What better way to get spooky for the Halloween holiday than a hand candle! This creepy decoration is so fun and simple to make. You can go about it as simple or detailed as you desire. Either way-it's a scream! Can you handle it?!
You will need
6 taper candles in red, or color of choice
paraffin and/or beeswax
pan to dedicate to wax only-double boiler works best and is safest to use
rubber glove-the kind with a longer wrist work best
paint brush dedicated to just wax or cotton swabs
mold for base
newspaper to protect surface
Let's do this!
Disclaimer- Hot wax is dangerous. Use caution. Never leave a burning candle attended.
Step 1: Gloves and Candles
Simply place the taper candles in the gloves making sure one goes into each finger. Now fold down the cuff of the glove and place it over the milk carton with the hand inside. You may have to fold the carton into a triangular opening to help the glove to fit. Once it's secure over the carton, situate the candles in a way that you can add a funnel. I cut the bottom out of a plastic sriracha bottle and made a funnel out of it!
Heat your wax in a double boiler until it is all liquefied. Heat slowly and don't let it get to the smoking point. Hot wax is very dangerous and can kill if you aren't careful. Lay out the newspaper on your work surface.
Once the wax is all liquid, carefully pour it into the glove using a funnel. Adjust the taper fingers a little giving them a push and nudge here and there. You might find the wax levels go down as you do, so top it off with more melted wax. Check it in 10 minutes and adjust the wax level as needed as it settles and cools.
Meantime, as the wax is starting to cool, tilt some wax onto the side of the pan to make a semi-soft, thin wax film. Pick off just enough to make fingernails to go on your candle. Use your own nails as a guide as to the curve and shape and size of each unique fingernail. Set them aside on wax paper to apply to the fingertips later.
Step 2: Cooling and Detailing
Once your creation has cooled enough to handle, carefully remove from carton. I waited over an hour. When I removed it, the fingers were solid but the center was squishy so I took advantage and did a little shaping. I used my fist and pushed a palm into the center of the inside of the hand while slightly curving the outside. Wax hadn't gotten all the way down into the thumb so I manipulated some melt-y wax down further to fill that in. As I did so I knew the red wax was mixing in with the white wax and began to cackle.
Once the whole thing was hardened, I cut off the glove and reheated the wax pan. I placed the uneven end of the hand candle, the wrist, into the pan until it melted down flush and smooth. This gave me enough red wax to decorate and mold a base.
Step 3: A Touch of Red
Take a paintbrush or cotton swab and paint the red hot wax all over the fingers paying special attention to the inside cracks and surfaces. Cover any obvious, slick taper candle not covered in the pour. Do a few layers until you have the look you want. Leave some of the flat parts and sides of the hand uncovered, or less covered to give it a realistic, smooth, blotchy, gross effect. Don't worry if you get some globs here and there. I'll show you how to take care of that next.
Step 4: Fine Touches
To finish and smooth the surface of your candle and add some drips, light the extra red taper that you didn't use in the pour. Dance the flame over the hand as it smooths and melts and drips. Drip right onto the finger tip tops.
Step 5: Make the Base
Now take the rest of the remaining wax to make a base. Find a suitable container that is deep enough to hold the hand and wide enough to be stable. I use a rectangular seaweed snack wrapper and it worked perfect. (The wrapper had corrugated edges that I didn't like once it was unmolded so I smoothed/melted the edges down with the flame of the taper).
Let the wax in the pan cool slightly by getting a thick skin over the top. Stir gently with a toothpick or skewer. Use this thickened wax to attach the fingernails to the tips. Add a generous dab and press the nail on. Smooth with toothpick or flame as desired.
Pour the rest of the melted and partially melted wax into the base container. The 2 kinds of wax give it a horrifying, curdled effect.
Place 3 toothpicks into the base of the candle in a triangular form to be legs to rest on in the base mold. Place the toothpicks in perfectly flat by pushing them into the countertop all at the same time until 1/2 way in deep, or more.
Step 6: Cool Hand
Once the base mold was poured and mounted with the hand, I carefully carried the whole piece to the fridge to cool for an hour.
Step 7: Further Details and Done
Take a craft specific butter knife and heat it in the direct flame of the stove top burner for several seconds. Use this to carve crease fold marks into fingers, lifeline, fate line, palm creases, knuckles on the back side of the fingers and general markings to make the hand look realistic. Heat the knife over and over. You can only make about 3-4 quick swipes before it needs reheating so work fast, referring to your own hand for best placement of creases.
On Halloween night, light your gruesome hand candle and watch the red tapers drip. The ambiance is certain to be terrifying!