While helping my wife get things organized for her Girl Scout event, we began experimenting with ice candles as a fun little activity for the 60-odd girls that would be attending. Of course, the first thing we did was ask our daughter how she did it, because, well, she had done this before in a previous Girl Scout gathering. Her answer was, of course, "I don't remember", so we headed for the internet!

There is a wealth of information with regards to candle making online, and ice candles are no exception. We got the general idea from sites both informal (usually a 4-step process) and professional (25-40 steps, if you can believe it). The problem was, no matter how in-depth the site was on the process (they were all easy to understand and follow), no one site actually talked about the nuances and tweaks we found were necessary to make it work smoothly for what would be 60 girls in a two-hour time span.

Now, you can get as complicated or as simple as you wish. I made two candles last night. One was a single-pour ice candle, while the other involved a second pour with two colors of wax. The single pour model, which is what Kim will be teaching to the girls today, used a simple cardboard, half-pint milk carton as a form, while mine used a mold from our candle making supplies which can be cheaply purchased from any craft or hobby store.

Now, before we begin, I feel the need to mention that paraffin is a very flammable substance! Yes, it is easy to melt and to pour, but it does have a flash point (the point at which a substance will catch fire).

  • Paraffin wax ignites at 199°C (390°F)
  • Paraffin wax with additives ignites at higher temps, usually 249°C (480°F)
  • This shouldn't be a problem, as paraffin begins to melt above 37 °C (99 °F)

Now, I used a commercially available melter designed specifically for candle making. Many home enthusiasts use a double-boiler, as it will allow you to melt on the stovetop without hitting those dangerous temperatures. It should also be noted that, as paraffin exceeds 127°C (261°F), it will begin to turn brown and smell bitter. What I'm getting at here is do not try to melt wax in a pan directly on your stovetop or other heat source unless it is specifically designed for melting wax!

One last note on safety: Paraffin, when ignited, acts like any other petroleum product as it burns. Do not pour water over it, as this will cause an explosion!!! Shut off the heat source and place a lid over the fire to smother it!

Okay! Enough boring stuff! Let's make some candles!

Step 1: A Quick Note on Materials. . .

As I said before, the materials to do this are readily available and pretty cheap, depending how you want to go. You can get paraffin from your local grocery store (or anywhere else that sells canning supplies), or just melt down old candles for their wax!

The pictures show both ways to set up the candle mold, whether you want to use a commercially-produced mold, or just go for the total cheap. Whichever way you go, it is very important that you have the wick anchored in some manner to the bottom of the mold, because when you pour the ice in, it is going to push the wick around. You want to keep the wick as close to the center of the container as you possibly can throughout the process, to make for a more even-burning candle.

Commercially-produced molds already have a way to anchor the wick, so you won't have much of a problem there. With the milk carton, I used a hot-glue gun to put a dollop of glue on the bottom of the wick keeper to hold it in place. The candle wax does not get hot enough to melt the hot glue, so it will hold well through the process.

When tying the wick, you will need to make it as taut as you possibly can, also to keep it centered in the candle. This will take some practice. A curvy wick will not make for even burning.

<p>I saw this type of candle 40+ years ago and was intrigued. I decided to try my hand at it and it turned out pretty good. Thanks for your instructable. Here's mine: <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Ice-Candles-Using-Ice-in-Candle-Making/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Ice-Candles-Using-...</a></p>
<p>They really pretty! Thanks for sharing! I love the DIY molds.</p>
This is really vool

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