Monday, May 15, 2017

Fire and Ice Candles {preschool melting experiment}

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Making a candle with wax and ice is an activity that I did over 25 years ago in Brownie Girl Scouts.  {How's that for dating myself?}  My version of it sat in my mom's curio cabinet for many, many years.  It's a simple project with few materials needed, but the products are so cool and so different depending on how you do it.

You can use store bought candle wax or just melt down an existing candle, like we did.  To prepare the candle to be melted down in the microwave, I dug out the metal wick plate in the bottom of the candle so I could pull the wick out. {metal and microwaves don't mix}
Then we placed the candle in a microwavable bowl that I didn't mind tossing after we used it.  We covered the bowl with a piece of tupperware to catch splatters.  It took about 15 minutes for the whole candle to melt down.
To give the candle its shape, use a waxed cup.  The wax liner will allow for easy removal by peeling the cup away.  Insert the wick, then fill up the cup with ice.  For this project, I would suggest using crushed ice.  Regular-sized ice cubes are too big and will make for a crumbly candle.   Bear put as much crushed ice as he wanted in the cup, then I poured the melted wax over it until the cubes were completely covered.

Both of us thought it was interesting to watch the immediate reaction that occurred when the hot wax and ice cubes met.  We checked back frequently to look at the progress on the melting of the ice cubes.  I should note that you may want to occasionally gently tip the cup over the sink to drain out melted water. 

I waited about 6 hours to make sure all of the ice was fully melted before I peeled the cup off of the candle.  The result is exquisite.  All of the little nooks and spaces that the ice left in the wax are so beautiful to see.
I think that the best part about this project is that it's educational and productive at the same time.  These would make for great Mother's Day gifts if made with scented wax.  This one is going to Gramma's house so it can sit in the curio cabinet for many, many years just like mine did.

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