I love a good movie. Some movies have scenes so inspiring, tragic, or just so well-staged, that they are tattooed into my eyeballs forever after seeing them. The English Patient came out when I was in High School. I’ve seen it dozens of times since then, and one scene in particular has always haunted me. Today’s craft, making snail shell candles, is inspired by that very scene.
To refresh your memory, the scene is below:
To make a path of burning snail shell candles which will lead your lover to a barn where you wait in the shadows, you will need the following:
– Escargot shells
– Braided candle wick thread
– Standard wick tabs (the metal base)
– Hot Glue Gun & Hot Glue Sticks
– 1 pound block bees wax
– Double boiler, or metal bowl and saucer of boiling water
– Empty egg cartons
– Paper towels or napkins
After picking up a container of escargot snail shells (and meats!) at my local grocery store, I picked out the prettiest, and most colorful snail shells, and placed them in my empty egg carton. I cut lengths of braided wick (each, about 2 1/4 inches long) and pulled each length of wick through the hole in the wick tab. Using the pliers, I pinched the metal tube at the top of the wick tab together so that the braided wick would stay attached to the metal base.
I made sure I was working on a surface that would be easy to clean up, and wouldn’t get damaged by any spilled wax (If you are not sure how well your surface will clean up, put a sheet of aluminum foil, or wax paper under your egg carton of snail shells.)
Next, I inserted the wicks into each shell. Using my hot glue gun, I secured each wick tab in place with a bead of glue.
When all of the wicks were glued into the shells, I melted my bees wax on the stove, using a double boiler.
I used my plastic funnel to help pour the hot liquid wax into each shell. As the shells filled with wax, I tried to keep their wick strings in the center of each shell opening, so that they would burn evenly. I also rotated each snail shell as the wax cooled, so that I could fill the shell with as much wax as possible. I wanted these to be able to burn for as long as possible.
To keep the shells from tipping as the wax cooled, I folded napkins between some of the rows of the egg carton. This added extra support, and soaked up any spilled wax.
Then, I just waited for the wax to dry. When a few of my candles developed bubbles in the wax, I re-melted and re-pored the wax- which patched up any and all visible bubbles.
I couldn’t wait to light my snail shell candles. As soon as it was dark enough, I took a few outside, and lit them. The effect was as beautiful, romantic, and haunting as I had seen it in the English Patient.
In addition to leading your lover to a barn via burning snail shell candles, I would encourage you to use this craft in the following scenarios:
– Aisle-runner for a beach-wedding (dreamy!)
– Mood-lighting to seduce handsome malacologists (snail scientist)
– Dramatic warning to garden snails/beautiful lighting for an evening garden party
– etc. etc!
Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this post, I have a few other movie scene-inspired crafts I’m thinking about whipping up and sharing with you here!