This year why not try making your own Chanukah candles?
What you’ll need
- Candle wax (soy, paraffin, beeswax, or reuse old leftover candles)
- A double boiler (one large pot for water and one smaller heat-safe container to melt wax in)
- A sugar or meat thermometer
- Candle wicks
- Candle stick mould (good ones for Chanukah can be found on Etsy or Amazon)
Step one: Before you begin cutting wax you may want to cover your work surface with newspaper, parchment paper or foil as wax can be tricky to remove, especially from wooden tabletops. Chop your desired wax into small chunks to aide the melting process.
Step two: Make a double boiler over the stove, in a shallow pot of water place a heat- safe container in the water (the waterline should only reach the bottom quarter of your container) and place your chopped wax inside. Bring the water to a simmer and avoid a rolling boil.
Step three: Ensure the wax is completely melted with a sugar or meat thermometer. Paraffin wax should read between 50 to 60 ̊C, soy wax should read between 77 to 82 ̊C, beeswax should read around 19 ̊C, and old candles can be melted at around 85 ̊C with their wicks (and anything other than its wax) removed.
Step four: Thread your candlestick mould with your wick(s) by following the instructions of your chosen mould. Then pour in your wax, bearing in mind that beeswax may shrink after cooling.
Step five: Leave your candles to cool and set overnight or, for best results, 24 hours. Once set trim the wick to about a quarter of an inch long and enjoy!
Go one step further
If making your own candles still isn’t enough for you, here are some extra ways to jazz up your candle making.
To scent your candles, you’ll want to add in essential oils after you’ve completely melted your wax. Play around with combinations of scents like vanilla and orange for a festive fragrance or lavender and eucalyptus for a spa-like smell. Twelve drops of essential oil per 16-ounce batch of wax will give you what you need.
To create coloured candles, you can add crayons when chopping your wax! Experiment with different finishes to your candles like creating an ombre effect by layering different colours into your moulds or a rainbow candle.
Best seen on white paraffin candles, which if you wanted to skip all the above, you could buy from the shops! To prepare your candle for painting, clean it with a lint free cloth and some rubbing alcohol so the paint can adhere to the surface of the candle. With a fine tipped brush and some water- based non-toxic acrylic paint you can create beautifully detailed designs!