Donna’s Day: Make ‘ice’ candles for every climate

Sunday Signal

By Donna Erickson, Signal Contributing Writer

Let’s make fire with ice! Impossible, you say? Well, it just depends on how you look at it. Follow this DIY process using candle wax and ice to create these super “cool” chunky candles.

To make several medium-sized candles, you’ll need:

1 saucepan and a tin can with label removed, such as a stewed tomato can 

candle wax from a craft store (leftover candle stubs in similar color may also be added)

candle coloring from a craft store

empty and clean pint or quart-size cardboard milk cartons with the tops cut off (the shape of the carton will be the shape of the candle)

a white or colored taper candle for each ice candle, 1 inch shorter than the cut carton; trim the candle from the bottom, if necessary 

ice cubes crushed into medium-sized chunks

An adult should fill the bottom of the saucepan with a few inches of water and place the tin can in the center. Put pieces of candle wax inside the can, along with any extra candle stubs. Stir occasionally on low heat as wax melts, keeping a constant eye on it, since it is flammable. Add coloring, if you wish.

Just before the wax is completely melted, your school-age child may place a taper candle in the middle of a milk carton and pack ice around the candle. Be sure it is centered. Leave top portion and wick of candle exposed. 

When the wax is melted, an adult should use a potholder to lift the can out of the saucepan and pour the melted wax directly into the milk carton over the ice and around the taper candle. Be sure not to cover the taper candle wick. As the wax melts the ice, you’ll hear cracking and popping! 

When the wax is almost hard, drain off the water a time or two as it melts. Let wax harden completely.

Peel the carton away from the candle and enjoy the surprise of your work of art! The ice will have formed interesting pockets, like a chunk of Swiss cheese. Let set a day before using.

To use, set candle on a plate and surround it with marbles. When you light the candle, give your preschooler the job of saying “Ta-da!” as you stand around proudly watching the creation flicker on a dark, winter’s night. 

Note n adult should always be present when burning candles. 

Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.”

© 2020 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Synd.

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