You may have seen my post about how to make candle wicks and a brief intro to making your own “test candles” (aka ice cube tray candles!). Since then I had a little play and started making all sorts of different candles in a variety of colours! I had heard before, but not believed, that you could make candles using cookie cutters on aluminium foil… surely all the wax would just run out? So I decided to sacrifice the order of my kitchen (not that it is very orderly) and make some cookie cutter candles… and then that lead to another idea! So today I have for you Star Candles and Car Candles made with cookie cutters!
Materials: Old white “church candles” (or any candle will do), old (!) coloured crayons, cookie cutters (star & car shaped), homemade candle wicks, cello tape, aluminium foil, some clothes pegs, a pan, an old tin, cardboard for cutting on.
There is a fad going around of recycling old crayons, by melting them down and making new crayons… however, much more effective you can use the same crayons to colour your wax. And you really don’t need much crayon to colour quite a lot of wax. Just goes to show how much pigment is in a crayon! I do like to recycle.. so why not use old old crayons rather than go out and buy some more. Most of us have some in a **drawer somewhere**… or steal some off a small child (only joking).
How to make your cookie cutter crayons – star:
1) Place a pan of water on your stove. Add the tin containing your broken down wax and half a crayon of your desired colour. Heat until the wax is melting.
2) Get a piece of paper. Place your foil on top of it as crease proof as possible. Cut a piece of wick of the desired length. Cello tape a little bit of the wick town to secure it in place. Centre your star over the wick. Hold wick in place with a cloth peg.
3) Now here is the tricky bit. Take the tin of wax out. Let it cool a little – but not set. After say 2-3min, start pouring – hold the cookie cutter firmly onto the foil. I found it helpful to put a 2nd clothes peg across the top and push that down. Pour your wax. You will probably have SOME wax escape (see my photo above), but just keep holding down the peg and wait. Yes. It is boring, but it is worth the pretty shape at the end. Wait some more, wait some more. If a lot of wax escaped, do top it up. But remember adding hot wax, will melt the wax below and more may come out – so always let it cool a little and hold that cutter in place whilst it sets.
And look here, TONS escaped here!! But the candle is still lovely! And all the escaped wax went back in the pot!
4) Let it cool. Once cooled, remove the “escaped” wax and reuse in the tin. Wiggle the cookie cutter shape a little and prise you candle free… lovely.
How to make the candle wick stick out the top of your shape:
I had the idea to make car candles – as Red Ted wants a “Cars Party”… and I bought these car cookie cutters for the party bags (I have 2 extra for Red Ted & Pip Squeak and used one of those car cookie cutters to make these candles). Red Ted will be four.. so I need four candles… I made them one after the other. Not time efficient, but I was doing other things in the meantime!
Basically you are going through the same process as above, but you are have to tape your wick across your cutter. Note – when you then remove your candle at the end, it will be “taped” in. So try and use “just the right amount of tape – a little for the bottom part of the candle and a little more, but not too much for the part of the wick you will light. Yes, it is fiddly, but again, worth it! You will also find, that you candle will not be “perfect” – where you wick was resting, there will be a groove. Follow the steps above. When it comes to wriggling the candle free, it will be stuck to the cookie shape because of the cello tape. Just keep trying gently until it comes loose!
1) You only need about half a crayon for a whole tin of wax. More crayon will not result in a deeper colour.
2) I tried some “colour theory” by adding a blue cray0n to red wax and got a browny purple (instead of a nice purple) – colour theory will not work well with crayons – I am guessing that commercial blues and red are not “pure colours” and will contain a mix of primary colours, which you will only notice once you melt it all down. To keep your colours pretty, just use one crayon per tin. I have 5 tins standing around my house… it is fine of course to add a dark blue to a light blue, but avoid yellow + blue unless you want to be dissappoint etc.
3) Make sure all the wax and crayons are fully melted. Give it a good swirl to get it all mixed up.
4) The “neater” your foil, the “neater” your final candle. My cars have creases on them that they got from the foil. I don’t think the creases matter too much, but if you are perfectionist…..
5) Take your melted wax off the heat and let it cool a little (but not set), before pouring into your cookie cutter, this will mean it will set quicker and you will have to hold it in place less long. You may want to cool your cookie cutter in the fridge first to speed up the setting process and get less leakage.
6) Make sure your candle is fully cooled before removing it from the shape. Else you will squish it. If need be place it in the fridge for five minutes.
**this is a slow craft, as you have to wait for your wax to cool and set**
Right, I hope I have convinced you, that you do not need store bought kits to make candles at home. Apart from the borax for the homemade candle wicks , I had all the materials needed at home (I in fact had borax too). So you really can recycle your old candles and make new ones at home. Homemade candles rock!