The next time you are at a neighborhood garage sale, church sale or flea market, scoop up those heavy glass beer mugs you can buy for a song. You can transform them into beer candles which are perfect for decorating sports-themed parties or for using as creative homemade gifts for birthdays and holidays.
The great thing about beer candles is, you can color them to look like the real thing, complete with white foam on top dribbling down the side of the glass for added effect. And you don't need to limit yourself to clear glass mugs - mugs with beer company logos work great for this project, too.
For each beer candle, you'll need a clean glass beer mug, paraffin wax, candle wicks with wick tabs and candle dye.
- Measure and cut your candle wick so that it's three inches longer than the height of the mug. Using a wick tab, stick the wick in the center of the inside bottom of the glass mug.
- Break up your wax pieces (about 6 ounces per mug) into small pieces for faster melting and put them into the top of a double boiler in which the water-filled bottom half has been brought to a boil. If you don't have a double boiler unit, improvise by bringing water to a boil in a deep pan, and put a large empty aluminum can (like a used coffee can) into the center of the water for holding your wax.
- Lower the heat so the water continues to simmer while the wax melts. Use an old wooden spoon to stir the wax until it's completely melted into a thick consistency. Please do not melt wax in a microwave because the resulting splatter could ruin your microwave or even cause a fire.
- Shut off the heat and add colored dye to the melted wax mixture so that it resembles the color of beer or ale, ranging from gold and golden wheat in color to a rich amber or dark brown.
- Beat the wax with a wire whisk or a fork until it starts to form a foam.
- Immediately pour this mixture into your mug, allowing some of the wax to dribble off the side just as it would if you were pouring draft beer into the mug.
- Whip the top of the wax into a foam again to form the "head" of the beer candle, making sure your wick is positioned in the center of the candle. Allow the candle to cool.
- Wrap in clear cellophane paper; add a bow or ribbon and you have a beer candle to use as a gift or to decorate tables for a sports-themed party.