Introduction: 1up Mario Candle

Picture of 1up Mario Candle

Go retro with this candle that looks like a 1up from Super Mario Bros.!

I recommend you to read through the entire Instructable before you start.

This is entered in the Let it Glow contest. Please vote it you like it! Thanks, enjoy!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

You'll need:

Hollowed-out light bulb - Here's how to remove the innards and here's how to remove the white kaolin powder.

A fair amount of paraffin wax - I didn't exactly weigh my wax, but it'd be better to buy too much than not enough - JoAnn's Fabric store, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby are stores that sell it. Buy a couple pounds.

Green, white, and black crayons - try not to mix brands

1 1/4 inch PVC pipe - 6 inches long is sufficient

1/2 inch PVC pipe - This is for marking the spots.

double boiler - I used a soup can and a saucepan

rubber band

aluminum foil


rags or gloves - something to keep hot wax off of you

Step 2: Making the Cap

Picture of Making the Cap

Melt about 2 cups of wax in the double boiler slowly. Once the wax is completely melted, add crushed green crayon as needed to get a plain green color. I used 1 1/2 Crayola crayons. You can experiment to get a lighter or darker color, based on your preferences.

This is one of the most dangerous parts of the whole project, so take extra care and get adult supervision.

Remove your green wax from the burner and let it cool for a minute or so. If a film covers the top, you waited a bit too long, but you can still use the wax.

While holding the light bulb with a thick glove or rag, carefully pour the melted wax into the bulb. Do this outside or over newspaper so nothing will get ruined from the wax. Stop pouring the wax when the bulb is filled 1 cm from the top. If you have a metal funnel, it would make this step a helluva lot easier. I didn't, so I did it the hard way.

Place the bulb in a cool, secure, and stable place in a vertical position. Don't place the bulb near plastic or flammable items, kids, or pets. Hot wax can cause 2nd to 3rd degree burns. I set mine near a table fan so it would cool a bit faster.

Let the wax dry, perhaps a day or so. It's better to wait too long than not long enough.

Step 3: Making the Head (stem)

Picture of Making the Head (stem)

Tear a 4 in. x 4 in. square of aluminum foil. Center one end of the PVC in the middle and fold the foil upwards and around the pipe. Use a rubber band to secure this.

Melt a small amount of wax and add crushed white crayon as needed to make the wax look as close to pure white as you can. The crayon isn't required as the wax should dry to become white anyway, but adding makes me feel better. I used 1 white Crayola crayon.

Again, this part is very dangerous.

Holding both the pipe and the wax can with gloves or rags, pour the wax in the pipe. Fill it so it is one inch from the top. Put it in a cool, stable, and secure place free of disturbances. I set mine in a tall glass glass in front of my fan.

Step 4: Breaking Glass

Picture of Breaking Glass

Put your light bulb on a piece of newspaper so that you shouldn't have to worry about glass on the floor.

Take the sharp end of a hammer (not the hammering part, the part you pull nails out with) and gently tap the bulb. Eventually the glass should break or . After it does, the other side and pick of the glass and metal cap. You should have fairly large pieces.

Step 5: Finishing the Stem/head

Picture of Finishing the Stem/head

I encased my stem in PVC pipe. I had to cut through it to get my wax out. I tried to use a table saw, but ended up using a Dremel. It's hard to be accurate using a Dremel for this, so I ended up with shallow cuts into my stem. I dipped the stem in hot white wax multiple times which fixed the cuts.

If you do this, I'd recommend you use a cheap glass shot glass so you can just break it to get the stem out. My way was more complicated than it should have been, but alas, I don't drink. I had to use what was on hand.

Step 6: Touching Up

Picture of Touching Up

Before we start this, I'm going to let you know that this part and the next few steps are very artistic. There isn't a right or wrong way, and it's hard to give exact directions. You'll have to go by pictures and feel.

Using a sharp utensil, like a paring knife, shave off wax from the cap. Shave wax off until you don't have any more "neck", so it's only the "bulb" part.

Shave off wax from the stem until it is about 2 inches long.

Step 7: Putting It Together

Picture of Putting It Together

Melt your white wax. While it is melting, take saran wrap and wrap your cap everywhere except for the top edge. Put aluminum foil over this. This is to make wax spills less detrimental to the cap and make them easier to remove.

Pour a bit in the recess of your cap and then place the stem in the recess. Now is the time you want to make sure it is straight and not crooked. I forgot this step.

I wanted to make sure my stem wouldn't come out, so I let some wax cool just enough to make it permeable but still soft and hot. I put bits and pieces around the edge of my stem. This turned out to look like crap, so I removed it. My candle won't be under a whole bunch of stress anyway.

Step 8: Creating Eyes

Picture of Creating Eyes

My way of creating eyes is pretty crude, but it works.

Take your knife and scrape out ovals in the stem. You'll have to just go by your instincts - I played with different eye shapes.

Using a flame from a match or lighter, heat one end of a black crayon until it turns liquid. Smush this into one of the eye-recesses and repeat until both are covered like Picture 1.

Using your knife, scrape of the excess black wax until your eyes look satisfactory. (Picture 2)

Step 9: Seeing Spots

Picture of Seeing Spots

Melt white wax.

1-up bonuses have white spots. Me and Zapruder tried to think of the best method of making them, and eventually decided on my way.

I used the mouth of a glass 8 oz. Coca Cola bottle and lightly cut around it to give you guides for cutting deeper.

Move the bottle and cut a couple millimeters into the wax.

Pour a bit of wax into a wide container and let it sit for a few minutes. When cools into a soft solid, pick off bits and pieces and smush them into the recess. Push hard. When you fill the recess up, shave off any excess and do another spot.

Step 10: Finishing Up

I don't like candles, so I kept my 1-up as just a wax figure. If you want to make a candle, buy a wick. Take a wire clothes hanger, straighten it, and heat it in a flame. After a few minutes, drive it straight down the center of the 1-up. Insert your wick and add a few drops of white wax (or green, depending on your spot placement).

I really wish I had more time to finish this up and make it look better, but I have to go on vacation tomorrow.

I hope I was clear in my instructions. If you have any trouble or questions, please leave a comment and I will get back to you ASAP.

Thanks to Zapruder for photos and being my "third hand".


Medicdavidson (author)2013-04-04

I'm a little confused. I want to do this. This was an awesome idea and job btw. I'm not understanding how you had the white under the green. Do you mix the green crayon into the wax when you start with the light bulb? I'm lost. I need to understand how you are able to make the white when you do your white spots. Thanks for posting this.

rocksalt2342 (author)2008-06-21

I have a old 1up mushroom tin container thing that used to hold mints, maybe I'll use that.

Tomcat94 (author)rocksalt23422008-06-22

I have one too! Sadly, though, the candies inside taste AWFUL!!! It's hard to open as well.... But it still looks cool on my dashboard! :D

rocksalt2342 (author)Tomcat942008-06-22

I heard the red ones are good

Tomcat94 (author)rocksalt23422008-06-23

...that's the one I have..... Whoever told you that was'nt very truthful.... But people have different tastes, so dont go by what I said. :)

WhiteTigerTails (author)Tomcat942012-03-05

Hey, I liked em...

rocksalt2342 (author)Tomcat942008-06-24

well, the green ones are bad too. just warning you.

The blue ones tasted a bit funny actually.

russian5 (author)guitarmansmitty2009-11-03

Yeah, they really did. You know, it's a good thing I didn't melt mine to make ingots, I think I'm going to make this one.

so they're all bad mints? they still look cool though.

Redgerr (author)rocksalt23422008-07-16

lol thats all that matters-- cool looking stuff is sweet and taste DOESNT matter!! :]

allureoftheearth (author)2008-08-08

check out this clock my friends brother made out of legos.

beso3 (author)allureoftheearth2008-08-08


allureoftheearth (author)beso32008-08-08

yeah, you'd have to use a drill to put the clock in though

Ever hear of lego TECHNIC?

i luv the shade and the clock!

:D I love the dragon lamp actually.... Wish I could make a shade like that!

cupcake_love (author)2011-08-11

Hehe this is cute!!! Awesome candle.

guitarmansmitty (author)2008-06-21

Nice. I'll have to go off and try this one. To put a wick in, couldn't you just use a drill and a reasonably sized bit or would that be putting too much pressure on the wax? Just a thought. 5/5

Zapruder (author)guitarmansmitty2008-06-23

You could try it but I would not recommend it because if you use a large bit than how does the wick stay stable. Another problem is that you could drill wrong and end up with a lopsided wick. I do agree that the wax would be too weak.

Gage987 (author)Zapruder2009-07-23

you could heat a hanger or good sized heavy wire that won't bend and shove it into it and repeat untill you make it through

Bradley1000 (author)Zapruder2008-06-30

There are some smaller light bulbs out there. For the wax, just by some generic candles. They're not very expensive.

Bran (author)guitarmansmitty2008-06-27

Thanks for the rating! If you go easy and slow, you could possibly use a drill. The heat generated by the drilling could melt the wax, so again, go easy and slow.

natethegreat88 (author)2009-02-06

This is actually one of the Instructables that I did. It took like ~3 days to do it, but it was worth it. Now it sits next to my TV and Pac-Man Lego figures. I took it to school and some one asked if they could have it and I said "Sorry, but maybe for $20 and if you give me a about a week." But they didn't buy it.

mg0930mg (author)natethegreat882009-06-27

because $20 is too much...

p4trick95 (author)2009-06-24

That's a scroll saw, not a table saw.

p4trick95 (author)2009-06-24

the "sharp part" of the hammer is called the peen.

tomman (author)2009-05-17

can you make red one for the size groth

noelle_tan (author)2009-01-03

Where's the wick?

Lance Mt. (author)noelle_tan2009-01-18

"I don't like candles, so I kept my 1-up as just a wax figure. If you want to make a candle, buy a wick. "

Nice ible though

RedneckAsian (author)2008-12-28

could the same method be employed for the power up mushroom???

Solderguy (author)2008-09-29

I'm gonna make a wax Super mushroom, I'm half done except I'm uber lazy.

PYROMan1 (author)2008-08-08

could you use red to make a power up mushroom

Bran (author)PYROMan12008-08-08

Of course! It might look like a personified fly agaric, but sure! :-)

DrCoolSanta (author)2008-07-31

Nice one. But I would suggest using some wire or streightened paper clip instead of a hanger, fr most hangers are very thick. I would also say that you could try getting different types of wax to stick it or do stuff like that. You could have made the head with white wax and the stem with black wax and then dipped them in green and white wax and while still liquid stuck them. And to carve out the eyes and the white part you could just use a knife.

Mr. Rig It (author)2008-06-19

The idea of how and what you used as the basic mold is freaking fantastic. This is one that really impresses me. Instructions and photos are great the end product is great. All around Great Job!

Bran (author)Mr. Rig It2008-06-27

Wow, you don't have any idea how much that means to me! Thanks for the feature!

Mr. Rig It (author)Bran2008-06-27

You're welcome :)

struckbyanarrow (author)2008-06-27

+1 and voted i love 1 up!!!!!

JellyWoo (author)2008-06-21

do you have any ways of making a smaller version of this, reasonable to put on a small cake? for the stem, you could also try using a cardboard tube. can you buy the wax from wal-mart? thanks

Bran (author)JellyWoo2008-06-27

Sorry, I can't think of a way to create a smaller version. I have not seen the wax at Wal-Mart, but any craft store should sell paraffin wax. The cardboard idea sounds promising. Thanks, and I get back to you if I think of anything.

Lithium Rain (author)2008-06-20

This is awesome! 5/5 stars!

Bran (author)Lithium Rain2008-06-27


reedz (author)2008-06-19

I really like the instructable, good effort on it. I do have to ask, what was the failed project on the lightbulb?

Zapruder (author)reedz2008-06-23

Bran will be back later, you can ask him then.

reedz (author)Zapruder2008-06-23

Oh... where did he go?

Bran (author)reedz2008-06-27

I was in Florida; sorry about that. I tried to make a 1up by just painting the bulb, but it looked really wonky. Thanks!

rocksalt2342 (author)reedz2008-06-24

he went over there.

pyroman22 (author)2008-06-20

how do i vote for it?

Bran (author)pyroman222008-06-27

Look on the top of the page and there should be a button that says Vote Now! Thanks, glad you liked it!

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm in high school and I enjoy hunting and fishing. I enjoy photography. I like fixing things, salvaging things I can't fix, and ... More »
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