July 1, 2011

Making Egg Candles

I have wanted to make egg candles for what seems like forever.  It only took me so long because I have this personal problem that when I see something that looks simple and doable, I automatically desire to make it more complicated and elaborate until it becomes a completely different project.  In this case, I looked to buy wax to fill the egg shells and was wooed by all the candle molds and forms, all the colors and textures and scents and suddenly I had visions of myself at farmer's market pedaling organic lavender candles and soaps.  Then I looked at the cost of that vision and it overwhelmed me enough to make me shun wax altogether until I could be certain that I would only buy for this simple egg shell project and not for some over the top candle making production.  Years have passed and I'm ready to be realistic about things.  I'm so glad we finally did it! 

I have been saving our egg shells for a while now.  Not all of them.  Only the ones that crack nicely when I carelessly make omelets. You can find pictures online of very nice egg candles where they blew out the egg and made only a small opening at the top.  As the candle burns down there is a luminary like glow as the flame light passes through the shell.  Simply beautiful.  But I wanted the kids to be able to do this too, so I used half shells to ensure that the opening was wide enough to accommodate those among us who have lesser developed fine motor skills.

We cleaned out the shells and let them dry out for weeks (mainly because I didn't have time to get back to them.  We melted crystallizing wax powder in a double boiler and once it was clear liquid (looked a bit like vegetable oil), I spooned a small dot into each shell to hold the wicks upright for us.  Then one by one we spooned the wax into out eggshells.  S-L-O-W  progress.  We're talking agonizing snail's pace here as the 4 and 5 year old set spooned burning hot wax into an eggshell with a teaspoon. 

Once they cooled, we were in love!  Total candle love.  I personally like nothing more than bird nests and eggs for decorating in the summer, so I got straight to work rearranging things to make home for our new egg candles.  I place tow of them in a nest in a cracked glass bowl for a table centerpiece.  Then I took my favorite thing in the kitchen, my Anchor punch bowl/cake stand/ fruit dish and placed a nest with egg candles under the stand and placed the fruit tray on top of it. making a nifty little display case.  My fruit has never looked so stylin!  Honestly, I think this versatile punch bowl and cake stand in one thing is the coolest kitchen thing I own. 

These candles are so easy, and the kids loved making them.  Once they were all done, the kids sat around just admiring their handiwork.  We'll probably give a couple to friends and then take some down to the school room for circle time.  The best part of making your own candles is that you can buy the lead free wicks, make them unscented, and enjoy candle light without all of the concerns about chemical smells, lead in the air, toxins, etc.  Yuck!  These are simple and safe. 

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