thing about making candles is having to wait to see the end result.
  6. I melted another 1/2 can of wax. Most of it was beeswax and a few crayon pieces. 
  7. I probably should have waited about 2 hours before the 2nd  pour, but I just wanted to get on with it.
    After the 2nd pour. Just the right level of wax.
Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow to see how it turns out!

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