Making Your Own Wax Sheets
Although using purchased wax sheets is the easiest way to make rolled candles, if you are adventuresome — and if you have some leftover wax you want to make use of — you can try making your own wax sheets.
A piece of plywood the size of the sheet you want.
A large, deep pot for melting the wax. A deep steamer of the type used for asparagus or corn will work, as will a deep stock pot.
To prepare the plywood, soak it in water for 1 hour or more (to prevent it from absorbing the hot wax). Dip the plywood into the melted wax, using tongs or pliers to hold it firmly. Allow the wax-covered plywood to cool for about a minute. Dip the wax-covered board into the wax again, and again allow it to cool. Repeat this process five or more times depending on the thickness of the wax sheet you want. Scrape the wax at the edges of the board; then peel off the sheet.
Homemade wax sheets lend themselves to various uses. Although purchased sheets come in various colors, you can tint your own wax sheets any color you like, or make multicolored layers for an interesting effect.Have Fun with Your Homemade Wax Sheets
What's nice about homemade sheet wax is that you don't have to warm it up before using it. It will be warm when you remove it from the board. While it is still warm, you can form it into different shapes as you roll it.
Should the wax cool too much, just drop it into hot water (l00–ll0° Fahrenheit) for a minute or two to soften it again. Keep a pot of warm water at hand for this purpose.Getting Creative with Wax Sheets
As you work with the wax, you'll think of many more ways to use it artistically. The more accustomed you get to shaping your homemade wax sheets, the more ideas you will get for using it. You'll find wax is wonderful for sculpting and hand-molding, like clay. If making mud pies was one of your favorite childhood pastimes, playing around with wax that's in between the liquid and solid states will give you a lot of satisfaction! Here are a few ideas for using your homemade wax sheets creatively:
Make the sheets thicker and roll into votives or pillars.
Roll three or more slender candles and twist them into a braid.
Using a long wick, keep rolling until you have a long, thin candle.
Give your children some warm — but not hot! — wax sheets and let them play to their heart's content. They can push the pliable wax around and make odd and curious shapes without making a mess. And you can always remelt the wax and use it later. Or, you can insert a wick (see p. 127) and burn their artwork.