Candle Dipping

We just made some wonderful candles today in the shop! It was a bit of a Holiday Workshop but really candle-making is for good for any time of year. As a kid we used to make dip candles, it's a big sport around the holidays and in wintertime in general in Sweden. It's been a real long time and I knew my mom was going to be in town so I thought she could help. This is a great craft that can involve the entire family and I hate to say it but it's pretty darn easy.

in this photo you can see I have my beeswax in the double boiler pan right (for dipping), and I am recycling my leftover ikea candles (left pan) that had burned down by pouring into cups.
You will need some tools, I would suggest going to a second hand store and see what you can get a hold of to use. I found everything I needed at my favorite store called 'Mine' in Mystic, CT (run by the most delightful man - if you are in Mystic don't miss a stop into this wonderyard of second hand treasures). I found a pretty large double boiler for $5 and a hot plate too. I got a camping coffee can to use for pouring candles when we were done dipping (it's nice to finish off the wax because you never know when you are going to pull this out again). Luckily the camping coffee can fit inside the double boiler so I could keep it hot.

I've been saving old wax from the bottoms of candles in a box for quite awhile so I was excited to recycle them. I also always clean my used votive candles from Ikea - so I have tons to reuse for this project. Just tie a knot in the bottom of your wick, make the length of the glass votive and use chopsticks to hold the wicks in place.

Here you can see that we got creative and sculpted peace signs and hearts

You will need:
double boiler (or some kind of pot in pot) you want it to be deep enough for the length of your candle we only got 6" - 8" tapers with our pot.
hot plate
wicks (I got wicks for 1" tapers and 3" votive candles)
beeswax (or recycle old wax!)
chopsitcks (if you are going to pour)
clean votives or glasses (you could get cheap glasses from a second hand shop to use for this as well)

It's nice to do this on a good size work surface, We have an old door that we put on two horses, we put this up wherever we need to create a work surface, be it outside or in, it gives you ample room to work and you don't have to worry about anything!

Add water to your double boiler and heat. Add your wax to the top double boiler and melt, as soon as it is finished melting you want to make sure you keep the temperature even and low so you don't burn the beeswax. As soon as all the wax is melted you can start the dipping. After your first dip you can pull your wick taught so that the candles will come out straight (it's okay and not very hot, my kids even did this part). It's important to dip - not to quick and not too slow. Too quickly and you won't get much, too slow and the wax will melt again and you will also go nowhere! They should not get thicker than an inch or the wick will not stay lit (if you are making candle thicker than 3" you need to give different wicks) - you will know when you get it right.

This is not a fast project and you need patience. Want to teach your kids some patience or the value in slow crafting.. make candles!

You can sculpt peace signs or hearts by dipping your wick once and then sculpting your shape then keep dipping like you would a candle.

GOOD LUCK and have some fun! put on some holiday music and go to town....
I got my wax and wick supplies at Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, they are terrific and have everything you need.