Grubby Heart Candle - Version 2

This candle is a little different than "Version 1"

in that is has whipped wax around the heart-
shaped can. Also, some candle gel and glitter
were added just under the surface of the top layer

of wax, so when the candle burns, the brighter
color emerges. As with Version 1, it serves
as a candle holder for future candles ... a
votive or tealight candle will fit into the body
of the candle once it has burned.

The can (a shallow aluminum pet food
can) was molded by hand by gripping
the can in palms of hand and bending it
to create a point on one end, although
when first bent, both sides of the can
will fold to a point. One of the points
becomes the bottom of the heart, and
the other one gets indented to create
the shape. To create the indent into
the top of the heart, a stick or wooden
spoon handle can be used, which is
most safely done on the floor so the
can won't slip while applying pressure
to create the indent. I set the can on
the floor, and, with pressure, made
an indent into the can with the spoon
handle pressed into the side of the can.

For the trim, using a "typical" box of
aluminum foil (with a built-in cutter),
a little over two inches of foil was cut,
for a piece of foil approx. 2 inches by
12 inches, which was folded over for
double thickness, making the strip
about a half an inch by 12 inches.

This was then wrapped around the can ...

You can begin wrapping around the edge of
the can at any starting point you like.
One strip of foil almost made it completely
around the can, although it came up just a
little short, so another piece of foil was cut
and folded ... about a half an inch by 5 inches.
To add the piece, simply overlap just a bit
with the foil that is already in place and
"crunch" it up so it holds. Also, as you work
around the edge of the can, pinch some of
the trim around the lip of the can, or overlap
in areas so the foil holds onto itself, as this
is not secured in any other way until the wax
is applied.

For the sides of the can, a band of foil was cut
and crinkled before wrapping. This piece was
cut to be just a little wider than the height of the
can and it crunches up under the trim to secure.

If you want to make these to give as gifts
or to sell ... an optional step is to cover the
bottom of the can with wax, giving it a
cleaner finish. I must mention that some
wick tab adhesives do not hold the tab on
through this waxing process due to the
heat on the bottom of the can, so the wick
needs to be mounted later ... after the can
has cooled down. And, as with all candles,
instructions should be given to set this on
a plate while burning ... but this should be
set on a plate at all times to not harm
finishes, especially if this wax is scented.

To get the wax on the bottom of the can,
I used an old ceramic plate. Wax was poured
into the plate so it formed a pool of wax and
then the can was set into the hot wax and
pressed down into the plate. This needs
to be allowed to cool completely before
removing. Also, splashes of wax were brought
up onto the sides of the can with the wax that
was poured into the plate. This shows the
bottom of the can (left side of photo) after
the wax has cooled, with remnant pieces
of wax still on the plate.

Then, the wick was secured with a wick
tab stuck to the bottom of the can, and,
I also lined the can with some wax,
which is another optional step.

For coloring, I started with a dark burgundy
and lightened it as the project moved along.
This gives a bit more contrast to the layers
of wax on the sides of the can, which I feel
has a nice look to it. In other words, I melted
enough of the dark color to cover the bottom
and sides of the can, with just a bit left over.
Then, using the leftover wax, I added more
wax for the next layer, without adding any
more colorant. This gave me a wax a shade
lighter than the first batch.

For the candle part, I used a soy container
wax, with some of the retained dark wax
mixed with a hint of blue ... here is the
candle when it was poured, with the use
of a poultry lacer, one of my favorite
candle making tools, bridged across the
can to hold the wick in place.

If desired, this candle can be topped with
some whipped wax and called completed
at this point. But, I was curious to try
something ... what I ended up with was
a candle that "colored up" a bit more
upon lighting. Of course, you could do
this simply by pouring a darker wax.
Although the pastel wax is pretty and
with even just a thin layer of candle
gel, the candle may burn a little longer,
especially if the container wax is a
regular candle wax and not a soy wax.
This candle burned for a little over

20 hours. So, the gel can serve a
purpose in this case, beyond adding
a layer of color, since it adds to the
burn time. I must also mention
that you could use candle gel to
fill this candle completely, if desired.

I chose to experiment with the
mixture of waxes a bit, so here is
how this process went ...

After the soy cooled, the center of the
candle sunk just a bit, in the shape of
a heart in the center ... I filled this with
a dark red candle gel, which I then
needed to "distress" to create a bit of
a "rough" surface for binding with
the other waxes, as it was too slippery.
In other words ... it could slide right off!
After that, I covered it with candle
wax mixed with soy, which was then
purposely cracked upon cooling and
pressed together to give a bit of
decorative look to the center of the
top of the candle.

Here is how it looked ... this is the
center of the candle (a little hard to
see the wick from this angle ... can
be seen better in pictures below. )

Here are the holes and perforations in
the gel layer ... by pouring wax on top
of this, the wax pours through sections of
the gel, melting with the container wax,
holding the gel in place.

This is what this looked like ... pretty, huh?

Once this was completed some white
wax was poured into the heart shape
in the center of the candle (over the

gel layer), with some bright pink glitter
sprinkled around the edges of the gel.
Before it was completely hardened,
I poured a bit of soy wax over the wax
and "roughed" it up a bit as it cooled ...
punching a fork into it a bit and
making slash marks with a knife,
which made it into little flakes, that
were quickly pressed together
while still warm (as mentioned


To finish the candle, whipped
wax was applied around the
outer edge on top of the foil.
This was done in little "clumps"
all around, working in an outward
direction so that most of the
wax would fall toward the outer
edges of the candle.

Here is the finished result ...

The center of the candle ...

After the candle burned for a
little while, it started to color up ...

I hope you have enjoyed my
experimental grubby candles ...
not an everyday project, but
a variation of a container candle.

Grubby Heart (container) Candle

"Grubby" Heart Candle

Making a small container candle that doubles
as a decorative candle holder when the candle
has burned down can make a "little" gift into
something of longer-lasting value and sentiment.

So, here we have a "grubby heart candle" ...
it's a small candle with an elaborated
housing of sorts ... that being a recycled container.
Once the candle has burned, a votive will fit
inside the heart-shaped container, or, it can
be refilled with wax, or used as a decoration
filled with potpourri, etc.

(You can see where a votive will fit.)

The "grubby" look of wax can be an interesting
design and you'll be amazed at how quickly
this process goes. So, if you want to make a
small container candle in the shape of a heart,
you may try this "grubby heart candle."


We'll start off with the can, which is a small

pet food can that has been "bent up" by hand.

Simply make a "pinch" in it to create a point by
pressing inward with hands wrapped around the
can. This makes the bottom of the heart shape.
The indent at the top of the heart requires a bit
more work ... you may find methods that work
better than the one I used, which was pressing a
stick into the can with some pressure to create
the indent with the can set on the floor.
For instance, the stem of a wooden spoon
... if you do this on the floor, then the candle
can't slip while you are trying to indent it.
Or, this can also be done by hand by bending the
aluminum. Some shaping and pressing can be done
by hand as well, until the desired shape is achieved,
as the aluminum has a bit of flexibility.

The next step is to "rough up" the can by crinkling

and applying some aluminum foil all around it,
like so ...

Now you are ready to give it a grubby covering.
First melt your wax and allow it to cool down
a little, using a fork to whip it a bit ...

The amount of wax to melt for this can vary,
based on how thick its applied. About a half
pound of wax pillar-type paraffin wax was
used for this candle. I used a very small amount
of a color block of "ruby" and a floral candle scent.
Of course, there are many color and scent options
that are suitable for this project, although I prefer
pastels for this type of design. After the wax has
melted, it needs to cool down a bit so it can be
whipped into a grubby mixture.

If you have read any material on how to make
"whipped cream"
with wax, then you already know
how to get to this point. If not, then a quick
explanation is in order ... allow the wax to
partially cool, and then begin whisking or

whipping it. I use a fork to accomplish this,
as I find it to be easy and neat, without much
splatter, although some people like to use a
non-electric egg beater, and some may even
use electric egg beaters, which I have never done.
If you work your way around the edges of the
melting pot, pulling in partially hardened wax
from the sides of the pot, and continue to mix,
beat, or whip, you will end up with a nice,
fluffy mixture as the wax cools down.

An important note here is that when it has
reached this point, do not allow anything to
take your attention away from it, as you need
to work quickly before it hardens too much,

otherwise you will have start over by remelting
the wax.

I found the easiest way to get my first coating of
wax around the can was to "hold" the can from the
inside (fingers pressed up along the inside walls of

the can) and roll it around in my melting pot into
the whipped wax, working my way around the
can until it is completely covered. It's best to

do this with some newspaper or a large try
under the pot, as when you take it out, there
may be some wax droppings. Also, have an
old plate or pie pan ready so you can immediately
set it down somewhere safe.

Then, simply start "plopping" or "blobbing"
the wax onto the sides of the can with a fork
until it looks like this ...

After this has slightly hardened, you can trim
the sides
by sliding a knife along the edges of
the can to remove the excess wax, remove the
can from the plate by putting your fingers *inside*
the can (do not hold from the outside,
as it will flatten your grubby work) ...
also you may need to slip a knife edge under
the can to remove it from the plate ... set it

down for a minute, put excess wax from
the plate back into your melting pot and place
the can back on the plate so you can do a bit of
over-pouring to make the finish "drippy" and smooth.
Secure your wick into the bottom of the can.

To over-pour, melt some wax and lightly

pour around the edges of the can, allowing
some wax to spill or splash onto the sides ...

Hopefully, you still have some wax left over,
as this can be used to line the inside (sides) of
the can with wax ... I did this with slightly
cooled spillover wax, but you can purposely
pour a bit of wax into a small plate or tray and
when it's pliable, take some strips and secure
them into the inside of the can along the sides.
This gives a smooth looking finish around the

inside top edge ... just a bit of detail work.

At this point, the candle container
looks something like this ...

After removing the waxed can from the plate,
you may find that some wax has accumulated on

the bottom of the can. This can be mended with
a flat-edged knife ... simply scrape the wax off
the bottom until it's smooth, being careful along
the sides so the can will sit level ... in other words,
do not remove too much on one side or the other.

For the candle part, I used soy flakes ... sorry,

I did not weigh them, but the amount of
flakes I used
took up about two and a half
to three times the
volume of the inside of
the can (filled with flakes). If you find

that you didn't melt enough, melt a bit more
and add it before your wax starts to cool.

This completes my grubby heart candle!

Coming up ... "Version 2" ... similar design
with a slightly different technique!

Note: This type of candle should be placed on a
protected surface even when it is not burning,
as scented oils can damage finishes.

Candied Fruit Toppings Candle

Candied fruit candles are fairly easy to
make thanks to candle gel. Your candle
can be made with wax, with a wax icing
and gel fruit pieces on top, or, if
preferred, gel pieces can also be
incorporated within the body of the
candle for more color while burning.


It used to be that if you wanted to make
a candle that looked like it had toppings,
such as a dessert or sundae candle, that
the toppings would solely be created
with wax ... this works well for nuts,
dried fruit, cake frosting or icing, but
not as well for jellied candies or fruit
pieces. To make the wax pieces a
bit more shiny, mineral oil could
be rubbed on the pieces or icing,
but achieving a "jellied" look was
not an easy task. Then ... along came
candle gel, the dessert candle
wonder material! Candles were
never going to be the same again!

Icings and syrups of all kinds can
be made with candle gel by using
a liquid dye in a higher concentration
than you normally would use to
make a candle, giving the gel a rich,
deep color, such as butterscotch,
caramel, or chocolate. The same
goes for making candied fruit,
although you don't need quite
as much coloring. You can make
cherry pieces in red or green, citrus
in yellow or orange. Simply pour
some "overly-colored" gel in the
bottom of a pie pan or smaller
container to about a quarter of an
inch thick and allow it to harden.
Then, with a sharp knife, slice through
it in one direction and then the other.
You can cut squares, triangles, or
diamond shapes. Or, you can make
little "chunks" if you pour the gel
into the pan a little deeper than a
quarter of an inch. After cutting,
simply lift the pieces out of the pan
and place them on your candles
where you want to apply some
candied fruit.

To get the "fruit pieces" to stick to the
top of the candle, you can either use a
heat gun to melt some of the wax on top
of the candle and then quickly apply the
pieces ... or, you can melt some wax that
has been colored white (and scented) for
an "icing" and then immediately set in the
fruit pieces after dripping the icing along
the top and sides of the candle.

These are at least a couple of ways to
make a candied fruit topping candle that
almost looks real. The fruit pieces
can be mixed with wax chopped nuts for
a fruit and nuts topping. It's best if all of
the pieces have been scented in your
dessert flavor of choice. Also, for best
color results while burning, I suggest
keeping green at a minimum, or making
it light, such as shown, as when if you have
too much green along with red, when they
burn together, you can end up with too
much brown as the colors mix.

A tip for scenting the pre-made pieces ...
if a vanilla or spice is used, then you can
scent your candle with just about any
bakery type of scent and the scented
pieces will work well, making for a
flavorful combination.

Happy Toppings!

Holiday Votive & Gel Chunk Candle

This little candle was made in very similar
fashion to the "votive ice candle" design
featured on another post, with the difference
being that instead of using small chunks of
ice, colored (and pre-scented) candle gel
was used around the top edge, with wax
embeds along the sides ... in this example,
a candy cane ...

When the candle was removed from the
(tear-away) mold, a heat gun was required
to melt some of the wax from off the side
of the candle to expose the embedded
wax shape ... in this photo, the candy cane,
which you can (sort of) see on the left.

The main difference (beyond the
visual) between this design and the
votive-ice design is that this candle
burned for over twice as long due to
the candle gel, streaks of color
from the gel emerged within the candle
as it burned, and there were many little
"see-through" areas from the use of
the gel, making this a very pretty
little candle!

If you should decide to make such
a design, just remember to go lightly
on the candle gel, as the wax is what
holds this all together, just as with an
ice candle ... the gel is simply an
embellishment. A great way to use
leftover scraps of candle gel too!