Intro: 40-hour Survival Candle for Under $2.00
So I was browsing around instructables (as usual) and saw this contest. Being me I just had to enter it! Especially being a first-aid maniac, I'm trained in CPR level-C and I carry a first-aid kit in my backpack...prepared or paranoid? Anyways I LOVE to make candles, but don't love the price of supplies. Using the mini candles that you can buy literally anywhere, is a cheap way to make a survival candle. This candle is at best "value" if used in 4-hour intervals. It's a good source of light and a little bit of heat. Hopefully yours will turn out better than mine...
First, you will need to gather your supplies.
- Paraffin wax or old paraffin wax candles (100 mini candles for around $7)
- Wick (you could just use the wicks from your candles, if bought new, for free. Otherwise, it'll be $7 for 48 inches)
- Double boiler (not included in the price) if you don't have one just nest a smaller pot into a bigger pot, that is filled approximately 1/4 of the way with water.
Step 1: Chop and Melt
This is the easiest part. All because you need to chop...and melt. The best way to chop the wax is on a cutting board (obviously) with a sharp knife (again, fairly obvious) with room-temperature wax. Well, actually your wax should be room temperature or else, it'll freeze and be impossible to cut. Or it'll melt.
First, chop up all of your wax into about 1/2 an inch thick pieces. Or less (the wax will melt faster this way).
After this, put it into the double boiler (the one WITHOUT water, hopefully common sense) if you have a candy thermometer, great! heat it to about 125 degrees Fahrenheit. If not, do not fear (I don't have one either) just heat it and stir it until it's melted.
*Do not leave the wax after it's melted (with the stove on or off) if it's on, well, it could cause a fire. If it's off it'll re-harden.
Step 2: Stick the Wick
*If you bought wick in a roll, skip this annoying step.
Before your wax is completely melted, or after it doesn't really matter. I just prefer to do it before. Take one of your pieces of wick and dip it into the wax. Working quickly, stick it to the other piece of wick. Repeat until all four of your wicks are connected. (If using a larger jar, you'll need more wick pieces). When they're all stuck together, dip it in the wax again (the whole thing). Let it harden.
Step 3: Finish Up and Let It Harden
After that, dip the very top of your wick in the wax. Stick it to a pencil*. Put the pencil on top of the jar as shown, and let the wick stay in the wax. Make sure that if you did the last step, that none of the pieces fall off. I had that happen to me many times.
Let it harden at room temperature, stick in the fridge or freezer and...wait.
Mine is just sitting out at room temperature as I write this.
*You could tie it to the pencil, instead of sticking it with wax. I used to, however, I found it to be a massive waste of wick.
Step 4: Calculation of the Price
So: the candles were $7 for 100, which makes them $0.07 each. I used about 12. (Well actually 10, I'm just erring on the side of caution).
0.07*12=$0.84 so 84 cents
Wick: the wick was either free or $7 for 48 inches. I used about 6 inches which makes it:
7/48=about 14.5 cents round that up to 15 cents
Add that together: $0.84+$1.00=$1.84.
Total for each candle: $1.84 each.