How to Make Rose and Violet Candles
'She bath'd with roses red, and violets blew, And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.'
Love poems throughout the ages owe much to this verse from Sir Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene
written in 1590. Let it inspire you too, to fill your home with the essence of romance by making these beautiful soy wax candles that will add a little passion to your mantelpiece or make wonderfully fragrant gifts for friends.
Extracted from Flowerbomb! by Hannah Read-Baldrey, published by
Pavilion. Photograph by Tiffany Mumford.
You will need
How to make
You will also need:
Newspaper or an oilcloth
2–4 x microwaveable jugs or bowls
Dried flower petals: Rose Petals, Violet, Cornflower or other blue petals
Ideally you will have four spotlessly clean microwaveable jugs or bowls, one for melting the wax for each section of the red and the blue candles, but two will do at a pinch just so long as you make sure they are cleaned meticulously in between colours.
Before you begin, protect your work surface with sheets of newspaper or an oilcloth. Make sure all the drinks glasses are clean and dry and place them on the tray, and prepare a space for the tray to sit undisturbed while the wax sets.
Place the soy wax chips into one of the microwaveable jugs or bowls and follow the manufacturer's instructions to melt the wax in the microwave. Use the handle of the wooden spoon to systematically stir the wax as you are melting it.
Attach a candle wick to the base of each of the glasses: dip the metal circle of the wick into the melted wax and stick it centrally to the bottom of the glass. Leave it for a few seconds for the wax to cool and the wick to attach, then wrap the top of the wick around a lolly stick (or a skewer or a pencil) and place it centrally over the glass. Trim off any very long ends.
The first layer of the wax candles is a solid colour. To create the colour, mix either the rose or the lavender candle dye with the melted wax and stir it with a metal fork until the entire colour has dissolved. If the dye does not seem to be dissolving, put the wax in the microwave for another 30 seconds, then stir again. (If you are unsure of the colour, you can test it by pouring a small amount onto a white plate and leaving it to harden.) Also add a few drops of the essential oil or candle scent.
Pour the coloured wax into the prepared glasses so that they are about half to three-quarters full. Allow the wax to cool and harden fully.
To make the layer mixed with dried flower petals, repeat the process to melt the wax, but this time stir in the relevant dried flower petals and candle scent. (Or if you prefer, you could use a clear jelly wax for a translucent layer.) To ensure all the petals don't sink to the bottom of the wax, let them sit in the hot wax in the jug for a minute to soften them. If you do find the petals have sunk, simply sprinkle some more on top of the wax during the cooling process – the cooler the wax, the harder it is for the petals to sink.
Top up the glasses with the dried flower layer and let the wax cool fully. Once the wax has completely hardened, remove the lolly sticks and trim down the wicks to around 1cm (3/8in) long.
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