Friday, November 4, 2011

Tin Can-dles

Yes, I know, that's a really stupid pun. :p These were so much fun to make. I'm not really a fan of candles. I could be, but I've always had little kids around and there is just no way to make a candle childproof, except not to light it. However, when you live in an area that's prone to storms and you also live in a neighborhood with a lot of mature trees that like knocking down power lines when the wind kicks up - and when you live with teens who pirate batteries out of any source they can find, candles are kinda necessary and I was kinda out. So I made some and here's how.

First thing first, you have to make the candle wicks. If I lost you just now, don't sweat it, run out and go buy some wicks. Otherwise, grab some boric acid, some cotton string and some table salt.

I read on one website to use undyed cotton string. I don't know why it said not to use colored string, and that's what I have so I used it. I figured wax has dye in it, so what's the problem? Dunno. If you know, tell me. :()This is embroidery floss, that's 100% cotton.
The  recipe I found online for making wicks calls for 1 tbsp salt, 3 tbsp boric acid, and 1 cup of water. I had borax, which contains boric acid, so I used 1/3 cup. I dissolved the salt and the borax in the water, and added my embroidery floss scraps, cut into 10 inch long pieces. I stewed them for several hours (the recipe I found said 12). Then I pulled the strings out, hung them up to dry, then braided them and dipped them in wax. That's it, and they burn very well.

Making the candles, I saved up my tin cans for a week, washed them and peeled off the wrappers. I got my assortment of house paint (you can use craft paint, my stock is about gone so I just grabbed what I had) and some decorations. I did fabric cutouts in denim, knit sweater, and cotton, plus some yard materials, such as twigs, grasses and tree bark.

I painted the cans with two coats, but I do recommend priming them first. Then some detail painting with fingernail polish, and then I glued and tied on the fabric and yard materials.

Next, I wrapped a wick around a stick and placed one over the  mouth of each can. Poured in my melted wax, and let it set up. Be careful heating the wax, as it is flammable at it's boiling point so heat it slowly and carefully. Once the wax is set, you have your candles. Using recycled wax from my old candle stubs, this project was done using only supplies I had on hand.

No comments:

Post a Comment