With our Summer Fun project coming to a close, I decided to let Omelette choose the activity for the day. She chose candle-making.
I’ve tried my hand at making candles with limited success. But Summer Fun has not been about the final product so much as it has the process. For this activity, the process turned out to be a lesson in trial and error.
Our first mistake was to use food coloring to dye our candles. As instructed, Omelette gently squeezed a few drops of blue into the melted wax. The color did not disperse as expected. Instead, it maintained its globular form. My furious stirring only caused the droplets to divide into more droplets. The reason? A water-based product will not mix with wax. I shoulda known.
We still poured the melted wax into the mold I had prepared — the bottom of a Coke bottle I had cut in half. Then, I positioned the wick, which was tied to a popsicle stick, into the wax. I got this idea from a book I had seen at Hobby Lobby. The only difference was that the wick was supposed to be threaded through a hole in the bottle and sealed off with modeling clay so the wax would not leak out. Then, when the wax was hardened, the bottom would become the top. Clever idea, but I couldn’t manage to get a hole in the bottom of the bottle.
With the wax in the mold, we waited. In the meantime, I did some research and found that candles could be dyed by melting crayons in with the wax. Perfect! I really didn’t want to go back to the store for candle dye.
We tried the crayon-dyeing method for the second candle. It worked! Then, as I poured the melted wax into a second mold, I noticed a problem. The water bottle I had used for this mold was not as sturdy as the Coke bottle, and it began collapsing under the heat and pressure of the melted wax, which was spilling all over my stove top.
For candle #3, we reused the wax from #2. But this time, instead of pouring the wax in all at once, I did so little by little. I had managed to poke a hold in the bottom of the final mold and had threaded the wick through the bottom. The whole thing seemed to be holding up, even the Play Doh I had substituted for clay to plug the hole. The infamous “they” say the third time’s the charm. We would soon find out.
Once the wax had hardened, I cut away the plastic from the mold, and voila! We finally had a candle. Omelette and I proudly showed our accomplishment to Roostler, who celebrated our final product by declaring, “It looks like a cherry bomb.”
I think I’ll leave candle-making to those more capable than I.