Guest Author - Angela Webster
Winter, Christmas and snowballs - they all go together. That makes them an interesting choice for decorating. Depending on where you live, snowballs may not be readily available so making snowball candles with a little whipped wax is the solution. Snowballs and their simple spherical shape go with any décor.
You can purchase a premade ball candle or make your own. The purchased candles tend to have a shorter wick that is difficult to hang onto when dipping or adding your whipped wax. You may need to hang onto these shorter wicks with pliers to make sure you don’t get your fingers into the hot wax and to make sure you don’t drop your candle. Try to find them with longer wicks or make your own and keep the wick long.
Please read all instructions before beginning this project.
Equipment and Supplies
• Make or purchase however many round ball candles you want. White works best for a realistic looking snowball
• Paraffin wax –enough to cover the candle ball when you dip it
• White dye or you could substitute a couple of tablespoons of vybar to get a nice white color
• Metal whisk or hand mixer – used only for candle making
• Coffee can or other pan for melting wax – big enough to fit your hand and candle as you dip the ball candle
• Fragrance oil if desired – try to choose a very clear colored fragrance or you will not maintain the nice white color – I like to use peppermint)
• Medium sized paint or pastry brush
• Candy thermometer
• Double boiler system – larger pan filled with 1.5-2 inches of water that your smaller pot or can will fit in
• Waxed paper or freezer paper
• Iridescent glitter (optional)
• Start by heating your wax in your double boiler system and adding a little white dye or vybar.
• You may want to wipe your ball candle off with a soft dry cloth to remove any excess oil so your whipped wax will adhere well.
• Heat your wax to about 160 degrees F and add your fragrance if you are using any.
• Stir to incorporate well and remove from heat. You want it to get cool because you are going to whip it into a foamy froth, which happens by whipping air into the cooling wax.
• Once a thin skin starts forming on the wax, that’s a good time to start whipping it. Be careful not to splash hot wax onto yourself. Keep doing this until your wax is frothy and thick like applesauce.
• Hold on tight to your wick and dip the entire ball into the warm frothy wax up to where your wick begins to come out of the candle.
• Set it on your wax paper so the bottom will flatten out and let it rest a minute.
• If necessary, whip your wax some more so it is very thick but still warm and fluffy.
• Pick your candle up by the wick again and start dabbing more whipped wax on with the paint or pastry brush. It’s best to start doing this around the bottom half first so you can set the candle down and do the top without holding your candle. Just keep the wick up and out of your way.
• Continue to do this until your candle is completely covered in whipped candle wax. You need to move quickly so your wax doesn’t get too hard and begin to crumble or refuse to stick. If your wax gets too cold and hard, you will need to reheat and whip until it is manageable again.
• If desired, you can quickly sprinkle a little iridescent glitter on the outside for some sparkle.
• Once your fluffy outer wax has cooled, remove your candle from the wax paper and place it on a plate or tray.
• If your candle’s bottom has become unlevel, you can glide the bottom over a warm pie tin over your double boiler system until level again.
• Trim your wick and admire your handiwork.
You can display these as a single snowball or in sets of the same or varying sizes, whichever you prefer. If you sell these, you may benefit from using a little fragrance on the outer wax but the simple shape is probably the main reason for purchasing this candle. You can always have fragrance on the inside of the candle.
These make nice centerpieces and add to your holiday décor. They make nice simple gifts too.
NOTE: to clean the wax off the pastry brush, you can put it in a can on a tray and put it in an oven set to the lowest temperature and wait for it to melt. Wearing gloves or oven mitts, wipe the brush back and forth on an old towel. You will still have wax build up on your brush but it will be perfect to use for your next batch of whipped wax candles. The whisk or hand mixer attachments will come clean in the oven as well. Alternatively, you could use a heat gun to melt off the wax.