How To Make Floating Candles at Home

Floating Candles

Candlelight is a typical go-to option for adding a little ambiance to a dinner party, romantic get-together or quiet evening at home, but they can present some safety concerns. Open flames are easy to accidentally knock into or over, especially if your guests are children or just plain prone to clumsiness. Then there is the idea of leaving them unattended. Instead of giving up on the beauty of real candles for their electronic equivalents or risking the fire hazard, learn how to make floating candles at home that create a relaxing atmosphere while putting a water barrier around the flames. To start, find yourself a good floating candle mold.

Floating Candles

Choosing a Candle Mold

Molds can be made from almost anything, from cookie cutters to real soap molds. Be creative, and choose shapes that fit the occasion. To stay upright in water, your candles should taper at the base, so that the top is wider than the bottom. Muffin tins are the perfect shape for large floating candles, like the kind you might place into a glass bowl, dinner table centerpiece or bathtub. Smaller candles can go into a water-filled martini glass or flower vase, and work well for side table decor.

If you have chosen a food grade mold, like a cookie cutter or muffin tin, be sure you are willing to part with it. Candle wax should not be ingested, so reusing these molds for your next dessert project would be a toxic mistake. Coat the inside of all non-commercial molds with vegetable oil so that the wax does not stick to the sides.

candle making supplies

Prepping the Wax

Candle wax burns like chocolate, so set up your melting pot as a double boiler by placing a coffee can inside of a water-filled pot. This saves your kitchen hardware from wax contamination and melts the wax at a low, even temperature. Turn the burner up to medium and add your wax to the can. You can use a lump of new beeswax, purchased from a candle-making supply store, or simply melt down chunks of old candles. For scented candles, drizzle in a teaspoon of your favorite essential oils.

Shaping the Candles

While your wax is melting, get your candle wicks ready by cutting them down to two inches longer than the height of each mold. Weight one end of each wick with a piece of metal hardware like a nut or bolt, and place the wicks into the centers of the molds. When the wax has melted, fill each mold with liquid wax.

Wicks are often prone to falling into the wax while it is hardening, so you can either keep an eye on them or prop them up against horizontal popsicle sticks/pencils, placed over the top of each mold. Once the wax hardens, you will be well on your way to mastering how to make floating candles. Carefully pop or dump the candles out of the molds, then suspend them in an attractive container filled with water. For extra ambiance, you can tint the water with food coloring, add flower petals or place the container over a mirror to mimic the lighting effects. Or they can work as great floating pool candles.

For more ideas on how to make floating candles centerpieces and arrangements have a look at these posts in the wedding section:

image credits: Neil

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