This is the perfect project when the weather is freezing cold, and there is a good snow pack. This winter has been a bit slow in arriving, but this weeks snow falls here in Maine have provided us with just enough snow for this project, and the weather forecast is predicting colder temperatures this weekend!
It is simple. A great project to do with kids, and does not involve more than half an hours time -most of which is spent preparing to go outside. It does not require many supplies, and the end result is something useful and beautiful!
The best days for this project are the coldest, when there is a good snow pack.
I love to do this project with kids (age 7+) because it does not involve a lot of time outside, but just enough to get some fresh air and make you feel refreshed. It does not require the purchase of many supplies, either. Candles do not take long to harden, so kids don’t have to wait long to see the end result.
To get started, you will need one pound of wax, preferably non petroleum. ( I use my own blend of plant waxes.) Bees wax is not recommended, only because of it’s higher melt point. Using a wax with a lower melting point, between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit will give you the best results. One pound of wax yields eight 2 oz. candles.
You will need wick for container candles that has a tab. Make sure the wick you choose is the right gauge for the wax you are using, and the diameter of the candles you are making. Choose wick without a metal or zinc core!! I use a fantastic braid that is 100% natural unbleached cotton, with natural hemp core.
Choose a small saucepan, or pitcher with a heavy bottom (non-aluminum) to melt the wax in . Always melt on low heat, and never leave unattended. (All waxes are flammable if they are over heated!) Use a pan you don’t care about using for cooking in again… note: if you will be melting wax on a wood stove or fire, use a double boiler to melt wax.
An oven mit, or heat proof gloves are needed for the hot pan.Wear half gloves if you have them so it is easier to handle the supplies. It is important that you are able to move about easily and quickly.
This is the order in which you will want to proceed.
First, prepare your outdoor work area by creating your molds. Choose a surface with 8″ or more of snow accumulation. Use the jelly glass (or container 2″ to 2.5″ in diameter) to create cylinder impression in the snow. Make as many as you need. (For best results, don’t pour wax deeper than 2.5″.) Keep it as level as possible, and make the impression about 3″ deep.
Second, inside -melt your wax on low heat. Just before all the wax has completely melted, remove from heat. Turn off stove top! Take the pan/pitcher of wax to your outdoor work area. Allow wax to cool slightly, until it begins to film.
Third, place wicks into the center of the snow molds so they are standing upright.
Pour wax into the molds as quickly as possible.
Watch the candles form right before your eyes. Once the wax is solid (about ten to fifteen minutes) gently pull candles out of the snow.
Once the wax has cooled, and the candles have formed, you can remove them from the snow. Note the lovely texture on the surface of the candle kissed by snowflakes! Your candles should be about the size of a votive, with an approximate burn time of 6 to 8 hours.
I hope you find this project fun, and educational!