Introduction: How to Make Hand Candles


I ran across a tutorial on how to make a candle by dipping an inflated balloon into wax. It got me wondering if I could do the same with a latex glove. The thing about the balloon candle is that it doesn't have a wick, you just place a tealight inside of the wax shell. I didn't like that, I wanted my hand candle to have wicks on the fingers. So instead of dipping the glove in wax, I poured wax into the inside with wicks running through the fingers. To make my hand candle more ghoulish for Halloween I added some red wax to make it look like the fingers are bleeding.

In this instructable I will show you on how to make your own hand candle.

Warning the flames can burn very high, use caution, never leave candle unattended.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

  • Candle wax (I used white/off white and red for the blood)
  • Powder free disposable gloves/exam gloves (ie latex)*
  • Candle wicks
  • Pot for melting wax
  • 20 gauge wire
  • Clamps
  • Duct tape
*A note about the gloves: I work in a lab so I have access to several different types (and sizes) of gloves. The gloves I used withstood the heat of the wax, but I found that some thinner gloves seem to tear a bit around the wick and started to leak, I managed to clamp the leak shut with some binder clips was still salvageable. The ones I found worked best were Curad Latex Powder Free Exam Gloves. We also Nitrile gloves in our lab but I haven't tried those yet.
While I was writing up this Instructable it occurred to me that dish-washing gloves may be used as well. They are much thicker and likely won't tear, although they often have a lining inside (you can probably just turn them inside out) .

Step 2: Preparing Glove

  • Poke a tiny hole in the tip of the each finger you want to have a candle wick.
  • Tie knots in the wicks about 1 cm from the end.
  • Poke the wick through the hole from the inside (the knot should be inside the glove right against the tip).
  • Cover the finger tip with duct tape covering the wick and the hole to prevent the wax from seeping out.

Step 3: Making a Holder

To make it easier and safer to hold the glove open while pouring hot wax into it I used some wire to fashion a loop. I slipped the loop around the opening and used some clamps to hold it on. To make sure that the wick(s) stay centred in the fingers I knotted them together and wrapped the loose end around a pencil to anchor them (see image below).

Step 4: Wax

A word of caution, be careful when pouring the hot wax as the gloves may tear and spill the hot wax everywhere.So pour away from yourself fingers to prevent burns.

The amount of wax you will need depends on the size of glove that you are using, you can fill a glove with water and then pour it into a measuring cup to get the correct amount. It is a good idea to melt more than you need in case you spill. Place a plate or tray under your glove to catch any drips or leaks. Melt your wax in a pot on the stove then slowly pour it into the glove. Once filled hang it somewhere to allow it to set (I hung mine from a banana hanger). I placed a cork between the thumb and fingers since the thumb seemed to sag.

Hand Gestures
Before the wax sets you have an opportunity to bend the fingers (and tape them up) if you want to make hand gestures, such as a peace sign, Vulcan salute etc.

Step 5: Admire Your Handy Work


Once the wax has fully hardened you can peel/cut off the glove. Trim the end of the wick from the bottom. If the bottom is uneven you can use a knife to carve it flat so that it can stand without tipping.

Step 6: Adding Red


Simply melt a small amount of red wax. With a spoon scoop up some of the red wax and drizzle around the fingers, letting it drip down the hand.

Comments

author
Smoke_me_a_kipper made it!(author)2011-10-24

SAFETY TIP:

Several of these hand candles have been recalled due to fire hazard. When the fingers burn down they really burn due to all the paraffin melting. Take care.

http://www.consumersrevenge.com/reports/candle4.htm

author
aspendog14 made it!(author)2014-10-16

adding steric acid reduces the melt rate in candles

author
ChrysN made it!(author)2014-10-16

Thanks, that is good to know.

author
VividF made it!(author)2016-04-09

My husband accidentally broke it lol

author
KaraM16 made it!(author)2016-03-21

This was my practice one.

11889562_1633066376952118_6604805503017840937_n.jpg
author
evacooper made it!(author)2016-04-09

that looks really hand like - what kind of glove is that?

author
VividF made it!(author)2016-04-09

I sculpted with an exacto knife

author
evacooper made it!(author)2016-04-09

that looks really hand like - what kind of glove is that?

author
ChrysN made it!(author)2016-03-21

Oh no, you lost a finger.

author
sdhardie made it!(author)2013-09-19

This is such a fantastic idea. Thanks for posting!

author
ChrysN made it!(author)2013-09-19

Thanks!

author
wocket made it!(author)2012-01-26

Awesome. A tripple dip would work even better. start with thin white candles for the fingers, cover with red wax in the mold then dip in skin coloured wax.

author
bde+cock made it!(author)2012-01-14

If you use a red candle and then dip the red "hand" in white candle wax about 20 times, it will look even awesomer

author
kazmataz made it!(author)2011-11-16

Love this! Would be fun to do with soap - gives a whole new meaning to "hand soap"

author
ChrysN made it!(author)2011-11-16

LOL, great idea!

author
sunshiine made it!(author)2011-11-04

Cool idea!

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anonymouse197 made it!(author)2011-10-20

"Admire your handy work"
^ like

author
Johan8335 made it!(author)2011-10-23

Need to give a great “hand” of applause for this “handy”, “hands” on project.
lol

author
anonymouse197 made it!(author)2011-10-23

Haha, of course! mdr :P

author
Johan8335 made it!(author)2011-10-31

This is why they say: Many “hands” make “Light” work....... But in this case I have to “hand” it to him and say one “hand” makes 5 “lights” work!!!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

author
samdizzy made it!(author)2011-10-31

for my "hand-off": I gotta "hand" it to you.

author
strixowl made it!(author)2011-10-30

Have you tried double dipping the candle, this could really make a cool effect. having two different colours of wax using say white on the outside and red after a few layers on the inside. Great idea

author
ChrysN made it!(author)2011-10-30

I haven't tried it, that sounds like a great idea!

author
TSC made it!(author)2011-10-27

Awsome! candle!

author
Beadevil made it!(author)2011-10-23

Hi ChrysN! This is a wonderfully ghoulish decoration. I just accepted an invitation to a halloween party and asked what I might bring along. Well, now I know! Perhaps I will make a big Devil's Food Cake with blood-red frosting. I'll bake it in a Bundt pan, so there is a hole in the center where I can place the candle, elevated a bit on a 'pedestal', so that the wrist is just below the level of the cake. Oh, what fun!

May I offer a SAFETY TIP? Always melt parafin or wax in a container (such as a washed out can) that is placed into a pot that is filled with simmering water. This is especially important when heating over an open flame, such as a gas stove.

As with oil fires, should a fire occur, NEVER use water to extinguish (use a fire extinguisher, baking soda, or smother the fire with a blanket (but not a synthetic one.) In addition, wear natural-fiber clothing, such as cotton, when working near flame.

To simplify the process, I wonder if it would be possible to place five candles into the fingers and thumb of the glove and then pour the melted wax or parafin into the glove to fill in the spaces.

Thanks for sharing!

author
bongocat made it!(author)2011-10-24

putting candles in the fingers would help center the wick.

author
Beadevil made it!(author)2011-10-25

Yes, that is true. And, I'm not certain, but using red candles might even make them drip red "blood". It's worth a try.

author
ChrysN made it!(author)2011-10-23

Thanks for the safety tips!

author
Beadevil made it!(author)2011-10-24

You're welcome. I worked for a number of years in occupational therapy and in teaching arts and crafts to children and adults. We dipped candles every advent season, and we were well drilled about melting wax and parafin! None of our candles were quite like your's. I forwarded the link to a number of friends, and one of them immediately called me long distance to laughingly say that she had to delete the mail because it was too gory!

author
kstevens2 made it!(author)2011-10-24

Can you tell me approximately how much wax is needed and what type you use? Thanks these are awesome!! Can't wait to make some!

author
ChrysN made it!(author)2011-10-24

It depends on the size of glove, probably about 500grams (1 pound) or so.

author
acoleman3 made it!(author)2011-10-23

hmm....a hand of glory! or at least something that *looks* like one. nice job.....

author
Phantomn made it!(author)2011-10-23

Surely "Handles"...?

Anyone...

author
porcupinemamma made it!(author)2011-10-23

Hi Five! Hand-some! Very hand-y to have on hand in case of a black-out. Could be used as a prosthetic ( but as long as it is only used on cloudy days.) Talk to the hand! Make 6 for a genetically enhanced spider.

author
ChrysN made it!(author)2011-10-23

LOL! I was anticipating some puns.

author
Oppidum made it!(author)2011-10-23

Waaaa! Amazing! I'll try to do that! A perfect cadle for Halloween! :D

author
cpacker1 made it!(author)2011-10-20

cool idea

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eross-1 made it!(author)2011-10-20

The Hand of Glory! That is super cool!

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ccrook1 made it!(author)2011-10-20

love it gonna have ago as halloween is best day of the year i think

author
cdawisconsin made it!(author)2011-10-20

Super creative =)

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Browncoat made it!(author)2011-10-20

Clever!

author
dimtick made it!(author)2011-10-20

I love this. Such a cool effect. Think I'll be making some of these.....although I think the blood will creap my kids out to much so mine will just be wax.

nice job!

author
mischka made it!(author)2011-10-20

Looks great! I wish I had the time to make it for my halloween party.

author
Penolopy+Bulnick made it!(author)2011-10-19

Ooh, I did something like this once at a candle shop. The guy had me just stick my thumb in wax. I like the way you do it better. The outcome is certainly more awesome :)

author
Creativeman made it!(author)2011-10-19

Clever ChrysN....very good!

author
mikeasaurus made it!(author)2011-10-19

freakish and awesome!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and ... More »
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