Dip Dye Candles with Recycled Crayons image

I always get caught out by Candlemas. Still brimming with festive energy at Three Kings Day, we put aside our Christmas candle stubs to melt down and make new candles with, but then term starts, activities resume, and suddenly a big messy crafting session feels impossible. These dip dye candles are a happy medium, with the tricky bit already done for you and still plenty of room for creativity.

You will need: Candles, Candle stubs or wax pellets, Crayons, Tin cans, Saucepan

We took this as an opportunity to use up some of our old crayons that never really get used - the kind you get given in restaurants for colouring. They're not very nice to draw with compared to Beeswax ones, I don't know why we kept them, but I was very pleased to discover that they worked just fine for this craft project. Waste not, want not!

1. Put your candle stubs and pieces of crayon into your tin cans. How much wax you put in depends on how deeply you want to be able to dip your candles.

For about a half a tin of wax we used a couple of crayon sticks, but the friend that introduced me to this uses only a tiny corner of a Stockmar block as the pigment is so strong.

2. Place your tin cans into a saucepan partially filled with water and heat it up on the hob.

We made the blue and some other colours on our trial run - they're so easy to store and heat up again when needed.

3. When your stubs and crayons have melted and blended together you are ready to start dip-dyeing.

We stirred ours with butter knives to make sure the crayons were totally mixed in. (The wax comes off easily with hot water).

4. Making sure the tins are cool enough to handle, dip one end of your candle in to get a layer of coloured wax.

The hotter the wax, the more translucent your layer will be, but careful not to hold it in there too long in case your candle starts to melt! For thicker layers and stronger colours, either dip your candle several times or wait until the wax has cooled a bit and is thicker.

You can create a lovely rainbow or ombre effect by dipping your candle to different depths in different colours.

Or create diagonal lines by tipping your tin whilst dipping.

Warning: this is one of those highly addictive crafts. You just want to make more and more...

... because it's so dreamy!

And the fun doesn't end there. Watching the cascade of colour as they melt is super exciting!

Candlemas marks the midway point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. This craft, and the enjoyment of your candles, are a beautiful way to celebrate the returning of the light and the first stirrings of Spring.

Please be careful when working with boiling water and hot wax, and take precautions relevant to the age of the children you are crafting with.

You may also enjoy this Water-Dipped Candle idea.

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