You open a drawer to find something, and there lie all those burnt-out candle stubs. Short stubs lie beside shorter bits, red beside green beside blue. You hesitate and decide to throw them in the trash. It seems wasteful, but how can you ever use them?
Learn how to create vintage water candles!
Vintage water candles introduced me to candle making. They enjoyed great popularity in the 1950s-1960s, but gradually fell out of vogue. Learn how to create vintage water candles, and you may be the one to bring them back into style.
Vintage water candles predate and are unrelated to the goth water candles that originated when the goth subculture began in the 1980s.
How to Create a Unique Vintage Water Candle
Gather up your burnt-down candles. If you have extra candle wax from a previous candle-making session, include that. Do not add crayons, even if labeled as wax. The additives can give you trouble.
You will not need much wax for your first practice water candle. You are just going to learn the process with this first one.
● double boiler pan or wax heater in which to melt candle stubs
● disposable aluminum pie plate
● deep sink or large bucket
Candle making involves risks, so please practice safety. Be sure you use the right equipment and materials. Always melt wax in a double boiler or a specifically designed candle wax melter. If you do not have a candle wax melter (pricey), use a double boiler to be sure the wax does not come into contact with open flame.
Wear gloves when pouring wax to minimize the risk of splattering it onto your hands and other exposed skin. Keep a multiuse fire extinguisher nearby, too.
You will find other safety tips in Secrets of Candle Making Crafts.
- Lay aside your longest candle.
- Separate candle stubs / wax into color groups.
- In bottom of double boiler, bring water to a boil.
- Place a handful of same color candle stubs in top of double boiler.
- Melt stubs until the wax melts, keeping an eye on it so it does not burn.
- While candles melt, fill very deep sink or bucket with cold water – the colder the better. If your room is warm, you may want to dump ice cubes into the water.
- Use metal tongs to remove pieces of wick from your candle stubs.
- Use a puddle of melted wax to glue your longer candle firmly upright in the center of the disposable aluminum pie plate.
- When the wax has melted completely, and you have gotten out all the wicks remove the wax from the heat and pour it carefully around the candle in the disposable aluminum pie plate.
- Take the pie plate to the sink full of cold water and plunge it into the icy water – turning it as you push it right to the bottom of the water. Hold the plate on the bottom as the wax hardens. If a stalactite tip protrudes above water, splash a little water over it to make it harden.
- Now, SLOWLY, CAREFULLY lift the pie plate, tilting it as you take it from the water, allowing extra water to run off.
- Set your creation aside to dry and finish hardening.
- Remove the hardened vintage candle from the pie plate and place it in a bowl or on a flat plate.
- For a deep-dish candle, use a heatproof deep bowl. The photos of a finished candle show what can happen when you practice, use more wax, and choose a larger container.
Add Flowers to a Vintage Water Candle
You can add fresh flowers to your vintage water candle for an exquisite table centerpiece. Simply use a deep dish when you create your candle. Add water to the finished candle, and arrange flowers or leaves around it.
HINT: You can use any candle at the center of your vintage creation. You can use pillar candles, beeswax candle, or tapers. Any candle will work. Insert it in the same way you did for your first practice candle.
Learn how to create vintage water candles in one color, and you will soon be experimenting – adding a puddle of complimentary wax after the first color hardens, and repeating the water plunge. Create a red, white, and blue centerpiece. Make a centerpiece of fairytale colors for a little girl’s party.
Vintage water candles are fun to create, and set conversation going at a dinner party.