Wax Animals and Trees
For any of these projects, you need only master a few basic techniques. Find 8 1/2-by-16 3/4-inch sheets of beeswax-and many of the other materials-at crafts stores. Store leftover sheets and your creations in a cool, dry place.
- Colored beeswax sheets
- Baking sheet
- Hair dryer
- Metal cookie cutters
- Cotton wicking
- Cocktail picks
- Flat toothpicks
- Silver cord
- Utility knife
Place a wax sheet on baking sheet; apply low heat from hair dryer. Cut 4 or 6 shapes (depending on the thickness you want) with a cookie cutter. You'll layer the shapes to create a more substantial figure.
To make a candle, align a length of wicking down the center of one of your shapes, leaving about 1/2 to 1 inch of space at the bottom and allowing 1/2 inch to extend over the top. If you'll be placing the candle on a dessert, align a pick (use cocktail picks for larger candles and flat toothpicks for smaller ones) at the bottom, leaving a bit of space between wick and pick. Lay another shape on top, and press together with fingertips, beginning at the center and working outward. Repeat to join remaining layers, adding equal numbers on both sides of the wick. When all shapes are in place, apply low heat from a hair dryer; press again. For an ornament, sandwich a looped piece of cord between the innermost layers, and adhere as above. Make an eye hole on animal figures using a thumbtack.
With a ruler and utility knife, cut a sheet of wax that's the width you want the height of your candle to be. Cut wicking 1/2 inch longer than this measurement. Lay wicking near edge of the sheet, allowing 1/2-inch overhang. Fold wax edge over wicking, and roll tightly until candle is desired thickness. Trim excess wax. Smooth edge with your thumb.
Cut shapes (a tree works well). Make a taper, as above, but use a wick that is 1/2-inch longer than the combined height of the taper and the figure you're attaching. With a utility knife, cut a 1/2-inch-deep notch in the top of the candle, carefully maneuvering around the wick; remove excess wax with knife. Pull wick taut, and fit an equal number of cutouts in groove on both sides of the wick. If necessary, soften excess wax with hair dryer, and use it to secure cutouts. Adhere cutouts, as above.