You could make these candles with your kids at the beach or assemble them at home by bringing in your own sand. Either way, they'll be a big hit and will light up your evenings together.
Whenever you make homemade candles, be sure to be extra careful with the wax. A small amount of spilled wax on a stove can start a fire. Keep some sand on hand when melting the wax to douse a fire. Be sure to clean up any spills immediately before they harden onto a surface. Also, never throw unused wax down a drain.
Time frame: Two to three hours plus overnight to harden
Level: Moderately easy
What you need:
- Seashells or other artifacts
- Frying pan
- Box of paraffin wax
- Tin can
- Colored wax pieces
- Candle wicking
- Fill the dishpan with sand and smooth out the top until it's level. Add water to the sand and mix it with the digger until the sand is firm enough to make a hole in it without the sides crumbling. Using the digger or your hands, make a hole in the sand that is the desired size of the candle you'd like to make. I'd recommend making the hole approximately four inches by three inches.
- Place seashells in the bottom of this hole.
- Fill the frying pan with one inch of water and heat over medium heat. Break four blocks of wax into small pieces and place them in a tin can. Place the tin can in the pan of water and heat the wax on medium high heat until it is melted. Add colored pieces to the wax until the desired color is obtained.
- Dip a five-inch piece of wicking into the wax to coat and allow it to dry until stiff. Place the wick in the sand hole you dug in step 1. Holding the top of the wick over the hole, slowly pour the melted wax into the hole. Be sure the wick is centered and meets the bottom of the hole. If you want the bottom of the hole area to be the top of your candle, before adding the hot wax, push about 1⁄2 inch of wick on the bottom through the sand with your finger to form the wick. Poke any air bubbles that form in the candles as you pour the wax with a toothpick and add more wax where necessary.
- Allow the wax to cool for several hours without moving the sand. Dig your candle out of the sand, and brush any excess sand off the candle with a paintbrush. Your candle will have a sandy texture and will contain the fruits of your walk on the beach.
More on: Crafts for Kids
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Great Gifts © 2001 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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