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This candle making kit from Yellow Moon was a birthday present received by Alice in March, she's very into crafty projects so I was surprised to find it months later unused in a cupboard. After a brief inspection I saw a couple of slabs of the wax had in fact been used, but she'd never presented me with a candle so I wondered what the problem was. After asking her she said it was just boring and wouldn't use it, I've always loved candles so decided to have a go myself.
The kit currently costs £14.99 and contains a selection of 10cm square 'slabs' of coloured wax, lengths of wick and a very basic sheet of instructions. Now, before I start let me tell you something - the wax slabs you get in the kit are nowhere near as bright and vibrant as those you can see in the piccie above. Ours were a translucent mix of blue, green and varying shades of red/purple - admittedly the colours do start looking a bit better once you've moulded the wax into a bulkier shape than a slab, but you're not going to get the bold effect you might be expecting from Ciao's piccie.
To start moulding the wax you need to first warm the slab. The instruction sheet recommends doing this between your hands but unless you have hands with the heat of a gas cooker you've no chance. The wax just breaks and shatters as you try to knead it, I found the only way I could make it malleable enough was to hold the slab of wax a few inches above the flame on the hob and keep testing that the wax was getting so hot it started melting. Considering this kit is suitable for children aged five years and above, this isn't ideal.
After you've softened the wax it's time to sculpt it into something arty looking. The problem being that really you need to be arty in the first place to do this; the soft wax has a horrible greasy feeling that makes the lump slip around in your hands, this in turn makes it hard to make into anything resembling a candle shape. You're encouraged in the instruction sheet to use two or more colours together to make larger candles than you'd make using just one slab of wax, this is easier said than done as the different colours just won't stick to each other unless you spend hours painstakingly pressing the edges together and reheating the wax when it starts to harden. You do need to really use two or three slabs to model a decent sized candle anyway, one slab makes a candle roughly three times the height of a (pretty thin) tealight - three makes something you can actually see without squinting, and five slabs will give you something resembling a pillar candle.
The lengths of wick provided are designed to be cut down to size, there aren't really enough of them and because of their flimsy nature they're almost impossible to push through the candle after you've shaped it. They'd be better with a metal end, or at least a reinforced waxy section; in the instuctions you're told to make the candle then push the wick all the way through, which is fine for the first inch but then the wick just starts bending up on itself. I always had to pull the candle apart, put the wick in then spend ages moulding the wax back together - boring nightmare.
I didn't manage to make anything resembling a working candle. The one I created looked pathetic and the wax takes so long to set that the candle started leaning over and eventually would have been unsafe to burn - Alice made a marginally more successful small one using just blue wax, we burned this last night on top of David's birthday cake and it actually turned out to be an good candle. The homemade effect looked quite drippy and gothic after a few minutes and the candle burned evenly with no tunnelling or dipping in the centre - I noticed there was quite a greasy smell after blowing the candle out but apart from that there's no scent while it's burning.
God knows how many packs you'd need to get through to get the intricate results shown on the Yellow Moon website. The faded colours in our kit meant we couldn't really go for Christmassy candles, and anyway the wax is so unmalleable and oily that you'd need some candle-making skill to use it to create anything other than a) a normal shaped candle or b) a stupid looking mess. Guess which one I made...?
Pictures of Yellow Moon Handmade Candle Kit
It's been likened to a gangrenous finger nail, the Virgin Mary with herpes - and one other thing that I'll leave to your imagination...
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