Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Make It! Ice Candles

Once, while camping with my family as a girl, my parents pulled out a large plastic sterilite tub full of candle making supplies.   It was that weekend, deep in the green forest with a cooler full of crushed ice that I learned how to make ice candles.  

When my son asked me this week if we could roll some more beeswax candles, I felt guilty.   You see, rolling candles is a yearly tradition in our house, but this year that particular craft project slipped my mind.   Not having any beeswax sheets on hand, I took a look in our supply cabinet to see what we could make instead.   When I saw our small six inch beeswax tapers, I knew immediately that we would revisit that candle making experience I had with my parents - only this time we would do it in the comfort of our own home.

For this project you'll need:

A container for your candles - frozen concentrate jars work well, as do milk cartons.  This is your candle form.
A taper candle - 6 inches is a good size.
Wax - we use beeswax
An old pot you don't mind ruining
A tin can large enough to hold your beeswax, or a candle making melting pot.
Pam Spray
Crushed ice.

Create a double boiler by adding a few inches of water to your pot and placing your tin can/wax melter in the water.  Over low heat, add your wax to your container and wait patiently for it to melt.

Have a little person help you prepare your candle tapers. In our case, the tapers were double dipped, so the wick required cutting.  Now spray the inside of your candle forms generously with cooking spray.  This helps keep the candles from sticking to the forms.

Once your wax is melted, carefully pour about 2 inches into the bottom of your candle form.   Have someone help you place your tapers right in the center of the candle form and hold them steady while you wait a few minutes for the poured wax to cool.
Once the wax is cool, carefully add crushed ice all around the taper.  Crushed works much better than cubed ice in this project as it lends itself to a lacy look.
Return to your double boiler and carefully add the melted wax right on top of the crushed ice - filling to the top.  Don't overfill, as we did!
Now wait.  At least an hour.  Longer if necessary for your ice to melt and your candle to cool completely.  Over the sink, very carefully remove your candle from your form..  A few things to note.  There will be water, and your candle is fairly delicate.  Beautiful - but delicate.  Unmold it carefully so as not to break off lacy wax pieces.  You may need to use scissors or an Exacto knife to cut through the mold, but it should come out fairly easily since you've covered the inside with cooking spray. 

Make sure to light your candle on a candle plate with a rim.  Because of the holes throughout the candle, it doesn't always burn straight down the way a normal candle would.  You may have wax dripping down the middle and sides.  You also may run into small pockets of water when lit. 

Still, aren't they beautiful?   My son wants to light one tonight after the sun goes down and save the other for when his daddy returns from a business trip.  Spring is right around the corner, but we have plenty of long dark nights left to enjoy the light and warmth of our homemade candles.

Simple Mama


  1. Those are really neat! Thanks for sharing!

  2. How fun! They are beautiful. How lucky you are to have had such creative parents...and awesome that you are passing it on to your son :)

  3. How fun! They are beautiful. How lucky you are to have had such creative parents...and awesome that you are passing it on to your son :)

  4. Funny, I was just telling my fiancé about doing this st camp as a kid... Now I have this insatiable urge to do this myself!