Molded Squash Candles
Use hollowed-out squash shells to make whimsical candles that echo nature's masterpieces.
Remove stem and top of an acorn squash to make a flat opening big enough to fit your hand. Remove seeds and pulp with a spoon. Use a melon baller to remove more pulp in vertical strips, so the shell is thin and the hollowed inside of the squash mimics the shape of the outside. Smooth lines with back of spoon.
Melt wax (we used old candles) in a saucepan set over, but not touching, a pot of boiling water, until a candy thermometer registers 180 degrees. As wax is heating, cut a piece of wicking 3 inches longer than height of squash, and attach a metal wick tab to one end. Carefully pour wax into squash (steady squash, if necessary, in a wide-mouthed glass). Then, holding top of wick, drop metal tab into squash; it will sink to bottom. Trim wick 2 to 3 inches above surface of wax.
Let sit until squash is cool to the touch, four to five hours (if center sinks during cooling, fill with more hot wax). When cooled, squash skin should peel away easily, leaving a patina on the wax. To even the bottom of candle, carve with a knife, or heat a knife and rub along bottom.