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How to Make an Ice Candle
I bet most of us made an ice candle some time in elementary school - using an empty cardboard milk container and some string for the wick. This ice candle project is a bit more involved than that - but still a fun, surprising and easy project.
For this project you'll need:
Continue to 2 of 10 below.
- A mold of some sort - we're using a pillar candle mold
- A relatively high melt point wax - there are different types of wax you can use.
- A candle to use as the "core" - I'm using a ball candle and a standard taper
- Color and/or fragrance as desired
- Ice, chopped into small pieces/chunks
- A basic understanding of candle safety
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Prepare the Molds for the Ice Candle
Depending on what sort of mold you're using will determine what sort of preparation you have to do.
If you're just using a milk container, just make sure that it's clean and intact. If you're using a regular candle mold, be sure to seal up the wick hole (if it has one) with mold sealer. Make sure to press it down evenly. You want to make sure that the candle sits level on the counter.
Start your wax melting. You want it to be about 200 F when you pour it!Continue to 3 of 10 below.
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Setting the Core Candles into the Mold
Next, set the candle you are using as the "core" into the mold. For this project, we're using a standard taper candle in a tall pillar mold, and a ball candle in a shorter pillar mold.
If you're using a taper, you want the very top of the wick to just reach the top of the mold. If your taper is too long, you'll want to cut a bit off of the bottom. Otherwise, you either have to cut or melt the tip-off.Continue to 4 of 10 below.
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Setting the Core Candle - Part Two
Here's the ball mold in the shorter pillar mold.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Pack the Molds with Ice
Next, holding the core candle firmly, pour chunks of ice into the mold. The size of your ice chunks will determine the character of your final candle.Continue to 6 of 10 below.
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Pour the Wax into the Mold Prepared for the Ice Candle
When your wax has reached about 200 F, add any color or fragrance you desire, and get ready to pour.
Slowly pour the hot wax into the mold, bringing it just over the top of the core candle.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
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Setting the Ice Candles Aside to Cool
After you've poured the candles, set them aside to cool. Since you've got them half-filled with ice, they'll cool quickly - but it's still a good idea to let them sit for an hour or so.
As you can see here, we misjudged the height of the taper a bit; we'll either cut that little tip off or just melt it down. It's easier to just cut a bit off of the bottom of the candle before you put it into the mold, though.Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Unmold and Drain
Once the candles have cooled, gently pour out the water (melted ice) and unmold the candle. Gently shake out the excess water and set them on a towel to dry. Let them dry completely before lighting!Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Enjoy Your Ice Candles!
After they've dried, they're ready to light and enjoy. Ice candles can be a bit unpredictable to burn, though. Sometimes the chunky edges will fall off or melt unevenly. Just be sure to burn it on a safe plate. When the flame burns down into the center of the candle, it gives off a lovely glow through the openings in the wax.Continue to 10 of 10 below.
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Ice Candle Making Variations
There are lots of variations you can do with ice candles:
- You can vary the mold and core candle you use. Tall, short, different colors, different shapes.
- Vary the size of your ice chunks.
- Pouring different color waxes into the mold (from several cans or melt pots) can give you a marbled/tie-dye look
- Add glitter or color to the wax