Candles are frozen ice vases used to hold a candle outside in the
Here's how to make them:
Step 1: Fill
a couple of good sized containers with water and put them outside
raised off the ground a little (I use our picnic table bench). Make
sure the containers don't have any indents or mouldings that will
grip the frozen ice. I use waste paper baskets I bought at Walmart.
When there is a thin skin of ice on top cut a square hole into it
large enough to fit your hand through later to put the candle in.
You can remove the ice you cut out from the hole but make sure the
water level stays up so that no air pockets form under the remaining
You can make ice candles in any sub zero (celcius) weather but the
best temp is -10C (14f) to -15C (5f). If its too warm the ice may
not freeze solid enough and if it's too cold then it's too cold and
it isn't much fun to do.
Place a plastic container full of snow or a square cube of styrofoam
over the hole. This will insulate the hole and keep it from freezing
as fast as the rest of the candle. The idea is to keep the hole on
the top from freezing.
the water sit and freeze for 6 - 7 hours or so in -15C (5F) or longer
if warmer or less if colder. You can re-open the hole on top as often
as you want but the container of snow or chunk of styrofoam should
keep it from freezing solid for a fairly long time and I usually leave
them overnight if it's not too cold (i.e., -10c (14f)).
Remove the container of snow or styrofoam and re-open the hole on
the top if it has frozen (it shouldn't be too thick if it has).
Check the width of the ice that has formed on the sides of the container.
The ice will freeze from the outside in so water in the centre of
the candle will freeze last. If the ice on the sides looks to be
at least a 1/4" thick or more dump out 90% of the remaining
water but leave an inch or two at the bottom.
Let the water you left in bottom freeze solid and it will form a thicker,
flatter base that will let the candle sit a little higher.
Bring the containers inside to warm up a bit. After a 1/2 an hour
or so try to lift the ice out from the container. It should slide
out fairly easily once it warms up enough. If you can't remove it
wait a little longer and try again. You can speed up the process with
a hair dryer or by running the sides under warm water but be careful
not to do it too much or you'll melt a hole in it.
Put them back outside and put a small candle in them and light them
Repeat the process until you get a whole bunch of ice candles. You
can experiment with different thickness' of ice (the longer you
let it freeze the thicker the walls will be). Clear ice candles
are probably the nicest looking ones but you can tint the ice with
Jello crystals to give them a little colour. It also fogs the ice
and gives them a nice smell. Food colouring tends to settle to the
bottom before the ice freezes and doesn't work very well.
Put them all over your yard and sneak up on your friends and neighbours
and leave them lit on their front steps as a surprise gift!
more info and discussion about making ice candles CLICK