There is something about special events that bring out the DIY’er in me. It doesn’t matter if it is birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays… the stash of materials come out of the drawers and closets while the dining room table is turned into a workstation.
But it gets even better. Since I have a flock of chickens in the backyard, just knew that besides enjoying the fresh eggs, that there had to be a project just waiting to be discovered in the leftover eggshells. And you know what? There is. All that it takes is a steady hand and some careful cracking. Add in wicks and wax and you have the makings of a perfectly charming candle.
Eggshell candles begin with the eggshell. Rather than cracking the egg in half, the cracking point is moved to the top 1/3 of the eggshell. Use your hand to carefully remove the top of the eggshell and either discard or save for another use. (Save the yolk and white for cooking or baking). Let the eggshell air-dry.
Materials for Eggshell Candles
- dry eggshells
- wick tabs
- braided wick
- paraffin wax
- fragrance oil (optional) of your choice
Place paraffin wax into the top of a double boiler. For crafting/project purposes, do not use the same one that you use for cooking. Make a trip to a thrift store or a local garage sale and get a double boiler just for projects (or simply place a pan no longer used for cooking over a larger pan/pot that is partially filled with water to create your own double boiler). With the stove set to a medium low heat, melt the wax. After the wax is melted, remove the double boiler from the stove top. If you are adding fragrance, stir it in now.
NOTE: do not place the paraffin directly over heat (use a double boiler) as paraffin is flammable… it is a byproduct of petroleum distillation process.
As wax is melting gather your wick tabs and braided wick. Carefully thread a 2 1/2″ length of wick through the wick tab (leaving a small tail at the underside of the tab). Press the tines of the wick tab down to secure the wick in place. To simplify this step, some craft stores or online retailers sell wick tabs with a wick already in place.
Grasp the top of a wick and lower into the melted paraffin so the wick tab comes in contact with the wax. Now carefully lower the wick and tab into an eggshell. To help maneuver the tab into place, use a toothpick to guide the tab to the bottom of the shell. Gently press the tab so it comes in contact and adheres to the bottom of the shell due to the paraffin on the bottom of the tab (may need to dip the tab several times).
Once the tab is secure, straighten the wick and lift it up so it clears the top of the eggshell.
With a steady hand, carefully pour the melted paraffin into the eggshell. Use your fingers or the toothpick to keep the wick slightly to the side as you pour the wax. As the wax cools, it will begin to turn white. Once the eggshell candles are cool enough to handle, trim the wicks to 1/4″ – 1/2″ above the wax.
To present these as gifts, arrange in egg cartons. Egg cartons are easy to cut in half so you can gift a half-dozen eggshell candles. Or if you made plenty, you can gift a dozen of these candles at a time.
When burning these candles, do not light them while still in the styrofoam or cardboard egg carton. Place the eggshell candle into a small votive or even in an eggcup (glass or ceramic) for a cute display and stand for burning. For a larger display when the eggshell candles are lit, place in a six or nine-hole ceramic egg carton.