(This is my first instructable, so...wish me luck!)
Step 1: Choosing and unwrapping the crayons.
Look for crayons that may have spots of other colors on them, or are dull and can't color any more, or just some extra ones you have lying around.
Foolproof way to get the wrappers off:
Get a bowl and put some water in it. Add a few pieces of ice then let the water get cold. Put in your crayons, wrapper and all, and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Now there are 2 ways you can go with this.
If the wrapper will peel off easily-ish:
Snap the crayon in half and peel off the wrapper from the part where the wrapping is a little above the crayon.
If the wrapper is still on there:
Put the crayon vertically on a table. Get a knife (not super-sharp) and gently slide it downwards on the crayon until you see part of the actual crayon. Peel it off after that.
Step 2: Melting the crayons.
Step 3: "Molding" your candles
A metal cookie cutter
A mini baking cup
Some shaped container or your choice
***Make sure toi spray your container with non-stick spray before pouring***
Let the candle set up for about 5 minutes, then it's time to put in the wick.
Step 4: Choosing a Wick.
There are some tips that have been handed down by veteran candlemakers that can help the novice in the quest to find the correct wick size. The following tips are just generalizations, but are still a good place to start.
1. Wick size should general match the candle size. For example, small candles use small diameter wicks.
2. Wicks that are too small for the candle will leave a lot of unburned wax around the outside of the candle or just drown in the pool of wax that gathers at its base.
3. Wicks that are too large for the candle will cause excessive smoke, burn too fast, or even cause the wax to overflow down the sides of the candle or container.
The best guideline to use when choosing a wick size is to first decide the type of wick to use. The different materials that wicks are made of also effect how it burns. The following list includes common wick types and the types of candles they work the best in.
1. CD wicks
wax types: some beeswax and gels, paraffin
candle types: solid color, no fragrance
2. CDN wicks
wax types: paraffin
candle types: solid color, free standing pillar, container
3. 3 ply cotton wick
wax types: paraffin
candle types: pillar, taper
4. Square braided wick
wax type: any
candle type: any
5. Paper core wick
wax type: petroleum
candle type: votive, pillar, container
6. Cotton core wick
wax type: any
candle type: tealight, votive, container, pillar
The following list contains three popular additives and the effect they have on how a candle burns. There are, of course, many more additives used in candlemaking, including fragrance and colors, so this list is only to give a rough idea of what could possibly occur when using additives. The real effects will be determined by the amount of additive used in your candle recipe.
1. Stearic acid
use: hardening agent
burn effect: raises melt point, causes slower burn
2. Lustre crystals
use: enhance colors
burn effect: lowers melt point, causes faster burn
use: prevent mottling, hardener
burn effect: none
Candlemaking is a process of trial and error and perhaps wick size is one of the hardest parts, but if you use general knowledge of how candles burn, include the effect of additives, type of wick chosen and size of candle you should be able to choose a wick size that works. Check the manufactures recommendations on products you buy. Especially look for any information on how additives will effect the burning of the candle. Also follow all safety recommendations listed on the package. The guidelines here are a good start, but as mentioned earlier, the best way to determine wick size is to test your candle creations and see what works best for your candle.
Step 5: Inserting the wick and finishing your candle.
Using a spoon or a knife, poke one side of the mold until the candle slides out. Trim off the excess wax with a knife, insert into a candle holder, light, and enjoy your new homemade candle!