I came across a neat tutorial for crayon candles at BRIT + CO. They are really easy to make and the instructions are simple, but some important information was left out. I will fill in the gaps from what I have learned on making my own crayon candles.
First gather your supplies and be sure to cover your work area. You know a mess will occur even if you are careful. When you choose your crayons, do not use the cheap crayons, like the ones you get at restaurants. They will not melt right. I used Cra-Z-Art crayons that you can find at Wal-Mart for $.47 and they worked well. Do not buy the Craz-Z-Art crayons online. For some reason Wal-Mart has them priced ridiculously online.
I found a set of jars at Dirt Cheap and got them for $.60.
I did not look closely at them, so I did not realize they said ‘Redneck Shots’ on them. Oh well :p
Also during some research I found that the regular wax wicks will not work too well. So it is best to use the braided wicks that are cotton. Using these can be a bit of a pain. I had to jerry-rig something to hold the wicks up. I doubled folded my wicks and twisted them. They did not stay twisted though. Next time I will have to dip them in wax, so they will stay.
I used the 5 oz Dixie cups, instead of the 3 oz ones. Some things I learned about these cups. They are coated in wax, so the wax on them will melt as well, and the cups will burn in the microwave if you are not careful.
My first batch of wax was a mess and here is why. Do be careful as the cup and wax will be hot!
The instructions say to put in the microwave for 2 minutes. So I did that and at 1 minute, the cup began to burn. So I stopped it and took it out. The wax had melted some, but the crayon did not. So I put it in for 30 seconds and the crayon still had not melted. So I added another 15 seconds. By this time the bottom of the cup was starting to leak. They crayon finally melted and I was able to get my first layer.
What the instructions did not tell you was what setting to use on your microwave. Each microwave is different, so you may have to experiment to get the right setting. After the first batch, I began to experiment to get the right setting. The second batch I double cupped and started off at 30 seconds and then 15 seconds till the crayon melted. This worked okay, but I still had the problem of the cup burning.
By the time I got near my final layers, I had figured out the settings. First off my microwave is 700 watts and automatically set at power level 10. This was why I was having problems. The best setting I found was this:
First 2 minutes the setting at power level 4 and the second 2 minutes at power level 3. This combination worked perfectly as the crayon was melted by then.
These setting will vary on your microwave. Just member to start off with a low power setting and work up to find the best setting for your microwave.
I did not use a wooden stick, but the handle of a plastic spoon to mix. The first batch my spoon handled bent due to the wax being so hot. But after I got my setting right, the handle was fine and all I had to do was wipe it clean before the next batch. Just remember to mix after the first 2 minutes and then again after the second 2 minutes. Mix again if you add fragrance, which I did.
I made a mess when I poured and my candles did not come out perfect. For a first try I don’t think they were too bad.
Some of the candles sank a bit, but that was due to the way I had did the wick. My upper layers look nicer than my bottom ones. The bottom layers was because the wax was too hot. I also have not trimmed the wicks yet. I am not sure how they will burn, but I will find out this week when I try one. I will do a post on that when I do use them.
I finally got around to burning one of my candles that I made. I cut the wick down a bit too low, so when the wax began to melt, it snuffed out the flame. I took some tweezers to pull the wick up some and lit the candle again. It burned quite nicely and the colors blended, making new colors as it burned. I did learn that the glass jars that I used, can’t take heat for a long period of time, as it will crack. My candle had been burning for over 6 hours. Another part of the problem was the wick was not centered, so the flame was burning against the side. This has been a great learning process and I can’t wait to make more candles. Next time I will be better prepared.