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
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
rags or gloves - something to keep hot wax off of you
Step 2: 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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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".
Third Prize in the
Let It Glow!