Warmer weather is upon us and DIY producer Robert Mahar has found a way to both combine a favorite summer camp craft and keep those pesky mosquitoes away from the backyard BBQ! Make citronella sand candles using small vintage gelatin molds (found at a flea market) like we did or experiment with shapes created from small glasses, bowls or even kid's beach sand play molds!
Find more of Robert's work at www.maharcraft.tumblr.com.
[Two helpful notes! Make certain the citronella is in essential oil form -- found at your local health food store. And be mindful of the wax temperature -- we recommend 175 degrees. The hotter the wax, the thicker the coat of sand on your candle.]
Materials and tools:
Soy wax or beeswax (typically 1 lb = 4 votives)
Double boiler (Tip! Improvise with a small sauce pan for the wax placed in a larger
pan partially filled with water.)
Citronella essential oil
Bowl or bucket filled with sand
Water spray bottle
Assorted molds with flat bottoms
Wooden craft sticks
1) Moisten and mix sand with water until it packs well. Press your mold open side up into the sand and firmly pack sand around it. Slowly lift the mold up and out of the sand.
2) Using a skewer make hole for wick in base of mold impression and then insert a pre-waxed wick into the hole, trimming about an inch above the base of the mold impression. Stabilize the wick by pinching it between two craft sticks placed across the opening.
3) Melt soy wax or beeswax in a double boiler to 175 degrees using the aid of a candy thermometer. Stir in pieces of shaved crayons to achieve desired color and a few drops of citronella essential oil (approximately one drop for each small candle, two to three for a larger ones.)
4) Gently and slowly pour melted wax into mold impression, filling almost to the top of the impression. Allow to dry overnight.
5) Remove dry candle from sand, gently remove excess sand with paint brush. Trim wick flush with the underside of the candle and about 1/4 on the topside.
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