As seen on Jan. 14th, 2002
Martha Stewart
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Twig Candles with Tom
Making homemade candles offers a host of creative possibilities. One idea is to create tapers that resemble the texture and shape of twigs—a project that requires an inexpensive molding kit and some basic supplies. Martha Stewart Living style editor Tom Tamborello recommends using straight twigs with unusual characteristics such as interesting bumps and bark patterns.
Making a Twig Candle
Twig, at least 10 inches long and roughly the diameter of a taper candle
Utility knife
Hammer and nail
Smooth-On silicone mold-making rubber kit
PVC pipe, at least 10 inches long
Masking tape
Quick cap
Length of candle wick
1. Cut the twig to a length of about 10 inches. Be sure to get as straight a cut across the top as possible. (If you’re making more than one, choose a variety of twigs that vary in surface texture and slightly in thickness.) Tap a nail into the top of the twig to leave room for a wick.
2. Screw the twig to the inside of a quick cap (quick caps are made to cover the ends of PVC pipes). Use a screwdriver to tighten the band around the cap, to secure the twig in place. Spray the wood with the sealing agent included in the molding kit.
3. Carefully cut the PVC pipe in half lengthwise using a jigsaw, handsaw, or utility knife, making sure the pipe is clamped down to prevent it from rolling. Place the two halves back together, and use masking tape to hold it in place. Place the pipe over the twig, and use a screwdriver to tighten the band.
4. Mix the rubber included in the kit, following manufacturer’s instructions. Pour the contents into the plastic tube, and allow it to harden for 4 hours. Separate the two pieces of pipe, and remove the rubber. Use the utility knife to cut a seam from the top to bottom of the rubber on one side, cutting in to the nail mark on the top of the twig. Remove the twig.
5. Melt the beeswax in a double-boiler heated to 160°F to 180°F.
6. Cut a length of wick to about 4 inches longer than the mold. “Prime” the wick by dipping it into the wax and letting it dry. Insert the wick, centered, into the candle. Secure the wick ends in the cuts at the top and bottom of the mold.
7. Place the mold back into the PVC pipe, tape the pipe together, and insert it into the cap. Make sure there is a hole at the top of the mold to pour the beeswax into. Tilt the mold slightly, and slowly pour in the melted beeswax. Center the wick, then clip a clothespin to the wick’s end to keep it straight. Allow the candle to cool.
Note: As it settles, the wax will sink; after approximately 30 minutes, top off the wax in the mold, then remove it from the mold after several hours.
Special Thanks
Tom Tamborello
Style editor
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Smooth-On silicone mold making rubber kit
Smooth On
Quick cap
Available at hardware stores