Halloween "Bleeding" Candles




Introduction: Halloween "Bleeding" Candles

I wanted to start on my shelf-top Halloween display today, even though it's still September :)  Part of this display is a collection of strait candles, which I got last year at Ikea.  (Cheap candles! Pretty good selection, kinda weird smells).  The candles I have are cream-colored, which is a great base to start with, but they needed a little something to make the display perfect.  

With a just a few things you have around the house (probably), you too can make your candles appear to have bled in a different, spooky, color.     

**NOTE:  I have no intention of actually burning these candles, as they are supposed to look cool on the shelf long-term.  To get candles that are actively "bleeding" while lit, I suggest this instructable for ideas: https://www.instructables.com/id/Blood-gushing-Candle/

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Step 1: Materials Needed

 Candles: strait or tapered will work best
Crayons or spare candles in the color you want the drips to be.  Thrift stores have cheap colored candles for melting!
Plastic (disposable) spoon
Small sauce pan (if you have one that is only for crafts, that's best to use)
Aluminium foil
Paper cups
Paper towels

Stove or hotplate than can be carefully adjusted
Fire extinguisher (just in case)

This is probably not a project to do with small kids.  Melted wax is hot and can burn skin, and no one likes a burn.  Also wax can be flammable, and I know of at least one person who set a table on fire when making candles.  Use common sense and have an extinguisher on had.  

I had everything on hand, so my cost was nothing.  If you had to buy everything I used, the cost would still be less than 10 dollars.  
This project took me less than one hour for 6 candles.  The longest part is waiting for the wax to melt.  

Step 2: Melt the Dripping Wax

Break up the wax you want to be the drips into smaller bits.  I used a brown crayon and some spare beeswax, about 1.5 oz total.  The smaller you break the pieces, the quicker it will melt.  Add the wax to the pan.    

Set your pan onto a burner set to the lowest setting it will go.  This is not the time to speed demon heat the pan.  Seriously, melt the wax slowly.    

Step 3: Drip Wax on the Candles

Hold the candles as firmly as you can by the wick, so that the candle itself is hanging from your fingers.

Use the spoon to scoop up a very small amount of the melted wax from the pot.  Gently tip the spoon onto the candle where the wick meets the candle body.  Try to let only one drip of wax at a time leave the spoon.  (Note: I did a practice candle first to get the hang of how the wax would drip off the spoon and down the candle--I would highly recommend this.  I'll use the ugly practice candle for another project the needs melted wax.)

Hold the candle aloft for a few seconds while the hot wax dries to the candle.  If you set it down while it's still molten you'll have a mess.  

Step 4: Add As Many Drips As You'd Like

Obviously you can keep adding wax drips to your taste.  I went kind of sparse on mine because that was the look I wanted.  Repeat on as many candles as you'd like to have.  Remember to let the drips dry thoroughly.  

Use a small square of aluminum foil to rest the waxy spoon on when you need to put the spoon down.  This will save you a mess.   

Step 5: Clean Up and Display!

You'll probably have extra wax left in your pan.  To save it for a later use, carefully pour the hot wax into a paper cup.  When the wax is totally cool, you can tear the cup away and have a nice little wax block to save.  If you don't want to save it, you can treat the wax like hot bacon grease and put it into a tin can and then toss it away.  Hot wax strait into the trash can cause fire.    

After you have removed the wax from the pan, but the pan is still hot, CAREFULLY use a bunch of paper towel to wipe the inside of the pot clean of wax.  Usually I skimp on using paper towel, but don't be shy this time- it takes a lot to absorb the wax and its still HOT, so extra paper prevents burns.  If you used a pot that you also cook with, wash it with soap and water after it cools- unless you like wax bits in your food.    

Put out your candles and enjoy!!  (But do not burn, other wise the drips will just drip away- these are for looking only)

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    5 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    open flame and no double boiler = DO NOT DO THIS
    Other than that, nicely done ;-)
    On an electric hotplate, you're ok, but direct flame heating of waxes can/will produce invisible gases, highly flammable, that burn invisibly.
    You want FAKE burns for Halloween, not REAL 3rd degree stuff.

    To avoid contaminated pan...
    I'd suggest going to the local goodwill, paying 50 cents to a dollar, and buy a junker pan. Aluminum works just fine. Don't bother with non-stick.

    When you finish your project, either hang on to the pot for further wax melting instructables, re-donate to good will, or toss it into the aluminum melting furnace. The wax will burn off no problem, long before the pot melts, and gets turned into another ingot for future casting.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Hrm. My immediate response to this comment was "Crap! Have I been melting wax wrong all these years?!" And then, "Crap! Do I need to delete this instructable? Did I promote unsafe crafting?"

    Here's the back story: my family raises bees, meaning we always have a lot of extra wax. I grew up making candles, soaps, salves et cetera, and we always melted the wax this way (very slowly over direct, but very low heat). Not once has anyone in my family ever had a problem in any way, but we have always kept a fire extinguisher on hand, as well as been very aware of the risks associated with melting wax. Because of this familiarity, I didn't really think that this method might be more dangerous than I realized.

    In conclusion, I don't really know if I should take this instructable down: I am personally willing to melt wax this way, but I would never, ever want someone to get hurt because I said it could be done this way. I am happy to re-write it if the community thinks that this method is too dangerous to be promoted. I would love your feedback on this issue.

    (PS: I may need to make it more obvious, but in the last page, the photo note says that I got my green pan at a thriftstore, and it is only used for waxcraft.)


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Another way of melting wax is to use a clean tin can and a pot of water to make a double boiler. Clean out the tin can and peel off the lable. I would bend the top of the can to make a spout. Fill the pan of water about half way up the side of the can, and bring it up to a low simmer. Place the can with the wax in the water and let it melt. Proceed using your directions to drip the wax onto the candles. No risk of fire with this method. You can let the wax cool in the can or pour it off into a paper cup.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Nonono, by all means, leave this ible UP.
    I just wanted to add that note of caution(or maybe a quick "proceed with caution here" added to the melting step)

    I dunno about natural bees wax, and it's flash point. I have only ever had access to the manufactured variety. It has a flashpoint of around 300F. If the wax never gets hotter than that, then no fire risk, but MOST people following your instructions will likely be using the man-made stuff, and not have the knowledge to do this even remotely safely.

    That's where the double boiler comes in.
    By melting with hot water, the wax can never exceed 220F as long as there is still water in the pot(without modifying the water, say by adding salt). Being well below the flash point of wax, this makes the set-up inherently much safer.

    To other ible members, and crafters, feel free to visit here for a basic rundown of the double boiler setup. http://www.candletech.com/candle-making-basics/wax-melting-instructions/ And here's a youtube video about why NOT to use straight flame heating. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANP26dBDjFM&feature=related At right around the 2:20 marks, the wax fumes roll over the edge of the container, onto the torch flame, and WHOOPFF! The kid was very lucky there was only a small amount of vapor.

    I would love to see some instructables on your other wax creations! This is such a clever and simple idea.