Celebrating Candlemas with homemade Orange Peel Candles

 These homemade candles make great little lights for Candlemas, & are a neat way to upcycle any old candles you may have around the house.

As a family, we celebrate Candlemas on 2nd February. On this day (& on the Sunday before) we like to fill our house with light to remind us that we can be lights of welcome, hope & friendship to those we meet throughout the year. 

I had intended to use large oranges for this craft but satsumas were a little easier for smaller hands & the candle wax took less time to set.

We started by cutting the fruit in half, & scooping out the segments. To do this we gently ran a teaspoon around the inside of the skin before carefully lifting the fruit out with the spoon. We kept all the fruit to add to a fruit salad.

Once the fruit holders were ready we removed any discoloured wax or burnt wicks from the old candles using a blunt knife. (If you don't have any candles to upcycle you can purchase a range of beeswax pellets on-line.)

We used an old saucepan to melt our wax over a gentle heat, alternatively, you could melt the wax in a glass container over a pan of hot water. Obviously, this part of the activity is just for adults as the wax is very hot.

As the wax melted I carefully removed any wicks or dirt from the pan with a spoon. We added a little colour to one batch of the wax using these & simply stirred in a little of the colourant as the wax was melting. 

Once completely melted I carefully transferred the wax to the satsuma halves using an old tablespoon. I added 2 tablespoons of wax to each holder, but you may wish to add more/less.

Next, we quickly added the candle wicks that we had made prior to the activity. To make these we secured a short length of string to a lolly stick using a loom band. (Those mini-bands come in so handy!) This does look bizarre but when the lolly stick is placed over the fruit it holds the wick in place as the wax sets. 

Our candles took around an hour to set, but to speed up the process you can always pop them in the fridge. Once set, remove the lollystick & band & you're ready to light your homemade candle.

If you wish you could add decoration by cutting a pattern into the fruit using scissors. We wanted to create a crown effect with this one so cut a simple zig-zag design. 

To add a little scent to one of the oranges we inserted a few cloves into the peel, making sure they were away from the flame. 

I love the glow & the fragrance of these candles, & there is something really beautiful about their simplicity. (Obviously, these candles are never left lit in an unsupervised area.)

We'll be lighting these tonight & thinking how we can each radiate light & make a difference in our world. How we can show hope, kindness, & friendship to those we meet? We'll also be giving thanks for those people who are lights in our life.

May your day be filled with light today!
Happy Candlemas!