Beeswax candles for Hanukkah
Light represents the eternal flame celebrated during Hanukkah, and these homemade candles are sure to add a special touch to any holiday gathering. Made of rolled beeswax and sprinkled with silvery glitter, they make great gifts for friends and family!
• X-Acto knife or kitchen knife
• Metal ruler
• Self-healing cutting mat
• 3 beeswax sheets (8 by 16 in/20 by 40.5cm), in shades of blue for Hanukkah or colors of choice for other holidays
• 6 yd/5.5 m cotton square braid candlewick, size 3/0, cut into 4 1/2-in/11-cm lengths
• Paper plate
• Nonflammable silver glitter for Hanukkah, or color of choice for other holidays
• Sheet of tissue paper parchment paper
• Length of ribbon
1 Using the X-Acto or a kitchen knife, ruler, and cutting mat, cut a beeswax sheet lengthwise in half. Cut each half into eight rectangles 2 in/5 cm long and 4 in/10 cm wide.
2 Place a beeswax rectangle on a clean, flat working surface; roll one long edge up a little. Tear off a small piece of wax—about 1/4 to 1/4 in/6 to 12 mm—from one end of the rolled-up edge; set the piece aside.
3 Lay a piece of wick in the rolled-up space, with the end about 1/4 in/6 mm from the torn corner (which will be at the bottom of the candle). Starting with the wick edge and applying even pressure, gently roll the wax around the wick to create your candle (it’s easiest to roll away from yourself).
4 Position the seam side down on the work surface and roll the candle lightly a couple of times to bind the edge. Smooth out the seam with a fingertip, for a cleaner look.
5 Wrap the torn-off piece of wax around the top of the wick, where it meets the candle. Press the wax in place and smooth it down so it covers the wick as evenly as possible; this will help the candle burn when lit.
6 Set completed candles to the side and continue rolling until all the candles have been made.
Tip: For a full set of Hanukkah candles, you will need 44 rolled beeswax candles in total. A combination of blues looks spectacular.
7 Place the paper plate on your work space. Roll a candle between your palms to soften the wax slightly. Holding the candle by the wick at an angle over the plate, sprinkle it with glitter, turning it to coat it evenly. Shake the excess glitter off and set the candle aside. Repeat with the rest of the candles.
8 Shake the candles once more over the plate to remove excess glitter, then wrap them in tissue or parchment paper and tie them with a ribbon to contain the glitter until you are ready to use them.
9 Before use, trim the wicks to about 1/4 in/6 mm and mold the bottom of each candle to fit into your menorah or candle holder.
10 Enjoy the sparkle and dazzle!
Makes 48 candles.
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Excerpted from Holiday Crafting and Baking with Kids, Copyright © 2011 by Jessica Strand. Photography by Aimee Herring. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.