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Making Ice Candles

Making gifts seems more personal, reflecting the time you devoted to the gift, with the added bonus of being cheaper. In addition, creating gifts at home can be environmentally-conscious with its emphasis on recycling.  This project will teach you how to make ice candles, great for gift giving and sticking in someone's stocking.  This is a great project for a beginning candle maker and is fun for the whole family to do together.

 

 

Materials:

  • Candle Wax (I’m going to recycle some boring white candles from the house)
  • Clean milk or juice carton (Your need something with a nice square bottom)
  • Melting pot/can
  • Candle Thermometer (Perhaps you could use a candy thermometer or other kind also)
  • Wick or taper candle
  • Optional- Wax coloring and scent (You can use dye chips specially for coloring candles, liquid dye added with an eye-dropper, or even crayons! For scents, avoid essential oils since most are not designed for the high-heat of candles. Many craft stores can assist with what scents are appropriate and scented lamp ring oils are generally the inexpensive route.)

 

Instructions:

  1. Clean out your milk or juice carton. I will be chugging the rest of the orange juice from breakfast.
     
  2. Trim the top off the carton to your desired height. I only trimmed about 1/5 off the top.
     
  3. Cut up the wax into small pieces. I’m going to shave it with a grater; this will help it to melt faster.
     
  4. Melt the wax in a suitable pot placed in a larger pot with boiling water. A clean metal can also works well for melting wax. I’m using a large can formerly housing lychees.
     
  5. The wax can ignite if it becomes too hot. Keep a close eye and make sure the wax stays between 170-180 degrees F. Note- Wax fires should be extinguished with baking soda or a fire extinguisher, not water.
     
  6. If you want to color your candle, add the wax coloring or liquid dye now and stir. You can use a potato peeler to add small pieces of wax dye. Remember the color will change as the wax hardens. You can test the color by dripping a few drops onto a white paper plate and letting it harden as it cools after a few minutes.
     
  7. When the wax is melted, you can also add your preferred scent. You add 1/8 oz. of candle scent for every pound of wax. Stir.
     
  8. The easiest way to give your candle a wick is to use a thin, tapered candle in the same color. Protect your hand with a potholder and pour a small amount of wax (about ½ in.) into the bottom of the carton. Set the tapered candle into the center of the bottom and let harden.
     
  9. Break up a cup or more of ice in a plastic bag. The smaller the pieces are, the better the design will look. You can use a meat mallet or a rolling pin.
     
  10. Pour the crushed ice into the carton up to the top.
     
  11. Pour the hot wax over the ice and let stand overnight to harden.
     
  12. In the morning, pour off any water standing on top of the candle and set the carton upside down on a towel or plate to drain any remaining water.
     
  13. Carefully tear off the carton to reveal the ice candle.
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