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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Basket-Weave Candles

Transform basic pillar candles with strips of beeswax and a simple under-and-over weave. Beeswax sheets come in a range of colors. We found that using natural shades of beeswax and a darker candle, such as pumpkin-colored ones, give a particularly pleasing result. We also experimented with strips of different widths and other weaves and found that the measurements below mimic a basket weave best.

What you'll need

Tools & Materials
- Cutting mat with a grid
- Candle
- Ruler
- Craft knife
- Beeswax sheets
- Hair dryer

Step 1
Working on a cutting mat with a grid and using a ruler and a craft knife, cut 1/2-inch-wide strips of beeswax that are 1/2 inch longer than the circumference of the candle and 1/4-inch-wide strips that are at least 1/2 inch taller than the height of the candle. (The number of strips needed will vary depending upon the height and circumference of the candle).

Step 2
Lay one 1/2-inch strip across the cutting mat, and use a hair dryer to soften the wax slightly. Line up the ends of all the 1/4-inch strips along the 1/2-inch strip, and placing them 1/2 inch apart and alternating them on top and underneath. Press gently to adhere the strips, using the hair dryer as needed to soften them so they stick.

Step 3
Weave in the remaining 1/2-inch strips, warning the strips on the mar before adding them and leaving a very small space between them. If a strip breaks, heat broken ends and press them together. When the woven sheet is large enough for a candle, trim the edges as needed to straighten.

Step 4
Run the hair dryer over the wax sheet, then lay the candle on top; bring up 1 side of the wax sheet and press edge to adhere it to the candle. Roll the candle, wrapping the wax sheet tightly and heating it as needed to meld the 2 layers and the overlapping seam.

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