Jan 26 2012
It’s been ages since I posted. With the holidays and an upcoming dance competition, I’ve just been swamped and barely have a moment at my computer when I’m home. But I’m currently injured so on the upside it means I have time to catch up on some of my posting.
My little brother came to visit this past weekend and decided he wanted to make candles. But of course, we couldn’t do simple melt and pour candles. It had to be the dipping taper candles. With multiple colors.
So we went to Michael’s and picked up wax, wax colorant, and wicks. We realized we needed something to dip the wicks into. Glass and plastic wouldn’t do since they’d be sitting in boiling water. We needed metal. So we went into the supermarket next door and found 20 oz Arizona cans. Perfect.
We took the cans home and used a can opener to take off the top. The first one we messed up and I removed the smooth part on the top. But the other four worked well. Leaving the smooth part is nice because then you don’t have to worry about slicing your fingers.
The biggest issue we had was getting the cans to stay in the stockpot. Since wax is lighter than water, we tried weighting them down, but we needed much more weight than we had. In the end, we just taped them down. We lined the stockpot with aluminum foil since it was nonstick and I didn’t want to scratch it, although I realize my silicon steamer would have been a better option to use. And we used aluminum foil and aluminum tape (leftover from downstairs renovation) to hold down the cans so they stayed stable.
Next we hacked off some wax from our massive block. We waaaay over bought the wax. I’ll probably use it to make Hanukkah candles later this year. We filled the cans with wax and turned the water on to boil.
Once all the wax had melted, we added the colorant blocks. We probably added much more than we needed to, but my brother wanted the colors vibrant. In fact, he wanted to use crayons originally, but I didn’t have any that I wanted to toss in.
Once the colorant was melted as well, we got to dipping. It was a pretty easy process. Just dip the wick in wax, then dip into cold water (we used the fifth arizona can for that). Repeat. It takes a little bit to build up the wax layer so have patience. Then let the candles cool. It’s easier to demonstrate than to describe it so I made a video:
When you’re done dipping (or reached your patience limit), it’s time finish the bottom.
You could either squish the candle onto the counter top to give it a flat bottom which is what my brother did. Or you could cut off the bottom which is what I did. It’s neat to look at the bottoms and all the different rings of colors.
We have a ton of wax left. I just let it cool in the Arizona cans. I’ll probably just buy some more wicks and heat it up in time to make Hanukkah candles towards the end of the year. In any case, I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. Here’s a picture of my three candles: