The thermometer hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit this weekend in Michigan where we were spending the weekend and it seemed like a good time to break out the summer crafts. We decided to make sand candles. You may want to try this project as the candles are very unusual and beautiful keepsake to commemorate a trip to the beach.
You have two choices when making sand candles. If you can find candle wicking at a craft store you may use that to make your candles. If wicking is difficult to obtain or if you just feel like taking a shortcut you can just use a store bought candle and embed it in the wax and sand and no one will ever know the difference!
- Paraffin (buy it in small amounts at the hardware store in the canning department or buy a big block of it at a craft store.)
- Wick or store bought votive
- Container to hold the sand. Or use the the beach, if you are right there.
- Old pot to melt the wax. Use a thrift-store pan that can be your designated wax-melting pot. (Do not use a good pot for this as it is nearly impossible to wash the wax out completely. When I first started making candles we had waxy soup for years due to my failure to get all the wax out of the saucepan I used.)
- Larger pot to fill with water and use in combination with wax pot as a double-boiler. If you are careful you can keep this one wax-free.
First you need to dig out the indentation where your candle will be formed. If you are right on the beach you can do it directly in the sand but otherwise you can fill a wagon or a bucket with sand and bring it closer to the stove. Use water to wet the sand enough so that it will hold a hole dug into it. Scoop out the shape you want your candle to be. The candle will be right-side-up when you pour it so make the bottom as wide and flat as you can so that the candle will stand up when it is removed from the sand. The candles look good with shells, rocks and sea glass imbedded into their sides so you can arrange all this in the hole before you pour the wax.
Next you need to arrange the wick. If you are using a store-bought candle just center it in the hole. If you are using wick, cut a piece the right length and dangle it over the top of the hold using a stick.
Now, melt the wax. Use crayon pieces to color it. If you can chop the paraffin into small chunks it will melt better. Do not melt wax directly over the fire. You have to use a double boiler and have your wax pan suspended over a pan containing water. Wax is really flammable and if it is put directly on the burner it will ignite before it melts. You can’t use a microwave for this part.
After the wax is melted pour it slowly and gently into your hole.