How to Build a Heated Dipping Tank for a Carved Candle

Make beautiful candles at home with a simple heated-wax dipping tank.
Make beautiful candles at home with a simple heated-wax dipping tank. (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Artisans and hobbyists make carved candles by dipping "core" candles quickly in a number of different colors of melted-wax vats. Then they use a warm cutting tool to shape the surface of the candle. As the tool cuts into the candle, it reveals the different colored waxes and creates a colorful piece of customized home decor. With just a few basic supplies, some of which you may already have in your home, you can build your own dipping tank and dip your own core candles at home. Even children can dip candles under the supervision of adults.

Things You'll Need

  • Large, cast iron or heavy-bottom aluminum soup pot
  • 7-inch stoneware dinner plate
  • 4 2-liter pop bottles with tops cut off to match the height of the pot
  • 4 sealable plastic bags, such as Ziploc, filled with clean gravel or sand
  • Core candles, number of your choice
  • 4 colors of candle wax
  • Candle-carving cutting tool

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Place a sealed bag filled with gravel in the bottom of each of the pop bottles, and fill the bottles three-fourths full with candle wax.

Place the stoneware plate in the bottom of the soup pot, place the pop bottles in the pot, and then fill the pot to within an inch of the rim with water. If the bottles try to float, empty the wax and place larger sand or gravel bags in the bottom of the bottles.

Place the pan on the stove, or on an electric hot plate, and turn the heat on low to melt the wax.

Watch for the wax to melt. As soon as the wax in the plastic containers has melted, you can begin dipping your core candles. Monitor the water level in the pot, and refill it as needed. Monitor the wax, and adjust the heat source so that the candle wax remains in a liquid state during the dipping process.


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