Last month we used a “health salts” container (so very middle aged!) to make a lovely chunky candle and decorated it with applique stars. We’re really keen on recycling household objects to use for candle making so the next step was, naturally enough, to step up to a Pringles tube. For ages, we’ve been looking for a way for you to create big candles to use, for example, as table decorations, without having to spend £20 on a mould so I spent a happy afternoon in the lab working out whether Pringles really are the answer.
Rather than just create a single colour candle, I wanted to make one with a graded colour that went from lighter at the top to darker at the bottom as you can see in the photo. In fact, I’d have liked a bigger contrast so, next time I’ll do things a little differently.
Here’s what I used:
- 700g Blended Paraffin Wax
- 7g Dye
- LX16 Wick
- Pringles tube – carefully washed and dried
- Wick holder
- Masking tape
Video from the labs
Procedure (photos numbered by step below)
- Start by applying a little masking tape to the sealed end of the Pringles tube, marking the centre point, then drill a hole large enough for the wick to pass through. You might like to try using a skewer or some other method but be careful!
- Cut the tube to just above the level you want to achieve – in this case 8 inches. This is because the tube has a lip at the open end which can make removing the candle difficult and making the mould shorter means it’s easier to get your fingers into the end to thread the wick.
- Pass the wick through the hole and out of the open end, sealing carefully with blutack.
- Divide your wax into 3 x 150g portions and one of 250g
- Divide your dye into 4 portions. To get the graded effect, you need to split the dye into chunks of varying size – put around half of it in the 250g portion and only a tiny amount in one of the others then take the remaining dye a add 1/3 to one of the remaining portions and 2/3 to the last one. Remember this is a craft, not a science, so feel free to improvise!
- Get the first (lightest) portion melted as the first pour will be the top of the candle.
- Put the mould on a baking tray or similar in case you haven’t properly sealed the end
- Pour the melted wax into the bottom of the mould.
- Straighten and tighten the wick, use a bit of blutack to secure it
- Melt the next portion of wax + dye
- When a skin has formed on the wax in the mould, break a few holes in it so the two pours will mix a little
- Pour the second portion of wax into the mould
- Repeat for the third portion
- Once you’ve made the third pouring, you need to warm up the final 250g of wax/dye
- When a skin has formed, pour around 2 thirds of the wax into the mould, leaving around 100g in the saucepan
- Wait for a couple of hours (once the skin has formed you can pop it in the fridge)
- You will see a dip around the wick at the open end where the wax has shrunk
- Warm up your remaining wax and fill the cylinder
- Again, once a skin has formed, pop it in the fridge.
- Leave it a couple more hours until it feels cool all over and then carefully cut away the Pringles tube
- Rub down your candle with a warmed paper towel or cloth soaked in hot water and rung out.
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