Poem to copy at the end of this activity.
Candles using Milk Containers
This is pretty. Especially if you
layer red and green. If you have any Jewish children use blue and white.
Number one - Caution: Paraffin is easily combustible
Open up a window or two in your classroom. Tell the custodian and office that you will be making candles. It does smell.
It can get smoky if you don't watch the
paraffin carefully as it is melted.
2. Get parent volunteers if you can.
3. Depending on the size candle you want the size of the milk container can vary. I used a half-gallon.
heavy string, milk containers, old candles, paraffin (sold in supermarkets) old crayons, newspaper, pencils,
electric burner, large coffee cans, potholder.
If you want scented candles just add a little vanilla to the melted paraffin.
The size of the wick depends on the size of the candle.
Also, wicks are cheap at craft
stores or WalMart. If you use string instead of getting a package labeled candle
wick at the craft store, make sure it's cotton string. (String can be bought at
After cutting the wicks to size, (allow for pencil wrapping) start with a small group of kids at a table.
You need to provide work for the rest of the class. Explain how hot the wax gets and tell the students they are not to get up and go over to where the group is!
Trim the top part of the carton off so that what remains is about six - seven inches high.
Cut the string so that it is eight- nine inches long. (To make a wick that lasts longer, try braiding three pieces of string together.)
Have the kids wrap the wick around a pencil and let the lose wick drop into the milk carton while the pencil rests on the top. (Make sure everyone has their name on their container.)
In the coffee can melt the wax on a medium heat. Using one color crayon, break the crayons into small pieces and add to the paraffin. If the crayons are added first before the wax is melted, the color makes it difficult to see if all of the paraffin is liquefied.
When melted bring can to the work table which is covered in newspaper. (Use a potholder. Can can get hot)
Pour the color into the carton. About 1/4. Then have the kids carry it to a safe place to dry. Do the whole class that way. Then when dried, that afternoon or the next day add another color to the melted paraffin and let dry.
Hint: The paraffin will begin to harden so you may need to add it to the heat for a few more minutes.
The candle will be set in about 30 minutes. Continue on until you have filled up the cartoon as far as you want.
Peel away the cartoon and you have a candle. Then cut the wick to size.
HAND DIPPED CANDLES
The students love doing this.
Same materials, but you do not need a pencil. Follow steps to melt paraffin. Make sure the can is filled about three-quarters high.
Place the can down in the center of a table layered with newspaper. Give each child a wick and model how to do this.
Dip the wick once, quickly into the
can filled paraffin. Then take out of the can. You must do it fast because
if you leave it in it only melts in the hot wax.
Dip again but always allow the wax to harden in the cooler air, then dip again. The wick will build up with wax.
Each child dips quickly, once (they will be in a circle) and when it get to their turn again the wax should be dried.
You can melt little pieces of old crayons in the wax to give the candles some color.
Continue dipping until the wax builds up. The newspaper will catch any of the wax that drips. You need to change the papers for each group.
**The day before the teacher can melt wax and just start the wicks so that first step is done.**
Lay the candle on a piece of paper which
is light in color, with the child's name on it. When dry , cut the wick.
It can be wrapped up.
Have students make a card. Then have them copy one of the poems and add to the inside.
Use glitter to decorate.
I made this little candle
Just for mom and dad
To light for remembrance
Of all the fun we had.
This homemade candle was made by me
For everyone in the house to see
This beautiful flame shall brighten your day
Remember it always in a heart felt way.