Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Wonderful World of Wax!


I have discovered that I like Waxy Crafts!


Making heart crayons for Valentine's day was fun!


I Peeled the paper off old crayons and broke them into pieces.



I filled the heart molds.

I put them in the oven at 200, and it took about 45 minutes for all of them to be melted down.



As I saw this hot liquid wax, it looked irresistible! ... I mean, what would happen if I dipped a paint brush into it and tried to paint with melted wax?  I had to find out!



I used a cooking plastic brush we had in our craft box and a small brush.



The wax cooled right away on the paper and made pieces of wax.



The small brush made smoother lines, it cooled/hardened right away.  Running my finger over the strokes, it was a smooth waxy feel.



The cooking brush made more texture on the paper!



This dried hard on the paper and it was a bumpy waxy feeling when running my fingers across it.
I saved this paper for Butterfly to feel for a tactile experience.




I let the molds cool for over an hour, then popped them out onto the pan.




When the wax was wet and melted, before it hardened, I took a thin stir stick and stirred around the two colours in the big hearts to see what would happen when they hardened.  This is what happened.  Some line designs!








These are the mini hearts.



So another thing I discovered when melting down crayons, is that in the crayon wax there is oil !!  I never knew!  When they were wet melted liquid in the molds, an oil sat on top of the colour, the wax and oil separated.  So when the molds cooled and hardened, there is now a white top to the hearts- the oil in the wax crayons.


When Butterfly and her friends coloured with the hearts, they couldn't colour with the oil white bottom as it wouldn't show up on the paper.  It was easy to colour with the other side of the heart, the colour side.  It worked just like a crayon! But in a heart shape for Valentine's Day!





We also played with Bees Wax and made candles for gifts!


We needed Beeswax Sheets and candle wick.






First I laid out a bees wax sheet and put a wick across the bottom.
I used a hair dryer (low setting for a few seconds) to warm up the wax...



...so that I could smoothly roll it around the wick.




Then I kept rolling it tight.



Until I reached the bottom, and warmed the end again with the hair dryer to make the end stick onto the candle closed.
(Remember not to melt the wax with the hair dryer, just a few seconds on low setting warms up the wax to be mold-able but not lose the bees wax shape.)






And it's made, that easy!



I added ladybug decorations just by cutting circles from a red bees wax sheet and warming them to stick onto the candle.



I used a straw to make small blue circles for the bug's dots on it's back.



And the design is done!



Then I trimmed the wick.


So how did I get the "tapered" look at the top of the candle?


I took a ruler and folding up the wax on it diagonally to make a crease.




Then I cut across the top, just a slight diagonal cut, and the sheet now fit the length of the wick.






Here are my finished candles.  The heart set is great for a Valentine's gift.




Tie a ribbon over the sets and they make great gifts!



Here is another set, a flower set, I made for my Auntie :)



And as I was making candles at the table, Butterfly was playing with all the scraps of the bees wax, she was busy with it for at least an hour!  Children playing with bees wax has many benefits, as the Waldorf philosophy encourages it.  It requires more hand strength to mold than Play-doh, and they discover it becomes easier to mold overtime with the warmth of their hands.  Plus its more of a natural material!


Isn't this a cute wax creature she made!  It looks like a bunny :))

Read the Benefits of burning natural beeswax candles versus everyday store bought ones here.




4 comments:

  1. Love the crayons - looks like a really fun and easy craft!
    To answer your question on the eggs, I use food writers to write on them (you can get them in the baking aisle - a set is $3.99). They are little markers, and yes, I write on the peeled egg! I've made all sorts of funny faces on eggs for him with them, he and his teachers always get a kick out of my goofy creations at preschool :-)

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  2. This looks great. I'll have to try them out!

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  3. hope to try the crayon idea sometime! cute and fun!!

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  4. What a fun project. We have never have tried it but have received some of those fun heart crayons as gifts.

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