How To Make Candles Using Old Crayons
Contributed by: LeAnn R. Ralph
As featured in the story "A Candle For Christmas" from the book:
Christmas in Dairyland: True Stories from a Wisconsin Farm.
If you've always wanted to try making candles but don't want to invest in
expensive materials, here is an inexpensive way to get started.
- 1 wax carton (quart) (milk, fabric softener, or orange juice)
- 1 pound of paraffin wax
- 4 or 5 old crayons
- two trays of ice cubes
- a double boiler (or an empty coffee can and a saucepan)
- 1 piece of ordinary white package string about six inches long.
Caution: Do not heat paraffin directly over the burner. Paraffin is
easily combustible. Use a double boiler or a two-pound coffee can set in
a pan of water. I put the coffee can on top of home canning jar rings
(the rings, not the flat lids). If the can is not set on top of
something, the concave bottom creates a vacuum when the water begins to
heat up, plus if itís on the bottom of the pan, it's just that much
closer to the burner.
Trim the top part of the carton off so that what remains is about six
Cut the string so that it is six inches long. (To make a wick that lasts
longer, try braiding three pieces of string together.)
Melt the paraffin wax over medium heat in a double boiler or a coffee can
in a pan of water. Use three-quarters of a pound for a somewhat smaller
candle or use all four squares for a larger candle. Once the water begins
to boil, it will take 10 or 15 minutes for the paraffin to melt.
Break the crayons into small pieces and add to the paraffin. If the
crayons are added first before the wax is melted, the color makes it
difficult to see if all of the paraffin is liquefied.
Use a pair of tongs (a scissors works, too), and dip the string into the
paraffin. Dipping the string will ensure that it is coated with paraffin
since the ice cubes may prevent some sections from coming in contact with
the liquid wax. Hold the string so that it is in the middle of the carton
and fill the carton with ice cubes. Pour the hot paraffin over the ice
The candle will be set in about 30 minutes. Let the candle stand for
another hour or two until most of the ice cubes are melted. Pour off the
water. Peel off the carton. Place the candle in a tray or on a plate to
catch the rest of the water from the ice cubes as they finish melting.
Let the candle dry for a day or two.
The candles I have made with a single piece of string only burn for an
hour or so and burn quickly enough so that most of the paraffin remains
intact. To use the paraffin again, melt the candle and pour the wax into
other containers to make solid candles.
~ Solid Candles ~
To make solid candles, select several glass containers. Pint or half-pint
canning or jelly jars work well. For the wick, measure out a few more
inches of string than is needed to reach the bottom of the container. Tie
the string around a pencil. Put the pencil across the top of the
container to hold the wick in place. When the paraffin and crayons are
melted, pour the liquid wax into the container(s). When the candle is
set, snip off the wick about a half inch above the wax.
~ Scented Candles ~
To make scented candles, put three or four teaspoons of vanilla extract
into the bottom of the double boiler (or the coffee can) and then add the
paraffin and crayons. When the wax is melted, pour into containers.
©2003 LeAnn R. Ralph
LeAnn R. Ralph is a freelance writer in Wisconsin. She is the editor of
the Wisconsin Regional Writer (the quarterly publication of the Wisconsin
Regional Writers' Assoc.) and is the author of the book: Christmas In
Dairyland (True Stories From a Wisconsin Farm) (August 2003). Share the
view from Rural Route 2 and celebrate Christmas during a simpler time.
Click here to read sample chapters and other Rural Route 2 stories