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Monday, January 10, 2011

Imbolc Crafts -- Sand Candles

Monday, January 10, 2011
Sand Candles are an easy and fun way to include children in the Sabbats. But be sure to exercise extreme caution, since you have to heat the wax to a very high temperature. I would personally do this with only children who are 8 years or older.
Image by Simon Howden
Something I have learned over the past year is that there is color and scents for candles. You can use essential oils but they tend to lose their scent quickly, usually before the first pour. So I would recommend hitting up the local craft store and checking out their selection of scents made specifically for candles.

Materials & Equipment:

  • Any sand free of dirt and debris
  • An object for making the impression in the sand, such as bowl, square block of wood, old sand candle, etc
  • A dishpan to hold the sand
  • Drill with 1/4-inch drill bit
  • Soft Paint Brush
  • Watering Can
  • Jar Lid

Place the sand in a dishpan or similar container. Dampen the sand with the watering can, careful not to get the sand any wetter than you have to. If you are using an old sand candle then you will not have to make depressions in the sand for legs, if you aren't then make sure that the depressions for the legs are even so the candles won't wobble. Make the depression in the sand with the mold you have chosen, and make sure to firm up the sand on all sides of the object you use to make the depression, leaving no loose sand or air pockets. Remove the object you have used for the depression carefully.

Place the jar lid in the depression, it should be centered directly where the wick will be placed. If you are using multiple wicks it may be necessary to have more than one lid.

Heat the wax to the desired temperature, the sand candle should be poured white because high temperature will distort the color of the colored wax, add the dye to the last layer. Pour the wax slowly into the jar lid in the depression, this keeps the wax from making a hole in the bottom of your sand mold. The more moisture the sand holds the more noise you will hear when it is poured, you should expect a lot of bubbling and cracking as you pour.

Allow your candles to cool and skim over, your candle will have shrunk about 1/2 inch into the depression, reheat the remaining wax add the desired color to your wax. Pour the remaining dyed wax to fill the remaining depression in the sand. when the candle has hardened remove from the sand, bush off any excess sand with your soft brush.

To position the wick or wicks in your candle you will need your drill and a drill bit that is slightly larger than your wick (use a heavy wire core wick). Mark on the candle the position you want the wick to be, warm the drill bit in hot water and position the drill bit on the area you have marked. Drill through the candle till you have met the jar lid, but do not pierce it. Now insert the wick all the way in until you have hit the jar lid. Trim the wick to 1/2 inch. Let set for 24 hours, then light, sit back and enjoy.

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