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How to make a gnome home mushroom candle?

When autumn arrives, mushrooms are all over the place! They come in every shape and color you can think of and are a real source of inspiration for all your candlemaking projects.
The mushroom we will create today is your typical gnome home: white and red and utterly decorative!
One piece of advice though: this candle should really only be used as a decoration. Its lack of balance and odd shape doesn't make it a very reliable candle to burn... But anyway, who would want to burn such a beautiful mushroom?

  • Difficulty: relatively easy
  • Time needed: about 1 hour

  • Supplies neded
  • 300g of a stearin/paraffin blend (or pillar blend),
  • about twenty paraffin pellets,
  • 1 white taper candle, home-made or store-bought, about 20cm (8in) long,
  • 1 dessert plate,
  • a little dishwashing liquid,
  • red dye,
  • any item with a rounded top,
  • 1 small terra cotta flower pot,
  • some mold sealer,
  • a little ground for the finishing touch.
  • How to make this candle

    1 You will need some red-dyed paraffin for the mushroom hat and uncoloured paraffin to fasten the hat to the stem and the stem into the flower pot.

    If you two melting pots, as showed on the picture, divide the paraffin into two parts and melt it in your double boiler (the picture is taken from another project so please ignore the difference in wax colors).

    When the paraffin has melted, give half of it a nice red color and keep both lots at pouring temperature for the next steps.

    2 Before we start making the mushroom hat, we'll take care of the stem.
    Dip the taper candle in hot water for about thirty seconds. Don't be tempted to dip it in the water of your double boiler: because of the water temperature, the taper candle will lose some of the paraffin it is made of and if you dip it in your double boiler, this paraffin will end up on your melting pots, which is really not a good thing.
    Instead, use a small plastic or aluminium container (like the ones ice cream comes in) that you fill with hot (but not boiling) water. When the taper candle has been immerged for about thirty seconds, it should then be soft enough to be pliable. As showed on the picture, give it a shape a little more "natural", slightly curbed.
    But don't overdo it: the hat will be relatively heavy and if the stem is curbed too much, your mushroom candle might be unstable when finished.

    3 Now that the stem is ready, let's get started with the hat.
    Put a few drops of dishwashing liquid in the dessert plate and use your fingers to spread it over the whole surface of the plate. This will make your life easier when you'll have to remove the still soft paraffin sheet.
    Spread some wax pellets on the plate (paraffin usually comes in pellets form so this shouldn't be a problem).
    Now, pour the red-dyed paraffin in the plate. Pour enough paraffin to get a wax sheet about 3 millimeters thick. Let the paraffin cool off but don't wait too long: if you can press your finger (lightly) onto the wax without it digging a hole or leaving fingerprints, it is an indication that the paraffin is cool enough to handle.

    4 Now comes a delicate operation: unmold the red paraffin circle. Start by cautiously raising a corner with the tip of a knife. The fact that you've covered the plate with dishwashing liquid sould make it much easier. Once you've lifted a part of the wax sheet, still using caution (and your fingers), separate the rest of the wax circle from the dessert plate.
    At this stage, the wax should still be warm and very soft. Find any item with a rounded top. In this project, I used a glass bell originating from an old set of container candles but you could very well use a soup ladle or a billards ball. if you don't find anything to do the job, just use your hands to give the mushroom hat its shape.

    5 Place the round wax sheet on the rounded item. Because the wax is still soft, il will almost immediatly take a hat shape. When you like the shape, dip the hat into a bucket of cold water to accelerate the cooling process and settle the obtained shape.

    6 Using a nail or a wicking needle, drill a hole into the hat's top. This will allow passage for the wick of the candle taper .
    Once the wick has gone through the hat, use some mold sealer to seal the wick hole (on the outside of the hat, where the wick comes through).

    Before you go any further (and you'll be in trouble if you forget this step), work out a way to keep the taper candle steadily in place while the paraffin you're about to pour will settle. I'm pretty sure you don't want to hold the taper candle yourself during fifteen minutes without moving...
    Now flip the hat upside down (in this picture, you'll notice I placed it on a small flower pot to keep it from moving) and install the system you've devised to keep the taper candle in place.
    Once the candle is immobilized, pour some uncolored paraffin in the hat (do not fill it up entirely: it would not be elegant and would make the hat far too heavy).
    When this paraffin has cooled off completely (and allow it all the time that is needed), hat and stem should have become inseparable.

    7 Stop the hole at the bottom of the small terra cotta flower pot with some mold sealer (from the outside). Chances are you will need the same device here that you used to keep the taper candle from moving in the previous step to immobilize the whole mushroom in the flower pot.
    Caution: because of the weight of the mushroom, you might have to reinforce the system...
    Before you pour the remainder of paraffin in the flower pot to hold the mushroom in place, try and find the best position to give the mushroom an optimal balance. Once the paraffin is poured and has settled, it will be impossible to adjust the mushroom's position.
    When you're sur eyou've found the ideal position, pour the paraffin in the terra cotta flower pot. Be sure to leave enough place (about 10 millimeters) to add some ground in the next and last step.

    8 When the wax has cooled off in the flower pot, you may remove the mold sealer from the base of the pot and the top of the mushroom's hat.
    Add some ground on top of the paraffin in the flower pot to hide it and give the whole a more natural look and voilà! Your autumn project is over.

    Plus vrai que nature... et moins toxique!
    As good as real... but don't eat it up!

    Divide the wax into two lots and melt it
    1Divide the wax into two lots and melt it

    Soften the taper candle and give it a more natural shape
    2Soften the taper candle and give it a more natural shape

    The 'hat' is very easy to make
    3The "hat" is very easy to make

    Give the hat its shape by putting it on top of a rounded item
    4Give the hat its shape by putting it on top of a rounded item

    Drill a hole at the top of the hat to let the taper candle's wick through
    5Drill a hole at the top of the hat to let the taper candle's wick through

    Hold the taper candle in place and pour uncoloured paraffin in the hat
    6Hold the taper candle in place and pour uncoloured paraffin in the hat

    Fasten the stem into the flower pot with the remainder of paraffin
    7Fasten the stem into the flower pot with the remainder of paraffin

    Add a little ground at the mushroom's base to make it look natural... and you're done!
    8Add a little ground at the mushroom's base to make it look natural... and you're done!

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