Monday, December 20, 2010

Crafting with Kids - Homemade Candles

by Michelle of Gotthold Glass Studio

My kids, ages 4 and 8, are making their holiday gifts this year. We decided to make rolled beeswax candles as family and teacher gifts. I was trying to find a craft project that would be both something 1) the kids could complete (mostly) on their own and 2) useful for the recipient. This met both goals! We all had fun with this craft, and the kids are so proud of their creations! The picture above shows all the candles they created. Below, I have some photos of the steps they went through to make these candles.

Supplies Needed: We used 8"x10" colored sheets of beeswax, cotton string for the wick, a hairdryer to warm the wax, and small cookie cutters & scissors to shape some designs.

Step 1: We folded up a 1/4"edge of the wax sheet to have a valley to lay the wick in. I removed a small bit of wax (about 1/2") from the bottom of this edge so the wick would not go all the way to the bottom of the candle.

Step 2: The kids rolled the wax sheet around the wick. It took some practice and patience to roll the candle evenly! I helped by frequently warming the wax with my hairdryer so that is wouldn't crack when it was rolled (our craft room was quite chilly from the recent MN cold snap!).

Step 3: Once the candles were rolled, we trimmed the wicks to the correct size and wrapped the ends with the bit of leftover wax torn off the edge in step 1. The kids used small cookie cutters and scissors to cut designs from other sheets of wax to decorate the candles. (I cut about a 2" strip off the wax sheets before we began rolling the candles so we could have extra wax for this personalization!)

Spiral Candles: We also made a few spiral candles by cutting 2 sheets of beeswax into triangles and then laying them, slightly overlapped, on top of each other. We then followed the above steps to roll them up; here's a picture of the resulting candles:

Happy Crafting!