Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ice Candle for Imbolc!

Orion and I had alot of fun making this project. I told him about how ice candles are a good symbol for Imbolc as the holiday is halfway between Winter and Spring, and the candle is a symbol of both ice and fire. I didn't get pictures of all the steps, but here is what you do, with a few photos:

Things you need:
Container - cardboard pints work great if you don't have candle molds. Don't use tin cans as it is very hard to get the candle out because of the ridges.
Paraffin and/or crayons
Candle wicks or a small taper candle (so much easier than dealing with wicks!).

First you need to smash up some ice. You could just use crushed ice, but what fun would that be?
Then you need to melt some paraffin, or you can use old crayons if you have enough. This step needs to be done on a double boiler, or if you don't have one, sitting a can on top of a ring from a canning jar lid works great.
Several skipped steps in pictures here... When the paraffin is almost melted, you can put a crayon in for color. It is best to wait, as it is hard to see if all the paraffin is melted once you put the crayon in. Vanilla can also be added for scent at end. Put the crushed ice and taper or wick into your chosen container, then pour the melted wax over the whole business. (If you are using wicks, you will need something like a pencil to tie it to and lay across the top to keep it in the middle and up out of the wax.) The wax will melt the ice, but not before it dries enough to make a pretty pattern.
Let it dry, then rip the container off (do this over the sink as there will be melted water in there) and you will have yourself a lovely candle! Finished result:
I wasn't sure how much wax we had, so I left the taper candle tall lol. It was no big deal as it just burned down to where the big candle started.

The ice needs to be in fairly small pieces or the outside of the candle will be too fragile. We also had an issue with the plastic bag getting alot of holes in it. No big deal except then the ice can get dirty if on the ground. Might be better to lay something under it next time...
If you use a mixture of paraffin and crayons, it needs to be stirred right before pouring it. They seem to have a really different density and separated. It actually made for some need swirly patterns, but if you want a more solid result, stir.
The other thing I noticed is that the base is wobbly because it isn't flat. I am thinking to have a really nice finished result, you could pour a thin layer of wax in the bottom and let it dry a bit before putting the ice in and continuing with the rest of the project.

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