How to Make a Salt & Oil Candle

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The flame from candles adds cheer, light and warmth like no other decor in a home. To make your own, you don't need to go to the expense of purchasing paraffin, beeswax and forms, or take the time to melt and pour, soften and shape. Salt and oil candles take only minutes and little effort to make. This is a great activity to do with children. It's easy, and makes a great opportunity to teach them a little science about how the wick burns slowly because the oil is the real fuel supply.

Things You'll Need

  • Printer paper
  • Wire
  • Salt
  • Translucent glass container
  • Cooking oil

Making the Candle

Cut the printer paper into strips lengthwise about 1/2 inch in width. Pinch one end of a strip and then twist the paper into a tight string. This will be your wick.

To about a quarter cup of warm water, add about a tablespoon of salt and stir to dissove. Dip the wicks in the salt water. Dry them in a 200-degree oven for a few minutes, or let them air-dry overnight. The salt slows consumption of the wick when it burns.

Bend the wire in a loose spiral that can be set down into the glass container, with one end in the center, pointing up. This is the form for the wick.

Wrap the wick around the wire, starting at the top end, and down to the spiral. Set the wrapped wire into the container, making sure that it can still stand well in the container with one end high enough for the flame to be out of the oil.

Pour oil into the container over the wick, leaving about 1/2 inch of the wick out of the oil. Your candle is ready.

Tips & Warnings

  • For wicks, you can also use thin strips of cotton rags, or wool yarn. Don't use anything synthetic, as it will make unpleasant fumes when it burns.
  • For wire, uncoated thin paper clips, twist ties (with the plastic stripped off) and other non-leaded wire all work.
  • Cooking oil can be just about any kind of fat, even congealed. Rendered, filtered lard left over from bacon works, though the smell may not be agreeable, especially if the fat goes rancid.
  • Fire can be dangerous. Make sure the container won't spill easily, and don't leave the candle burning unsupervised, especially around children.

References

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