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Making Ice Candles

32 Comments

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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Each candle turns out different, kinda like a snowflake. Made these when I was young and have wanted to do them again every since. We put a part of an old christmas card on the side of one before putting the ice in and we also sprinkled glitter on them after we took the milk carton off. I think the small cartons that cream and milk come in would work too for small ones. the wax hardens around the cracked ice as it hits the cold. Leaving the outside and inside looking like lace.

I haven't tried it yet but I was wondering if I could use/recycle an old glass jar that an other candle came in ?

I remember doing this for a 4-H project back in the 60's. Most of the milk cartons back then were made with paper instead of plastic. Sometimes we'd even frost the candles (melt the wax and beat with an egg beater, then frost the candle like a cake). Thanks for the memories.

Do you have any pictures?

Do you have any pictures?

If I am right in thinking, these are an idea of what they would look like: http://www.e-scoutcraft.com/candles/candle_ice.jpg

this sounds great but I also would like a pic before I try.

maybe miss maggie can do the project herself and take pictures of it??

Hi squeezebox1967 1709985, Our apologies, the projects we have are user submitted and although we always try to have pictures, sometimes it's not possible. Thanks for your understanding and we're glad you're enjoying the site so far. -Editors of FaveCrafts

y no pics? I would love 2 see how they look b4 I try 2 make any! TY :) I just found & joined this site but so far I LOVE it! :)

We used to do this when I was in high school. We added melted crayon pieces in different colors to make the candle look like tie dye. They are easy and fun to make with kids. Just watch the wax so they don't get burned.

This is really a neat idea. I will have to try this soon.

never heard of this.I am going 2 try thanks .tbuddy

i remember making these when i was a kid. they turn out so pretty!!

yep I want to see pictures too.

THERE NEEDS TO BE PICTURES OF THE FINISHED RESULTS

My three sisters and I made those 25 years ago when we where in the girl scouts for a mothers day present. Mom loved them so much we made them at Christmas time for our family and friends. Thanks for reminding of this I'm going to do this with my grand kids. Very simple and each one is different. You won't be disappointed.

probably could use old ice trays too

looks like a very duable project

A chip container makes a nice round candle at any height you want to make. Also, the juice cartons make a cute and unusual rectangular shape candle. The possibilities of containers to use is endless. Just look around your house and you will be amazed at what you have available for this project to be uniquely your own design.

Yep! Can also use the small milk cartons (like the kids get at school) or the plastic milk/orange juice jugs (like the quart or pint size ones)... the cans from frozen orange juice would work... you name it!

would love to have pics

I remember making these candles 25 years ago for our hang outs during the "Hippie Era". Oh yes tie dyed t-shirts, flared bell bottom jeans and ice candles.

I really look forward to making these candles. Would really like to see a picture of finished product.

Hey, I was reading this and I was thinking, if you were to use one perfectly fine coloured candle - or even a warped one for more effect - and put it in the centre, and then the wax which you use the ice with was a contrasting colour, do you think that it would have a good effect? My mum's birthday is coming up, I want to make something nice for her, and I was thinking that might be nice. Also, if I were to melt down old candles from around the house for the wax, what should I use to pull out the wicks?

I also made these in the 60's. It was all the rage back then. Almost forgot about it. Anxious to do it again tho. Will bring back memories too. Thanks.

My Girl Scout troup made these, for our Mom's for Mother's Day. It was so much fun. This too was in the 60's.

Sounds like they are beautiful i can not wait to try these i love new ideas for my candle making

We made these with our mom at Christmas time (also in the 60s). We used the 12 gallon cartons. Mom would use her ice pick to poke several holes in the sides of the carton after the wax hardened to let out the water. Each one turns out with a different design. So much fun and so easy!

Hi everyone. I've never made these before, but they sound beautiful. Can anyone in our favecrafts family provide a picture (or pictures) of these creations? I would really love to see the finished product that everyone is raving about. Thank you and God Bless.

We used to make these in the 60s, my cousins and I... about the same time we learned how to do sand candles and tie-dyeing, lol. These are so fun to make with kids on gloomy winter days! Thanks for the great instructions.

A real fun idea to do. Thank you.

I started doing ice candles about 15 years ago but I use fountain drink cups or chip cans. I also wipe the inside of the container with greese then sprinkle a really fine glitter inside before i added the ice.

a couple of years ago i made these type of candles for xmas gifts and they were a big, big hit with everyone that received them. i used old candles that had warped over time and i wanted to recycle and get more use from these still very good candles and it didn't take alot to make beautiful gifts. you have got to try this one. have fun!

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