Easy-to-Make Gourd Candles

Create festive fall candles using winter squash as a mold.

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Small winter squash creates graceful shapes for these homemade candles. Choose various wax color tablets to represent a range of harvest tones. Project from Handmade Halloween: Ideas for a Happy, Haunted Celebration.

Materials and Tools:

acorn and hubbard squash (and others, if available)
beeswax or regular paraffin candle wax (allow about 1/2 lb. for each candle)
melon baller
double boiler
yellow, orange, coral and/or purple wax color tablets
candle wicks
wick tips

Steps:

1. Cut off the tops of the squash and hollow out the insides. For hubbard squash, scrape out the seeds with a large spoon. For acorn squash, use the melon baller to scoop out the flesh, following the natural grooves of the squash. Make the grooves as deep as possible and smooth them with the back of a spoon.

2. Melt the wax in a double boiler over boiling water.

3. Add color tablets as the wax melts. For different color candles, melt the wax in batches, adding various color tablets each time.

4. Meanwhile, cut lengths of wick a few inches longer than the squash are tall. Attach the wick tabs to the wicks.

5. When the wax is completely melted, carefully pour into a squash. Drop in one wick tab, with the wick attached, and let it settle to the bottom.

6. Lay a pencil across the top of the squash and drape the end of the wick over it so it is as centered as possible. Repeat, in batches if you like, to make more candles.

7. Let the candles harden completely — about five to six hours — then peel the outside of the squash away from the wax.

8. Trim the wicks before lighting the candles.

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