Sand Candles

Another easy and fun way to make candles is to make sand candles.  You uses wet sand to make the mold.  You can even decorate the candles with small shells or rocks.  Once the wax is cooled you can either brush the sand off or leave it there as a decoration.

This Instructable gives great instructions for making candles using a shell as the mold.

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Ice Candles

Candles are fun to make but can take a lot of wax.  This is a method of making really neat looking candles that doesn’t take as much wax.

Materials:

  • wax paper cups
  • wick
  • tape
  • pencil or Popsicle stick
  • crushed ice
  • paraffin wax
  • wax dye or old crayons (optional)

Method:

  1. Secure one end of the wick to the inside bottom of the wax cup with a little bit of tape.  (if you have wicks with metal bottoms this may not be necessary)
  2. Tie or tape the other end of the wick to the pencil or Popsicle stick so it doesn’t fall into the cup.
  3. Melt the wax in a double boiler and colour as desired
  4. Fill the cup with ice.  Ideally you want the chunks of ice to be between 1/2 cm and 1 cm in size.
  5. Pour wax into the cup until the ice is submerged
  6. Wait for the wax to cool and the ice to melt, then carefully remove the stick and cup.  You will end up with a candle that had large holes in it kind of like Swiss cheese.

Warning: Always burn these candles on a large fireproof surface as they may collapse in unpredictable (but interesting) ways as they burn.  Do not leave burning candles unsupervised.

Camp Lantern Hat Craft

Materials:

  • 1 battery operated tea light
  • 1 clear plastic shot glass
  • 1 lid from a Gatorade or similar wide mouth drink bottle
  • a nail or tack
  • small length of wire or plastic string
  • red paint and brushes
  • glue

Instructions

  1. Use nail or tack to put two holes through the top of the lid
  2. paint the lid red
  3. paint the white parts of the top and sides of the tea light red being careful not to get paint on the “flame” part.
  4. Once the paint is dry, tie a loop of wire or plastic string though the holes to create a loop (so you can attach it to your hat later).
  5. Glue the shot glass upside down over the light of the tea light.
  6. glue the lid to the bottom of the tea light.

4 LED Crafts

To celebrate the International Year of Light why not make a craft that lights up.  You could pair these up with a discussion of LED bulbs and how much more power efficant they are then incandescent or even fluorescent bulbs.

Instructables can be a great source for craft ideas with a twist.  Here are 4 LED crafts from that site.

LED Pipe Cleaner Bracelet are easy enough that even a Spark could make them.

LED Critters are only a little more difficult then the braclets and are easy to deactivate for storage.

Glowing Critters – these do require the use of a glue gun to ensure the craft supplies all stick to the plastic egg, but I love that every girls critter would look completely different.

These LED Buildings are made using copper tape to build a circuit.

2015 – International Year of Light

 UNESCO has declared 2015 to be the International Year of Light.

In proclaiming an International Year focusing on the topic of light science and its applications, the United Nations has recognized the importance of raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. Light plays a vital role in our daily lives and is an imperative cross-cutting discipline of science in the 21st century. It has revolutionized medicine, opened up international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society

http://www.light2015.org/Home.html

How will your unit mark this event?