Make and gift your own wax brittle this holiday season. Super easy to make and use and you may have a lot of the supplies around the house already. A great craft to do with kids so long as the do not handle the hot wax, of course.
Please read through all instructions carefully before starting.
Links for all products at the end if you want to purchase all new materials.
- Used candle wax from any of these sources: leftover wax from candles that are mostly burned, partially used tealights you no longer need, used wax melts, those wonky candles that you can't use because they sat out in the sun too long, partially used tapers, etc.
- OR New soy or paraffin wax from a craft store or candle supplier (I've used soy wax flakes from Hobby Lobby, paraffin wax from Michaels, and Millinneum Wax from Amazon with good results when I'm not using my usual wax for my shop's candles)
- Empty medium sized aluminum soup can (very clean and dry, obviously), a small , new paint can from the hardware store or a candle pouring pitcher if you intend to make a lot of these will come in very handy.
- Pot for water large enough to hold your aluminum can to act as a double boiler (see tips below to create a simple double boiler set up)
- Fragrance oils (make sure they specifically state safe for candles) or essential oils if you're using new or unscented used wax.
- Parchment paper (from a roll, not folded sheets)
- Cardboard or other covering to protect your work surface
- Candle dye, if desired, either liquid or solid blocks (must be candle dye NOT food coloring) If you intend to get deeper colors, you'll need solid dye blocks. Liquid dye colors will make pastels.
- Botanicals or decorations, if desired. Examples: dried flower petals, dried whole herbs, whole cloves, star anise, dried citrus, cake decorating sprinkles etc.
NOTE: If you're using wax from a candle or wax melts that are already scented, you can absolutely blend them, but keep in mind some won't smell good together. If you are considering blending two fragrances, hold them together and take a gentle whiff while slowly moving them under your nose to get a feel for how they might work together.
1. Set up double boiler with a couple inches of water. And add 1.5-2.5oz (an estimate is fine) of wax for each batch of brittle you want to make into the empty soup can or pouring pitcher. NEVER HEAT WAX OVER DIRECT HEAT!
2. Set up your work area by protecting the work surface if needed and lay out squares of parchment paper at least 12x12 inches large. (TIP: If you place each sheet of parchment on top of a dinner plate, the wax is less likely to run all off the edges of your parchment.)
3. Melt the wax in your double boiler.
4. Remove from heat and add a 10-12 drops of fragrance, if using, and a few drops of color or a tiny chip of solid wax color, if using. Add color small amounts at a time to achieve desired color. NOTE: cooled wax will be considerably lighter than melted wax if color is a consideration.
5. Stir to incorporate the fragrance and color, if used.
6. Let cool slightly before slowly pouring onto parchment sheets.
7. Before cooling, add botanicals or decorations to tops of brittle and press down lightly. (TIP: if the wax cools too quickly for your extras to stay embedded, carefully use a heat gun or embossing gun to reheat the wax slightly on top, just take care not to scorch the parchment.)
8. Allow to cool, break into pieces and package up! Add a gift tag stating what the fragrance is and you're all set!
9. If you're making multiple batches with different scents/ colors, clean the can well after each use or use a fresh one for each if possible.
MAKING AN EASY DOUBLE BOILER: You can use almost any stovetop safe pot as long as it can hold at least a couple inches of water. Submerge a washcloth (one you can toss, because it'll likely get messy) or a silicone trivet. Just be sure that your aluminum can is able to sit inside the pot without tipping, add water and you're good to go.
Product lists to purchase. I can vouch for all these products for use as a hobby or craft project:
Millennium Wax (Amazon)
100% Natural Soy Wax (Hobby Lobby)
Paraffin Wax (Michael's)
NICE TO HAVES
Pouring pitcher (Amazon)
Candle fragrances (Hobby Lobby)
Candle color blocks (Hobby Lobby)
Liquid candle dye (Michael's)