Do you have old crayons that are small and no good? Well, fear not! For i have the perfect way to make custom candles out of old crayons!
(This is my first instructable, so...wish me luck!)
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Choosing and Unwrapping the Crayons.
How to choose your 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.
Put crayons of your desired color into a container that you will sacrifice to making candles. I would say a good 10-15 crayons. I would put colors that go well together, such as green & blue or orange & yellow, into one candle. Put the crayons into the microwave and nuke 'em for 2 minutes at a time, until it is smooth. You don't want to wait to pour it into the mold after they are melted, because the wax will start to set up fast.
Step 3: "Molding" Your Candles
Pour the melted crayon mixture into:
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.
The second most important part of candlemaking is choosing the wick size. While there is no exact formulation to figure what size wick to use there are some general guidelines that will help. The size of the wick depends upon a few factors. These factors are additives in the candle, size of the candle and the type of wick. The kinds and amounts of additives will vary widely from candlemaker to candlemaker, as will the size and wick type so this is what makes an exact formula for choosing a wick size next to impossible to create. The best method for choosing the correct wick size is through testing. Try different size wicks for different candle recipes and see what size wick works best. There are, however, some general guidelines that can help the candlemaker decide what size of wick to use.
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.
Make a small hole in your half-set candle with a toothpick or a pointed crayon end. Insert the wick of your choice and lightly press the wax around it with your finger. Snip off the excess wick, leaving you with about 1/2-1 inch of wick above the candle. (To get the wax off of your finger, dip your finger into cold water and scrape off onto a towel)
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!
Participated in the
The Mad Science Fair